The industry cloud – a foundation for industry innovation and growth

Markus Brunold

Key facts:

  • Bringing data-based innovations to market fast requires a highly flexible IT architecture;
  • Industry clouds provide legal security, accommodate the flexible growth of ecosystems and give companies access to efficient processes for their specific industries.

The Coronavirus pandemic has given rise to a profound increase in the speed of innovation in digital transformations, where platforms and ecosystems play a central role. Large companies have the advantage of owning large data volumes that hold important information about their customers’ needs. As a result, they can select services and partners that are a good fit for their specific products and will want to do a lot of experimenting – with product and service combinations, new forms of communication and new partners.

The composable enterprise: Agility requires a highly flexible IT architecture

However, doing so will change the requirements for the way companies implement innovations. They will quickly recognize which business models and collaborations make sense and are profitable, retaining the one that works while quickly discarding the others. Again, this type of business agility requires a very flexible IT architecture, and the demand for it is high. It is no coincidence that Gartner has declared “composable architecture” and “composable enterprise” to be trends.

Let’s take the digital transformation of customer relationships as an example. Suppose companies want to automate their responses to individual customer needs and proactively engage with their customers based on their needs. To do so, they will need real-time customer data for all applications and services to do business evaluations and execute processes as needed. Once this is in place, companies can implement and test innovations flexibly, e.g., integrate another provider’s services or products, thus significantly accelerating the time to market. However, companies will only truly benefit from the innovative power of digital technologies if their business and specialist departments can use these technologies and the corresponding applications on their own, i.e., without having to rely on IT support.

A one-size-fits-all solution for all industries? It does not exist.

However, even experts are frequently overwhelmed, given the variety of available tools and systems. So, what solutions are emerging? According to Gartner, “Packaged Business Capabilities” (PBCs) will ensure agility in the IT infrastructure of the future.

It’s the same idea that is already behind our Customer Suite today: BSI CRM provides the measurability of CRM processes and a 360° data view; BSI CDP supports flexible data platforms with access to all systems; BSI AI infuses intelligence into customer relationships; and with BSI CX, companies can design, execute and enhance individual customer journeys in an automated manner.

All these tools are intertwined, support each other and can be linked to other providers’ systems – and they all use the same data.

At the same time, innovation means something different in every industry – and the very different framework conditions make a “one-size-fits-all” approach for tools and systems obsolete. Yet, establishing collaborations or entire ecosystems to expand their specific range of services and products is a major topic for companies in many industries – and the time to market for new services should accelerate significantly in the future.

Preconfigured industry specifics

Consequently, this indicates that implementing regulatory-compliant innovations single-handedly is a major challenge for companies. Linking to existing platforms can be one solution. Another solution could be industry cloud solutions that are easy to implement and connect. With those, companies get a product package tailored to their specific industry that provides legal security and facilitates flexible growth.

Thus, an industry cloud for developing digital customer relationships could look like this: A CRM system provides a 360° view of the data, while the CX solution ensures data-supported, automated customer experiences. Integrated regulatory concepts protect employees from serious mistakes; standard interfaces ensure easy connectivity to platforms common in the industry, such as core banking systems, and external providers’ systems for complementary services. Industry-standard processes are preconfigured and take place automatically: In retail, this would be the returns process, for example, and in the banking or insurance industries, it would be the standard onboarding process.

There will be other supplementary services that will also be preconfigured and integrated into future software packages. Examples are newsletter and survey tools or stories for specific customer journeys. As a result, companies get solution packages that make processes more efficient, offer legal security, enhance the customer experience and promote innovation. We are already very close to this principle in our retail, banking, and insurance communities.

In any case, companies can significantly speed up the time to market for innovations by basing them on composable architecture and using industry cloud solutions. What are your thoughts – will it also increase the readiness to take risks and the desire to experiment in large companies?

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Oliver Hechler, Creator of Customer Delight

+49 89 189 170 912

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