Think about it -- when you want to contact or connect with a company, the question in your head has changed over the years from "what is their phone number?" to "what is their website?" and now to "what is their app?"
Advances in mobility has transformed individuals into walking, moving creators of economic and social activities. From booking a taxi on Uber, to posting your latest selfie on Facebook from your smartphone, it is obvious that the way we work and play today are intensely digital and driven by applications.
Across most industries, applications are the new frontier, and battlefield, for customer mindshare. Businesses are now interacting with customers and employees 24/7. Storefronts and offices have gone virtual, and supply chains are instantly reactive. It is almost unthinkable for a leading brand to launch a major consumer product or service without an accompanying application. This is the "Application Economy."
The rules have changed in this new world. In order to survive and thrive in this application economy, every company will have to become a technology company. Every business will need to become a digital business. Nike has successfully evolved from a shoe company to a digitally-enabled media giant. Amazon has transformed itself from an online book store into a globally renowned provider of cloud computing and entertainment services.
The good news is that most senior business and IT leaders in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) are aware of this digital revolution. Recently, CA commissioned a survey with Vanson Bourne where 650 senior IT and business leaders across the APJ region were polled about how they look at staying relevant in the application economy.
More than half of the APJ senior IT and business leaders surveyed said that they have seen a significant impact of the application economy on their industry, and 53% are already experiencing the effects on their own organisation. The bad news is that while these industry stewards recognise the impact of the application economy, less than half of them (49%) feel that they are very or highly effective in responding to it.
Let us take a look at two successful companies that have disrupted their respective industries, to better understand what it takes to be a success in the application economy:
- Uber - With mobile application as the primary mode of transactions between commuters and drivers, Uber has disrupted the public transport markets wherever it offers its services. In the approximate five years since their launch, Uber has expanded to over 40 countries and is potentially valued at over US$41 billion.
- Airbnb - Even though Airbnb is barely five years old, it has gone on to become an international success story, with a presence in over 190 countries and having managed bookings for over 25 million guests. With their continued success, the company looks set to become the world's largest hospitality provider, without even owning a single hotel.
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