Finding opportunity in unexpected places!
Here’s a little something that none of us in business really like to admit to ourselves. When any business lines itself up against its peers in the same industry, at first pass all our offerings sometimes look pretty much the same to our customers. Industry peers will often use the same or very similar technology tools and platforms, might all use the same one or two “industry-leading” line-of-business industry applications, might have a custom app – that does pretty much exactly what one of your peer’s apps does too, but under a different banner…
And this is all important stuff – these are the essential tools of the trade that it takes to stay competitive and relevant in the digital age. The rising digital tide, so to speak, has floated all our boats, as technology has become more accessible, affordable and consumable thanks to mobile, cloud, and as-a-service offerings. It’s a more level playing field and it’s never been easier to keep up with the Jones’!
Differentiating yourself in the digital age
How then can you use technology as a true differentiator in the marketplace? Where can you find that inspiration or “innovation” that will fuel that all-new business model or revenue stream?
You’ve no-doubt heard people talk ad-nauseam about the need to “take time out of the business to work on the business”? Well we’re proposing that you take that a step further – take time out of the business and go learn from a totally different business! Forget about keeping up with the Jones’! Find out what’s happening at the Smiths’ or the Petersons!
Busting through the industry barriers!
One of the things we love doing at Maxsum is getting out on the road and attending lots of events where people from a host of different industries describe how they’ve used technology in really creative and inventive ways to offer something truly unique to their team, customers, community or the market.
One of our favourite examples is a story Microsoft tells of a Tasmanian oyster-farming operation. Oysters are highly susceptible to contamination from upstream rain flooding, which would previously cause farms to cease harvesting due to possible contamination. At peak times, a day’s lost production due to rain flooding could cost $120,000 in foregone revenue. But the novel introduction of in-estuary sensors as part of a sophisticated IoT solution, overlayed with national weather data has given the oyster operation on-demand predictive insight into water quality, tide and weather data, meaning they can now tell when they need to speed up and roster more staff for harvesting to beat bad weather and maximise their yields.
Oysters + IoT + Cloud technologies + Machine learning combined to offer a whole new value proposition for the oyster farmers – they can now actually guarantee a consistent high-quality supply of oysters and contain costs by minimising potential revenue losses.
Other industries and businesses are finding inspiration and innovation in unexpected places too and forging all new industry-busting partnerships to deliver new services in new ways.
- Look at the introduction of mixed reality technology into indigenous story telling;
- How satellites are being used to help in the fight to save bees;
- The way household appliance leaders are providing the sensor technology that’s powering autonomous vehicles of the future;
- What an internet-connected jacket looks like;
- How developments in digital traceability are changing ethically minded consumers access to information on the provenance, usage and recyclability of textiles and materials;
- Even exploring blockchain-inspired “fractional” real-estate investment platforms as a way of addressing the housing affordability crisis we face in Australia; or
- How Google, a real-estate search platform, a media company and technology provider partnered up to connect people facing homelessness with service providers.
Why forging cross-industry partnerships is important to your business
The good news stories are great, but there are some really important benefits that introducing new ideas and non-traditional partnerships can bring to your business, even if you’re not looking to “innovate or perish”.
All of the examples we’ve provided above have one thing in common. They’ve leveraged today’s core mobile-first, cloud-based, platform technologies and augmented them with what their new industry partners know about data, sensors, machine learning and automated customer experience to create higher value offerings.
And in doing so they have been able to:
- Improve process efficiency
- Optimize asset utilization
- Improve customer engagement and experience
- Develop innovative products and services
- Reduce business risk
- Improve brand performance
- Increase employee job satisfaction
Whether you’re consciously looking to “innovate” or not, we can bet that at least one or more of these objectives feature pretty heavily in your current 2-5-year business plan!
Your step-by-step guide to building a cross-industry ecosystem of your own!
Step 1: Start by leveraging your own networks. Who are your clients, what do they do, and what industries are they involved in? Go to some meet-ups that seem interesting, start your own technology round-table or lunch meet-up and see who is involved in what in your industry and beyond.
Step 2: Step outside our comfort zone and go to a few technology or other industry themed events. You’re guaranteed to come back with more than one big learning you’ll be keen to try on for size in your business!
Step 3: As part of our mission at Maxsum to Enable opportunity and Realise potential, we’re all about seeing what creative solutions are out there, and how those opportunities could be applied to our client’s business models and environments. Stay in touch with the latest news we bring back from industry events via our blog and news pages, by signing up for our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Step 4: And finally, make sure you’ve got a technology partner sitting around your decision-making table. When you get to the part about how IoT, data analytics, machine learning and automation can bring your cross-industry ideas together and change how you provide value, you’ll want us and our industry partners at your table to help.
Partner with us – we can’t wait! Call 1300 629 786 (MAXSUM) or Contact Us today.