In today’s world, business is largely conducted digitally. Your customers interact with you, buy or consume your products, request support, view or modify account information, etc. – all digitally.
This comes with some serious expectations with your digital proficiency being reviewed, scored, judged and publicly scrutinised continuously. Some older organisations often have many legacy systems to deal with, potentially slowing down their digitisation efforts. These organisations are sometimes seen as “dinosaurs”, with new digitally savvy consumers choosing or moving to the competition who deliver fresh, rich and feature-complete customer experiences through digital platforms. Being in first place, or at least on the podium, in the race to digital superiority is one of the keys to long-term success.
Sticking with the racing analogy, to succeed, you need to build a car that can get you to the finish line as quickly as possible to be a leader in digital innovation, proficiency and transformation, which is the key to success for many modern organisations.
This car consists of several parts, all interconnected to deliver the best performance possible and deliver an experience that is greater than all of the parts could deliver individually. These parts are much like all the different parts of our business. Some of these parts could be our strategic goals, a culture of risk-taking and experimentation, data-driven decision-making with line of business integration and collaboration and many more.
The technology choices are also critical and are interwoven throughout the car and largely enable you to deliver on your plans or goals. It starts with the chassis which provides you with the infrastructure and modern platforms to innovate on, and the engine which comprises your core business systems and the source of the car’s potential.
What truly unlocks this potential is all the parts cohesively working together in real time. Sensors provide the driver with real-time data to make decisions on. Decisions made by the driver are acted on in real time by all the interconnected parts, where one part is reacting to the outputs of another. Can you start to see this racing analogy playing into your organisation?
What you have at this stage is a loop of real-time backend operations powering rich front-end experiences, a paradigm also known as Event Streaming. If you knew the state of your engine while it was at rest, after your daily scheduled batch run was completed, you would not be able to improve or innovate as quickly as if you knew the state in real-time as you were racing around the track. You would not be able to notify the driver in real-time to engage the drag reduction system at the optimal position.
To many businesses, this concept is not new. Banks understand the imperative of notifying their customers digitally, in real-time, of any activities on their accounts. They know how important the richness of their digital platforms is to their customers and to their impressions in the market. However, even for a mature business that may have all events across all lines of business captured in real-time, with these events being actioned on or reasoned over as they are happening, the truth is that change is inevitable and constantly occurring. Digital transformation is not a singular event or a single race, it is ongoing with market conditions continuously shifting.
Winning a race makes you the champion of the day. Winning a season of races makes you the champion of the year. Winning multiple seasons and remaining competitive as one season moves into the next, makes you one of the greatest of all time.
When it comes to the last lap or the last race of the season the emphasis should always be on “What is next?” and “How do we improve?”.
Event Streaming provides the technology to be agile, adapt to change and power your real-time digital experiences. It is a vital part of a successful, modern business and much like being on the last lap of the race or season, the key to success and being one of the all-time greats is to reflect on your current maturity and state, look to the future state and how you intend to get there and adapt to changing conditions in real-time.
In my next post we will look more practically at the competitive edge event streaming provides and how we can leverage it to overtake our competition in our race to long-term success.