Real-time data: The new currency for the French CXO

 

 

By Michael Chaouat Confluent Area VP, EMEA South

Imagine you’re the boss of a major electrical retailer, and it’s Black Friday.

What you really need to know is which TV models are selling well, and which are lagging. That way, you know what’s in need of an extra discount to get them shifted, and how much extra stock you need for the popular lines. The problem is, you don’t get those insights for days – sometimes even weeks. What’s the point in that?

Now imagine on the same Black Friday you have a monitor in front of you pumping out live sales data as transactions are actually happening: it’s allowing you to maneuver stock and adjust discounts in real-time. Sounds more like it.

But let’s go one step further: what if that monitor was connected to other parts of your business like R&D and manufacturing? No more guesswork around stock, or new product development, for example; just hard data allowing you to make smart decisions.

Because, that is the power of data in motion – and it’s the new currency French business leaders need to focus on if they want to succeed in the future.

Enable true digital transformation

Whether you’re selling products or making strategic business decisions, real-time data should be the lifeblood of all businesses as they move out of COVID.

The reason is simple: while organizations possess a wealth of data, that data’s often siloed across a range of disparate systems speaking different languages. It’s impossible to make sense of it all.

As a result, businesses fall short of their potential for success because they don’t have the information they need to make the right decisions fast enough. It’s just sitting there, waiting for slow, manual processes to make sense of it.

And here’s the issue: we’re no longer in the 2000s, so there’s no excuse. The solution, though, is simple: bring together all those different sources, and reap the rewards of joined-up data.

But how exactly do you get there?

Here’s some advice to get you started.

  1. Stop thinking legacy tech, start thinking agile start-up

After years of using disparate technologies to carry out different operations, pulling systems together to work as one may seem like a daunting task.

While it’s all-too-easy to look enviously at the cloud-first competitors breathing down your necks, where agility and adaptability is as easy as a snap of their fingers, your legacy applications are not what’s hampering your progress – it’s your mindset.

If anything, your current systems are your greatest strength. It’s just a matter of making them work for you, instead of against you.

Using the right digital solution to link those disparate applications together will help you meet the challenges you’re facing. By connecting the dots to pull those siloed technologies together into a single system, you’re enabled to make better decisions that can spark innovation and boost your bottom line.

That might just be the turning point you need to turn your business into the new Netflix of your industry.

  1. Stop adding unnecessary layers to your tech stack

It’s incredible what we can accomplish with the technologies available today.

But as digital pushes the limits of what’s possible, you might be tempted to just bolt on every new application and functionality there is.  Trouble is, that’s not guaranteeing transformation, it’s just risking more silos.

In fact, studies show increased use of technology can negatively impact employee mental health and undermine productivity. For companies already dealing with siloed systems, adding unnecessary technology will likely just add more confusion – not diminish it.

At the end of the day, the technology you roll out should enable you to do more, and not slow you down. Rather than the latest tech on the market, you need solutions that really work: integrated, end-to-end systems that power a rich, digital-first customer experience and efficient real-time back end operations.

  1. To adapt, you need to connect

If the last 18 months has taught us anything, it’s that the customer journey can totally transform within an instant.

That’s great news for customers – but it puts companies unable to adapt at speed at risk of trailing far behind their competitors, if not becoming totally irrelevant. Companies with disconnected databases that only passively store critical data – rather than integrating it into real-time operations – should take heed.

Fixing this problem means using all the tools at your disposal to connect what needs to be connected: your back-end logistics, manufacturing processes, and product distribution needs to be unified into a single system.

By making use of software that connects your siloed systems, you’re effectively transforming your legacy databases into modern, cloud-based applications, bringing your data to all key areas of your organization, improving customer experience, and, ultimately, enabling you to innovate and compete in a digital-first world.

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