Changing demographics and transformative technologies are shining a new light on traditional marketing strategies. For technology companies in particular, it’s no longer enough to know their current consumers. Business success will depend on understanding and satisfying the needs of the next generation.

“Most companies still see digital as separate from their core business,” says Geoff Hollingworth,[U1] CMO of MobileEdgeX, a disruptor in edge computing. “The challenge for them is not about having a digital strategy, but having a strategy in a digital world.”

According to Hollingworth, the emerging generation of tech buyers exists in a digital world and expects the digital and physical worlds to mesh seamlessly. In order to avoid any disconnect between the two, and a resulting loss of business, companies need to have an efficient distribution channel. Online and/or offline visibility with real-time inventory is an added advantage.

“Once there is complete visibility in real time, companies can decide how to further capitalize on the supply and demand chain to enhance customer experience,” explains Hollingworth. “The ubiquity of mobile connectivity presents a new way to provide other technology through edge computing. Moving the cloud from the centre to a hand-held model will transform the user experience by locally nullifying the latency aspect.”

Faced with the shifting profile of the IT buyer, and a world that will soon boast more than 20 billion connected things, some companies are proactively preparing for tomorrow’s consumers. Packet, a leader in bare metal automation platforms, has a vision for edge computing that reflects customization including locations, hardware, and connectivity built with the developer in mind.

An ever-changing suite of bespoke solutions meets the needs of millennial IT developers and fosters positive relationships by eliminating latency, offering hardware on an à la carte basis, reducing most installs to under 60 seconds, and billing by the hour for servers and add-ons – all while retaining the operational and automation benefits of a public cloud.

Enterprises can’t predict the future, but they can take steps to future-proof themselves by understanding the mindset of Generation Z. This cohort of future consumers comes with a general intolerance for anything that gets in the way of agile behaviour, grapples with how to improve things, and wants to participate in product development. From a glass is half full perspective, this way of thinking opens the door to a more open, symbiotic relationship between buyers and sellers and might well forge long-term partnerships.

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