Tech Chats May 2017

Tech Chats: EY’s Michael Von der Geest on making money from digital innovation

In this video interview, we speak with Michael Von der Geest from EY about how startups can make money from aiding companies in their digital innovation.

How do small and medium sized businesses make money from digital innovation?

I think there’s a lot of opportunity – it’s such a vast topic at the moment. But I really section this up into three areas. The first one is business to consumer – retail-like propositions – frankly I find that that area is flooded. The second is areas like the Internet of Things, those machine-to-machine relationships. I think that has an opportunity, but the time horizons for monetising feel a bit distant for me.

What we’re working a lot in and what we’re seeing significant opportunities in is the business-to-business space, to create a consumer-like proposition in those markets.

Within that business-to-business space, what opportunities are you specifically seeing companies come across?

I can give you an example of that – the work we did with one of our clients: Informa. They’re an events business that was looking to use digital to transform their customer proposition around sales, marketing and their product.

We worked with them and we brought together an ecosystem of real specialists in and around digital delivery, consumption models, marketing techniques and we were able to pull that together in what we term an ‘ecosystem’ working with brands like EY that enable us to deliver truly customer-centric digital transformations, at pace and able to monetise that for clients and for tech companies.

What is stopping businesses from engaging with digital innovation, when there are so many advantages? What are the barriers of entry there?

I’d say there are two sides to this. I think what we’re seeing is small agile startup-like innovators who are real digital natives struggle to enter that business enterprise space – they don’t have the relationships, they don’t understand quite how the mechanics and the politics of selling work.

You’ve then got large organisations very well used to helping and supporting clients in transformations, but who maybe don’t really bring that lean, innovation and digital ethos to bare.

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