Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Mobile Devices, Management Structures and SMAC, Part 4

Today Blackberry announced their new Blackberry 10 platform.  It sounds very interesting as it integrates social networking, enterprise security, dual personas, and more.  Here is an excerpt from an article written by Steve Costello, "At the heart of the new OS is the BlackBerry Hub, an integrated contacts and social networking app with support for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  Messages and updates can be read and posted without the need to leave BlackBerry Hub, and contact information can be viewed regardless of the app in which it is stored."

In a series of articles that I have written this week titled Mobile Devices, Management Structures and SMAC, I have shared my views that the SMAC stack (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) is a combination of technologies that as a combined foursome are transforming the world of business today.  You can download and read a great whitepaper on this subject here.  This announcement by Blackberry further solidifies my views.  Mobile and social supported by the cloud are embedded into the very operating system of the new Blackberrys. 

The article goes on to discuss support for dual personas in mobile devices, "It also supports the BlackBerry Balance feature, which enables users to switch between private and work profiles, with the ability to run both personal and work apps at the same time while keeping corporate data secure and encrypted."  I read corporate data to mean things like business analytics and other enterprise data and mobility apps.

Blackberry (they re-branded from Research in Motion/RIM to just Blackberry now), recognizes how important personal mobile devices are to people (think contacts, personal calendars, mobile wallets, photos, Facebook, mobile banking, etc.).  They seem to have embraced the BYOD trend and delivered a solution to address both personal and enterprise concerns.

In the book Grouped by Paul Adams, there is a very good line, "The web is being fundamentally rebuilt around people, because our online life is catching up with our offline life."  Blackberry seems to get this message and has delivered an operating system designed to accommodate it.

Read the rest of this series here - Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

The Pitfalls of Real-Time Mobile Commerce

Today I bought my wife an iPad mini.  It was to be a surprise.  On an alleged trip to the grocery store, I instead drove to the Apple store at the mall.  I ran into the store, gave the specifications that I wanted, the bearded Apple sales guy swiped my credit card with his wireless iTouch, and handed me the iPad mini.  I thanked him and ran out to my car with the present.

Moments later as I was leaving the mall parking lot my wife called.  She had just received an email, on her iPhone, with the receipt from the Apple store attached.  Hummm... I hadn't thought of that.  Seems we have a business account at the Apple store with her email address associated with it.

Real-time mobile commerce removes friction from the business process.  Sometimes, however, a little friction is good.

The geostrategists Paul Virilio studied Dromology - the science of speed.  He particularly studied the impact of speed on societies, processes, culture and people.  Today Apple's speed impacted me.









Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Mobile Devices, Management Structures and SMAC, Part 3

I just finished a book titled Social Business By Design by Dion Hinchcliffe and Peter Kim.  I recommend this book to anyone interested in the impact SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) is going to have on your industry, market and company.  Mobile devices have empowered social networking platforms for both consumers and the enterprise.  The SMAC stack is shaking up retailing, banking, healthcare, media, government, insurance, etc.  Industries that are primarily about information will experience the biggest initial impacts of this transformation.
Figure 1.

One of the insights I gained from this book is the impact social enterprise collaboration tools and internal social networking platforms can have on management structures.  In Figure 1, a typical hierarchical organizational chart is depicted.  Ideas and innovations that come from the people at the bottom of the chart, where most people are, have a great deal of trouble moving up and it can take a long time to move up.  At each level there is a gatekeeper.   This gatekeeper, has his/her own agendas, political considerations, priorities, limited time, poor memory, and communication challenges.  Many good ideas and innovations simply die with these gatekeepers.  The potential economic costs due to inefficient and slow communications in this model is enormous.  Just think about how many innovations, good ideas and problems could be quickly solved if the right people with the right knowledge could be instantly notified and involved.

In Figure 2 you have a simple illustration of an organizational chart when a social networking site, or social enterprise collaboration platform is involved.  Anyone can share an idea with the entire group.  The idea can be openly discussed, debated and voted on.  Innovations and ideas get their fair consideration.  In this model, the power in the organization is not dependent on the gatekeepers and titles people have had bestowed upon them, but with those that have the best ideas and answers.

The people with the best ideas and a willingness to share in social networking environments gain a reputation and credibility that raises their social power, or as one social media vendor calls it "Klout."  The power structure changes when information is in an open social democracy.

