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Continuous change key to business in digital age



Jane Bird

Financial Times

12 November 2013


Robert Mettler, digital business expert at PA Consulting Group, is quoted in an article in the Financial Times Business of Consulting special report. Robert gives his view on how technology can help companies adapt and survive, but rather than periodic root and branch reform the best approach may be a process of continuous improvement.

Robert argues that achieving continuous innovation is not just about technology. It requires a common vision: “Organisations have tended to bolt technology on to the edge of their business as an afterthought, like a garage on the side of a house”, he says.

He goes on to say that the rest of the organisation remains relatively unchanged. This creates cultural problems so that individual business units struggle to get their case for change heard. 

The article also looks at how a PA client, TUI Travel, is responding to the fast changing holiday market. People buying holidays are increasingly digitally savvy, says Mr Sridhara chief information officer of TUI Travel: “People book holidays four to six months ahead, which creates a huge opportunity to interact about things they might want, from creating packing checklists and reminders to get currency, to providing route maps and train timetables for getting to the airport.” 

In response to this, TUI Travel launched a “mobile digital assistant” in June. This is an app that attempts to engage customers in an electronic “conversation” as soon as they start looking for a holiday. The app took 14 weeks to develop, but TUI Travel enhances it regularly – its current rate of innovation is every six to 12 weeks, but TUI Travel aims to reduce this to less than a month.


You can read the article in full here

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