Open Innovation and Co-Creation platform as Global Sourcing.
A higher penetration of new technologies spanning the internet, telecom, media and social space has created a new breed of consumer who is known as digital consumer. The radio, TV, Internet took 38, 13 and 4 years respectively to hit 50 million users. Facebook got twice that in less than 9 months.
Rapidly evolving technology has accelerated these changes in the digital landscape and how quickly these digitally active consumers embrace these technologies with ease. These consumers have created a significant change in traditional consumer behaviors. They have changed the way consumers communicate, transact and make purchase decisions.
This trend will change the way enterprises of tomorrow will operate and connect with their consumers. The enterprises of tomorrow must, therefore, realize the potential of this trend. Therefore the global sourcing providers (IT service providers) need to meet this trend while providing services to their clients.
How global sourcing providers meet the digital consumer trend ?
Self-service, extreme personalization, and co-creation are the core of a successful digital consumer strategy. Global sourcing providers need to understand how businesses can align their operating models, strategies, and processes, indeed their very thinking, to the needs of digital consumers. Companies must tap into the potential of their consumers by creating to their most important needs of independence, uniqueness, and participation.
Self-Service: Self-service is a trend that is redefining how organizations engage with customers. Digitally active customers are now reducing their dependence on organizations and relying on themselves and peer reviews. Organizations can also, therefore, leverage self-service to create other benefits as well. Information on common customer requests or grievances captured by a self-service automated system can be analyzed to understand preferences and subsequently factored into company’s product development and innovation process. Self-service channels can be used to improve company’s awareness of products and services. When used within the organization, self-service affords employees better access information and empowers them to resolve several issues themselves. Deployed in the partner ecosystem, it enables third parties to gather knowledge and take action fast.
Customers in the digital age are asserting their individualistic nature and are expecting the companies they deal with to understand their uniqueness. This understanding will have to manifest itself in the products, services, and experiences by personalizing each of these to cater to individual customers. Therefore it is imperative that organizations transition from a macro segmentation outlook to micro-segmentation. Traditional macro-segments largely ignored the long tail comprising those customers whose demands were out of the mainstream and hence nonviable to fulfill. Now with the emergence of digital consumers, companies can tap into these previously ignored segments. Personalization also reduces the time to market for new products and accelerates innovation by providing direct knowledge of customer preferences and habits.
Co-creation harnesses the collective intelligence of customers, partners to accelerate innovation and shape products and services, and their employees to redefine both strategy and the organization. To create a successful Co-creation ecosystem requires the support of external stakeholders, a supportive environment with the right culture, systems, and processes.