SAP's SCN (SAP Community Network) is an example of the power of social networking and collaboration tools in use.  Here is a description of its purpose and value as described in the book Social Business By Design, "The goal was to enlist customers and other interested parties to come together online and share ideas and solve problems. In this way SAP could engage and mobilize the people who were smartest about using its products in the field. Customers could then work together directly and exchange valuable knowledge."

Note that many problems SAP users have, can be more quickly and efficiently resolved by other users on the network.  This helps the end user, and reduces support costs on SAP.  It is a win-win.  The more time that goes by, the larger the database of answers and useful content grows which just increases its value for the entire community.

SAP is one of the first companies to identify specific ROIs from implementing social collaboration platforms.  Again from the book Social Business By Design, "SAP cites SCN for improving customer retention, creating efficiency, and driving top-line growth and revenue."

Let's now reflect on the role of mobile devices in this process.  In days gone by, the people with the power were those "in" the corporate office. Those actually physically in the building.  Slow and tightly controlled communications that followed the hierarchy of the organizational chart meant often the powerful needed to be in the room where data was available and decisions were made.  However, in today's mobile and social world, where the most knowledgable people, and those with the most "social" power and influence in the company are often traveling and spending their time with customers, prospects and partners, mobile access to important data, social networks and collaboration sites enable them to continue to provide value to the company and to the community from anywhere.

Mobile technologies are enabling the abstraction of power from a management hierarchy, or a building location to wherever there are the best ideas and people are willing to share them.  That means the corporate power structures have now been digitized, mobilized and socialized.  If you want to be somebody in the company, you will need to be somebody on the social networks.

Enterprise mobile vendors must now add to their portfolio's tools and APIs that will enable them to connect with and support social enterprise collaboration and social networking sites.  They must think beyond just delivering business process specific mobile apps, and now integrate with the larger social enterprise collaboration strategy and conversation happening in companies.

Read Part 1 of this series here.
Read Part 2 of this series here.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Mobile Devices, Management Structures and SMAC, Part 2

Last week a gentleman called asking my advice on mobile CRMs.  We discussed the size of his company and the specifics of his needs, but then he said something that was profound.  He said, "I don't think I need to collect and update a lot of contact information in the CRM these days, because it is all available online on social networking sites."  It is true!  I can track down just about anyone in seconds on my iPhone.

Today, if someone gets a promotion or changes job status, we can see that instantly on LinkedIn.  We can stay connected no matter if his work phone number and email changes.  The social and mobile CRM is upon us.

I was reading an Aberdeen report this week on SoMoCo (social, mobile, cloud) trends.  Here are the reasons companies said they are embracing the social CRM in particular:
  • Converse with customers on channels preferred by them (66%)
  • Provide information to groups of customers (54%)
  • Monitor customer sentiment (47%)
  • Collect customer feedback without solicitation (31%)
In addition, 66% of companies surveyed said they are using social channels to collaborate internally on customer issues.  My next article will explore how using social collaboration platforms and mobile devices used internally are changing the nature of management.

Also, I just finished a book entitled Social Business By Design that was quite enlightening.  I will be discussing this book and how it relates to mobility later in the week.

Read Part 1 of this Series here.


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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mobile Devices, Management Structures and SMAC, Part 1

One of the best whitepapers I have read in a long time is, Don't Get SMACked - How Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud are Reshaping the Enterprise.  What I particularly like about this paper is its courage in predicting the future and exposing trends that most people may not yet be tracking.  I am a mobile guy, and mobility is deeply integrated into all aspects of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud).  Without mobility, many of the trends identified in this paper simply would not be happening.

Here is an excerpt, "The vast majority of Global 2000 companies currently manage through a command-and-control hierarchy.  However, millenials prefer to work in heterarchies instead of hierarchies.  What is a heterarch or "wirearchy" as it is also called? It is a dynamic network of connected nodes (most often connected via mobile devices) without predefined priorities or ranks." ~ Don't Get SMACked, Future of Work, Cognizant, November 2012

If you work in a big company and are in a hurry to find an answer, would you rather contact a person with the right title, or a person with the right answer?  Most of us would choose, "The person with the right answer!" Wouldn't you?

The following excerpt discusses power in terms of where the most emails are sent, not just where the titles lie, "In these networks [wirearchies], status is earned through knowledge and a willingness to share... the organizational chart may represent bestowed power, while the e-mail chart may represent earned power."  What does this mean?  It means the real powers in an organization are with those who know things and are willing to share them, not just the people with the titles.

SMAC trends are changing the very manner in which organizations operate.  SMAC is not only shaking up management structures and the way companies operate, but also countries and world politics.  Yikes!  I for one, as a political science major in college, find the SMAC trend to be a fascinating one to watch evolve.

