Getting it right: Shaping solutions that fit the digital market for customers
15 February 2015
Many factors are driving today’s digital economy, from the post-recession pressure for companies to reduce costs and improve margins, to the increasing demands from consumers for new and exciting products.
Consumer technologies, alongside a new era of high-speed mobile connectivity, is changing the way people buy and use products and services. Average ownership of mobile devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops and the like – is soaring to 3.4 devices per person by the end of 2015; the digital economy is now a daily fact of life. The digital savvy consumer is directly influencing the way new products are used and how they are brought to market, all of which places greater demands on IT services.
IT infrastructure has never been so critical to the bottom line. According to Deloitte, the use of outsourcing and managed services is on the rise, to cope with rapidly escalating and changing demands from business. Depending on the service, IT outsourcing is growing at between 12 to 26 per cent, with about 60 per cent of companies tending to outsource some elements of their IT.
In finance and administration, billing and payments tend to be the most common functions outsourced – and this is growing. CGI processes more than five million card payments every year and enables the transfer of over £3trillion per day.
Most businesses recognise the opportunity to improve speed, efficiency and payment security, but an added benefit of outsourcing payments processing comes from the amount of data created by payment transactions. Industry experts are harnessing this data to identify consumer buying habits, allowing companies to improve their services and innovate, with new products aimed at the mobile-enabled, data-driven customer.
Mike Whitchurch, senior vice-president, Commercial Business Unit at CGI UK, explains: “We shape solutions to fit our clients’ business requirements. As businesses adapt to the digital economy, they need to ensure their products and services dovetail with whatever devices their customers are using. And that means that we have to be agile in the delivery of our IT services, to help facilitate the new face of commercial operations.”
In the increasingly competitive economic climate for businesses and with governments under pressure to tackle deficits, delivering better outcomes with fewer resources is focusing minds on how investment in IT can help drive innovation and results. Whether building a superior customer experience, delivering better patient care, or improving the safety and security of citizens, industries are beginning to open their eyes to where their valuable data assets are, how best to integrate and analyse, and how to action that insight into results.
Implementing new digital platforms proves crucial to realising this value. For example, Countrywide, the estate agents, worked with CGI to transform, harmonise and integrate its branch network on to a stronger digital platform. Using outsourced IT gives businesses access to the best-of-breed platforms, a wider array of solutions and services, and the vital industry expertise, which create a recipe for the digital competitive edge.
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