In July, Ikea released a commercial that imagines what it would have been like to create and share a social-media style picture in the 18th century. It involves a painter, some horses, a phalanx of staff, and a lot of time waiting for friends to send a “like.”
While the commercial speaks to the timeless need for connections to others, the absurdity of the scenario shows just how much we rely on digital technology for the connectedness we experience today. As we point out in this quarter’s Charted story, the smartphone is barely 10 years old: the iPhone and Android platforms were introduced in 2007 and 2008, respectively. But putting a communications, computing, and sensing platform in the hands of people worldwide has changed the direction of humanity.
Our feature stories in this issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly speak to the magnitude of the changes that digital devices have put in motion. For example, mobile technology existed for over 20 years in the enterprise, but its use was relatively limited until consumers widely adopted mobile smart devices and drove down costs and barriers to using it. The result? Massive global uptake of mobile technologies across enterprises. Smartphones consumerized the IT revolution. Our cover story, “From E-Business to V-Business,” argues that virtual reality technology has launched a new wave of consumerization. We tell you how to get ahead of it.
The digital revolution is transforming every aspect of business—perhaps none so much as the customer experience. Omnichannel customer strategies used to focus on connecting the online experience to the in-store experience. For example, a customer might start an order online but complete it in the store. While a necessary scenario, it didn’t create much engagement and excitement for customers. The next step is to use digital technologies to create “wow” moments for customers, no matter where they are or how they interact with the company. Our story “Omnichannel. OmniNow. OmniWow,” offers ideas for how companies can go beyond connecting channels.
One thing that hasn’t changed much since the 18th century—and won’t for the foreseeable future—is humanity’s encounter with disasters. Identifying what people need when famine, earthquakes, and other devastating events strike has always been a struggle, as has delivering the right aid to help them move their lives forward. In “Rewiring Hope,” we explore how digital technologies can improve aid delivery worldwide to people in need.
Digital technologies continue to give us new ways to create meaningful connections. This issue of Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly will help you see around the next curve.
Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly helps you create meaningful connections to digital technologies
Other highlights from the Q3 issue, available online:
- Old MacDonald Has Some Code 10101: devices for the digital economy in food & agriculture
- Your AI Entourage: Rand Hindi, CEO of Snips, envisions an AI assistant to help people navigate their lives; the current version of the Snips app – tailored for smartphones – is part of the growing new product category of AI-powered assistants.
- Perception vs. Reality: Self-Driving Cars: highlights false or misleading common perceptions about self-driving cars and sheds light on the true story behind them.
- The Revolution Will Be Networked: former senior editor and foreign editor of Time magazine, Joshua Cooper Ramo explains why the most critical skill in the global Digital Economy is the ability to perceive connections and understands how to unlock their potential power.
- #boldlydigital: How Leaders Can Stay the Digital Course in a World of Surprises: Dr. Chakib Bouhdary, Digital Transformation Officer, SAP discusses how when companies evaluate the potential business implications of Brexit or of any other major global economic shift, executives must confront key questions about how prepared they are to manage change. Do they have the capabilities in place to advance their digital strategies while they navigate events they can’t control? To help meet disruption head on, Bouhdary offers a short list of issues executives need to address to survive and thrive when Brexit-like disruptions occur.