Monday, April 29, 2013

When IT is Destroying Your Company's Future

A long time ago, before gray hairs appeared on my head, I was an IT manager.  My title was B2B E-Commerce Manager for a computer manufacturer.  I remember sitting in long meetings discussing how successful Dell Computer was with their just in time manufacturing and just in time supply chains.  I also remember our business representatives asking IT if they could develop systems that would allow us to operate in a similar supply chain model and the answers seemed always to be, "NO!"  Our IT systems were not set-up to support a real-time environment.

Of course the business would then say this must change if we are going to be competitive, and the IT would say then give us the budget to change.  Many years after I had moved on, the computer manufacture closed.  This manufacturer had never been able to gain freedom from their business-limiting legacy IT environments.

I was in England and Scotland last week teaching SMAC strategies (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) to large companies.  In a number of these sessions, I heard echoes from my days at the computer manufacturer, "Our current IT systems are not set-up to support those kinds of things."  They were not arguing the need for business and IT transformation, they were simply sharing the reality of their current IT architecture.

When working with companies on enterprise mobile strategies, the ability to support a real-time environment is often crucial to optimizing mobile apps and the ROI.  I have personally worked with many large utility companies that wanted to support real-time mobile solutions for their field services technicians, but the biggest challenges were trying to get their back-end legacy systems to work in a real-time environment.  Some simply couldn't make that change, and they stayed with a batch service ticket model and gave-up the attempt to fully optimize their systems.

I came across this excerpt from the article Four Reasons Your SMAC Initiatives May Underperform, "The cost to support and maintain existing IT systems is eroding companies’ ability to fund new investments in social, mobile, analytics and cloud IT initiatives (SMAC). Out of the $3.8 trillion expected in worldwide IT spending in 2013, NPI estimates there will be $760 billion in unnecessary overspending in non-value creation areas such as maintenance and support, over-subscription, license program misalignment, and sub-optimal contract negotiation and management."

That is a problem.  I have also often read that 80 percent of an IT budget goes to support legacy IT environments, leaving only 20 percent of the IT budget left for strategic initiatives.  If this is true (it was when I worked at the computer manufacturer), then our past may be preventing us from achieving our goals in the future.  In order to break this cycle, often something transformational must happen.  Something beyond the normal iterative improvements.  This takes courage.

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 25, 2013

Social Analytics for Your Enterprise with Google+ and Ripples - Guest Expert Post


I have Google's Blogger app on my iPhone and iPad mini.  I can write articles for publication from anywhere with an Internet connection, but are they read, are they shared?  That is our subject for today.

One of the biggest growth areas involving mobility is mobile marketing.  If your company's target customers are researching products, comparing products and buying products on mobile devices then the following information about Google+ and Ripples may be of interest to you as it is to me.  I have invited social media expert Allison Rice to share her expertise in this area with us.

Question: How do you know the number of people paying attention to your company's messages or articles on social media?

If you use Facebook, as more than 700 million active users do (most on mobile devices), then you click on your business page's Insights tab and read through about four pages of fairly detailed graphs and statistics. If you're on Pinterest, you've probably already checked out their new analytics page that launched in March, while Twitter users likely get their stats from Twitter Web Analytics.

Most social media sites have some form of analytics page that goes into varying degrees of detail about your social reach. Facebook has one of the more detailed, with information down to what region most of your followers are from and how many of your first time visitors come back for a second, third or even twentieth look at your page.

But sometimes all you want to know is your overall impact. How many people did you reach with a particular post? Did those people care enough about your post to share it with others? Are you really reaching new people or are you just wasting time on a particular social media campaign?

It was just this kind of thinking that led the developers of Google+ to create a unique analytics feature called Ripples. In one glance, business owners can see what, if any, impact an individual post has had in their social community and how it reached.

