Is Your Business Ready For A Digital Acceleration Team?

Nigel Fenwick

Empowering a central team to set digital strategy, provide common platforms, and provide specialist resources can help business units develop their digital maturity by embracing a set of common standards while still tailoring their customer experience to their specific market needs. Yet many central teams run into difficulty. They fail to clearly communicate their purpose and remit, they struggle to navigate the realities of corporate politics, and they forget to demonstrate their successes through clear metrics. CIOs looking to accelerate their firm's digital journey by building a digital acceleration team should first assess their organization's readiness and appetite (see Figure).

Digital accelerator checklist

For more on establishing a digital acceleration team, see my latest research: Your Company Needs A Digital Acceleration Team.

Previus post: Four Strategy Tips In The Age Of The Customer

Nokia Takes Over Alcatel-Lucent: Get Ready For A Shift In The Global Network Solutions Vendor Landscape

Dan Bieler

Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent have entered into a memorandum of understanding under which Nokia will make an offer for Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share transaction. The deal values Alcatel-Lucent at €15.6 billion: Alcatel-Lucent shareholders will own 33.5%, with Nokia shareholders owning 66.5%.

Is this a “marriage of desperation” or two network solution vendors coming together to work on a broader vision for an increasingly connected world? The combination of two relatively small network solutions vendors won’t automatically translate into the formation of a new network solutions powerhouse. Most importantly, will the new Nokia truly differ from its main rivals Huawei and Ericsson as an end-to-end carrier network solution provider? Nokia’s competitors will not only face a larger new competitor but also experience the formation of a different one. This deal will mean that:

  • Nokia joins the small club of converged network solutions vendors. Customers expect experiences that support multiple screens and applications; equipment vendors must deliver solutions for the Internet of Things (IoT) and industrial Internet requirements by offering next-generation network technology and services. Nokia can’t cater to this market demand alone.
  • Nokia rejoins the premier league of network solutions providers. The deal means that Nokia’s total pro-forma 2014 revenues will more than double to €25.9 billion. The new Nokia will be the second-largest provider of carrier-grade telecoms networking solutions, with revenues in this segment of €25.0 billion, just behind Ericsson (€25.1 billion) but ahead of Huawei (€23.5 billion). With its newfound size, Nokia will gain access to scale benefits.
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Four Strategy Tips In The Age Of The Customer

Nigel Fenwick

Blog word cloudI just concluded six months of research looking at how firms plan strategy in the age of the customer. Perhaps unsurprisingly, I concluded that companies that fail to adapt to increasingly powerful customers, and disruptive competition, will not simply face near-term disruption — they risk their long-term viability.

I also found evidence of firms making changes in how they plan business strategy. High-performing companies look at strategic planning as a continuous process with a focus on customer value and loyalty.

In my latest report on strategy, I identify new responsibilities for CIOs, CMOs, and business-unit leaders in strategic planning. The report focuses on three ways CIOs and CMOs must step up and serve as a shaper of customer-obsessed business strategy that generates greater loyalty and drives better performance.

To succeed in the future, CIOs need to collaborate effectively with peers across the C-suite, especially the CMO and business-unit leaders, to build strategies and a shared business technology agenda, focused on customer outcomes.

Here are four tips from the research:

1.     It's time to separate strategic planning from the annual budget cycle. Annual strategic plans hold firms back from quickly reacting to fast-evolving markets. While strategies must be funded, continuous test-and-learn approaches will more quickly reveal opportunities and weaknesses.

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Three Tips To Craft A Better Digital Vision

Nigel Fenwick
In the age of the customer, your company must exploit digital assets in order to deliver world-class customer experiences and compete effectively. But moving the business from its traditional roots toward digital mastery requires the executive team to paint a compelling digital business vision.
 
