This is part one of a four-part blog series on the Australian public transport industry, and how many of its solutions can be found in the digital space.

The explosion of the digital economy has rocked businesses globally. The rapid change and evolution of digital is providing new opportunities for businesses within both the public and private sectors to be more efficient and effective.

Australia’s public transport industry faces the challenge of responding to increasing customer expectations driven by digital trends. Customers seek access to more information about transport including real time data in order to make smarter decisions. Agencies and operators need to find innovative and cost-effective ways to deal with changing customer expectation leveraging available digital capabilities.

This blog post is part of a four part series building a case for a cost-effective, fully-managed and scalable transport information ecosystem. This ecosystem aims to meet growing customer expectations within the transport industry. It provides operators, agencies and developers with information and services enabling the ingoing enhancement of the customer experience.

Setting the scene – Digital trends driving business change

Digital channels have opened up a new world of opportunity. Consumers have unprecedented influence and control. Traditional barriers no longer apply, with access to global markets redefining consumer choice and value, while providing transparency.

At the same time the role of the customer is changing from being a consumer of information and services, to someone who actively participates in the design of the value chain of businesses.

A reduction in lead times and required start-up capital also means new, agile competitors are entering and disrupting the broader market. Businesses, which once controlled their industries, are finding it increasingly challenging to close the gap. This in turn provides a challenge to government organisations, which rely on these service providers to deliver services to the public.

Government organisations need to change their thinking about the long-term procurement of services and adapt to the speed of change that the digital economy and digital technologies bring.

To stay on top government organisations and large-scale enterprises need to consider opening up the value chain creation process and enable more agile players to contribute successfully to the customer experience in a controlled, structured and secure way. At the same time infrastructure investments need to target flexibility and scalability in order to keep up with the change and the associated ‘unknown’ factor.

The impact of digital trends on businesses becomes clear when looking at their adoption rate of technology. Today, technological change is moving faster than the rate at which businesses in the private and public sector can adopt it, which results in a customer experience gap.

The explosion of smart devices and now embedded devices (sensors) have fuelled customer expectations. This gap is increasing over time and businesses need to find new, innovative ways to close it.

We are seeing four main digital trends – social, mobile, analytics and cloud, also referred to as SMAC. More recently we have seen the rise of embedded devices, such as smart watches or armbands, which are extending the functionality of mobile devices.

SMAC trends have a direct impact onto today’s business models, customer engagement, employee and network engagement and technology, infrastructure and security. Businesses in the public and private sector need to ask themselves “what the impact of each of those trends is on the cornerstones of their business?”

“Today technological change is moving faster than the rate at which businesses in the private and public sector can adopt it, which results in a customer experience gap.”

With the acceleration of change through digital trends, businesses in the private and public sector are facing a burn-down (declining revenue and / or cost blowout) of their services.

Conquering this burn-down requires the creation of new and innovative services. Only through this innovation will businesses be able to continue to exist and grow in their respective markets.

Traditional, closed ways of delivering innovation are being challenged by digital change and trends, which builds the case for a more open and collaborative way of designing products and services, through leveraging the concepts of open innovation and co-creation.

Digital businesses such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter have successfully demonstrated that by embedding third party developers into their value creation process, open innovation and co-creation can be used to accelerate their digital and with that economic footprint.

Furthermore, the speed of change driven by SMAC requires businesses to emphasis agility across their organisation in order to adapt to the changes within the market and customer expectations.

Digital change drives a value shift from the consumption of physical products and services to using the information on those products and services and the customer experience it creates.

Creating value from information requires organisations to be part of an information ecosystem. The value of the information ecosystem is driven by its reach, which means more connections result in more data, which leads to a higher value.

In order to achieve this, new digital operating models are required. These digital operating models target the commercialisation of information, while using modular platforms that are open to third parties.

Customer-centric design principles become key in the product and service development process, while businesses need to enforce customer centricity across the organisation.

 

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Contributor

Trent Lund

Trent is Head of Innovation and Ventures for PwC Australia. With 18 years’ experience spanning Australia, Asia, UK, Europe and the Middle East, Trent joined PwC to lead the customer centric transformation consulting team dedicated to improving the way Australia’s leading private and public sector organisations re-focus on the customer.

Before his commercial career, Trent worked with some of the earlier forms of computing, transforming traditional business through programmable logic controls to automate machinery. The learning he gathered from this early experience saw Trent ‘smash a lot of strawberries, but learned a lot about the power of technology’.

Trent began his commercial career in telecommunications in Australia and later independently as a business consultant in the UK. Trent helped high tech and communications clients develop product and market entry strategies for complex solutions such as data centres, mobile content platforms and 3G Mobile licenses.

Afterwards Trent joined Oracle to lead the mobile content and service delivery platform proposition in Europe and Asia. One of the key milestones he achieved was to architect a custom solution into 10 countries, gaining 45 million subscribers, operating in many different languages and different currencies. The key challenge was balancing the latest technology advancements with the pragmatism required to address economies in different stages of maturity, from emerging to very mature. Advising technology owners on what business models will be profitable in these environments is one of Trent’s great strengths.

Trent specialises in user experience design, customer-led innovation and disrupting business models through technology.

“Digital is challenging the status quo. We’re beginning to see how customers are interacting with technology and it’s exciting to see the escalating rate of change in all industries.”

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