The Marriage of the decade (2011-2020)
I am not here to talk about marriages. I am no expert on it and am lucky to be married to a wonderful lady.
What I am talking about comes from my experience of working on marketing strategies for an IT services firm and some observations. The views may look a bit premature. I am sure there will be counter opinion and would be glad to listen to all the constructive criticism and comments around the view.
I have been hearing a lot about technical consultant, functional consultants, business analysts et al. I think for most meetings with customers, a combination of personnel with functional and technical expertise is required to “go for the kill” or close deals using a consultative approach. This potent combination can clear all doubts in the customers’ mind and clinch the deal to offer solutions required by the customer.
But where is Information Technology moving? It is an era of quick decision, quick strategies, quicker execution and even quicker results. The time to analyze, ponder, plan, etc. is hard to find.
With the advent of Big Data and Analytics, almost all unstructured data can also be put into formats which will make them meaningful for decision making. Imagine if all structured and unstructured data is available for decision-making; does it make life easy or difficult?
It depends on the human mind to which this is facilitated after all. Let’s leave it at that. Now, customers of tomorrow with Big Data, social media and the likes will have an information overload. The meeting of IT Services companies with customers would be to offer comprehensive IT services from Database to Middleware to Applications, to Business Solutions to Business Intelligence and this too would be passé in no time.
Though the last element in the list, i.e. business intelligence, becomes key to how things may evolve. Let us take an example, imagine an IT Services company using a consultative approach to provide solutions for a Pharmaceutical company. While it will be able to create application, plant management systems, trackers etc., it might also offer to predict the best price point at which the new drug should sell in a particular market?
This is where the Marriage will happen. Marketing will play a key role in the new generation IT service firms. How?
The meetings would have a Technical expert talking on systems, a functional expert talking on the domain and a marketing expert talking on how to leverage all this and launch services/ products. It will predict everything from price points, to time of launch, to target market, avenues to maximize sales.
And that to me will be the Marriage of the Decade.
IT Services firms will evolve into Comprehensive IT services players + marketing consultancies. The following predictions can be made (I am not a thought leader hence not to be held responsibleJ):
The IT services providers which are more contemporary and allow this inter-caste, inter-religion marriage will do better than the traditional ones
Technologies such as Big Data and Business Intelligence will ensure a seamless marriage
The internet will host the marriage ceremony and all netizens from across the globe will grace the occasion.
IT Services firms which open its doors to this couple will be the pioneers of a new era in IT services.
Now, if we look at this from a career perspective, a thin line will separate marketing and IT. Professionals who have a fair idea of marketing and also understand a bit of IT will be in demand (selfish interest here)
We will see IT companies playing a major role in test marketing, Product Planning, Marketing intelligence and insights, Market Research, and will give insights into segmentation, targeting, positioning etc.
So, when will this marriage happen? As early as we allow it, because if we are stubborn and stick to our traditional values, this very modern and happening couple will elope before we even realize it.