Based on my latest research published in March — How To Craft A Better Digital Vision — here are three suggestions to help your firm develop a compelling digital vision:
 
1. Illustrate what customers will value in the future. The way your customers derive value from your products and services today will not be the same in the future. Your business will need to use digital technology to create new sources of value. Instead of simply designing a physical product or service to be used by a customer to satisfy a need, your firm must reimagine your products and services as digital services enhanced by physical products and people. Customer perceptions of value will be shaped by the digital experiences you create to help them achieve their desires. Your digital vision must help employees understand this shift.
 
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Modern Software Platforms Are In Hypergrowth

Michael Yamnitsky

As companies get serious about digital transformation, we see investments shifting toward extensible software platforms used to build and manage a differentiated customer experience. My colleague John McCarthy has an excellent slide describing what's happening:

Before, tech management spent most of its time and budget managing a set of monolithic enterprise applications and databases. With an addressable market of a finite number of networked PCs, spending on the front end was largely an afterthought.

Today, applications must scale to millions, if not billions of connected devices while retaining a rich and seamless user experience. Infrastructure, in turn, must flex to meet these new specs. Since complete overhauls of the back end are a nonstarter for large enterprises with 30-plus years of investments in mainframes and legacy server systems, new investments gear toward the intermediary software platforms that connect digital touchpoints with enterprise applications and transaction systems. 

At Forrester, we’ve been working to quantify some of the most viable software categories that exemplify this shift. A shortlist below:

·      API management solutions: US CAGR 2015-2020: 22%.

·      Public cloud platformsGlobal CAGR 2015-2020: 30%. (Note: We have a forecast update in the works that segments the market into subcategories.)

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Saying CX Is A Priority Is Easy. Following Through On It Is Tough.

Kyle McNabb

Any executive can say they place great priority on customer experience (CX). In fact, 74% of executives state their top 2015 priority is improving CX. And if you’re a Forrester client, you know - thanks to our ongoing research - that doing so will drive greater customer acquisition and loyalty.

But saying CX is a priority is easy, making it actionable speaks volumes. Frankly, if your firm isn’t taking action to relentlessly pursue CX improvement, to become customer obsessed, you’re making a mistake.

Those actions give CIOs and their teams an incredible opportunity. Technology empowers your customers, members, clients, and buyers today. And your business leaders need you to expand beyond using technology to support or transform internal operations - what we call the IT agenda. Today, business leaders need your help to compete for customer loyalty. Today, business leaders need you and your teams to help them apply technology, systems,and process to win, serve, and retain customers- the business technology (BT) agenda.

Executing on the BT agenda gives you and your team the opportunity to make the biggest, most visible contribution to your firm I can think of - top line growth. Keep three things in mind as you strive to take advantage of this opportunity:

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Samsung Commits To The Business Segment At CeBIT 2015 With IoT Solutions

Dan Bieler

Samsung launched its business offerings at CeBIT 2015. Samsung Business is a new brand and combines Samsung’s Knox for security and enterprise mobility management, Smart Signage, and printing. Samsung Business offers industry-specific solutions for retail, education, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, and financial services.

In retail, Samsung offers digital mirror and video wall devices. School Solution integrates its mobile devices with interactive learning tools. Its Smart Hotel Solution offers premium in-room experience and information bulletin touchscreens. The Preventive Mobile Cardiac Rehabilitation solution enables real-time monitoring of chronic conditions. For financial services, Samsung provides secure document handling and printing services. And its transportation solution provides real-time information and analysis of data. My main takeaways:

  • Samsung Business is a good first step toward catering to businesses. Samsung has enormous potential to leverage its existing consumer device expertise and experiences, especially in the B2B2C space. Samsung is right to opt for an open and collaborative Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem to overcome the challenges of platform compatibility, data analysis, and security. Samsung has a long track record in focusing on user experience. This should help it deliver high-quality and intuitive-to-use business solutions.
  • Samsung’s sector solutions are still rather basic. At this stage, Samsung is right to focus on a handful of offerings that it is familiar with and can deliver with high quality. However, Samsung will need to drill down deeper into business processes and business models to become successful in the emerging world of IoT longer term.
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Beyond Show-Me-The-Money: Tech Jobs Require More Than Tax Incentives

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

 

A Mission of MercyEconomic development means different things to different people. It depends on their context.  In my early work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa development meant bringing running water to villages.  My town was the new recipient of a public water system from the Danish Aid Agency.

