SAG_Digital_Rainmaker_880x440px_Nov21A rainmaker is someone who brings in lots of business to your company.

Rainmakers appear across a number of industries, but what unites them is their ability to acquire affluent clients and generate significant revenue for your company.

A “digital rainmaker” not only makes your business more efficient, with the use of technology, but also turns you into an industry disruptor by tapping into what the World Economic Forum calls the $100 trillion opportunity.

Digital rainmakers have a quick- strike mentality. They take advantage of changes in customer behavior, changes in technology and - most importantly – bend the rules of the market to create tremendous confusion and disruption for competitors.

Take Elon Musk: He introduced an electric vehicle to bank on the desires of customers to be more “green,” and at the same time explored the concept of self-driving cars by leveraging AI technology. To top it off he disrupted the competition by establishing a new sales channel, selling new cars through the web rather than through an expensive dealer network. It left his competition completely bewildered and confused.

Leapfrog your competition

Competition, however, has ways of leapfrogging innovation. So, what innovations will the next generation of digital rainmakers take advantage of? Will the real winners have innovations where you think “Really?… that simple? Why didn’t I come up with it?”

Here are some of the things digital rainmakers will probably use in the near future to conquer the market:

Environmental, Social and Governance. While not technology per se, ESG is an inevitable part of the equation. If your new innovation hasn’t a green, sustainable, environmentally friendly aspect, having a positive impact on for example de-carbonization, it will not only be hard to get the masses interested, but also to attract finance. Currently, government funds, banks and even venture capitalists are very sensitive to this aspect. Green banks are already a given in Europe and Australia, and on the rise now in the US, too. So: If it isn’t green, they are not keen. You better make sure that any technical innovation you have is making a sustainable contribution to society at large if you want easy access to funds.

Internet of Things. Fortunately, the technologies that are on the rise, like IoT, can help with ESG. IoT technology helps industries to answer “when, where, why and how” questions better, by gathering the data that is needed to answer those questions. By getting products connected, making them smarter, can supercharge the customer experience into a superior one, more interactive and intelligent, and also make the production and the product itself more efficient, helping to reduce waste.

For example, in agriculture, smart farms are using advanced IoT technologies, to help farmers reduce waste and increase productivity. This helps them to produce more food with fewer resources. Data derived from IoT sensors provide essential statistics on weather forms, soil humidity and mineral levels to lower waste and better yields. IoT, in combination with other technologies like AI, pave the way for precision agriculture, smart greenhouses and monitoring of livestock.

Payment and billing. Answering the “w” questions leads to understanding how and when products are used, opening the door to new payment and billing models. Imagine that you don’t have to pay upfront for a self-driving car feature, which might be really expensive, but only when you feel the need to use it, for example on a long journey. Where Tesla is still offering these features as an expensive option, VW is going to offer the feature for a mere seven euros per hour.

By leveraging digital, every industry will adopt subscription and pay-as-you-use models to compete with traditional purchasing methods. Gartner predicts that by 2025 at least 23% all business will have adopted such a model.

All of these kinds of innovation can alter your customers’ behavior and disrupt your competition for sure. The pandemic has shown clearly that the risk of doing nothing in digital is exceeding the risk of doing. Now is the time to seize the opportunity to become the next digital rainmaker. Try Cumulocity IoT for free by clicking below. 

This article originally appeared in Big Data Quarterly.

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