Business today: Are we ready for Gen C?

Date:   Thursday , October 06, 2011

Much has been made of Generation Connected: It demands this; buys that; and aspires for those. For a company like Mahindra Satyam, understanding the needs and aspirations of this generation, is the key to success in a rapidly changing IT industry. Although, diverse and complex, Gen C’s behavior exhibits three common traits--it is Continuous, Changing, and always Converging.

Gen C is continuous and growing. Consider these facts average annual Internet-user growth rates, have exceeded 20 percent over the past decade. And online shopping is edging out stores in the developed world—while total U.S. consumer sales grew by 6.8 percent in 2004; online consumer sales grew by 26 percent. Are we ready to do business the Gen C way?

It is driving change and creating a new social order. The recent surge in tweets and traffic through social media is dramatically changing the way we consume and spread information. The “Arab Spring,” for example, was catalyzed and sustained by Twitter and other social media platforms. On the home front, social media is helping drive India’s movement against corruption.

It is fast-forwarding convergence. Online social platforms are quickly converging to provide multiple social tools. By launching Google+, for example, Google now provides a fully comprehensive online social experience. The addition of Google’s new, much-hyped social platform to the company’s traditional offerings – email, voice calling, and gchat – threatens to further blur the distinction between the social and professional spheres. The consequences are enormous. As this convergence spreads to the workplace, organizations in order to be truly collaborative, effective and efficient must integrate and embrace the online platforms that Gen C so enthusiastically utilizes.

Corporations should also be ready to harness Enterprise Mobility and make business applications accessible on the go. Devices such as the iPhone, have impacted the business world, through new technology and services and by improving productivity and communication. Access to information is now uninterrupted –-a dramatic development for traveling sales and marketing teams.

The improved mobile productivity that results from mobile access to company software and information can mean a greater ROI for businesses investing in mobile communications, as well as improvements in sales and communication. For a sales team that often works in the field, access to Mobile Express CRM (Customer Relationship Management) – a tool that allows teams to capture, track, and store information on the go – is bound to improve sales and B2C communications.

Mobile devices can also integrate with cloud-hosted services such as Exchange Online (an email provider), which allows users to respond to schedule changes and new e-mails on the fly. The result? Decision makers can quickly communicate approvals to employees; regardless of location, and tasks can be done efficiently.

Companies and businesses that understand and embrace Gen C ahead of competitors, hold the keys to the future. This new paradigm will change everything: the way we work, the way we think, and the way we rise.

The author is Head of Marketing and Internal Communications - Asia, Mahindra Satyam