But broadly speaking, economic development initiatives are efforts to attract investment to a region.  For most places, it’s not about running water but about creating jobs.  And, some of the best jobs out there – in demand and high paying – are in technology or in software development more specifically.  Software is the future.  And, many cities, states and countries want to get in on the act.  Yes, many of the software development jobs will go to product development shops but they need to hire from somewhere and government leadersare hoping to bring those jobs to their constituents.

A classic strategy for attracting investment to a region is to provide tax incentives.   We’ll give you a break on your corporate taxes for a period of time if you bring your new headquarters or factory or research facility to our region.  A quick search reveals many such programs. Apparently Texas is “wide open for business” and is willing to provide tax abatements and local incentives. 

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How Data Can Enable Business Disruption: Traditional Retailers Must Take Note Of The Sharing Economy

Dan Bieler

Recently, I talked with the CEO and founder of reBuy about the shifting dynamics in the retail sector as a result of digitalization. The use of data has evolved to the point where data has become the enterprise’s most critical business asset in the age of the customer. The business model of reBuy reCommerce — the leading German marketplace for secondhand goods — can help CIOs understand how the intelligent use of data can significantly disrupt a market such as retail.

The case of reBuy offers interesting insights into how the wider trends of the sharing and collaborative economy affect retail. If you can buy a good-quality used product with a guarantee for half the price, many people will not buy the product new. Many consumers increasingly accept product reuse and see it as an opportunity to obtain cheaper products and reduce their environmental footprint by avoiding the production of items that wouldn’t be used efficiently. The reBuy case study highlights that:

  • Business technology is taking the sharing economy into new realms. The reBuy business model demonstrates that consumers are starting to push the ideas of the sharing economy deep into the retail space. CIOs in all industries must prepare for the implications that this will have for their businesses.
  • Standalone products are at particular risk of sharing dynamics. The example of reBuy shows that businesses that sell plain products will come under even more pressure from shifting shopping behavior, where people are increasingly satisfied with buying used goods. These businesses need to add value to those products that are not available for secondhand purchase.
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Meet Our Speakers For Forrester's China Summit For Marketing Leaders: March 25 In Shanghai!

Bryan Wang

Disruption is increasingly commonplace for businesses today facing data breaches, innovative startups, or simply, more technology-empowered customers. The agenda for our third annual Summit for Marketing Leaders in Shanghai on March 25, 2015 therefore, is geared towards helping traditional enterprises better prepared for the age of the customer.  

Besides industry keynote speakers who will share their real world experiences, we have brought together a stellar lineup of Forrester analysts who will present an arsenal of frameworks, methodologies, tools and case studies to help organizations better connect, engage and deliver in the digital world. Based on decades of experience, hundreds of globally relevant research reports, Forrester analysts will share with you what works and what doesn’t in an era of digital disruption and transformation:

  • Navigate Digital Disruption, by Dane Anderson, Vice President, Research Director & Region Manager for Asia Pacific
  • Build An Ecosystem To Win In Your Customers' Mobile Moments, by Julie A. Ask, Vice President, Principal Analyst
  • Path To A Digital Business: Build An Architecture That Supports Your Customer-Centric Strategy, a panel discussion moderated by Charlie Dai, Principal Analyst
  • Build Contextual Marketing Engine To Propel Customers To Next Best Interaction, by Gene Cao, Senior Analyst
  • Select The Right Agency In The Digital Era, by Xiaofeng Wang, Senior Analyst
  • How To Build A Customer Experience Strategy, by Ryan Hart, Principal Analyst
  • Getting The Most Out Of Social Media, by Clement Teo, Senior Analyst
  • Why Measure Customer Experience, by Vikram Sehgal, VP, Research Director, Data
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