Boundaries pushed further than ever before. Digital tech dominates consumers’ life
The development of Information and Communication Technologies allowed the disruption of geographical borders and the widening of services and products. On the other hand, it allows the growth of the amount of information available to consumers, which consequently results in a new kind of well-informed, careful end-user.
ICT pushed the boundaries into which businesses operate. It let them migrate from mass communication to a tailored, customer-centered style of communication. The value chain within a business undergoes fundamental changes because of Information and Communication Technologies.
ICT marks the path towards new opportunities in the whole process, from the idea to the end-user:
- The impact ICT have in the process of value creation can already be seen in the R&D phase. This particular stage can start off from the reworking of opinion leaders’ feedback, both directly via crowd platforms or indirectly via specialized blogs. What’s important during this stage is the direct involvement of the business itself in the process of sharing and raising awareness in the application of, I.E., social networks.
- ICT have a major impact on supply. In fact, implementing digital tech favours a tangible improvement in the process of value creation. First, the diffusion of b2b marketplaces allows businesses disseminated around the globe to meet and share specific techniques. Besides that, it allows the actualization of business transactions and the improvement of businesses’ visibility. The network facilitates the creation and management of purchasing groups, whose goal is to reach economies of scale.
- Digital tech is relevant in the field of business organisation: new technologies allow re-thinking and re-designing within organisations. Nevertheless, ICT improves the designing of manufacturing processes, thus reducing stockpiles and wastefulness and, on the same side, increasing business flexibility through the use of ad hoc software. A certain relevance have the implication in the field of human resources: we are migrating from a top-down structure towards an horizontal labour organisation.
- Prototyping and industrialization of a new product take place thanks to ICT and 3D printing, which is the production of objects and tools on a small scale by the application of specific digital techniques.
- Thanks to the progress of 3D printing, the actual production of a good or service happens in a swift. Rapidity and accuracy, as well as customization of the final product, represent the main theme of this product technology, whose boundaries are still evolving. Digital manufacturing re-shapes both geographical and organisational borders.
- In the process of value creation, ICT found its best application into downstream functions. The dissemination of e-commerces is the key element of an economic and cultural revolution. Online sales have the power to separate distributors from end-users, allowing manufacturing companies to reduce their products’ final costs. Furthermore, e-commerces allow manufacturers to directly get in touch with customers, thus strengthening brands’ visibility and facilitating the collecion of feedback from the market. In this case, e-commerces are more than just a sales channel; they operate as a space into which re-think marketing and communication policies.