Making Ripples
Click to Enlarge

One of the neat things about Ripples is that you can view the Ripples of any public post, not just your own. Take, for example, a link that Geekless Tech writer Steven Hughes posted about social media lessons for small businesses on April 19, 2013.  Within four hours it received 133 "+1" or likes and 60 shares. Since it's a public post, we can view the post's Ripples by clicking in the upper right hand corner and selecting "view Ripple."  The Ripple graph that appears shows that, within those four hours, the following things occurred:

The article was reposted 44 times
The article was seen and posted independently by 26 Google+ users, represented by the small, external circles
Harold Gardener and Rex Dow are important influencers as their shares were re-shared by one and two more users, respectively.

Below the larger Ripple graph is a chart that allows you to view the spread of the post as it occurred in real-time. This allows you to see when the most people reposted it, thereby giving you a good estimate on the best time to post in the future for the most reach.

Below that are three short columns. One lists, by name, your highest influencers -- in this case Harold Gardener and Rex Dow. The second shows the frequency of shares per hour, as well as the average chain length, and the third shows the primary language of those sharing the post.

Finally, by hovering over each sharer's name, you can see what they posted along with the re-post, any hash tags they might have included in their post, and their profile image. A running stream of real-time comments and shares on the post also appears to the right of the Ripple with the commenter's image and time of action.

So with essentially one chart, you learn not only how much your post has spread over a given period of time, you also find out:
The best times to post to reach the most people
Which influencers you should appeal to in order to reach more people
How fast your post spread and who it appeals to
What people are saying about it
The virality of your post
What region of the world your post appealed to most

With so much detail in just one glance, enterprises are quickly realizing the value of a Google+ page for their business. Apart from the Ripples aspect, Google+ pages are optimized for higher ranking in search results and the "personal" results aspect of Google searches means that your business is more likely to show up in searches conducted by people in your area, as well as in recommendations within Google+.

Even though some have marked Google+ as a "ghost town," recent surveys show it as having the second highest active user level of social media sites, ranking just under Facebook. And if the ease of use and the ability to see the results of your social media campaigns in quick, easy-to-understand analytics, the simple fact that your business is instantly more visible should encourage you enough to give Google+ a shot.

What aspects of social media analytics have you found to be the most helpful? Which have been the most confusing? What do you like/dislike about Google+ and Google+ Ripples?

Allison Rice is the Marketing Director for Amsterdam Printing, a leading provider of custom promotional products to grow your business and thank customers. Allison regularly contributes to the Promo & Marketing Wall blog.


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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 23, 2013

Crowdsourcing, Collaboration and Enterprise Mobility

I spent time with a company recently that identified one of their strategic initiatives for 2013 as being crowdsourcing.  Are you familiar with the term?  Here is Wikipedia's definition, "Crowdsourcing is the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people."

This company, we'll call ACME Inc., is purposely asking their employees to contribute ideas which are then reviewed, voted on, and the winners identified and rewarded.  I love it!  Now to be sure this is all very new to ACME Inc., but I applaud their thinking!  If employees know their ideas can make a difference and be recognized, and that actual thinking will be rewarded, then the sky is the limit on innovative thinking within a company!  All too often employees think only certain bestowed titles and roles in the company are paid to think, while the rest of the brain power in the company is put on sleep mode.

I am here to tell you - in the coming months, quarters and years, it's going to take all the brain power a company can muster to stay in front of the millions of competing digital disruptors as author James McQuivey calls them in his book Digital Disruption - read the WSJ review here.

With cloud based SaaS (software as a service) solutions available today, even the smallest companies can use world class CRMs, ERPs, SCMs, workforce management systems, finance and payroll systems on a monthly subscription basis.  This means your competition can appear overnight, unencumbered by your overhead, legacy IT systems, debt load, unionized workforce and benefit burdens.  If your company is going to be competitive in the market of the future, things need to change.

I also spent time with another company this month that had completed a POC (proof of concept) with a social collaboration platform.  I asked how the POC went.  The answer - not much happened.  There were no earth shaking discoveries or results to report.  Upon further questioning, the person shared that the social collaboration platform did not include a mobile app.  STOP the PRESS!  No mobile app?  Can you imagine Facebook or Twitter with no mobile app?  They wouldn't have anywhere close to the number of users as they do today.

