Plugging into the Digital Economy via the Cloud
Everywhere anyone turns these days business executives are using terms such as digital or service economy interchangeably, while the more technically inclined often tend to refer to the same business phenomenon as the API Economy. Regardless of what you call it, there is clearly a massive hunger for to deliver multiple forms of digital content around products and services that can be easily monetized. Whether it’s a car or a turbine, every company that makes something is trying to figure out what digital services can be created that enhance the existing customer experience.
The challenge that most of those organizations face is that most of them don’t have any mechanism in place to actually do any of that. No doubt all of them have spent millions, sometimes even billions, of dollars on enterprise applications that were never designed to support the selling of digital goods and services.
To enable organizations to overcome that issue, cloud services have emerged that provide a turnkey framework for digital commerce. Case in point is Avangate, which just added 200 features in a Summer 2015 update to its service that span everything from tools for recovering lost revenue opportunities to managing marketing campaigns.
Avangate CEO Carl Theobald said the digital economy represents a trillion dollar opportunity that spans just about every vertical industry there is. The Avangate platform eliminates most of the need for an organization to build a framework to support digital e-commerce transaction themselves. In addition, the platform can then be integrated with any number of backend ERP applications via a robust set of REST application programming interfaces (APIs).
Perhaps the most pertinent fact about this opportunity for solution providers is that it’s not necessarily about saving money. For the most part, every IT solution sold is generally about how the new thing is less expensive than some other thing it replaces. Digital commerce, on the other hand, is about creating new streams of revenue. Business leaders will happily listen to a pitch about saving money. But what gets them really excited these days is when IT is employed to drive new revenue opportunities.
Rather than relying on technical jargon to sell into the digital economy, IT service providers would be well advised to start describing cloud services within the context of specific sets of business goals a customer is trying to achieve. After all, the mandate that business executives operate under is to grow the business as profitably as they can. Anything that doesn’t squarely address that mandate is generally going to find itself pushed down a list of competing priorities that more often than not will never actually get funded, or worse yet, never actually completed.