Monday, December 29, 2014

Misusing Mobile Apps in the Enterprise

Thinking-Time
As the definition of productive work-time evolves from physically being on a production line or in an office, to anywhere and anytime you are contributing to the goals of your employer, there also needs to be an evolution into new ways of valuing and managing time.

I recently watched, with great interest, a passenger sitting next to me on a plane answering dozens of emails in the course of a few minutes. At the rate of the responses flying off of the laptop next to me, I suspected the emails were not on topics like complex legal briefs, new government policies, innovative business plans or scientific experiments.  I genuinely felt sorry for this person.  It seemed a shame to me, a waste of brainpower to have some very capable communicator (typist at least) answering mass volumes of simple emails when there are great-unsolved issues begging for mental energy and committed time like great public works, innovations, inventions, health and scientific breakthroughs.  These accomplishments require thinking-time, not mindless busy work.

If the passenger’s massive digital stack of messages were the accumulation of days worth of communications and then efficiently dispatched during travel thus freeing up quality thinking-time, then I am a fan of the process I witnessed.  However, if that digital stack represented a typical day, then something is wrong.  We are wasting thinking-time, and that is a travesty.

The human brain has a great capacity to love, inspire, invent, improve, design and solve.  Why would we insert this amazing organ into a mindless process?  We can develop code for that.

Today, mobile devices and apps are NOT being used effectively.  We are using them to reduce and restrict thinking time - thinking that could be dedicated to solving problems, improving humanity, developing relationships and advancing the good.  An effective and efficient use of mobile devices and apps would be to use them to expand thinking-time, by reducing outside interferences and mindless busy work.

Just about anything of substance and value requires thinking-time.  Are companies valuing thinking-time as they should, or are they reducing thinking-time by packing more mindless busy work, data collection and reporting into a day via mobile apps?  I think it is time for each of us to be a bit more critical of the way technologies are being applied.  Are we thinking too small, or not at all?



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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

An Interview with World Traveler and BI Expert Mico Yuk

I was thrilled to catch business intelligence expert Mico Yuk at her home office in Atlanta, GA., as she travels so frequently.  She is the founder of BI Dashboard Formula.  In this interview we discuss the state of business intelligence and the impact of real-time and SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) on BI.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/Fa_jX4-zMSo?list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Robotics and Business Process Services - The Interview

Last week I learned much and will share some of it here today.  Although I have worked with Cognizant for over 2 years, I have not had many opportunities to actually meet large numbers of my colleagues.  I have been traveling the world speaking at conferences, teaching and writing.  That was solved last week, however, in Orlando where I was able to meet many colleagues that I had previously only communicated with over conference calls and video chats.

One of those colleagues from the Center for the Future of Work at Cognizant, Rob Brown, is an expert in business process services.  He shared with me the advances robotics are making in the area of business processes.  Not the kind of metal, walking and talking robots we see in movies, but robots that assist humans in their jobs every day.  In this interview Rob Brown explains it.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/18Iy0eOe_pQ?list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw




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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Friday, December 19, 2014

The State of Mobile Enterprise Collaboration: Challenges and Opportunities

Today we are honored with a guest post from mobile expert Yaacov Cohen, the CEO of harmon.ie.  In this article Yaacov reviews the findings of a recent report titled State of Mobile Enterprise Collaboration and shares his thoughts on what the findings mean to businesses. I have interviewed him in the past and you can watch that interview here.  Enjoy!

Analyst firm Strategy Analytics predicts that the mobile enterprise business application market will nearly double from $31B in 2012 to $61B by 2018. As we invest more time and energy in mobile, the question remains: are enterprises ready to take on the challenge of providing workers with true mobile collaboration capabilities? To answer this question, we commissioned the first extensive mobile collaboration study engaging over 1,400 Business and IT users. The results demonstrate why merely giving workers the ability to send emails, share files or exchange instant messages no longer cuts it, and what barriers we must overcome to enable enterprise-wide mobile collaboration and productivity.

Click to Enlarge
In short, our research shows that mobile workers are still struggling to access critical business information as it has become distributed across cloud services and enterprise applications. There is an immediate need for alignment between IT and Business to determine a joint approach to overcome challenges and unlock the mobile opportunities in front of us. With that in mind, I’ve compiled key report takeaways across departments that reveal some of the gains and apparent shortcomings in the quest to realize a truly mobile enterprise.

The Focus is Still on Personal Productivity

The first challenge is that right now, companies are still working towards supporting personal mobile productivity rather than true team collaboration and productivity.

