Posted on June 16, 2017 by staff

‘Don’t get Ubered’ when it comes to digital inspiration


Businesses must look to other sectors for digital customer service inspiration to ‘keep themselves ahead of the pack’.

Matt Leonard is head of digital transformation at communications and IT services company CenturyLink.

He believes food companies such as Just Eat, Deliveroo and Hungry House don’t just compete against each other, they also need to keep an eye on the likes of Uber.

Despite being a taxi company, the Californian giant has a slick business model that challenged the status quo of customer interaction.

Uber Eats then emerged as the food sector began to introduce similar models, and Leonard stresses that nobody wants to be the next business to get ‘Ubered’.

“Many enterprises believe the solution is to embark on a digital transformation programme,” he said.

“But a real digital transformation strategy it’s not as simple as investing in more layers of tech.

“Focusing on the back-end technology and how to implement it, rather than the desired business outcomes can either result in investment being wasted on technology that drives no specific business value, or can lead to complete inertia – leaving the enterprise at risk of being ‘Ubered’.

“The world’s leading digital enterprises aren’t a success simply because they run on the public cloud, for example.

“Rather, their success lies in the fact that they have uncovered a problem or an opportunity and have taken the smartest, most efficient approach to solving or embracing it.”

Leonard is responsible for leading the technical design at CenturyLink, which offers system management, big data analytics, managed security services, hosting, cloud, and IT consulting.

He added that organisations need to start to consider digital transformation strategy in terms of opportunities presented to them as a business.

This means asking what existing processes can be digitally streamlined, what new revenue streams could open up, and how can technology help serve customers?

Leonard said: “Data has grown at such an unprecedented rate, that enterprises across almost every industry have more data than they know what to do with.

“On the one side they have structured data such as client information, while on the other they are faced with the challenge of unstructured data that comes from third party sources, such as social media.

“Most businesses are aware that collecting and analysing data is key to making smart business and customer-based decisions, yet many are still relying on spreadsheets.

“Truly smart data analytics relies on complex algorithms and scientific formulas, that can’t be limited to a spreadsheet.

“The key to successful big data analytics for any industry is starting with, what’s the business challenge I’m trying to overcome?

“From there, they need to identify the specific data that will provide insight on this problem and the formulas required to analyse that data.”