Today’s “New” Tech Companies (Who Need Future Tech Employees)

As digital disruption continues to turn entire industries on their heads, companies across from insurance to transportation to fast food are not just looking into digital transformation, but positioning themselves as technology companies.

  • Ford is no longer just an auto company, it’s also a mobility company
  • Volkswagen is evolving into a software services company
  • Allstate Insurance recently launched a tech startup
  • Domino’s is as much a tech company as a pizza company.

They have gone beyond thinking of digital in terms of projects to fundamentally rethinking how digital can change their business.

Digital Isn’t Just a Thing, Its a New Way of Thinking and Doing Thingsgetty_524897688_126866

Many companies are focused on developing a digital strategy when they should focus on integrating digital into all aspects of their business, from channels and processes, data, product delivery and their culture.

One of the big trends in the payments sector is the merging of commerce and payments functionalities in the same app like being able to pay for your restaurant meal using the OpenTable app you used to reserve your table.

Of the 800 employees at Domino’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, 400 are in technology roles, including software and analytics. 60% of Domino’s sales come through digital channels, and nearly two-thirds of those are placed through mobile devices. According to Domino’s CEO Patrick Doyle, “Customers have shown us that they want access to the brand through technology, and they want it anytime and anywhere they are no matter what screen is in front of them, whether they’re driving, in their living room or on a laptop or mobile phone.”

Here are 6 inspiring case studies of digital transformation for you to consider as you position yourself for a new job or expand your career options

1. Amazon Business served as an example of ‘digital customer’ expectations transitioning to the B2B world. It launched in2015, with over 250 million products and a more holistic marketplace for B2B companies including exclusive price discounts, purchasing system integration, tax-exempt purchasing for qualified customers, shared payment methods and order approval workflows.

2. Audi changed the way in which companies sell vehicles, with the introduction of an innovative showroom concept launched in 2012 named Audi City. It allows visitors to explore the entire catalogue of Audi’s model range hands-on in stores located in city centers, where large showrooms are not a possibility. At Audi City in London, sales went up 60% from the traditional Audi showroom that previously occupied the site. And they only stock 4 cars, reducing the cost of having to hold a large volume of stock that often does not match a customer’s criteria.

3. Ford was structured in 2006, as a loose confederacy of regional business centers and IT silos. From 2006 on, they moved forward with clear goals, simplifying the company’s product line, focusing in on quantitative data and quality vehicles to unifying the company as a whole. On the IT front, Ford slashed the budget by a massive 30%. Their goal was not to reduce expenses, but to take resources that were tied up in maintaining fragmented and complex legacy systems and free them for use in expansion and innovation.

4. Lego suffered a steady decline and by 2004, it was close to bankruptcy. Reaching a tipping point, Lego started restructuring and digital transformation focused on new revenue sources coming from movies, mobile games, and mobile applications. In 2014, the first Lego movie earned $468 million with a production budget of only $60 million.

5. McCormick & Company launched FlavorPrint, an online flavor recommendation tool that visually represents consumer’s tastes. Consumers start with a 20-question quiz about eating habits and food likes and dislikes. FlavorPrint takes this data and generates personalized suggestions about recipes using algorithms. It has been dubbed “the Netflix for food” for its ability to suggest recipes based on individual’s tastes. FlavorPrint has been such a success that McCormick spun off into its own technology company called Vivanda.

6. Starbucks took a different direction while others were attempting to build a mobile app. They built an end-to-end consumer platform anchored around loyalty. The company’s main innovation is their Mobile Order and Pay app. This is fundamentally a customer-first strategy, as it addresses the basic wants of the consumer like convenience and line avoidance. Coupled with their extensive loyalty program, the app gives Starbucks the perfect venue to up-sell and market to consumers. The app also funnels back massive amounts of user data to the company, allowing them to better understand their customers’ habits and preferences.

Digital employees are growing at an astronomical rate.

Consider Chatbot growth.  It’s expanding at a 32% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). That’s much higher than the projected growth rate of the agent population.  That leads to the inescapable conclusion that fewer agents will be needed in the future as simple customer service tasks are increasingly handled by these ‘smarter’ digital employees.  You might think that workforce optimization systems, which are designed specifically to manage live agents, would become less important as more work is assumed by digital employees.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Going forward, your awareness and the capability to utilize these tools in a business marketplace is what will make you remarkable instead of invisible. Think of yourself not just as an employee, but a transformer of processes and systems to maximize ROI by helping businesses make money, save money or solve a problem.