Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Speed, Mobility and Online Sales

I read an article in the WSJ (Wall Street Journal) today titled, Big-Box Stores Wrestle E-Commerce Gorilla.  Here is an interesting excerpt, "Amazon sells many of the same products as big-box stores but can undercut them on prices due to lower overhead.  It also uses computer algorithms to adjust prices in real time.  Traditional retailers often can't move as rapidly because online prices must match those in stores."  I would like to also point out that an increasing amount of Amazon's sales are coming from mobile devices.  That means Amazon stands to benefit from the show-rooming trend where customers search online for deals while in big-box stores.

Note the mention of "real-time" and "rapidly" in the excerpt.  Amazon is beating big-box retailers on speed, real-time analytics, business strategies and dynamic responses.  Yesterday, I wrote an article titled, Time-Space Compression and Enterprise Mobility.  In this article I discussed dromology, the science of speed, and chronostrategies, time based strategies.  Amazon is using dromology and chronostrategies to achieve a real competitive advantage.

The technology platform that Amazon uses was not mentioned in the article.  It was their business model and business strategies that were the focus.  Amazon's technology platform, however, enables Amazon to implement a business model, with a speed and expense advantage, that provides it with a competitive advantage.

I am going to hammer on this drum for a few days.  Technology supports Amazon's online, speed and low-cost business model.  The strategy, however, is not the technology but the business model supported by a speed and time advantage.

Enterprise mobility is a technology that should support your business strategy.  Is your strategy based on accomplishing speed, time, visibility and analytics advantages or a unique business model?  If so, enterprise mobility has the potential of making that possible.

The task of developing an enterprise-wide mobile strategy is always identified as one of the biggest challenges around mobility.  The reason, I believe, is that the business must recognize the potential impact of mobility, and then develop a business model that will take advantage of it.  How can the IT department develop an enterprise-wide mobility strategy without first having the business strategy and business model defined for the IT organization to support?
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
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Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.