Digital Transformation Must be Part of Business' Adaptations to New Markets
Technology changes the ways we live and the pace of innovations has never been faster. For example, just three decades ago, most people watched movies on VHS tapes and listened to music on cassette players. The integration of new technologies requires businesses to constantly update their products and services to meet customers where they are shopping.
While businesses are modernizing their products and services, it’s a perfect opportunity to transform their processes and operations using digital systems and tools. Failing to do so could result in a business model becoming obsolete even if the products and/or services available to customers are the latest and greatest.
Using Google Cloud technology to communicate
A famous quote from one of the movies that people likely watched on VHS many times is, “what we have here, is a failure to communicate.” The current climate of business maintains the emphasis not only on regular, reliable communication for businesses but also on how businesses communicate.
This applies to both consumer-facing and internal channels. An example of a way that Google Cloud technology can augment communications with customers is through building chatbots.
Google Cloud’s Dialogflow feature allows businesses to incorporate their own data into natural language processing systems. This creates a kind of “question and answer” environment into which customers can input their queries and receive automated responses to address their issues.
While chatbot agents on Google’s Cloud platform could also be used for internal processes, another way that businesses have used Google’s Cloud platform to improve internal communication is through inventory management systems.
Containers on Google Cloud allow such systems to react to employee actions in multiple ways that streamline operations. For example, instead of a department head needing to send multiple emails to get supplies, that individual could make a request of the system that would automatically be relayed to the fulfillment department.
The same cluster of the cloud-based management system could simultaneously update inventory totals, prompt for re-ordering, and even anticipate demand so departments never have to communicate a need for an item. That allows personnel to focus on the fulfillment of clients’ needs rather than their own.
With communication streamlined, businesses can focus on adding the features that customers demand of modern products and services. Digital transformation aids that shift by helping businesses identify those features.
Turning customer feedback into useful information
Cloud-based chatbot agents are meant for several different ends. Each time a customer interacts with them, it’s new feedback for businesses. The issue for many businesses, however, is how do they compile useful data from all those consumer touchpoints and use that information to make decisions about improving products and services?
The concept of a pipeline is a good visual aid in this situation. This can be achieved regardless of what cloud service the agent lives on due to Anthos’ hybrid-cloud technology.
Essentially, every phrase in a chatbot conversation with a customer becomes a data point that an application running on Anthos records and sends down the pipeline to a container that measures the frequency of those phrases. Developers can specify thresholds for frequency within a certain period of time.
From there, the next stop on the pipeline is delivering reports on that data to relevant decision-makers in businesses. For example, if a report shows that customers are frequently requesting an item in a certain color, the system would make the individuals responsible for materials acquisition, product design, and purchasing aware.
These automated processes allow businesses to quickly pivot in a rapidly changing market while simultaneously filtering out information that isn’t useful. It also ensures that businesses won’t miss out on market trends that can often make huge differences in sales.
For adaptations that require larger shifts than merely adding a new colorway to an existing product, digital transformation is even more crucial. One manufacturer recently shifted its entire business successfully using digital tools.
Visteon’s dramatic response to new opportunities
Visteon, a company that started manufacturing automotive climate control and other parts in 2000, recently shifted to making cockpit electronics. In doing so, Visteon effectively went from engineering mechanical devices to engineering software.
The market for cockpit electronics increasingly demands better and more driver information and infotainment products. To complicate matters further for Visteon, those products need to integrate multiple domains into one stack.
For Visteon, trying to build separate products for all the different needs and situations that the market presents would have been a never-ending cat and mouse game. Additionally, it would have proved very costly.
The goal instead has been to incorporate driver information, driver monitoring, and infotainment into one consistent user experience regardless of what devices the customer may have, what infotainment brands the customer prefers to use, and the model of the vehicle.
To achieve that goal, Visteon relied upon hybrid cloud technology. It also has put Kubernetes to use to its advantage.
Visteon’s hybrid cloud and Kubernetes strategy
Visteon CIO Raman Mehta specified that one of the challenges of producing cockpit electronics is that consumer demand has compressed the time frame from innovation to scale. Stated another way, the amount of time that passes before a product becomes obsolete is shorter.
Visteon uses hybrid cloud technology to continually test new features across a variety of platforms and keep them ready for implementation in its products. When Visteon’s clients are ready to acquire products with the new features, it’s a much more efficient process.
That pertains to updating products currently in use as well. That’s where Kubernetes come in for Visteon. Kubernetes allow Visteon to seamlessly deliver new integrations across its line of products that are already in use, thus achieving that goal of providing a consistent user experience regardless of users’ circumstances.
As more and more products and services integrate technology into their delivery or consumer use, the importance of adapting those products to those demands becomes more pivotal. It would be a mistake for businesses to try to update those products and services to include digital elements without simultaneously using digital tools to transform their own operations. CloudMatos can help all businesses implement those digital transformation strategies so their adaptations to the modern market are truly complete.