The ongoing digitalization is causing branches and markets to change rapidly. Every company, small or large, is giving strategic thought to who customers are today and who the customers will be tomorrow, as well as who the competition is today and will be tomorrow. Often the competition is not from the direct market environment, but from a totally different area.
Even large and well-known companies, unchallenged products and branch leads have been driven to a niche existence within an extremely short time by competitors that were not formerly considered competition. Famous brands such as Kodak, Quelle and more recently, Blackberry have already been heavily affected, and the signs were often visible.
Today there is no need for augurs from ancient times or outrageously expensive business analysts to attest to new target markets or customer groups for companies.
When thinking of digitalization, there is no way around this technology: Hadoop. The largest business-added value is achieved by integrating SAP/4HANA (from customer data) and Hadoop (sensor data, social media data).
Thus, the following exemplary business scenario from the insurance branch can be easily implemented.
A blizzard in the USA: Damages are normally inspected by insurance consultants one month after the actual and casual catastrophe. It is now possible to receive all information during the catastrophe directly via Twitter and Instagram. The damage data can be compared with the internal data (insurance policies) on the same day to create a total damage balance. Reinsurance companies could even offer insurance companies a new service in regard to damage balances.
It is essential for companies to develop and technically implement such business ideas for their purposes. The best way to achieve this would be with an experienced IT partner who understands and can integrate both core technologies, thus guaranteeing an efficient implementation.
The Hadoop stack can be implemented in a Public Cloud (e.g. Amazon Web Services) that stores private, security-relevant and company-owned customer data as well as on the company’s own infrastructure (or a Private Cloud) at the location of the company. In this case, both new innovative technologies HANA (velocity) and Hadoop (volume & variety) are expertly integrated, set up and operated on request.
By using this hybrid Cloud strategy, open-source tools as well as standard tools are perfectly combined for the company to meet the existing business requirements and are operated via the analytics layer. In terms of Time2Market, this provides the opportunity to decide on a business idea as a pilot project today, and customers and/or internal divisions can work with it tomorrow.
The pivot point is that companies don’t have to own everything; they can take advantage of the existing and new IT technologies and use them quickly and profitably for themselves — and better than the competition.
I advise every company to be vigilant!