IBM: Modernize your business or risk being Uber-ized

At an IBM conference, executives from Kohl’s department store, Urban Outfitters, and HSBC talked about they modernized their businesses.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: fortune.com

IBM has a stern warning for big old companies that fail to modernize their technology and business practices. You risk being disrupted by an Uber-like startup.  Big Blue executives took the stage at an IBM conference in Las Vegas on Monday to urge companies to undergo a so-called “digital transformation.” That usually involves using more software and data technology — preferably IBM’s — and paying closer attention to how customers shop online and use social media services like Twitter.  “You better figure it out, because there’s an Uber out there that’s already figured it out,” warned Glen Finch, IBM’s global leader of big data and analytics.   When talking to customers, Finch said he’s noticed that companies are worried about more nimble startups like Uber overtaking their business. Uber, of course, has upended the taxi industry, which was seen as being slow to counter its fast-rising rival.  “The bottom line is that the c-suite is staying up at night,” Finch said  To drive home the point, IBM trotted out executives from Kohl’s  department store, Urban Outfitters, British bank HSBC, and others to explain how they’ve updated their business.  Mark Clare, HSBC’s chief data officer, said his bank no longer thinks of data as something that benefits only its IT department. Instead, his data team has a seat on the bank’s executive team and is highly involved with making business-related decisions.  The bank, for example, is tweaking its mobile banking app and website to make it as simple and easy to use as popular social media sites, Clare boasted. HSBC is also monitoring customers on social media so it “can react and manage that customer experience,” rather than merely collecting data about what they do with their accounts like making deposits.

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