I recommend companies developing an enterprise mobility strategy today, spend some serious time understanding the SMAC trend and how the mobility platforms being considered can help your organization support and evolve with this trend.

Read Part 2 in this series here.
Read Part 3 in this series here.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Mobility, Location, Speed and Refugees

In today's world of fast paced project management, simply knowing a location on a map where something is supposed to happen is not good enough - we need to know a location-in-time, what is happening there (status), and who or what (resources) are present there and how this information is going to impact future plans.  This information is particularly important when you are managing projects, with time constraints, and organizing events and meetings across a wide geographical area.

The key planning concept here is - location at a point-in-time.  If I ask, where was the bus located on the route? You would likely respond, "At what time?"  The same response could be used for the question, "Where will the bus be?"  Time and location are necessary for planning current and future events and activities.

This week my family is experiencing and struggling with location and time.  Several families from our church have adopted a refugee family from the Congo and are helping them to survive, integrate, adapt and ultimately thrive in their new country.  The family consists of a mother and three children.  We are learning so much!

The mother doesn't speak English, doesn't have work, doesn't have a home, doesn't have money, doesn't have an income, doesn't have winter clothes, doesn't own a watch, doesn't have a working mobile phone, doesn't have a car (Boise, Idaho has limited public transportation) and has kids in school. The family has a busy schedule of appointments with social services, English classes, buses, school schedules and medical appointments.  Wow!  It can at times seem overwhelming.  There are many dozens of appointments all at different times and locations.

Yesterday, one of our support team went to pick up the refugee mother for an appointment and she could not be located.  Yikes!  There were appointments to keep, language classes to attend, school buses to catch and kids to track.  We ultimately found her and got the day back on track, but I was again reminded of how important it is to have mobile communications and location knowledge.  It is very difficult to keep things organized and on schedule without these.

Mobile technologies, location information and social collaboration platforms can provide enormous productivity gains and an increased speed of work or operational tempo.  Time, status and location data, and the ability to share this knowledge, enables one to accomplish a great deal more in a given time.

To appreciate the full value of these solutions, just try to track and monitor a refugee family with three children, on different school schedules, no permanent home, and dozens of weekly meetings all across the city, while not leaving them stranded and freezing to death in zero degree (F) Boise, Idaho weather.

Our team has learned and experienced much over the past few weeks and we are better for it.  With the constant use of mobile communications, DropBox and collaboration websites, plus a lot of love and commitment, our team has managed to keep them alive, so far.

Yesterday I thought to myself, I should buy the refugee mother a mobile phone (iPhone or Android) with Google Latitude.  That way she could download Swahili translation software, keep a calendar, have a clock with an alarm, voice or text us, email, see a map, view the bus schedule, FaceTime, conduct conference calls with a translator, Skype with her friends overseas, plus we could know her location.

Then I woke up from my fantasy.  That would probably be too much in the beginning.  Many companies just getting involved in mobile technologies would also be over their heads if they tried to implement too much all at once.  It is a learning process.

We decided to start with a basic mobile phone with text messaging, but I still dream and look forward to introducing more mobile technologies into this effort.  It has reminded me of how valuable mobile devices and mobile apps, and the information received as a result of them, are to all of us.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
ReadThe Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Soti, Enterprise Mobility and the Changing World of MDM

I had the opportunity to be briefed by the MDM  (mobile device management) vendor Soti a couple of weeks ago.  The briefing gave me a glimpse into the changes happening in this space.  In days gone by when the mobility projects I was involved in were all about rugged handhelds and bar code scanners, MDM vendors like Soti were critical, not so much for mobile security, but for their ability to help debug mobile device problems in the field.

In 2006 nearly all enterprise mobility apps were custom.  Every app deployment was complex and time consuming.  MDM vendors like Soti provided the remote access and monitoring of mobile devices that app developers needed to understand bugs.  Mobile devices had so little memory that running out of memory was a common problem.  In order to solve this problem, either the user would need to bring in the device, or software from companies like Soti would allow you to remotely access, control and debug the device.  This enabled the helpdesk to discover and resolve problems while leaving the device to be productive in the field - a useful and cost effective solution.

When your custom mobile app was the only app on the device, and there were only a few hundred users, there were much fewer security concerns.  Today security is a huge concern, but MDM vendors have stretched out way beyond just mobile security.  Here are some of the areas that Soti just announced:
  • Web Filtering
  • Real-Time Antivirus/Malware Protection
  • Mobile Help Desk Suite
  • Telecom Expense Management
  • Secure Content Library
In this article I use the common acronym MDM, but most vendors in this space have moved beyond this term.  Soti today uses the term Enterprise Mobility Management to cover the full range of capabilities.

