Previously, this blog focused on the importance of creating technology that matters. Today, the focus expands to how this concept is a key component of the growing “application economy.”
First, let’s define application economy. Here’s an excellent explanation: “We live in an application economy. Retail, news, entertainment, banking, education, government, communications—everything is driven by a connected, mobile, application-based world where your customers are far more likely to experience your brand and interact with your enterprise through a software application than a live person. To thrive in this new reality, developing and delivering superior user experiences that engage your customers and staff is now the ultimate priority. And all of it is enabled by software.”
Thriving in the Application Economy
That description comes from “How to Survive and Thrive in the Application Economy,” a research report commissioned by CA Technologies. Research company Vanson Bourne conducted a global survey of 1,425 senior business executives in 2014. Their research found half of those companies surveyed said their industry has been very or highly disrupted by the application economy. Some 44%, the survey found, already see its impact in their own organizations.
“We now live in a world where customers no longer are loyal to the brand, the product, or the service. Instead they are loyal to the complete experience a brand delivers, and that experience is being delivered through software. In other words, software is the business,” CA Technologies chief executive Mike Gregoire said in a 2014 speech.
Gregoire estimated that the application-driven economy will surpass $80 billion in the next two years. He said tech knowledge is rising at the C-suite level, with businesses exploring mobile-enabled apps, big data mining and software strategies.
Uber and Lending Club are well-known examples of companies that have transformed their respective industries through software.
Bringing Technology to Bridal Fashion
There are lesser-known examples, such as Indira Collection. Started as a company providing personalized fashion and décor for brides and their wedding parties, Indira has transformed into a retail technology company. In an interview with CA Technologies’ George Watt, Indira CEO Carrie Mantha explained how their unique services take full advantage of technology.
Customers interact with an application reminiscent of a virtual “Say Yes to the Dress.” Technology enables them to customize the gown, dress or accessories they want. Indira uses the customer’s webcam to scan their body and create a virtual 3D model for a custom gown. Indira’s innovative technology is there every step of the process, increasing cutting speed and reducing errors and waste of material. Sophisticated technology even monitors quality control in the sewing.
The result? A strong customer experience and a 40 percent reduction in supply-chain costs.
“We didn’t set out to build a tech company, we set out to solve a problem and do things better. Technology just happened to be the way to do that,” Mantha told Watt.
Welcome to the application economy.
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