It’s really easy to think that all the innovations emerging from the tech sector won’t have an impact on businesses in other industries. But a recent study by Gartner announced that Unilever, a CPG business founded in the 19th century, is a supply chain leader thanks to its innovative use of data analytics. The truth is every business can be disrupted – and can take advantage of digital transformation. In a recent piece in Computer Weekly, 3 technologies were described that could present tangible benefits for the enterprise – CIOs can harness these new technologies and create a real difference for employees, partners, and customers.
- Use APIs to integrate externally and internally. McKinsey researchers Pratap Ranade, Devin Scannell and Brian Stafford noted that Sears – again, a 19th century business – was able to improve its online experience using APIs to create apps for customers searching for inventory or store locations. “The next wave of applications will increasingly combine data and services from other companies, offering a direct channel to reach mobile consumers in new and engaging ways,” they said.
- Sensor Activity. Networked sensors are helping CPG companies provide products that are more tuned and personalized to customers’ needs. For example, Proctor and Gamble are using a toothbrush with a sensor to keep track of toothbrushing habits. And drinks company Diageo has developed a sensor in a film included on bottles, allowing the company to see where its products are in the supply chain.
- 3D Printing. Experts believe 3D printing could turn the industrial manufacturing industry on its head. Instead of a car manufacturer needing to keep 12 kinds of replacement parts on hand, they could simply be designed and printed as needed.
To take advantage of these technologies, the CIO not only has to figure out whether they’re appropriate for the business, but how to integrate them with existing systems. That’s why, as our CEO Greg Schott points out, CIOs are now considering themselves Chief Integration Officers. One thing is clear, though; as the world becomes more and more connected, and digital technology enables customers to connect with a business at any time and on multiple devices, emerging technologies become an increasingly important part of business strategy.
Take a look at our resources on how CIOs can take advantage of emerging technologies and how technology is changing the role to Chief Integration Officer.