Another interesting development is that MDM or EMM is now for more than just security conscience companies.  Many of Soti's deployments these days involve mobile devices in schools.  You can understand the connection to web filtering and real-time anti-virus and malware protection given this environment.

Mobile security concerns today have evolved beyond just smartphones.  Vehicles, equipment, smart homes and appliances all have the ability to wirelessly communicate today.  It will be interesting to continue to watch how this industry evolves.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Business Transformation Involving Mobile and Social Technologies


Over the last few weeks I had a chance to read a number of interesting books and articles on transformative trends and technologies and wanted to share some of my notes.  I hope you find them useful and interesting as well.

Mobile and Social Transforming Power Structures

By 2010, 70 percent of all information generated every year in the world came from e-mails, online videos, and the World Wide Web. This dramatic change in the linked technologies of computing and communications is changing the nature of government and accelerating a diffusion of power.  ~ The Future of Power by Joseph Nye

World politics is no longer the sole province of governments thanks to social media and mobile technologies.

The real challenge is acting strategically enough to matter. ~ Social Business By Design

As Facebook and Twitter become as central to workplace conversation as the company cafeteria, federal regulators are ordering employers to scale back policies that limit what workers can say online.

Media Transformation Caused by the Internet and Mobility

The Financial Times said it would try to eliminate 35 editorial jobs through voluntary means and add ten jobs as part of its focus on "digital" and a move away from news to "a networked business."  Lionel Barber, Editor of the Financial Times, wrote that a trip to Silicon Valley in September had "confirmed the speed of change" and added, “We must also recognize that the Internet offers new avenues and platforms for the richer delivery and sharing of information.”

More from ZDNET, “Google's content production costs are small and so are its distribution costs, which means it can sell advertising at very low rates and still make large profits.  The FT, or any type of traditional media organization, cannot compete against a Silicon Valley media company that can thrive on such low advertising rates.”

A new study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, found that in the past 12 months, 13 percent of survey participants visited a library website using a smartphone or tablet.  The overall number of library users has shrunk.

Transforming IT Infrastructures and the Cloud

In a recent survey of 2,000 CIOs, a Gartner report revealed that the execs' top tech priorities for 2013 include cloud computing in general, as well as its specific types: software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and platform as a service (PaaS).

Here are comScore’s Top 10 Burning Digital Issues for 2013:
  1. Big Date
  2.  e-Commerce
  3. Social Media
  4. Shift of Ad Spending to Digital
  5. Audience Targeting vs. Media Location
  6. Measuring Digital Media Campaigns
  7. Growth of Smartphones and Tablets
  8. Multi-Platform Media Planning and Analysis
  9. Real-Time Marketing Insights
  10. Privacy
http://www.comscore.com/Insights/Blog/The_Top_Ten_Burning_Issues_in_Digital
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mobile and Social Businesses are Changing Management

In the picture to the right, would it really matter if you took one small step to the left or right, or even one step back?  Probably not.  You are squashed either way.  I found this quote in the book Social Business by Design, "The real challenge is acting strategically enough to matter." ~ Dion Hinchcliffe and Peter Kim.

That quote resonates with me.  I don't think many companies have yet to understand the enormity of change happening in our society right now.  Aberdeen Group calls it SoMoCo (social, mobile, cloud), Gartner calls it the "Nexus of Forces" (social, mobile, information and cloud), Cognizant calls it SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud).  The combination of these forces, all on your smartphone and tablet, are transforming entire industries and markets.

I speak with companies on a regularly basis that have mobility strategies that look like this:
  • Pilot mobile CRM apps
  • Pilot mobile HR apps
  • Pilot mobile BI reports for managers
The question I would ask again is: "Are these apps strategic enough to matter, and are you deploying at a fast enough pace to matter?"  

The pace of change is happening many times faster than most budget cycles and three-year plans support.  Businesses must recognize the pace of change, so they can know the pace they must respond.  The following quote I found in an article titled, Can Social Media Sell Soap? by Stephen Baker, "The impact of new technologies is invariably misjudeged because we measure the future with yardsticks from the past."

