Quick quiz: is CVS a retailer, a pharmacy chain, or a healthcare company?
Since I’m a soft touch because I love you all so much, here are some hints:
- the company’s formal name is CVS Health;
- it has almost 10,000 retail locations in the United States and Puerto Rico;
- it has treated 50 million patients at its 1,100 Minute Clinics; and
- and every single day of the year, it rings up $900 million in revenue.
Now weren’t those hints helpful? I mean, it must be a retailer because it has 10,000 retail locations, right? But because of what’s sold in those 9,900+ stores it’s not just a general retailer but must be a pharmacy chain, right?
Wait a minute—did you say CVS has more than 1,000 healthcare clinics? And that those clinics have treated more than 50 million patients? Well then it must be a healthcare company…uh, right?
Well how about the insurance business—surely that boring, stuffy old industry isn’t being turned inside-out by all this newfangled digital stuff, right?
WRONG-O!! Check it out: Will Google Cloud and Tesla Torpedo the Insurance Industry? From that recent article of ours:
So, my friends, we have here a few more examples of the wildly different business world we’re in today relative to just 2 years ago. More and more, we are seeing traditional industry boundaries as outdated artifacts that describe an ancient world and that bear little or no relevance to the new business realities of today.
We’re also seeing forward-looking companies toss overboard the clumsy ballast of the past: old business models, old notions of “channel conflict,” old frameworks such as B2B versus B2C, and the limited outlook that arises from seeing the world as it has been rather than as it is becoming.
Then there are big industrial companies like Honeywell that become cloud-technology companies as they strive to digitalize their expertise and know-how to supplement their iron-and-steel products with data, code, and digital services. I love the name of the Honeywell cloud: Honeywell Forge. (For more on that, please see Honeywell Is Forging an Industrial-Software Revolution in the Cloud.)
For many decades or even centuries, industry boundaries have boxed corporations in and imposed on them uniform mindsets about how “the industry” works, how products and services are created and marketed and sold, and where the no-fly zones are. And today, as the digital revolution has tossed out “The Industry” as rulemaker and replaced it with The Customer, we are seeing a proliferation of innovation and growth and fresh thinking quite unlike anything I’ve ever seen (and I have been around for a lotta years!).
Industry boundaries were put in place by a bygone generation of sellers, and they’re being demolished by a new generation of buyers. This is an incredibly exciting time of opportunity and growth and possibility, and while it’s pretty much impossible right now for anyone to say where all this will end up, I’m very confident in saying this: this remarkable adventure is just beginning.
So stay obsessively focused on your customers and reject any and all limitations that “The Industry” attempts to impose.
That’s the way forward for the creators of tomorrow.
Industry Cloud Battleground Week: Available On-Demand
Sponsored by Salesforce, Google Cloud, Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, and Workday, this 5-day digital event delivered insights to inspire, educate and engage business and technology leaders who are actively defining their industry-specific cloud strategy.