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SunGard Availability Services, the pioneer and leading provider of Information Availability services, has revealed its top five predictions for 2013 as businesses look to drive availability throughout the organization. Keith Tilley, UK&I managing director and executive vice president for Europe, SunGard Availability Services and Nelson Phillips, Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behaviour at Imperial College London, reflect on why the importance of availability is like never before and how the availability challenge will evolve in the year ahead.
With an emerging tech-savvy workforce and the rise of the ‘digital natives’, employees and consumers alike expect to see very high levels of availability across all services, with extremely limited tolerance for downtime. The following trends have been identified by SunGard and Professor Nelson Phillips as key to organisational success in 2013:
1. Prevalence of Social Media: Bad news travels fast and companies cannot afford to let availability slip down the agenda as their crises now have ‘wings’. Social media has opened up completely new channels of communication with a global reach. Brands can be made or broken by how well they manage public disruptions.
2. Customer Loyalty: There are very few things that are truly unique where customers can’t get a similar service elsewhere – there is always competition. Although it may be relatively easy to attract new customers, the only way to keep them is by giving them good service. Customer loyalty relies on availability and the service you are offering them – you can’t do the service without the availability in an age where the competition is perpetually one mouse click away.
3. Flexible working: A longstanding trend that is set to increase, again driven by employees’ expectations of being able to work anywhere. Smart devices and a ‘connected’ world mean people want to work in a more mobile fashion and businesses need to support this. The gains are not just for time of disruption either as flexible working, is a talent retention / acquisition strategy as much as anything else.
4. The growth of Bring Your own Device (BYOD): Driven by employee expectations despite its implications for security and availability. Organisations should be looking to attract the tech-savvy talent that can help drive availability within the organisation. By the end of 2013, six out of 10 companies will have a BYOD strategy in place – the challenge for CXOs is how to harness the business advantage without relinquishing availability or control.
5. The influence of ‘Big Data’ to the customer: While it’s a term we’ve heard being hyped throughout the year, for many organisations, effective big data, or business intelligence strategies will be similar to the cloud model – a case of dipping their toe in first before you really understand the full benefits. In 2013, those companies that will successfully deploy a big data strategy will be the ones that understand the importance of keeping information available, flowing through the organisation and how that can be exploited to add value to businesses, for example, by enabling development of innovative new services that truly personalise customer experience. But once personalisation has been delivered, the company needs to ensure the systems are in place to continue to deliver against the expectations they’ve created.
“Smart organisations see availability as a differentiator and will use it to gain a competitive advantage”, comments Keith Tilley UK&I managing director and executive vice president for Europe, SunGard Availability Services. “Those businesses we expect to succeed in 2013 will be the ones where people, processes and technology are closely aligned to support employee and customer needs in new and core markets, 24/7.”
“In 2013 organisations needs to make a cultural shift to create a mind-set where availability is central to the organisation’s plans and objectives”, comments Nelson Phillips, Professor of Strategy and Organizational Behaviour at Imperial College London. “Businesses must look to re-evaluate their strategic priorities and resources to support the customer. Only then, and with new, improved ways of working possible, can the opportunity to deliver change drive greater bottom line success”
Click on the link below to review the full conversation between Keith Tilley and Nelson Phillips on their predictions for organisational availability in 2013: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEyd4VeAXpg&feature=youtu.be