Technology when used correctly can disrupt traditional businesses and enable forward looking organizations to create blue oceans instead of competing in the ever crowded, existing red ocean. When IT is used as innovation enabler, organization’s can create new and uncontested market spaces, thereby creating huge differentiation and engendering significant brand value.
Netflix used technology to disrup Blockbuster- Wikipedia did the same to Encyclopedia Britannica, Craigslist did that to Classified Ads. Cirque De Soleil, used technology to create a blue ocean where it combined elements of a circus, dance, theatre, music, lighting, magic and high-end live entertainment to create a winning value proposition. It fulfilled a need, traditional service providers never knew existed- perhaps, the end consumer never knew it either as an identified and quantifiable “gap or pain”.
Build it and they will come, is one management philosophy that has been debated for many years-by focusing on your customers and your customers’ needs and at times unstated and/or un-structured/invisible wants, organization’s can leverage technology for self-funded business transformation and wildly successful innovation, that gets rewarded not only by Wall Street but by Main Street as well.
CIO’s need to transform from being Information Managers to becoming Innovation leaders. By focusing on your customers’ needs, more of the IT budget needs to be spent on Growing the Business (GTB) rather than Running the Business (RTB)- Today, 70-80% of corporate IT budgets are spent on keeping the lights on- patching, QA, support, maintenance, customizations, hardware, networks, applications etc. CIO’s need to evolve from being back office systems managers, to creating new business models and revenue streams for the organization and becoming strategic advisors to the CEO. When IT is not merely viewed as a cost-center but regains its true glory as a critical differentiator and revenue driver, the CIO will move from reporting to the CFO and will transform to reporting to the CEO.
We all need to realize that using technology to create super cool products and solutions laden with high-tech features and benefits are of no use, if your customer’s don’t need them. By putting your Customer First, Front and Centre (CFFC) of your business model, you can create a trajectory of rapid growth, sustainable competitive advantage and value-based differentiation. Lets create blue oceans and elevate our customers, our organizations and society at large.