If you missed it, Forrester’s Nigel Fenwick summed up his view of 2013 as the Year of Digital Business. He goes straight to the point in saying that digital business involves both the communication evolution from signal fires to Twitter and the social business revolution (note the word business) for bringing collaboration and innovation in an open environment.
But he has a warning, too:
…but social tools are not necessarily the silver bullet we might think. In 2013 we need to rethink business processes to take into account this new communications paradigm.
This resonates and we’ve witnessed what he calls “social business ecosystems” where companies are combining social media with mobile to put a new focus on the customer experience. If there’s a term we’ll know well by the end of 2013, that will be it. It brings together “community, content and commerce” as the winning ingredients for a whole new way to do business.
Few software vendors have been able to successfully add social and collaboration features in a meaningful way, and Fenwick is connecting success with being able to satisfy customers in outcome-based contracts. That’s a high-risk play for anyone not comfortable with the new paradigm. It will separate haves from have nots.
Keeping the good ones
Fenwick wisely points out that the surge in customer experience innovation that’s underway will cause a skills shortage that will make retention of the best employees a critical issue. We’re already seeing that now as large numbers of college grads struggle to find appropriate work while many IT jobs go unfilled.
Fenwick’s predictions make good sense based on the conversations we’re having with customers and vendors. Digital business isn’t new, but it has a whole new momentum and direction with social, mobile, cloud and big data. It comes together as customer experience management. Remember that term.