Big data, cloud computing and Industrial IoT. These were just some of the top technology trends that shaped the past decade. And as we enter a new decade, we should not expect any of this to slow down. In fact, my prediction for 2020 and beyond is that it will be the era where businesses bring all of this data to life and finally use it to their competitive advantage.
So, what does this mean for your business?
If you’re a channel firm or vendor, you’re working with huge amounts of data every single day and have a wealth of information available to you. But I’m reminded of my former business partner – Nick, who would tell everybody that “knowledge isn’t power unless it’s actually used”. Equally, data is only valuable when you know why and therefore how to capture and use it, and never allow it to sit dormant. We all know that most data is currently lying dormant. You should be leveraging your data to discover invaluable insights, not only into your own business, but also that of your customers and even your partners. Again, I recall Nick saying, “you’re being downright irresponsible if you’re not”, because your data can help you deliver exceptional customer experiences and generate more revenue!
However, managing data is one of the biggest challenges facing companies today. How do you solve the problem of capturing the value of this information, whilst also effectively running the day to day operations of your business?
Don’t hire expensive data scientists and business intelligence analysts to try and make sense of countless spreadsheets. Once your data has been exported into a spreadsheet from its original source (such as your ERP or CRM), that data fast becomes out of date, sometimes in the matter of days or even hours. It’s no longer in real-time, so why make important company decisions based on data that is: a) already outdated; and b) manually manipulated, analyzed and presented in a way that is limited to the experience and skills of your internal data analyst? This method not only increases the likelihood for human error, but it also slows you down, allowing your competition to beat you to it.
Automation is the key to utilizing your data effectively and efficiently. Simply use technology to capture, sort and analyze all of your information, without consuming excessive resources, time or money. When done right, you can amplify the value of your data for each and every customer, throughout the entire product lifecycle in a timely, accurate manner. You will be able to mine your installed base effectively and remain relevant to your customers.
An important point on data mining is that most of the data that can be ultra-valuable today, was actually collected for other reasons. So, the spreadsheets and systems used to collect and store this information tend to be disengaged from the true value which that data now holds. For example, sales data would have been collected to confirm a sale for invoice purposes, not to help create recurring revenue campaigns. Same data, different strategic direction.
And no, I’m not suggesting to use your ERP or CRM/CPQ to do this, because they are not designed to handle product lifecycle management in a channel environment. What you should do, is integrate these existing business systems with an installed asset lifecycle management platform. A purposely designed platform that will represent your data in a way that mirrors your growth strategies – and yes, brings it to life and gives it true value. This integration will allow data to flow in real-time, eliminating the need for human intervention. As a result, you will be not only be able to streamline all of your sales processes and information, but you can also get more value from each of these systems as they work together in unison for you. And that’s what a true installed asset lifecycle management platform does – enhances and fulfils your existing investments, not replaces them. Enabling this connectivity actually makes each platform more powerful than if they were to operate in isolation.
Get 2020 vision of your data with iasset.com. We’re here to chat and take you through a demo to explain how you can gain mind-blowing insights into your business. We are as duty bound to give your data true value, as you are. That’s true partnership in action.