January 15 by Eric Dreshfield
In today’s ever-evolving and extremely competitive landscape, a winning business must be agile and adapt to the times. Just look at the way business models changed when the agricultural economy inevitably gave way to the more sophisticated Industrial Revolution, which thrived with the invention of iron and steel. Today, we are in the thick of the next massive wave of change – the services economy, born with the advent of the Internet, mobile phones, and smart devices.
This market shift, fueled by advances in technology,catalyzes new sales and delivery models that enable buyers to browse, buy, and pay for diverse products and services through multiple channels with unprecedented speed and convenience. Now, it’s all about delivering products as a service to customers. Beyond consumer services like Uber or Apple Music, this new Anything-asa-Service (XaaS) landscape includes companies like Philips selling medical devices as a service and Lenovo selling PCs as a service.
At the core of the services economy is the customer’s buying experience and, in many cases, the buying experience is just as important, or even more so, than procuring the product itself. A positive buying experience can establish customer loyalty and drive repeat business while a negative buying experience loses it. This is especially true the core complex the products are.
The seminal challenge businesses are facing today is modernizing and evolving their business processes to enable an easier, better, and more personalized buying experience for customers. Everything is consumed as a service and buying hinges on how easy and painless it is to procure products, especially complex ones, in concert with other services like subscription services, professional services, and aftermarket services.