Google Tech Consumerizes Digital Enterprise: Sudip Mazumder
Digital is the new buzzword today; just the way SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud) was in computer-related industries a few years ago. In fact, there were possibly a plethora of them that swayed the world, ones that couldn’t be ignored by any company, and that responded with various actions time to time.
Digital and Digitization: Any difference?
Being Digital Lead with a USD 1.3 billion global infrastructure EPC major, I often get intrigued with one question—what is ‘digital’ and how is it any different than ‘Digitization’ or ‘automation’, ‘IT enablement’ or ‘IT-isation’- terms which are often interchangeably used when referring to digital.
Here is my take. ‘Digital’ is aimed to deliver 5 times benefit to a business problem. It helps derive solutions with cutting edge and emerging elements of technology in conjunction with conventional methods. It has the potential to alter a business, revenue, process-model, and even the way performance of machine, department, unit or even an individual is monitored or measured. Whereas, ‘Digitization’ is wider, uses conventional technology and gives two times the benefit through automation. Digital may or may not use a ‘Digitized’ backbone; in comparison, ‘Digitization’ may not need any ‘Digital’ element yet capable of delivering double business benefit.
Typical example of Digitization is where conventional software products are used to automate business processes. The links of SAP, Oracle Apps, SFDC, Microsoft Dynamics etc, have helped multiple organisations automate or digitize. Then, there are some typical Digital elements such as Cloud, Social and Mobility that started as ‘Digital’ elements, which have today become quite democratized. Analytics has come up with a new avatar of ‘Digital’, one with new-age characteristics of technology innovation of unstructured data processing, OS to support, in memory computing, columnar database, Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) etc.
Interstingly, both Digital and Digitization are tending to merge in the right bottommost quadrant. Organizations are investing money from both sides to target customers by reinventing themselves. For example, Microsoft is coming from Digitization quadrant and investing in ‘Digital’ technologies such as Holo Lens, thus providing a comprehensive solution by merging them both. Digital technologies are also trying to get into the same quadrant by suitably getting fastened with Digitization.
Google’s approach from Consumerisation to Digital
Google, its products and technologies have followed a similar journey. The differentiation stems from how they try to attract customers which are primarily divided into two parts in accordance to their buying behavior—individual consumers and enterprise users.
Google technologies have successfully penetrated in the consumer segment. Google is almost everywhere—in the consumers’ minds from Android phones, Operating Systems, Chrome, gmail, youtube, picassa, images, maps to drive, etc. The American multinational tech major has been investing in digital areas such as Project Tango for motion sensing, 3D and depth visualization, Loon for providing access to internet in remote areas, Nest for embeding IOT elements in the lectrical appliances of everyday usage. Google’s battery of highly-qualified engineers use their imagination to come up with new concepts and digital elements.
In the enterprise space, Google has products like the Collaboration suite which bundles multiple products such as mail, docs and spreadsheet, which are sold to the enterprise space. New-age products like Analytics, Adsense, cloud, all have provided revolutionary advantage to digital marketing which is a hot area for investment.
Strictly speaking, there is porous boundary between the two. High degree of consumerised products are the base for developing new-age ones based on the sheer volume of customer, data, content possessed by Google. From Google’s point of view, it is attacking both consumerized and enterprise segments from Digitization as well as Digital fronts.
But it’s advantage Enterprise!
It is an advantage customer! Enterprises are in good position to cash in Google’s technologies with their existing digitization stack. Google Analytics using maps, andorid-based locations and social are being run on enterprise data with social data, irrespctive of the digitization platform. Their search and adsense are helping them optimise their marketing effort. Enterprise customers are taking advantage of all these technologies.
Now, if one adds the IoT or high-end emerging technologies such as Nest, Tango and reincarnated Glass, enterprise customers will be able to get maximum benefits in the digital space. Nest is already helping create a complete network of electrical appliances which may create revenue streams for an organisation for maintaining assets, gain sharing on utility savings. Tango and Glass may help in creating augmented reality applications which will be used for engineering & construction, retail, education and manufacturing in a big way.