Is 2021 the year of digital transformation? It could very well be if Microsoft is any reflection on how they view their future. They have been somewhat hapless in recent times, and even their Windows XP operating system has been beaten to a very public, horrific death. On the Internet front too, the biggest name online, Google has utterly failed to evolve their services in line with consumers, and in fact continues to ship less than effective tools for doing what consumers want.
This, of course, is no surprise considering that transformers like Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon Kindle, Cisco and others have all had to adapt to changes in the economy over the last year, or so it appears. In fact, if you look at the current crop of leaders in the business realm, each one has had to “play defense” this year, not because they are afraid of facing the new challenges, but because they are unprepared for them. It’s been quite the year for leaders, if only because it’s been such a long time since the last big change.
So, is it time to talk about the digital transformation that’s happening in business? Well, maybe not yet. Because while every one of these leaders has had to deal with the changing Consumer landscape, what they are really talking about is the way they will operate within the confines of the existing technologies in place today. This means that they may be able to create new relationships with new customers, but they won’t be able to completely overhaul the way that they do things from a technological standpoint. Meaning, Microsoft might be able to become a more agile enterprise platform, but Cisco will still be able to sell its firewall and network security to clients.
In fact, some are worried that this year may not be the year where these platforms truly begin to reinvent themselves. They say that there are too many technology giants rising to the top of the personal computing industry. They say that consumers have grown used to being entertained by these brands and they don’t want their experience to change. They don’t want a new version that simply looks like the old version. They want something that works differently.
And this, they say, is what these platforms are offering. The companies that are adopting these platforms are doing so to offer a totally different experience to their customers. That’s a reasonable argument. What isn’t reasonable is that these same platforms aren’t offering any more change than the ones who haven’t adopted them. So, is this a time to invest in new technology?
It’s easy to look at the numbers and to make the comparisons to determine if these are the right times to invest in new technologies. However, it’s much harder to make the comparisons to determine when it’s the right time to avoid the risks associated with investing in transformers. These risks include falling victim to bad platform design, poor execution of marketing campaigns, and the lack of attention to detail in creating a new, compelling branding. This kind of mistake can cost companies thousands of dollars in capital expenses and years of wasted opportunities.
All of this may seem like ancient history to some but it’s actually a modern phenomenon. The rise of social media, the rise of smartphones, and the rise of tablet devices have changed the way people interact with their brands. For example, a smart phone allows users to not only access applications and the Internet, but to socialize with their social network and other apps. Platforms such as tablet PCs are enabling businesses to create new ways to interact with their customers. While it’s important to remember that platforms can change and the way people use them, it’s equally important to understand that this new focus on mobile digital signage can also create tremendous risks for companies who haven’t yet embraced these platforms.
The first step for any company thinking about pursuing a mobile strategy is knowing their brand and how it functions. It’s important to know the channel that you’re going to work with, who your target audience is, and what kind of business you’re running. Next, work with your brand to see where it’s lacking strengths, where it could improve, and how you plan to overcome those shortfalls. Finally, work with your agency and experts to explore the full potential of your brand on various platforms. A clear vision, a clear direction, and an end goal – all of which can be impacted by embracing a mobile strategy – can ensure that your brand makes a lasting impact on your consumers this year.