The digital revolution is ushering in a whole host of changes in terms of what we can offer our customers.
An exceptional user experience
If a digital app fails to offer a great user experience, it won’t be long before users uninstall it. Companies like Amazon, Uber and Apple stand out as much for their impeccable levels of service as for the technological sophistication of their solutions. Digital also enables us to keep a close eye on usage patterns so that we can continuously improve our products — for example by tracking market trends (via social media), analysing how systems are used in practice (how often each function is used) and creating online user communities.
Creating value from data
Since data is the new energy source powering the digital economy, it’s important to think about all the types of data available to us, in each part of the business and each market segment, and to look at which other data it can be converged and cross-referenced with to create new services for users.
Products as a service
Thales solutions will increasingly be sold in the form of services via the digital services platform, rather than purchased directly. This is one of the most far-reaching changes we need to make, because it also means getting to grips with the associated metering and billing models. The transition from a sales-driven business model to a services model may involve some appreciable revenue losses in the short term.
An ecosystem of partners
Thales solutions must be open and allow partners to use our services and create value from them, for example via open APIs (application programming interfaces). By combining the data generated by Thales systems with data from third parties, partners can create value for all types of users (not just the regular users of our systems).
The Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cloud computing, big data, robotics, social media, augmented reality, block chains and other digital technologies have the potential to transform our solutions. Typically, this involves leveraging the technologies made available by open-source communities and software publishers to add value for our users.
Digital ways of working
A truly user-oriented organisation
To deliver an exceptional user experience, companies must first be user-centric in their organisation. User experience encompasses the usability and the performance and robustness of the solutions we deliver, but also the ability for users to provide feedback on the fly and obtain helpful responses, all within the digital environment.
Automated, data-driven processes
When the data in the company’s information system is converged and cross-referenced with external, open-source data, it can provide new insights to support business decisions and make processes more efficient. Digital technologies, especially artificial intelligence, allow tasks to be automated by computerised systems able to learn from past actions. Computerising processes is nothing new in itself. But it’s moving ahead in leaps and bounds, thanks to the power of the latest technologies, and is no longer limited to routine, low-value tasks such as processing large amounts of information. While some predict that task automation will cause entire business functions to disappear, the broad objective is to make best use of what digital technologies can do — so that humans can focus on the real value-added tasks, especially those requiring creativity.
Agile culture and organisation
Business processes follow a regular rhythm (so annual processes, for example, are avoided) and the focus of the data they consume and generate is on creating value for users. This culture must be clearly defined and the value model treated with the utmost importance. At the same time, the recruitment process is focused more on values and cultural aspects than simply on technical skills.
End-to-end integration of the value chain
Digital platforms allow digital continuity between business functions where applications have been developed in separate silos. For example, strategy, marketing, engineering, production, services and support can ensure continuity and consistency of information and exchange data in real time. This is also true across the extended enterprise, with industrial partners and customers
Access to knowledge and expertise
Digital tools make it easier to index and search for information across the extended enterprise and connect the right skills and expertise when needed, using enterprise social networks, collaborative work environments, etc.