Insight, Opinion

Digital disruption: Innovation for the customer’s sake

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO, Schneider Electric
Jean-Pascal Tricoire, CEO, Schneider Electric

By 2019, all digitally transformed organisations will generate at least 45% of their revenue from new business models. And as Accenture’s CEO Pierre Nanterme says, “Digital disruption has only just begun.” It’s on every CEO’s mind.

In the world of innovation, we must welcome disruption. It prompts technological advancements. It drives a competitive spirit that results in improved performance for all companies. And it keeps everyone thinking a few steps ahead of the curve in order to thrive long-term in a global digital economy.

In just two years, there will be ten times more connected things than connected people in the world. Now that many smart machines and other assets have become connected, the amount of generated data is astounding: 90% of data generated from connected things was created over the last two years.

There are unprecedented opportunities here, even for companies who have been reluctant to evolve legacy business models. One of the major benefits made possible by digitisation: improving the customer experience.

Enriching the customer experience

Hervé Coureil, Schneider’s chief digital officer, has said, “Today, any customer experience must be enriched digitally — and be frictionless, fast, and intuitive. Most importantly, the entire customer experience must answer this question in an instant: “How are you going to solve my problem or make me more efficient?”

The key here is first identifying what those problems are and where the opportunities for transformation and evolution are in a world rapidly evolving. This is why we engage with and listen to customers regularly. Not just to support their current needs through better customer interactions. But also to address what they need from digital innovation: i.e., how we can best scale Schneider Electric’s own digital advancements to solve our customers’ burning challenges.

Leveraging a co-innovation ecosystem

Acting fast is critical for any company trying to disrupt instead of being disrupted.  Given the pace of digitisation and technology breakthroughs such as AI and machine learning, no company can innovate alone. It takes a co-innovation ecosystem to accelerate. For us, our ecosystem of more than 20,000 system integrators and developers is augmented by strategic digital alliance partners. These include Microsoft for its secure, trusted cloud capabilities; Accenture for bringing our digital offers to market faster; and Salesforce for transforming the customer experience through connectivity.

As the face behind our innovation efforts, our customers make this competitive edge relevant. Indeed, they sharpen it, one digital disruption at a time.

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