Presented by Domo
As consumers, we carry around smartphones to manage our productivity, communicate with people instantly, and to stay ahead of the latest news cycles so we can react to real-time information. It’s easy and all in one place — these days, we expect nothing less.
But for some weird reason when we want to use the latest organizational information in the business world we still tolerate: “Well, in order to use X data, we need to get access to Y department’s information and make it work with Z department’s data, and that may take a couple weeks, or a couple quarters if we’re busy with other stuff, and, you know, it’ll be expensive.”
This is simply an untenable approach to using data in the enterprise and it needs to stop. That’s where a business cloud comes in.
A business cloud is an open, self-service platform providing business management apps for running your entire business. It connects your business information from everywhere, visualizes it and provides tools for everyone in your organization to be better informed and proactive.
Because business is mobile and social, a good business cloud must be as well. Done right, a business cloud relieves stress on IT, gives sales leaders better visibility into productivity, and empowers marketers to make much better use of a growing array of technologies to demonstrate the value and ROI of their activities. Here’s how:
Modern marketers rely on a vast array of technologies to do their job in order to attract and retain customers throughout the buying journey. These technologies produce copious amounts of data of value to the enterprise. Unfortunately, the potential of these tools is often lessened by an inability to connect and measure marketing tech data because:
- The technical resources required to build the connection — which usually requires a third-party SDK or API –are otherwise allocated, and
- Marketing data isn’t integrated with data from other aspects of the enterprise, such as finance, let alone integrated with similar data within the marketing department, making it difficult to prove the value of the investment.
A business cloud makes the pain go away by allowing marketers to do the connectivity work themselves. It’s often as simple as supplying login credentials for various martechs, social media etc. This eliminates a reliance on IT resources, meaning martech data is collected and made actionable much more quickly and inexpensively. Better yet, once the data is connected, it can be combined with other enterprise-wide data (from sales, finance, or wherever) to provide detailed visualizations of the effectiveness of marketing initiatives.
Imagine the look on the C-suite’s face when the traditionally red-headed step child that is marketing marches into the meeting with crystal clear visualizations and analysis that provides soup to nuts evidence of what a given marketing program costs, and detailed measurements of each step on the customer journey, including ROI and incremental impact on profitability. This ability to use the connected cloud to become less technically dependent and build, measure, and validate business cases represents a HUGE win for marketers.
Sales vs. marketing is an ancient battle in the unconnected enterprise. Sales argues that marketing isn’t producing enough good leads to work from, while marketing responds that the leads are fine, sales just can’t close. The business cloud makes this go away by connecting data and creating a common knowledge base for all parties to work from. Sales leadership can immediately see where leads are coming in, what their score is and which of them has higher potential for revenue and when. This gets marketing and sales around the same table and ends the blame game.
Within the sales organization itself, visibility into numbers and processes makes two great things happen. First, visibility enables competition. When sales people can see how they compare to others in their department, region, or even industry, it drives them to do better, or stay out in front of the pack.
Secondly, visibility into connected data lets sales leaders see where everything is happening at a moment’s notice and that same information is available to the C-suite. So, it’s no longer the CEO calling up the VP of sales towards the end of the quarter to ask where the numbers are going to land because everybody involved already has that information.
This keeps revenue generators on their toes and empowers them with the information needed to make adjustments on the fly. Again, it’s not just ‘Where are we in the pipeline?’ type questions that are being answered — connected data from marketing, CRM, and finance are also in play. So, you’re not guessing at the expected value of a particular type of lead, deal, or product class because it’s plain for everyone to see.
Today’s IT departments are so hung up in supporting their organization by making sure data and connections are available that they’re often distracted from more strategic initiatives. By putting more power to connect and explore data in the hands of enterprise users, business clouds reduce IT’s distractions, allowing staff to better focus on core stuff — like product, security, and readiness to scale.
The business cloud’s connected data warehouse gives IT immediate visibility into where things are happening, who is using different data sets, and what the down-river effect will be. For example, IT can take data from applications users really love, like Salesforce, and use the business cloud to build a layer on top and match it up with all the other applications that affect marketing leads, sales revenue, or operational efficiency.
In short, a business cloud lets IT become a strategic resource again by keeping some of your organization’s sharpest technical and analytical minds focused on creating strategic business opportunities, instead of putting out an endless series of tactical, resource-draining fires and requests.
The use cases for leveraging business clouds to good ends in the enterprise are as plentiful as the roles in your organization. From front-line customer service staff to the chairperson of the board, everybody benefits when data can be seamlessly connected, visualized, and socialized.
Sponsored posts are content produced by a company that is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. Content produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.