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Start-ups and mid-tier businesses get personal

April Warrier, past CASSL chair, asks how start-ups and mid-tier businesses are benefiting from the growth of personalised and data-driven technology.

April Warrier

April 2019

Why is personalisation popular?

2019 has ushered in a new wave in technology personalisation. We have recently been introduced to a smart thermostat which adjusts based on an individual’s body temperature and fridges which can suggest recipes based on what is inside.

Technology has evolved to a point where products are now more personal than ever, and these items are just scratching the surface of how consumers are driven towards goods and services that can change the way they live.

Nike even unveiled this year the self-tying shoe. Once a playful idea, this homage to ‘Back to the Future’ has become a reality owing to commercial demand. This consumer-led approach is attracting a millennial audience and forcing tech giants to re-think their approach to the technological world.

The impact of the change 

To keep on top of the market, firms are forced to review their strategies. This is costing companies in research, trials and further technical support which they historically may not have had.

As well as changing their current product mix, existing firms are also faced with trying to change the user’s perception of their brand as they chase to get their ideas into products quicker than their competitors.

Mid-tier and start-up benefit 

The fast pace, demanding nature of technology is opening competitive markets to mid-tier businesses who are filling the gaps with more advanced products. They are able to exploit the change in taste as they typically don’t have older products in play and are able to target the market with strategies already aligned towards this latest demand.

From a business perspective, these companies also tend to be cheaper and therefore able to secure contracts with larger corporate companies more easily. For example, in January 2019 Lloyds bank opted to forgo traditional big players in the market and change its systems with start-up ‘Thought Machine.’ The change to its new cloud-based core banking technology, should help bring the bank forward with the market as well as saving hundreds of millions of pounds.

The outcome

The change in the design of products, driven by a more savvy and selective audience, should help breakdown competitive barriers in 2019 and hopefully create a more technologically advanced world for us going forward.

April Warrier is Past Chair of CASSL.

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