IT-The New Corporate Gold Mine?

By Bob Larrivee posted 07-22-2010 10:04


Interesting concept isn’t it, looking to IT for ways to increase revenue and profits? The concept really isn’t new but I think it is gaining a whole new perspective and appreciation. I was reading an article in InformationWeek titled Return To Growth which is based their study of the same name and the thing that really caught my attention is that the article shows 48% of the IT Executives who responded cite process improvement as the number one initiative while 36% cite the introduction of new IT-led products and services for customers as a priority on their lists of information executives as part of their innovation plans. This percentage is double what it was last year making IT-led products and services second only to process improvement and the one that really stuck with me.

The article talks about how companies are using collaborative tools and analytics to target potential customers quicker and more effectively. In particular, how Royal Caribbean International uses business analytics based on demographic profiles against available on-board services like those found in the Spa and availability of time slots at the Spa to run on-board advertising that targets the selected audience. They are leveraging the power of IT and Business Intelligence (BI) efficiently and expeditiously to increase on-board revenue while they have a captive audience. In this case, IT has become an essential part of revenue generation and a virtual Gold Mine where vital information is sifted to uncover sales opportunities. This is a prime example of how information can and should be put to use in ways that provide positive impact to the bottom-line results and overall profitability.

This is where I also see opportunity for IT and organizations as a whole to enhance their capabilities through the incorporation of ECM where process improvement and management, content management and analytics and Enterprise 2.0 technologies like blogs and RSS feeds would be of great benefit. The ability to not only data mine but mine and analyze content related to customer profiles, and increase decision making capabilities that translate to revenue and profit quickly is of great benefit. The idea of tuning in to a specific customer segment with messages that are personalized and on target is an ideal formula for success and one that not only the large corporations, but small businesses should include as part of their innovation initiatives.

In my view, while the concept of analytics and personalized messaging is not new, the rise of IT-led products and services in support of revenue and increased profit is somewhat of a new twist to many organizations and one I think is going to increase rapidly as companies look for ways to do more with what they have or less. It stands to reason that if you can leverage our technology and automate wherever possible, your costs come down, service levels increase and profits will rise. It also stands to reason and is proven that if you can target your audience in ways that address their specific needs your likelihood of increasing sales is greatly improved. It leads me to think of the movie Minority Report when Tom Cruise is walking through a mall area and the digital billboards recognize who he is and deliver targeted sales messages based on his personal profile. As one who has been in marketing, this is an ideal situation that might not be fully available as we saw in the movies, but we are getting closer and those who can invest in the training, technology and effort it takes to implement and improve upon it, will be the clear cut winners.

What say you? Do you have a story to tell? What are your thoughts on this topic? What is on your mind? Do you have a topic of interest you would like discussed in this forum? Let me know.


Bob Larrivee, Director and Industry Advisor - AIIM


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