Does cloud and big data threaten your job?

Does the Fear of the Cloud and Big Data Threaten Your Job?

By Christine Heckart

What is the biggest threat to your job?  Is it what you do?

Or what you don’t do?

I have a really long commute to and from work.  And I when I say long, I mean an hour and a half or more long. Needless to say, I have a lot of time to listen to the news.

This week, I was listening to CNBC on satellite radio, and the show was about how fear motivates people much more than opportunity.  The show used examples of big companies that only bring innovations to market when they are under competitive threat. They don’t innovate because of new market opportunity or better customer service. The research shows that most companies are motivated primarily by fear.

Remember when Facebook acquired Instagram for $1billion dollars? Everyone speculated why since Instragram’s revenue was $0 dollars. Om Malik offered up his opinion in his blog asking:

Why did Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s levelheaded but mercenary founder, buy Instagram at twice the valuation that professional venture investors were putting on it?

His answer?

Facebook was scared $(*%&@! and knew that for first time in its life it arguably had a competitor that could not only eat its lunch, but also destroy its future prospects. Why? Because Facebook is essentially about photos, and Instagram had found and attacked Facebook’s Achilles heel — mobile photo sharing.

The news show got me thinking. Does competitive fear motivate you in your business? Is cloud and big data a threat to your job? Or, is it an opportunity?

It could be both. Since this blog is generally about recurring revenue, we will use it as our example.

Here is a thought experiment: Imagine that your competitor uses cloud and big data to increase their renewal or subscription revenues by ten or fifteen percent?  That’s a lot of extra profit, which they put into new development, or more sales people, or better earnings for investors. Your competitor starts to pull ahead.

Your boss walks into your office and says, “Why are we falling behind?”  Or, “Why didn’t you embrace cloud and big data?”

Now step back.  You could proactively embrace cloud and big data for your renewals right now. 

Does the opportunity to innovate and pull ahead of your competition motivate you?  Or will your motivation come only from a competitive threat or fear of your boss?

The radio host would say fear is what gets you going. And, that you’ll most likely only make a change to your current business if your boss comes in and threatens your job because you are behind, thus creating a competitive disadvantage for your company or your team.

I think we would all like to believe that we are better than this…that we think and plan ahead, that we embrace change and are willing and able to drive innovation.

Look at your recurring revenue business. It is where it could be? Do you have tools and processes in place that allow you to maximize this revenue stream keeping you well ahead of your competitors? Why wait for the knock on your office door to start analyzing how you could run a more profitable business?

Your recurring revenue business holds the key to a strong revenue stream for your company. For a lot of tech-enabled companies, it is 50% or more of their revenue. But it won’t flow into your bottom line by magic. You have to stay on top of your renewal business by keeping customers, offering the right products at the right time, and nurturing and contacting your customers well before their contracts expire.

It seems like a very complex problem given that most customer records are spread across 5-7 disparate systems. It’s a hard problem to even begin to know how to tackle. So, most companies avoid finding a solution.

Until there is a knock on the office door asking why revenue is falling behind.

If you embrace change and drive innovation then the research says that if you are rare indeed. But if you get a hold of your renewals business before fear forces the motivation, you could be an innovation leader for your company.

Are you ready to be the recurring revenue superhero?

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