Very few social networking users wait until they sit down and boot-up the desktop or laptop to become social.  Social is about being connected anywhere and everywhere.  You don't want to wait until later to update people and share your thoughts and ideas.  Social is all about immediacy, and immediacy is all about mobile.
*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 22, 2013

Google Enterprise, Collaboration and Enterprise Mobility

I would invite anyone in an IT department buried in demand for mobile apps to first take a look at Google Enterprise http://www.google.com/enterprise/, before trying to develop everything yourself.  There are many mobile capabilities already available in the Google world which are free to individuals and available free or on a subscription basis for companies.  Here are a few of them:
  • Google Drive - Keep all your files, documents, spreadsheets, videos, photos, everything digital in a free secure cloud.  Access from any mobile or desktop device. http://youtu.be/wKJ9KzGQq0w 
  • Google+ - Strives to make sharing online, like sharing in person.  We at Cognizant have been using Google+ for many of our strategy groups and discussions.  I love it.  I use it for both work and personal.  I have specific "Circles" and "Communities" for work and personal.
  • Google Hangouts - This is a very powerful solution that let's you video chat with your team no matter where in the world they are located.  Share documents, videos, screens, presentations all while in a free Hangout.   Learn more about them here: http://www.youtube.com/embed/3pmSWh2BQco?cc_load_policy=0&hl=en&cc_lang_pref=en&autoplay=1
  • Google Hangouts On Air - Now broadcast your Hangouts -  I just recorded my first Google Hangout discussion with a group of mobility experts.  You can see it here http://youtu.be/GID7nRwhIIo, however, now you can broadcast Google Hangouts live through YouTube.  I will try that next.
  • Google Apps - I have also been doing a lot of work lately in Google Apps.  I have been collaborating with others on documents, spreadsheets and presentations through Google Apps.  Here is what I am most impressed by - you can collaborate on the same document at the same time and see exactly who is editing, and what they are editing in real-time.  Plus, you can start a Google Hangout inside a document so you can video chat with those that are editing.  See an example here - http://www.google.com/enterprise/solutions.html
  • Enterprise Controls - Google is rapidly adding enterprise controls to all of their solutions.  These enable you to integrate with enterprise LDAP (directories) and other things and control who is viewing particular documents and who is joining or able to join different "Circles" in Google Plus.  If you haven't read up on these enterprise controls in a while, it might be good to read this blog from Google - http://googleenterprise.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/bringing-google-to-work.html.
I am a mobility analyst among other things, so I am always looking at these apps with enterprise mobility in mind.  All of the solutions and features mentioned above are already mobile enabled.  They already run on my iPhone, MacBook Pro and iPad mini.  I don't have to build any apps to get all of these enterprise social and mobile capabilities!

I am also a SMAC Analyst (social, mobile, analytics and cloud), so when I wear that hat, I am interested in how these Google Enterprise solutions are all deeply social and collaboration enabled, mobile, include analytics and all reside in the cloud.

Many companies are years behind and slow to support emerging technologies like mobility, cloud and the social business technologies.  They assume they have to build everything or pay millions of dollars to get these features.  You don't.  They are available today and much of it is free.

In addition, most companies are made up of many small departments, committees, projects and groups.  These small organizations are often dynamic, shifting and often short-term.  They never get a budget to support their collaboration efforts and mobility needs.  Google Enterprise can go a long way toward supporting these kinds of efforts.  Just saying...
*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Series: Sahara Alexis, Part 4

In this short video interview, I ask Cognizant's Head of Advisory Services for Mobility, Sahara Alexis here predictions for enterprise mobility in 2013.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/Igx9M-xaVPY


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 17, 2013

Google Enterprise, Mobility and Business Transformation at Woolworths

In my research on companies that are transforming themselves by adopting an integrated SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) strategy, I came across a recent blog article by the CIO of Woolworths Limited, Dan Beecham.  I will share some excerpts from it here.

