Online activities matter, even to offline stores: Dr Douglas Merrill

Online activities matter, even to offline stores: Dr Douglas Merrill

Claims as technology changes, so should the methods of consumption


Companies should start viewing their IT utilisation differently and including online activities, according to Google ex-CIO and current CEO and co-founder, Dr Douglas Merrill.

A guest keynote speaker at the CA Technologies World Expo 2011 in Sydney, Dr Merrill said a business model that includes an online interaction model will increase the possibility of consumers buying something.

“As technology is made more and more available, it allows us to see more things, move away from the clean formal presentation of information and move towards the demonitisation of creation,” he said.

Dr Merrill concentrated on providing an insight into how businesses should mature from following traditional 1990s thinking styles and now build on products first before analysing what to do with them.

"Building an innovative solution is not about knowing exactly how much hardware you need. The more time you spend on that, the less time you spend on building your products; build your products, then figure out what to do with them," he said.

However, Merrill also stated that just because businesses have the resources to do something with technology does not mean that they should. He referred to the US Fortune 100 listing of companies last year and compared the variation to that of 1990.

"66 per cent of companies that were on the Fortune 100 list are gone in 20 years. That's a fairly disturbing statistic," he said.

Merrill said that with technology changes, companies should review how they use IT and the methods of consumption as many businesses are still deploying technologies wrongly and focusing on the product instead of the connections to the community.

According to him, companies that use focus groups get the content from the community but do not market the response back to them with the community voice.

"It doesn't matter what the customer actually wants, we're going to build that," he said.

Merrill suggested businesses look at the actions and doings of their customers, listen to what they have to say and let the users do the work for companies.

He also encouraged businesses to hire a group of diverse workers.

Merrill said to win, employing somebody with a wide range of opinions will lead to business plans that are accommodative of change.

"The most common thing management do is get in the way. The key to building better units is by hiring somebody that annoys you because they're far more likely to be diverse, which means getting better answers," he said.

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Tags cloud computingGoogleDouglas MerrillITCfortune 100CA TechnologiesZestCash


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