Author: Constantin Măgdălina, Emerging Trends, and Technologies Expert
Today, technology can be a source of competitive advantage or a threat. It depends on how decision-makers relate to the reality described by technology. If we look beyond current technological capabilities and the competitive landscape, it is useful to consider the many possibilities that technology offers.
But the spectrum of possibilities is far too wide. Decision-making probabilities are limited by the huge data quantity and the narrow ability of the human mind to process it. Complicated by these limits, the decision-making process is increasingly facilitated by technology.
"There is a platform for this"
A few years ago, when you were facing a problem, it had become common to say, "there is an application for this". Today we say, "there is a platform for this". Even for strategic decisions. Technology platforms equipped with algorithms for advanced analysis, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI), help decision-makers to continuously identify the dominant factors involved.
These platforms are increasingly useful for informed strategic decisions and monitoring results. The development of the strategy is transformed from a rare and discontinuous process, into a dynamic and continuous process.
True, companies used data to make decisions until we heard about digitization. However, the methods of collection and analysis have advanced a lot and have become relevant for decision making in areas such as marketing, sales, human capital. And it's not just the overall decision affected, but digital mature companies can see and extract from data crumbs, specifically advanced information about micro trends.
The applications differ depending on the industry
In operational terms, for example, mounting sensors on various machines allows the collection of information in real-time via the Internet of Things (IoT). Most often the sensors communicate the data to a digital control panel that shows the operating parameters of the equipment.
Timely decision making helps prevent their failure through predictive maintenance, the opportunity to replace components, increase or decrease machining volumes, or other optimizations. The decision is greatly facilitated by technology and brings immediate benefits.
In terms of stock optimization, here too technology contributes significantly to decision making. In the pharmaceutical industry, one can easily find out if a requested product is in stock by easily accessing the database. A smart label (connected via sensors to a computer) identifies the place and quantity of the product in stock, the shelf life, whether the packaging has been opened, and whether the storage temperature is optimal for storing the product. Providing real-time information for decision-making helps inventory products, monitor inventory turnover more closely, and make financial resources more readily available for offline retailing.
Data is the DNA of online commerce
In online retail, capitalizing on large volumes of data and using this value to consolidate processes and decisions at every level of the company is the practice related to the DNA of the business model. Analytical data and technology are a means to the goal of making the right decisions in working with suppliers, couriers, and adapting the offer in a way that is relevant to the consumer.
According to the survey report "The buying behaviors in the era of digital consumers" conducted by Valoria, in Romania, the decision to buy online is most strongly influenced by the information presented (74% of respondents put this issue first), followed by only two percentage points of delivery product or service (72%) and eight percentage points of the warranty conditions granted to the products or services marketed (68%). Promotional offers influence the purchase decision of 6 out of 10 consumers.
This information expresses general trends, similar and even with a higher level of granularity, online retailers can identify the time slot for accessing the site, pages visited, product categories, brands, and other indicators that they analyze and based on which they make decisions. informed aligned with the strategy.
In the digital age, there is much more information than we can manage to make the right decisions. Companies operate based on the information they receive, as much as on the expertise and experience of their management teams. With an increased data processing capacity given by technology, they make quick, low-risk decisions and ensure a competitive advantage over traditional companies. Decision making takes on a predictive dimension when digital technologies are involved. In the digital age, organizations that choose to maintain traditional decision-making practices choose to bury their heads in the sand.
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ConstantinMăgdălina has 10 years of working experience, while he performed in multinationals both in Romania and abroad. Constantin has a master’s degree in Marketing and Business Communication from the Academy of Economic Studies Bucharest. He is certified in Lean Six Sigma and ITIL which provide him a good understanding of processes and transformations within organizations. The Chartered Institute of Marketing certification furthered complemented his expertise and knowledge in business. In those over 4 years of working activity in a Big4 company, he initiated and conducted studies that analyzed different aspects related to the business environment in Romania such as the economic growth predictions of companies in 2013-2016, knowledge management, the buying experience in the age of digital consumers, social media 2013-2015, the utilization of mobile devices in Romania. He is the author of numerous articles on topics related to innovation, the efficiency of business processes, social media, the consumers’ buying experience in the age of digital, trends, and emergent technologies. He is invited as a speaker at numerous events and business conferences.