IT Trends

Tech Trends That Will Transform Your Industry

I have bad news for companies that are struggling to improve their customer engagement—it’s only going to get more difficult. Social-savvy, smartphone-carrying consumers will switch allegiances faster than you can say “customer relationship management.”

“Customers are going to get harder to deal with, not easier—less loyal, more picky,” saysOracle ORCL +0.43% President Mark Hurd.

Hurd was speaking at Oracle Industry Connect in Boston, where more than 1,500business and technology executives from the communications, financial services, health sciences, retail, and utilities industries, and those from project-intensive industries such as construction and manufacturing, came together to delve deeply into what’s happening in their sectors.

They also shared ideas and best practices where there’s common ground. “People want to learn, borrow, and understand what other industries are doing to solve similar problems,” said Bob Weiler, Executive Vice President of Oracle’s Global Business Units.

The customer experience is one such area—a challenge, opportunity, business goal, and IT undertaking all rolled into one here-and-now, make-or-break imperative.

“The customer is in the driver’s seat. We need to get in front of what her needs are,” said Karen Katz, CEO and President of Neiman Marcus Group , during the Oracle Industry Connect keynote for retailers.

Companies can best manage such challenges with industry-specific capabilities that are designed for the business they’re in, Hurd said. Neiman Marcus, for example, is deploying Oracle Retail solutions to create a more seamless “omni-channel” experience across its stores, call centers, and website, and to help with demand forecasting and other retail operations.