What does this quote mean to you?  To me it means we are measuring mobile ROIs with yardsticks, when we should be measuring in miles.  SMAC must be recognized for the importance and revolution it is.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Role of a Mobile Strategist

Tomorrow, Wednesday January 16 at 2 PM EST, I will be discussing "9 Reasons Every Business Needs a Mobile Strategist" on a live webinar with Jim Somers, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, with Antenna Software.  This is an interesting topic to me as nearly every executive team I meet is struggling with the development of a mobile strategy.

I think the reason developing a mobile strategy is so difficult may be related to this excerpt I came across recently in the book Social Business By Design, "The real challenge is to act strategically enough to matter."  Mobility matters, it really, really matters and this means uncomfortable change.  Let's think about this excerpt together, "The real challenge is to act strategically enough to matter."  What does that mean to you?  I think about companies just slowly dipping their toe in the water of mobility and supporting simple HR apps on smartphones.  Is that strategic enough to matter?

In the NFL (national football league) and in college football there is an evolving trend to use a different offensive strategy that involves playing the game at a much quicker pace than is generally played.  This strategy also involves using players with different body types, new formations and plays, and using players with more endurance than is typical.  It is a different way of playing the game and it has proven quite successful.

The football teams that succeed with this new strategy have not just changed one player, or one play, or one formation.  They have developed a whole new philosophy that impacts every part of the organization and strategy from recruiting, to teaching, to workouts, practices, and the way the game is managed and played.  Companies that act "strategically enough to matter" will embrace change in much the same way.  They will recognize how strategically important mobility is and will review all aspects of their business to understand what needs to change to truly matter.

Join us on the webinar - register here.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mobile Strategies - Time, Place and Waste


Wasted Food
The economist, philosopher and theorist of markets Friedrich Hayek (1899-1992) wrote, "The knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place - To know of and put to use a machine not fully employed, or somebody's skill which could be better utilized, or to be aware of a surplus stock which can be drawn upon during an interruption of supplies, is socially quite as useful as the knowledge of better alternative techniques."

I love the way Hayek describes the value related to "the knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place," as being "socially useful."  It is also very useful for businesses and can deliver competitive advantages!  I, of course, read this as a call for mobile strategies, mobile technologies and location-based services to support the real-time exchange of information, even though Hayek may not have lived long enough to have used them himself.

Hayek goes on to write, "And the shipper who earns his living from using otherwise empty or half-filled journeys of tramp-steamers, or the estate agent whose whole knowledge is almost exclusively one of temporary opportunities, or the arbitrageur who gains from local differences of commodity prices, are all performing eminently useful functions based on special knowledge of circumstances of the fleeting moment not known to others."  

If you have ever wondered as to the competitive advantages available to your company by implementing real-time mobile communications and business analytics, this is it.  I found it profound that Hayek described the ability to optimize productivity and improve efficiencies as being as socially useful as new innovations and inventions.  Hayek was talking about sustainability and environmentally friendly before we knew the terms.

Today I read a CNN article titled World Wastes Half of Its Food, Study Finds.  The article explains where food is wasted."  This, at a high level, is due to the following:
  • production inefficiencies in developing countries
  • market and consumer waste in more advanced societies
The article referenced a report by the British-based independent Institution of Mechanical Engineers.  They claimed about 4.4 billion tons of food is produced annually and roughly half of it is never eaten."

Why is this food never eaten?
  • inefficient harvesting
  • storage problems
  • transportation problems
  • wasted by markets or consumers
I see an application of the words of Hayek, "The knowledge of the particular circumstances of time and place - To know of surplus stock which can be drawn upon... is socially quite as useful as the knowledge of better alternative techniques."  It's time we look at using mobile strategies and solutions, real-time business intelligence and analytics to reduce waste and improve sustainability.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Aberdeen Group, SAP and Mobile, Social and Cloud

"Over the previous 12-24 months the silos of social, mobile and cloud gradually began to overlap and converge with the use of cloud-enabled social technologies, or cloud-based mobility allowing enterprise workers to connect with one another across secure networks via their mobile devices." ~ Service Organizations and SoMoClo report, Aberdeen Group

Over the past 12 weeks I have met with nearly 20 large companies across Asia, North America and Europe on the subject of mobile strategies.  In all cases social and analytics were also brought into the discussion.  I agree with Aberdeen Group's findings and their belief that SoMoClo (social, mobile and cloud) are converging technologies.  Here is another excerpt from Aberdeen Group's report, "the three disruptive technologies [social, mobile, cloud] act as a unified construct: cloud is the core, mobility its edge, and social the connection through the cloud between mobile endpoints."