Woolworths is an Australian company that was founded in 1924 in Sydney. Today Woolworths has more than 3,000 stores across Australia and New Zealand that span food, liquor, petrol, general merchandise, home improvement and hotels.  Last fall I had the honor of being invited to teach a SMAC strategy session for Woolworths at their beautiful campus outside of Sydney.

This is what Beecham said about their strategy, “We’ve decided to move to Google Apps and Chrome. Changing to a cloud-based suite of tools is a key part of our strategy to use technology to promote greater collaboration, productivity and effectiveness.”

Collaboration is one of those themes that I have been hearing a lot about recently from CIOs.  Companies are recognizing they need to listen more to their frontline employees, remote and mobile workers and customers.  Frontline employees and customers are the closest people to the real-world.  If you are trying to be agile, nimble and responsive to changing markets and consumer behaviors, then you had better be listening to the feedback in these areas.

In today’s world speed is everything.  Knowing when new trends are emerging, new markets are forming and where there are problems in the supply chain or in customer service is crucial.  You also need to know the sentiment of your employees and customers if you want to respond quickly.  Enterprise collaboration and social media listening and engagement are absolutely required.

Here is more from Beecham, “Over the next 12 months we will be rolling out Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Talk to the 26,000 staff in our national and state offices. This is the first phase of what we hope will be a company-wide transformation of our workplace technology.”

Transformation is happening in the retail space.  It is coming like a tsunami whether you want it to or not.  It will not wait for the next budget cycle or the completion of your three-year plan.

Beecham continues, “The move to Google Apps and Chrome builds on the successful roll out of Gmail and our ‘Tap to Support’ App on iPads to Woolworths supermarket store managers last year. The custom-made application, built on Google App Engine, helps our managers stay on the shop floor and focused on customers by allowing them to log a support ticket with our national support office in just one click rather than being tied to a PC in the back office.”

This is an excellent example of how enterprise mobile apps can change the way business is done.  Store managers are untethered from their offices and desktop computers and can now manage their store and provide better customer service from the frontlines in retail, which is with the customers.

In this next excerpt Beecham lists the benefits of working collaboratively, using cloud-based apps and from any mobile device.  “Soon more of our staff will be able to experience the productive and collaborative benefits of being able to work from any device, anywhere. Geographically dispersed teams, like our merchandising or state based workers, will be able to use Docs to collaborate in real-time.”

In my conversations with CIOs, we are no longer simply talking about developing clever mobile apps to help with expense reports, time sheets and work orders.  Today, we are talking about innovation, business transformation, new business processes enabled my mobility and collaboration.

To read the complete blog article from Dan Beecham click here - http://googleenterprise.blogspot.com/2013/04/report-from-down-under-woolworths-goes.html


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 16, 2013

Google Enterprise Shows Us SMAC in the Real World

For readers not yet familiar with the acronym SMAC, it represents social, mobile, analytics and cloud.  In this short video, Google demonstrates, through Google Enterprise, how companies can implement a SMAC strategy to improve the following:
  • Improve meetings and collaboration
  • Work better with mobile and remote team members
  • Speed up decision making
  • Improve company meetings
  • Better manage projects and share documents, presentations and spreadsheets
  • Secure data
  • Easily train new employees
  • Rapidly create new collaboration sites for new projects and initiatives
  • Reduce IT costs
  • Stay focused on your core business
  • Better support for mobile workers
  • Access data and content on any internet connected mobile device
  • More...
Video Link: http://youtu.be/vNJUL92y9wo



*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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 Expert Video Series: Sahara Alexis, Part 3

In this short video interview, I ask Cognizant's Head of Advisory Services for Mobility, Sahara Alexis, her opinions on BYOD, MDM, MAM and other strange acronyms related to enterprise mobility.  Grab some popcorn!

