Understand how technology has impacted the value chain in traditional definitions of products and services.
Technology Shifts enable Consumerism
Technology has driven tremendous changes in how to define products that can be purchased, leased, or otherwise transferred from creator to user.
While understanding consumer needs in terms of the product is still a major requirement the products available in the marketplace to meet those needs constantly changes.
The value chain that's possible when planning a home addition includes calling the bank because you want to add an addition on your home.
The bank provides a home equity loan, not the addition. Today, the bank's Web site may automatically refer you to pre-qualified contractors and supply houses where your loan will get you an additional 10 percent discount.
Where is the "product" in this chain?
From a technological perspective, we must understand the phenomenon of digitization and the impact it is continuing to have on our economies around the world.
Is it faster to deliver a physical product or bits? Everywhere there is a tremendous shift in an attempt to digitize products.
It is critical to understand the nature of your value proposition. One key question for the organization considering embarking on an e-Business
initiative: What are the aspects of the physical product that can be digitized?
Consider the process of digitizing the product.
Is it cost-effective to digitize the product?
Examples of Digitizing Products
New media: Rather than watching what is shown in NFL football with no choice of camera angles, you receive a broadcast of 78 different camera angles, and you choose which angle you want to view. Instant replay? No problem. Cash access: The cost of biometrix and the ability to manage large databases has dropped so dramatically, that in the next year or two, it may be more beneficial for banks to deploy biometrix, eliminating ATM cards and PIN management.
Bill payment: Eliminate fees, salaries, and associated brick and mortar to support collection of cash and checks. Old media: Buy and read only from books, newspapers, CDs, magazines, or clipping services. Why not digitize these for web-delivery?
Software: Why walk to the store and buy software? Why not just download it from the Web?
If any of your products can be digitized, then the digitization should be carried out as rapidly as possible.