Uberization: trigger signal for digital transformation

By Fabien Paupier
Updated: 20 May 2020, first publication: June 2017
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Some see uberization as a threat. Is it the activity? The company? The profession? If it jostles certain structures, it pushes us above all to rethink our customer approach. It's a matter of understanding these new expectations and putting digitalization to profit in order to respond to them in an innovative fashion.

Illustrated and quantified uberization

The emergence of a new business model

With digital transformation, the following trading platforms emerged:

  • for buying and reselling, with LeBonCoin
  • for accommodation renting, with Bedycasa
  • for carsharing, with BlaBlaCar
  • for travelling, with Uber
  • for having food delivered by bicycle, with Foodora

These are new markets areas. They are fuelling an economy lead by collaboration, where the consumer:

  • becomes a real actor with the option to comment on and grade providers;
  • has the chance to become a provider.

The model rests on an easy and quick response: "I want, I get". It's versatile and upon request.

An enormous financial godsend

We refer to a platform economy, sharing economy or even uberization - a burning economic reality which keeps growing. Its potential market was valued at 26 billion US dollars in 2015, and it is valued at 100 billion US dollars for 2018 - a sustained rate which will double every 18 months (Deloitte 2015 study).

A transversal phenomenon

Since the 2008 economic crisis, people are optimizing their assets. If they have a home, they rent it out in their absence. If they have a car, they carry passengers. Relationships with property have changed.

What will happen to your company ?

The fear of being uberized

If uberization initially affected service sectors, it is gradually progressing to industry too. No company can avoid it. The phenomenon is questioning and jostling, and should be anticipated to avoid being sent out of the game.

The power balance is flipped

Since the industrial revolution, powerful companies have developed, some of them seemingly invincible. The platform economy is reshuffling the cards and offering luck to firstcomers. "A private individual can abruptly and quickly upset the market, surpassing traditional starting barriers and avoiding the investment constraints, the cost and the wage bill", explains J.M. Liduena, Senior Partner at Deloitte. The rule of might gave way to agility.

Only digital companies will survive

Are existing companies doomed? No, but they have to adapt quickly and properly. Startups are pushing aside existing companies which are not or badly digitalized. In the vein of Uber, they are filling the technological gaps of the existing actors. Traditional companies must catch up quickly.

Collaborative tools to succeed in your digital transformation

To jump on the digital bandwagon, your company must become 100% collaborative.

Collaboration, a disruptive asset

"One of the keys to Apple is [to be] an incredibly collaborative company"

Steve Jobs

To bring the customer to the core of the value proposition, one of the keys is to become a collaborative company. The structure increases in agility and can focus on the quality of its offer and its services for its customers. Whether it's at the leads management level or the production level, the aim is to optimize the resources available to best allocate them to market needs.

To do this, employees need to be able to work together and simultaneously. They can thus better divide tasks efficiently, while having an overarching vision of the work supplied. Electronic Document Management Systems (EDMS) and real-time sharing have become musts for an efficient organization.

From the intranet to Enterprise social networking

If documents need to be shared, exchange must also be encouraged. The more its members exchange ideas amongst themselves, the more agile the structure will be. In this sense, Enterprise Social Networking puts collaboration at the center of the company.

Retaking the functions of a classic information intranet, it is presented in the form of exchange platforms. On a collaborative software solution like Jalios, each employee interacts with the whole structure and spreads or collects information.

Tools to bring collective intelligence to the fore

Information circulates, knowledge is co-constructed. The platform becomes the centralization and knowledge-sharing point. This is called a digital workplace. It contributes to individual and collective efficiency using the different collaboration forms: standby, idea emergence, innovation open to customers (open innovation), product development, collective responses to bid solicitations, customer project management, supplier project management... Participation is thus more active with all of the individuals within the network.

The uberization of our society is not inevitable. A range of opportunities are open to all, it's up to each company to pick tomorrow's assets. A wonderful vehicle for collaboration, digitalization allows you to rethink your value proposition and organize the company accordingly.

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