Video Link:  http://youtu.be/f60JuVWwm3A

Watch Part 1 - http://youtu.be/8vp1fhCBPyI
Watch Part 2 - http://youtu.be/QKyRDjYh64k


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 15, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Series: Jeff Wallace Part 4

In this short video interview with Cognizant's Mobile Practice Lead, Jeff Wallace, we discuss the future of enterprise mobility, mobile strategies and the role of the cloud in enterprise mobility.  Grab some popcorn!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/dfZl7TWRYIc

Watch Part 1 - http://youtu.be/RaIsHhED1O4
Watch Part 2 - http://youtu.be/UrqiiUSuKeM
Watch Part 3 - http://youtu.be/ljeI4ahZBtw


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 11, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Series: Jeff Wallace Part 3

In this short video, recorded last week in San Ramon, CA, I ask Cognizant's Mobility Practice Leader, Jeff Wallace about his thoughts and opinions on the use of MEAPs (mobile enterprise application platforms) and MADPs (mobile application development platforms), their value and purpose.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/ljeI4ahZBtw

If you missed Parts 1 and/or 2 of this interview, you can watch them here:


*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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 Expert Video Series: Sahara Alexis, Part 2

In this short video I ask Sahara Alexis, Cognizant's Head of Advisory Services for Mobility, to explain Mobile COEs (Centers of Excellence), their value and how they should be organized.

Video Link:  http://youtu.be/QKyRDjYh64k

Missed Part 1 of this interview?  Watch it here!



*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 10, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Series: Sahara Alexis, Part 1

In this short video recorded last week in San Ramon, CA, I interview mobility expert Sahara Alexis on what makes an enterprise mobility project easy, and what makes it challenging.  She also explains the complexity involved in developing an enterprise mobility strategy.  Enjoy and grab some popcorn!

Video Link:  http://youtu.be/8vp1fhCBPyI
Watch Part 2 of this Interview here!



*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 09, 2013

Evolved Mobile Strategies and Business Transformation

Best selling author and innovation expert Daniel Burrus recently described what an evolved mobile strategy looks like in the article titled Does Your Organization Have a Mobile Strategy to Accelerate Growth?  "When you think about mobility, don’t just think about devices and apps and how you might use those. Step back and create a bigger strategy, because mobile is far bigger than that. Instead, ask yourself,"
  • How can we accelerate growth
  • Gain new competitive advantages 
  • Transform all of our business processes
  • Transform how we communicate
  • Transform how we collaborate
  • Transform how we innovate
  • Transform how we train
  • Transform how we educate
  • Transform how we sell
  • Transform how we market
  • Transform how we share knowledge?
I know we often discuss topics like HTML5 vs. native apps and the different kinds of mobile application development tools and platforms here, and these subjects are important, but the impact of digital and business transformations caused by social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies are having a far greater impact on industries than many people have yet to grasp.

I wrote an article last week titled SMAC, Mobile Collaboration and Google, which explores how Google is empowering social, mobile, analytics and cloud adoption in their solutions.  The ability to have incredible computing power, connections with people, social and collaborative capabilities and access to massive amounts of information at the touch of your finger anywhere there is an Internet connection is today changing the way we live and work.  Does your company recognize this?  What are they doing about it?

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 08, 2013

Mobile Expert Video Series: Cognizant's Jeff Wallace, Part 2

In Part 2 of this interview series (watch Part 1 here) with Cognizant's mobility expert and Mobility Practice Lead Jeff Wallace, we explore when HTML5 is the best development option, and when native is the best development option for mobile apps, plus how different mobile application development platforms have approached this issue.  Grab some popcorn!


 *************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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 Expert Video Series: Cognizant's Jeff Wallace, Part 1

Last week I spent some time in Silicon Valley and met up with my colleague Jeff Wallace who runs Cognizant's Mobility Practice.  I cornered him and asked his thoughts and opinions on HTML5 in this short video.  Jeff shares how HTML5 is maturing and closing the capability gap between native and HTML5.  Grab some popcorn!  When you are done, watch Part 2 here.

*************************************************************
Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 04, 2013

SMAC, Mobile Collaboration and Google

Have you had a chance to review the full inventory of Google's solutions and apps lately?  I have been working with many of them this week and am impressed with how Google is enabling enterprises to become true social businesses.  It is very interesting how they are not just demonstrating cool and innovative solutions but entirely new ways of running and managing businesses.