Gartner expands this notion by adding a fourth element, social, mobile, information and cloud to the mix.  They call these four converging technologies, "The Nexus of Forces."  My job title at Cognizant is Head Analyst for SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud).  The same four elements, but with a catchier acronym.  I can talk SMAC all day long.

The one additional element to all these acronyms that seems to be missing though is IoT (the Internet of Things or M2M).  This is an important emerging area of focus.  SAP now has dedicated executives and departments focused on M2M (machine-to-machine) interfaces to SAP, and analysts are predicting there will be 25-50 billion connected devices by 2025.  SAP partners with companies like ILS Technology to be the platform and interface between connected devices and SAP solutions.

These connected devices have cameras, barcode scanners, RFID scanners, accelerometers and an endless number of other sensors on them.  These sensors are collecting data in real-time and wirelessly sending it to a central service for analysis.  This massive amount of new data, plus the ability to operate machines remotely from great distances [think UAVs/Drones for example] will soon change the way many businesses operate and will provide many areas of competitive advantages.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Twitter, Smartphones, TV and Real-Time Feedback

There was an interesting article by John Letzing in the The Wall Street Journal on December 18, 2012, titled Twitter Creates New TV Metric.  It was about a new partnership between Twitter and the TV ratings giant Nielsen Co.  Apparently, Twitter becomes very active around different TV shows and Nielsen wants to be able to monitor and report on this activity.

Letzing writes that the joint service called, Nielsen Twitter TV Rating, will develop a metric based on Twitter activity.  These days, TV viewers increasingly have one hand on the remote and the other on their smartphone tweeting.  The new service will gauge "the reach of the TV conversation on Twitter," and provide "TV networks and advertisers the real-time metrics required to understand TV audience social activity."

This is a fascinating development to me.  It is a real-time-virtual-meets-human-meets-virtual-meets-bigdata (#VMHMVMBD) solution.  My apologies for the acronym.  It just seemed like a requirement.  This kind of real-time feedback has the potential to significantly impact broadcasters, TV production companies and the advertising industry.  I can imagine companies wanting to get immediate viewer feedback on new ad campaigns before making long term commitments.  I can see completely new business models erupting based on real-time tweets.  I can see companies connecting ad agency fees and contractual terms to the real-time social sentiment.

This partnership demonstrates more time-space compression.  There is less time between an event and event feedback.  Less time between feedback and adjustments or changes.  Viewers opinions from across a wide geographical landscape are immediately known.

The increasing pace of business introduced by social, mobile, analytics and cloud solutions will be a very interesting development in 2013.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Measuring the Value of Social and Mobile Solutions in the Enterprise


"The impact of new technologies is invariably misjudged because we measure the future with yardsticks from the past."  Stephen Baker

How does one measure the value of mobilizing and socializing an enterprise?  In the book Social Business by Design: Transformative Social Media Strategies, written by Dion Hinchcliffe and Peter Kim, they report that in 2010, McKinsey and Company published survey results of companies engaged in social business activities that  showed firms engaged systematically in social business processes had 24 percent higher revenue.  Frost and Sullivan found similar results showing companies that deployed social tools saw improved performance in innovation (68 percent versus 39 percent that didn’t deploy), sales growth (76 percent versus 50 percent that didn’t deploy), and profit growth (71 percent versus 45 percent that didn’t deploy).  From those results it appears something good happens to companies when they embrace the social business concept.  I think it is too early to say exactly how these improvements happened, but at this stage it is simply important to recognize the correlation.

Measuring the ROIs for mobile and social is difficult.  We know the exercise of determining an ROI is useful in order to set priorities, but most of us, down deep know these innovations are important and necessary even if we cannot exactly identify the ROI.  They have significantly changed the way we all communicate in our personal lives, and they are guaranteed to change the way we communicate in our work lives as well.  These innovations are changing the very way business is done.   At the least we should be studying these trends and engaging in pilot projects.

Some of the most significant changes social and mobile technologies are making in the enterprise today are based on:
  • faster communications
  • more open exchanges of ideas
  • reduced communication channel hierarchies that prevent open communication
  • communication accountability - names are associated with ideas
  • faster identification of problems
  • knowledge exchange
  • more collaborative decision-making
  • shared situational awareness
  • data-driven decision-making
What is the value of having enterprise-wide situational awareness?  What is the value of being able to see an entire project or account discussion in one collaboration site?  What is the value of eliminating artificial barriers to ideas and innovations?  It is a whole new way of doing things and we may have to develop new yardsticks for measuring these capabilities.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for SMAC, Cognizant
Read The Future of Work
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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.