Don’t let disruption destroy your authenticity

Disruption is bringing new life to many industries. However, to keep up with the rate of disruptors in their field, most businesses feel pressured to evolve at speed, which may make them lose sight of their core strengths and overall USP.

Atom Bank and Monzo are perfect examples of startups in the banking sector giving established industry players a run for their money. This disruption has contributed to the unprecedented growth in fintech, which saw global investment of $57.9bn in the first half of 2018 – more than the total investment for the whole of the previous year.

Meanwhile, Amazon and Apple have been disrupting in the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods space, with a survey conducted by Vanson Bourne recently finding that UK manufacturers recognise the threat of other organisations based on the speed of innovation, rather than business size.

Faced with mounting distraction from competitors, it can be easy for businesses to invest in new disruptive technologies to “keep up with the Jones”. Too often, companies see their competitors or other industry disruptors reaping significant advantages from a certain technology and assume that it is the secret to success. But throwing money and endless technology at the problem isn’t always the solution. In some cases, these new innovations can undermine what makes a business special.

Embrace your strengths

While disruptive technologies have the potential to change an industry’s landscape, business leaders must first embrace what their company does best, then learn from the disruptors about how to improve or transform these processes (if required). This will make the changes authentic to the brand that they have worked so hard to build.

Whether it’s leading-edge features, the most secure place for their data, or the highest quality service, customers will vote with their feet if they aren’t happy with changes to service. So, while the need for authenticity can easily be overlooked in an organisation’s quest to evolve at high-speed, technology investments must be connected to what the company stands for – the customer focus – and look to enhance that experience and not lose existing relationships.

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Authentic investment to improve the customer experience: a best-in-class example

In online retail, many companies struggle to retain loyal customers in the hyper-competitive e-market, ensuring that the technical infrastructure is capable of scaling to constantly deliver a superior and seamless customer experience is key.

For Boozt, one of the fastest growing online fashion retailers in the Nordics, a scalable solution was needed to ensure the customer experience was at its finest. They were able to bridge the gap between the complexities of today’s confusing tech market and the promise of tomorrow; Boozt had aspirations to incorporate machine learning into its operations, but with customer service taking priority, a seamless migration to the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), which provided the scalable experience it required, was the best way forward. It understood that it was critical to first ensure was always available and performing optimally.

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The site was receiving significant increases in web traffic during sales periods, such as Black Friday. Boozt needed to ensure that its infrastructure was flexible to maintain the same seamless service over these peak periods. The company’s foresight paid off, and they accelerated the value of the cloud through the migration to GCP, enabling a 40% hike in customer visits over the busiest weekend of the year, equating to some 50,000 new customers without any downtime or performance issues.

Authenticity is the key to successful transformation

The rapid evolution of technology affords huge opportunities for organisations looking to improve customer experiences, reduce costs and drive efficiencies. However, companies must always remain authentic and true to their brand’s core strengths.

To ensure that these investments will continue to delight their existing customers, business leaders need a robust transformation plan that authentically enhances and compliments their brand’s market differentiators. Technology is the key to that better future – but not all technology.

Written by Darren Norfolk, Rackspace EMEA MD

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