The Next Wave of Connectedness

Jeff Woods

2280c51While the commercial speaks to the timeless need for connections to others, the absurdity of the scenario shows just how much we rely on digital technology for the connectedness we experience today. As we point out in this quarter’s Charted story, the smartphone is barely 10 years old: the iPhone and Android platforms were introduced in 2007 and 2008, respectively. But putting a communications, computing, and sensing platform in the hands of people worldwide has changed the direction of humanity.

Our features this quarter speak to the magnitude of the changes that digital devices have put in motion. For example, mobile technology existed for over 20 years in the enterprise, but its use was relatively limited until consumers widely adopted mobile smart devices and drove down costs and barriers to using it. The result? Massive global uptake of mobile technologies across enterprises. Smartphones consumerized the IT revolution. Our cover story, “From E-Business to V-Business,” argues that virtual reality technology has launched a new wave of consumerization. We tell you how to get ahead of it.

D!_2016Q3_Cover_ipad_080116The digital revolution is transforming every aspect of business—perhaps none so much as the customer experience. Omnichannel customer strategies used to focus on connecting the online experience to the in-store experience. For example, a customer might start an order online but complete it in the store. While a necessary scenario, it didn’t create much engagement and excitement for customers. The next step is to use digital technologies to create “wow” moments for customers, no matter where they are or how they interact with the company. Our story “OmniChannel. OmniNow. OmniWow,” offers ideas for how companies can go beyond connecting channels.

One thing that hasn’t changed much since the 18th century—and won’t for the foreseeable future—is humanity’s encounter with disasters. Identifying what people need when famine, earthquakes, and other devastating events strike has always been a struggle, as has delivering the right aid to help them move their lives forward. In “Rewiring Hope,” we explore how digital technologies can improve aid delivery worldwide to people in need.

Digital technologies continue to give us new ways to create meaningful connections. This issue of Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly will help you see around the next curve.



About Jeff Woods

Jeff Woods is Chief Product Strategist, Products and Innovation at SAP.