The digital business moment

Published on 02/04/2015 in Inspire

The digital business moment

The business moment is considered the moment in time when a customer wants to be served. It is the moment of truth, so to speak, the time when a supplier has the opportunity to serve a customer. It is the only time when the person in need of something interacts with the person likely to supply what they need. The client may be a customer in a brick-and-mortar shop or a citizen at the town hall.

As humans, we still prefer one-on-one business moments, because we want to buy from a person rather than a machine. The first and last questions are asked and (hopefully) answered during such a moment of communication. Depending on the situation (the subject and the available time window), such business moments may last a few minutes or several hours. Whereas a loaf of bread is bought within a minute, buying a car typically takes more than an hour.

With the advent of intelligent things and big data, business moments have shrunk to a few seconds at best. Here are some examples. A car driving in a street will be able to switch the streetlights on and off, depending on its position (intelligent LED lights). The car may even be able to control traffic lights. When a river’s water level starts rising to a point where the danger of a flood becomes imminent, local residents and emergency services need to be alerted. When a pedestrian walks past a shop, the shopkeeper may want to send him an ad to lure him to his shop. If patients forget to take their medication, the nursing organisation needs to remind them of doing so. If a video goes viral on social channels, an e-shop will want to post an online ad to attract customers. And wouldn’t it be great if your car or washing machine could arrange for maintenance without your having to think of it?

Future business moments will be rather short, as will their detection time (think of the car driving in a dark street). We are talking seconds, or minutes at best. The response time, for its part, will need to be instant: the streetlights need to go on while the car is driving past—not too early, and certainly not after the fact. The same applies to having a car or machine serviced: the appointment needs to be made as soon as maintenance becomes necessary.

All of the situations described so far share a common denominator: the absence of human interaction. Everything is arranged at the speed of computers, which are somehow connected to one another. In the future, nobody will be able to afford missed digital business moments for fear of losing the business to a competitor or arousing the customer’s suspicion. And that, in short, is why business continuity will become evermore crucial.

Jean-Marie Stas

Marketing Manager at Proximus


One magazine is the Proximus B2B magazine for CIOs and IT professionals in large and medium-sized organisations.

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