Convergence in technology: B2B is the new B2C
02 Feb 2018

Devices, social media, and mobile connectivity are playing an indispensable role in our personal lives. The world has seen a ton of B2C innovation – how we shop for groceries, how we order food, how we hail a cab and even how the kids get educated.

"The same B2C technology is now slowly but steadily making it’s way into B2B applications, significantly altering how we interact with technology in the workplace."

While this also presents work-life challenges (this post is not about this!), we look at the 10 specific opportunities it creates:

1. Enterprise workflow instructions through voice: We will see purchase orders being made through the friendly Alexa or payment queries to the bank done the same way, very soon.

2. Employee workflows like expense submissions and calendar management will use AI and modular apps like Zapier, Flow, IFTTT, etc. more and more. Highly likely that fat installations by SAP or Oracle might make way for leaner systems.

3. Smart information searches through being made through voice commands to Google Home (which might/should also come up with Google Office). In fact, not only the admin assistant but even the Information Research teams might be more centralized but with a technology interface.

4. Business collaboration and teaming through a wide variety of tools like Slack, Trello, Asana, etc. This has already picked pace in team and project settings but might become mainstream soon as these tools are able to handle more complexity and integration with existing enterprise systems. No wonder WhatsApp and Facebook are promoting their ‘for Work’ versions with zest.

5. Document flows especially ones with frequent contracting, payment instructions, approvals, authentication could be architected with Blockchain.

6. Personalization of enterprise policies: Even simple systems like attendance (in/out) systems to ‘how I like my coffee in office’ to complex ones like ‘performance review mechanisms’ will start becoming more aligned to one’s own personal interests and priorities.

7. Crowd-sourcing best-of-breed resources and insights rather than just relying on a few people within the organization. Organizations are increasingly becoming loose systems of independent professionals rather than ‘factory-like’ armies walking in every day.

8. Enterprise security in the Cloud, as personal devices, merge with the work devices. The mobile workforce need access to enterprise data and applications on-the-go, while the Enterprise Cloud protects the data and IP from unwanted access (based on geo-location, time of access, fingerprint input, etc).

9. Richer communication through 3D printed models, videos/animations in discussions, animated workflows to present recommendations (vs static PowerPoint).

10. Gamification to drive right ‘cultural’ behaviors, for example, employee onboarding, learning and development, innovation, social contributions, etc.

Authored by (at the time of writing):

Madhur Singhal, Leader, Technology and Internet Practice

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