If fact, Jon Reed, John Appleby and myself recorded a Google+ Hangout session this week on the subject of enterprise mobility.  I will post the link of the recorded session as soon as it is ready.  I suggest that all businesses should study Google Hangout and understand how powerful it is.  Google Hangout is now embedded in Google Docs, Sheets and other apps.  Anytime you need to collaborate, simply push the Hangout button in the document.  Very interesting and useful!

I have also been collaborating with a group of folks around the country this week using Google Docs.  All of us can login and collaborate in real-time on the same document.  We can comment, edit and track who is adding what.  At the top of the document you can see all the people who are collaborating on the document at any moment in time.  It was an education in collaboration.
My job title is Head SMAC Analyst for Cognizant.  SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud)  represents a disruptive technological, cultural and workforce shift.  It is about connecting and collaborating whenever and wherever you are located.  Google enables workers to collaborate and access their online content, sheets, docs, notes, photos, videos, etc., across any mobile device, anywhere there is an Internet connection.  This is incredibly useful and convenient, although it takes some education to take full advantage of it.

Collaboration requires a different mindset.  Instead of individuals working on a document and then using email to send it for review by others, you can all just login to the same document in the cloud.  There are no versioning issues in this model.  Also, if you have a question about a document or sheet, again, just push the Google Hangout button on the document or sheet and invite your colleagues to gather around the item and discuss it in real-time.

Google seems to have passionately embraced SMAC and is demonstrating this by incorporating SMAC concepts and strategies in their entire inventory of solutions and apps.  With Google+ and Google Hangouts, Sheets, Docs, Blogger, Sites, Drive, Keep, etc., they are again showing the enterprise how to connect with mobile workers and effectively collaborate.  This is the death of distance some person smarter than me wrote recently.

Google is not just focused on the social component of the SMAC stack.  They have the market leading mobile operating system with Android.  They support analytics in many forms including Google BigQuery, Google Analytics and Google Universal Analytics.  They continue to demonstrate innovation with many forms of maps, navigation and location-based services.

We may associate Google mainly with their search engine, but don't miss how they are educating the world on becoming a social business using SMAC strategies.

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 02, 2013

Integrating the Digital and Physical Worlds with Enterprise Mobility

New York City oversees 900,000 buildings and picks up 12,000 tons of trash per day.  They know how much electricity is used in the average house/apartment.  They know how many people live in the average unit.  They know what neighborhoods complain the most.  They know the health inspection records of restaurants in the area.  They have information on boilers, sprinkler systems, local taxes paid, numbers of heart attacks, fires, roach complaints, construction noise, commuting habits and test scores all stored in massive data archives available for Big Data analysis.

This is digital data, however, if you are looking to move into a new physical neighborhood in New York City, you might find this information incredibly valuable.  Real-time and Big Data capabilities integrated with location services on smartphones have the ability to revolutionize the way we live and work.

It is not hard to imagine wearing Google Glasses with this kind of data coming up on your lenses in real-time as you look at different buildings while walking down the street.

The data in New York City archives can tell you the average response times of the N.Y.P.D. to crimes in progress by neighborhood.  They can tell you where crimes were reported, the type and frequency of the crime and how it compares with other neighborhoods and cities.  They can tell you which zip codes have the youngest populations, highest SAT scores, most electricity consumed, most rat sightings reported and most laundromats.  All of this information can augment the reality of what you are seeing from a street view as you are walking down the sidewalk.

This is the kind of data that provides true situational awareness.  I want this kind of information when I am walking in a new city.  I want this kind of information when I am looking to move to a new neighborhood.  To me, this is a killer mobile app that I am willing to pay for, and what is funny is it is really all about Big Data.  The mobile app and GPS sensor on your smartphone are querying Big Data analytics in real-time as you are walking down the street.

If I want this capability personally, what about enterprises?  Where is the best place to locate a business or sell a product?  Where are the demographics that are best for your particular products and services?  What neighborhoods are safe, and which are not for your construction crew and projects?

