The lines between traditional industries are blurring. The biggest bookstore in the world sells groceries. Financial institutions are building apps. What does this trend mean for the future of your business?

According to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the Digital Transformation is blurring the boundaries between industries. “Every business will become a software business, build applications, use advanced analytics, and provide SaaS services,” Nadella said some years ago. Nadella’s analysis goes right to the point, and I will give you 3 examples of this.

1. Legacy Companies Delve into Big Data

Today retailers become Big Data companies to better identify opportunities. Once Amazon was just an online bookstore, but today it is one of the leaders in high tech. The artificial intelligence of their website delves deep into their customer data which is the secret to their success. And don’t forget, today Amazon is one of the main cloud providers too.

Or take the new business model of some news organizations of switching from free online content to paid subscriptions. The new service “Subscribe with Google” offers news sites a ready-made payment wall. Based on, among other things, the search history of a user and the data that Google’s advertising system DoubleClick has collected, Google can determine the likelihood that a user will become a subscriber. A new site could then make such a potential subscriber an attractive offer.

2. The Emergence of Fintech

You thought banking is old-fashioned? The stuffy image of financial institutions is really out-of-date. Today they are building apps and use the possibilities of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. This new trend is called “fintech.”

For example, mixed and virtual reality studio 8ninths designed a Holographic Workstation for Citi. The Holographic Workstation increases efficiency by using the Microsoft HoloLens platform to create 3D holograms of real-time financial data.

3. Everyone Uses Algorithms

Five years ago, algorithms were something only mathematicians and Google coders understood. Today, they are everywhere. Every modern company now has a state-of-the-art website that uses these complex formulas to better target customers or optimize their processes.

Take the Return Reducer. Through this algorithm, online retailers can predict the chance of customers returning their purchases even before the customer actually settles the order. This algorithm promises to reduce the return costs for webstores by 60%.

Algorithms have even entered the music industry. Through Spotify’s Discover Weekly algorithm, music fans around the world find out about new music every week. The amazing thing is, this formula really makes them discover tunes they like!

And You?

In whatever industry you work in, your business will be influenced by a massive wave of technology. As a leader, you have to have a thorough understanding of the possible disruptive effects technology can have — and be able to capitalize on the benefits. Is your company a tech company yet?

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