Analytics: a glimpse into the future of business

Posted on: May 2, 2017 by Jean-Christophe Spilmont

What's interesting with the exploration of new analytics uses cases, is that they provide glimpses into the future of business. As we enter a data-driven world, long-lasting business models and value chains are progressively disrupted. Old barriers to business fade away, giving birth to new business realities. Disintermediation, "uberization”, and "servitization" are just a few trends that underline this silent but inexorable revolution.

These glimpses into the future are particularly evident within the recent Forrester Consulting study on analytics commissioned by Atos, ‘The Future Belongs to Those Who Monetize and Maximize their Data’. Surveying nearly 600 business leaders in Americas, Europe and Asia, across six verticals, it reveals how new generation analytics and cognitive systems are used today. It shows the projects of the future, moving up rapidly from customer analytics and operational excellence to business reinvention, as my previous post explained.

Let's take the manufacturing and distribution value chain. For decades, markets have always been structured by dividing those who produce from those who distribute and sell. This has been with good reason, the required know-how is not the same: large scale production capabilities on the one side; logistics and customer intimacy on the other. Yet, digital is progressively blurring the barriers. The customer - and often the products themselves – are hyper-connected with mobile and IoT, and are now directly accessible anywhere, just 'one swipe away'. So it's no surprise that most manufacturers are trying to establish direct relations with them, through direct sales but also and most importantly through additional services such as predictive maintenance.

A trend that is already very visible in the B2B space is 'servitization' which Siemens with MindSphere is at the forefront of. Servitization is where manufacturers adapt their business models to offer their customers services on top of the physical product, thereby creating a holistic solution. It’s also evident in the B2C world, for example, in the connected car or smart home appliance markets. As the Forrester Consulting study revealed, 25% of manufacturers already leverage analytics for predictive maintenance after sales or lease, but 49% more plan to do it within one year. In the same way, the IoT enables better interactions between products, shop and customers. It's therefore no surprise that half of retailers want to use analytics next year to deliver better in store shopping experiences, in addition to the 32% who already do. In the future, 3D printing may even enable retailers to produce in smaller series, allowing even more personalized production. That's why the customer-centric and disintermediation battles are so vital for all value chain stakeholders.

Smart business models gain traction

The same kind of trends are visible in utilities, where value chains are progressively transformed by smart technologies for energy efficiency, distributed generation and local storage. The study revealed that utility players supporting the development of new smart business models (smart buildings and cities, connected homes, and electric vehicle-vehicles) will grow this year from 21% to 77%.

In telco, operators are also accelerating their business innovation this year, with 50% planning to deploy analytics to develop two-sided business models around data monetization and reselling, in addition to the 29% that already do it. In finance, data monetization is also high on emerging priorities for this year (42%) as well as new value added services such as insurance as a service and cash-back (40%).

Even the public sector is also deeply involved in major transformation plans. Facing a growing pressure from digital native citizens, many of the current and future analytics projects are strongly engaged in 360° citizen centric strategies. But what's more, 55% of public organizations plan to better leverage data for third party innovation within one year (20% already to it), and even 50% to create new sources of revenue with data monetization (23% already do this today).

What's the global recipe for analytics success?

In a digital, hyperconnected world, we're moving to demand-oriented, data-driven, digitally executed models. This can slowly but deeply change the fundamentals of value chains. We're moving from product centric to service centric strategies; from ownership to pay as you go; from make and sell to sense and respond, and from fixed process to real time, dynamic ones, as we underlined in our previous Look Out and Journey 2020 analysis. This is a fundamental change. Early moves can be observed every day in each vertical, as they transform to Industry 4.0: ubiquitous commerce, multi-modal transports, now finance, and precision medicine to name a few. But the lines between verticals may progressively blur themselves. In the smart cities of the future, there is no doubt that manufacturing, healthcare, transport, utilities and public services will collaborate in ways that are only just emerging today.

We are just at the beginning of this shift. And analytics will be the critical tool to enable it. More than ever, the future belongs to those who monetize and maximize their data. To those who will blur the traditional lines and differentiate to find new opportunities for their business.

For more information on the importance of data analytics, check out Forrester Consulting’s study, commissioned by Atos, ‘The Future Belongs to Those Who Monetize and Maximize their Data’ as well as my previous blog posts here and here.

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About Jean-Christophe Spilmont
Head of Strategy & Portfolio at Atos Big Data & Security service line and member of the Scientific Community
Jean-Christophe Spilmont is head of Strategy & Portfolio at Atos Big Data & Security service line, and thought leader in Digital Transformation at Atos Global Marketing. Over the past years, he helped Group Bull accelerate innovation and growth in Digital, as global head of Market Intelligence and global head of Strategic Marketing Programs, notably around vertical usages (Industry 4.0, Digital Finance, Smart Government…) and core enabling technologies (IoT, Big Data, Cloud, Security,…). Prior to this, he held several management position as Communications & Sales Enablement Director of Evidian, Marketing Manager of Bull France Digital activities and consultant at Integris. He also co-founded the Open World Forum, the premier European Event in Open Source innovation. Jean-Christophe Spilmont is an ESSEC and ENSAIA/INPL Alumnus.