I personally want to know this information, but is this knowledge good for society?  I am not sure.  How does a neighborhood become revitalized and move past its historic data record?  How do we integrate ex-cons and ex-sex offenders back into society if they cannot move beyond their past?  These are all interesting problems to ponder.

The bottom line is that enterprise mobility integrated with big data analytics is going to change the way we see the world around us and conduct business.  The physical world is going to be augmented by the digital world.

For more information on this subject read, The Mayor's Geek Squad in the Sunday, March 24, 2013 edition of the New York Times.
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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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, April 01, 2013

Advanced Mobile Strategies and Integrated Sensors

Last week I watched a presentation recorded at GigaOm Structure:Data conference featuring Gus Hunt, CTO of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  In his presentation, he identified SMAC (social, mobile, big data analytics, and cloud) as the culprit for the massive increase in available data in the world.  He explained that the average smartphone generates huge quantities of data from the following embedded sensors:
  • proximity sensors
  • 3-axis accelerometer sensors
  • touch sensors
  • image sensors
  • microphone sensors
  • light sensors
  • GPS (geo-location) sensors
You can imagine, with the billions of phones around the world, how much additional data is produced each day!  Now add the mass volumes coming out of social media!

Hunt went on to say there is a time-value-of-data.  This is an important concept for us to understand.  The value of data is worth more this second, than it is worth in two weeks.  When I activate the GPS on my iPhone, I want something to happen now not tomorrow.  The GPS sensor needs to give me immediate feedback.  Likewise, information about the location of a bad guy this second is much more valuable than where he was last month.

Have you ever had a slow GPS navigation system?  I have.  It told me to turn after I passed by the exit. GRRRRRR!

The CIA has a unique mission that involves filtering through mass volumes of big data sources for information that is important to our national security and interests.  Hunt identified seven universal constructs for analytics, or ways of organizing data that I found very interesting:
  1. People
  2. Places
  3. Organizations
  4. Times
  5. Events
  6. Concepts (value judgements - good or bad)
  7. Things (Internet of Things)
In my SMAC strategy sessions, I spend a lot of time educating my audience on five of these seven.  I might now need to re-think how to incorporate organizations (project teams?) and concepts into my sessions as well.

In the context of enterprise mobility, the location of your people and places (think job sites, customer locations, supply depots, etc.) are all very important.  However, time and events are equally important for project management and scheduling.   What time did you start and finish a job?  How long will it take to drive to the next job site?  What did you do while at the job site?  Did you complete the task?  All of these things are very important.

It is important to again look at what Hunt said about the time-value of data.  You cannot optimize a service technician's schedule if you don't know when he starts or finishes a job.  You can't optimize his driving route if you don't know when he is driving.

Today GIS (Geospatial information systems) are beginning to associate where things are at a particular moment in time, and how they are related to other objects, people, events, etc, around them.  These relationships will be very important.  For example, a construction manager may require a backhoe to continue on a project.  The backhoe is three hours from being on the job site.  This is important information for planning and scheduling.  It is important data that has a high time value if known in advance. However, it has very little value if it is only known after the fact.

What are the relationships between the construction manager, project, P&L and backhoe?  The manager owns the project and project P&L.  The project is on hold until the backhoe arrives, which jeopardizes the profitability and completion of the project.

All of this data about location, things, relationships and times is critical to optimizing projects and plans.

In the very near future, software developers will need to be much more familiar with the physical world, as the digital and physical are integrating around real-world data.  I will emphasize again that the value of the data is dependent upon the speed in which it is collected, analyzed and shared with those who can use it in the field.  But that is not all!  Here is a final quote from Mr. Hunt,  “The power of big data can only be fully realized when it is in the hands of the average person.”

Mobile strategies are not just about managing smartphones and securing data between the office and mobile workers.  It is about all of the things identified in this article and more.  It is about the time, location and relationships between moving players, concepts and events.  This is where the real fun is today!

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Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
View Linkedin Profile

Read the whitepaper on mobile, social, analytics and cloud strategies Don't Get SMACked
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
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.