Each technology has its pioneers. The funny thing is, no matter the business niche, everybody is always ready to up and offer nothing short of a revolution. This spawns a paradox: instead of focusing on evolving, entrepreneurs suggest to completely transform a particular business niche — kind of a one-way ticket, a revolution at everyone’s loss.
You’ll be okay with such a situation in case if you: develop your business single-handedly, can’t live without innovations or simply like to take risks. But it can be literally fatal for medium- or even large-scale businesses.
As the speed of innovations development accelerates, so does the time-period required for their adoption by businesses decrease. Consumers switch faster than products and services manufacturers. 78% of smartphone users globally are expected to use messengers by the end of 2018. According to the ‘Mobile Phone Messaging App Users’ poll from eMarketer, that number is expected to grow: by 2021, global mobile messaging app user-base will have grown by 23% more.
This creates new challenges for business. Indicating the target audience wouldn’t be enough. The situation must be regarded from the consumer perspective. Your customers employ most various digital technologies hundreds of times a day. They expect businesses to be ready and respond accordingly to such a tendency. According to the ‘Cisco Visual Networking Index’ report, half of the humanity will be using the Internet by 2020. Also, smartphone user-base will expand up to 3 billion users and the number of devices connected to the worldwide web up to 30 billion items.
It doesn’t matter how traditional by modern standards your business niche is. Even if you are selling antiques, you must be prepared for the digital transformation. Don’t worry if you are set off by the perspective of becoming a pioneer. The process has already made its impact on the largest corporations of the planet. How did they start adapting? With payments!
Consumers have discovered new accessible and rapid payment methods, such as: contactless payment (Google Pay, Apple Pay, Paypass), transactions via chatbots, immediate payments online, and some others. But behind all of this, a giant financial industry stands that is more than in need of a significant update.
Instead of simply buying a latte in Starbucks, try compensating the purchase of a factory in China with a card or smartphone. Besides the legal side of the question, such a transaction would require the involvement of dozens or even hundreds of financial niche experts. And it wouldn’t happen fast in any case.
A significant part of Fintech-startups is working on facilitating and accelerating international payments. Much effort is put into developing not only payments but also investment and financing methods.
Large corporations face these tasks on a daily basis. Samsung SDS (IT department of the South Korean corporation) is working on their own financial platform Nexfinance. It is a service that includes digital identification in blockchain, assets management and insurance services delivery system, and a virtual chatbot assistant.
Earlier on, the Samsung IT department launched the Nexledger blockchain-based platform with the goal to lower expenses required for digital transactions execution. Built on blockchain, the system allows for monitoring global shipments comprising tens of billions of dollars in price per year. The system is able to decrease delivery expenses by 20% according to SDS.
Both mentioned platforms employ distributed ledger, artificial intelligence, and Big Data analysis technologies. Employment of the Nexfinance will help the financial department of the company manage the financial industry situation more efficiently.
The shipments management system implies interaction with transporting companies, including maritime shipment channels. According to the International Machines Corp. data, container shipping documentation is twice as expensive as that for the inland transportation! Blockchain technology reduces the time required for sending documents for coordination with port authorities. Therefore, respective expenses are also reduced.
SDS is planning to process 488 000 tons of air cargo in 2018. The reduction of downtimes between the product launch and factual shipments is to take place as a result. This would allow for more efficiently perceiving and analyzing competitive products and transferring consumer appetites towards developing markets, such as the Chinese market.
Basically, the work on your demands anticipation is being conducted. Once the product is presented, you won’t have to wait until it’s in stores like some Kickstarter backer. The technologies make it possible to react to demand immediately. This approach brings many benefits no matter the type of product you manufacture.
The struggle with the industry’s bottlenecks involving technical solutions (Blockchain), new user interaction methods (messengers and chatbots) — all that is the digital transformation we all have been waiting for.
The digital transformation doesn’t mean only the enhancement of shipment routines and payment processes. It implies the reformation of the whole business structure that provides the constant improvement of product market introduction process over time.
Not only can you record all respective info in blockchain. You create a case where you can get feedback from the full transparency of the whole supply chain.
Ecosystems of technologies from various partners can be interconnected. Your business will be able to pick the partners that would fit the goal of your establishment. Be it commerce, transportation, manufacture, IT company or governmental organization — any type of industry benefits from that.
In case you’ve been waiting for a special sign pointing at the technologies ceasing to be exclusive in nature and starting to appear on a regular basis, it is definitely here. IT companies will be followed by the business as we know it — every niche from electronics manufacture to the cafeteria around the corner.
The revolution promised by innovators won’t happen without the largest companies involved. They are working on the development of an ability to combine physical tech (everything from 3D printing to robots and drones) and digital tech (artificial intelligence, Blockchain, and Big Data) for the purpose of creating fast-response systems. Those will, in turn, interconnect factory workers, partners, and manufacture parties in order to create the best product possible and then deliver it to customers.
Industry 4.0 (Industrie 4.0) paves the way for the smart manufacture concept based on the global commercial Internet of Things and Services network. The concept will spawn the cases where products and machines producing them will be exchanging information with each other and react to it sometimes even faster than the human brain is able to process.
No matter the position you hold in your business — be prepared for changes. We have, in turn, prepared five tips in that matter for entrepreneurs of any scale:
- Become a part of ecosystem. You won’t really acknowledge advantages if you only read about others’ integrations in the media. Think how Blockchain can change your company. Not for the sake of keeping up with trends, but for the purpose of becoming a part of something more.
- Familiarize your customers with bots. Chatbots are constantly being integrated nowadays. Instead of arguing which type of chatbots will take the lead in the future (voice assistants, AR/VR based ones, or others), employ the existing AI industry’s best practices. This is a moment that shouldn’t be postponed. It will clearly demonstrate to your customers how you are keeping up with the future. Bots will help you understand your target audience better. Don’t be afraid to use such a capability!
- Expand your expectations. When Facebook was integrating chatbots in the messenger, nobody knew what rates of popularity growth to expect. Currently, the bots hold over 100 000 conversations each month. Social networks have become a part of a routine while a brand without the dedicated Instagram account isn’t ‘modern enough’ anymore. Give users what they’re asking for. Connect with them and promote your services. We are living in the times when it is possible to go to space, not talking about an ability to write to the favorite brand through a chatbot.
- Be ready for revolutions. Imagine the future. We are most rapidly approaching the singularity, developing AI, employing neural networks for predicting customer needs, and are preparing for the visit to the Mars. Don’t miss your chance to become a part of history!
- Start today. There is a bunch of ways to change this world without losing the acquired trust. Create your own chatbots company. Begin interacting with customers through Instagram. Think about integrating blockchain. Help bring the future closer!