Disrupt or be disrupted: Innovation for the sake of customers

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By 2019, all digitally transformed organizations will generate at least 45% of their revenue from new business models.[1] And as Accenture’s CEO Pierre Nanterme says, “Digital disruption has only just begun.” [2] It is on every CEO’s mind.

In the world of innovation, we must welcome disruption. It prompts technological advancements. It drives a competitive spirit that results in improved performance for all companies. And it keeps everyone thinking a few steps ahead of the curve in order to thrive long-term in a global digital economy.

In just two years, there will be 10x more connected things than connected people in the world.[i] Now that many smart machines and other assets have become connected, the amount of generated data is astounding: 90% of data generated from connected things was created over the last two years![ii]

There are unprecedented opportunities here, even for companies who have been reluctant to evolve legacy business models. One of the major benefits made possible by digitization: improving the customer experience.

Enriching the customer experience

Schneider’s Chief Digital Officer, has said, “Today, any customer experience must be enriched digitally — and be frictionless, fast, and intuitive. Most importantly, the entire customer experience must answer this question in an instant: “How are you going to solve my problem or make me more efficient?”

The key here is first identifying what those problems are, where are the opportunities for transformation and evolution in a world rapidly evolving. This is why we engage with and listen to customers regularly. Not just to support their current needs through better customer interactions. But also to address what they need from digital innovation: i.e., how we can best scale Schneider Electric’s own digital advancements (namely, EcoStruxure™ solutions) to solve our customers burning challenges.

The purpose of this week’s Innovation Summit Paris and our 2018 Innovation Summit World Tour is just that: creating opportunities for us to both hear from and engage with hundreds of customers about their challenges and how we can serve them better with our digital solutions.

Leveraging a co-innovation ecosystem

Acting fast is critical for any company trying to disrupt instead of being disrupted.  Given the pace of digitization and technology breakthroughs such as AI and machine learning, no company can innovate alone. It takes a co-innovation ecosystem to accelerate. For us, our ecosystem of more than 20,000 system integrators and developers is augmented by strategic digital alliance partners. These include Microsoft for its secure, trusted cloud capabilities; Accenture for bringing our digital offers to market faster; and Salesforce for transforming the customer experience through connectivity.

As the face behind our innovation efforts, our customers make this competitive edge relevant. Indeed, they sharpen it, one digital disruption at a time.

[1] IDC FutureScape, IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Digital Transformation 2018 Predictions (Doc #US43154617)
[2] See Footnote 1.
[i] Connected Devices Source: IHS, March 2016; Populations stats from United Nations, Department of Economic & Social Affairs, Population Division (2017), World Population Prospects, the 2017 Revision, custom data acquired via website.
[ii] IBM Marketing Cloud, “10 Key Marketing Trends For 2017,”

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