Today’s companies mostly enable their employees to conduct the basics of personal productivity: accessing email, company calendars and contact directories via mobile devices. 96 percent of IT and 80 percent of Business respondents state that employees in their company are able to access email from a mobile device. Business applications affording true enterprise-wide mobile collaboration saw significantly lower numbers, such as 53 percent of IT and 40 percent of Business respondents claiming to have access to Office applications on the go. While these numbers will improve, they show a major discrepancy between employees’ access to tools that boost their own productivity versus tools that aid the team as a whole.

Awareness and Adoption Not Yet Seeing Eye-to-Eye

The need for alignment between IT and Business comes starkly into focus based on our findings about awareness of mobile device policies within an organization. 83 percent of IT respondents claimed they had a policy in place, while only 46 percent of Business users reported knowledge of any mobile policy.
Click to Enlarge

When coupled with the findings from the previous takeaway about ubiquitous personal productivity tools (mobile email, calendar and contact directory access), the conclusion is clear: if you build it, they won’t necessarily come. If this awareness problem is to be overcome, IT must take on the role of a strategic advisor who enables mobile enterprise collaboration and supports the business to onboard and train employees on critical mobile collaboration capabilities.

Maturity Still Lacking, Outlook Positive

In comparison to the high number of companies providing personal productivity tools to workers, only one-third of companies are currently giving employees access to external collaboration tools that support key business activities like financial forecasting and reporting, project management and real-time collaboration on documents. Furthermore, the results show availability of mobile collaboration tools doesn’t necessarily translate into actual awareness or usage as there is consistently about a 20+ percent gap in what collaboration tools IT claims to offer versus what Business has knowledge of.

Click to Enlarge
Despite this immaturity, half of IT respondents feel that 2015 will be the “Year of Mobile Enterprise Productivity” which is many more than those predicting a “Year of Enterprise Disappointment.” This positive outlook tells us that while the current state of mobile enterprise collaboration is still immature, those keyed into the space are optimistic about its year on year growth.

SharePoint and Office 365 Lead the Platform Pack, But Other Microsoft Tools Fall Behind

Microsoft SharePoint and Office 365 are the leading enterprise collaboration platforms on desktop and mobile devices, with 44 percent of all respondents reporting access. However, other Microsoft collaboration tools like Lync and Yammer fell much further down the rankings to #4 and #8 respectively. From this we can draw that while some of Microsoft’s products lead the pack, the company as a whole does not yet offer a universal collaboration platform.

This also shows that a one-size-fits-all approach to mobile enterprise collaboration either doesn’t exist yet or is not the answer to most companies’ problems. Vendor lock-in often frightens companies away from going all in on one ecosystem. True mobile collaboration and productivity may not be possible until we see more services that aggregate cloud solutions or notifications together to give workers a useful and important contextual snapshot of what is going on in their company be it in Salesforce, SharePoint, Yammer, SAP or whatever collaboration tools are in place.
Click to Enlarge

Not Yet Mature, But Gaining Ground

In the end, to realize the true value of a mobile enterprise, collaboration needs to move substantially beyond where we are today. Enterprises must design collaboration initiatives to incorporate multi-modal, real-time collaboration in order to streamline projects that directly aid the completion of critical business processes. This collaboration experience must not only be seamless, but also must consistently surface the most relevant information at the right time, whichever service it comes from. If these major hurdles can be overcome, enterprise productivity will see significant gains because employees and teams will be able to work together efficiently to ‘get the job done,’ – which at the end of the day is what really matters.

For more in-depth information, please see the full State of Mobile Enterprise Collaboration Report. I’d like to hear your thoughts on how you view the current state of collaboration in the mobile enterprise, and how you’re tackling mobile collaboration in your company. Connect with me at on Twitter at @YaacovC.

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Is Email Destroying Productivity? Hear from Expert Jack C. Crawford

"You can't scale, in a digital economy, without enterprise collaboration." ~ Jack C. Crawford
This week I had the chance to meet with and interview Cognizant's Senior Director of Customer Experience Jack C. Crawford.  In this interview we talk about all the ways digital transformation is impacting the way people and businesses interact and communicate with each other.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/vhe1iiyjz7s?list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw


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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kevin Benedict Interviews Social Media Expert Gerry Moran

In this interview we learn from Cognizant's social media expert Gerry Moran on how companies can effectively leverage LinkedIn to reach, engage and connect with their markets.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/HcXF-r73Nk0




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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Kevin Benedict Interviews Digital Transformation Expert Ved Sen

This week I am in Orlando, Florida meeting many of the smartest folks in Cognizant and planning our 2015. While at this event I am taking the time to interview some of our global experts on digital trends and strategies.  This interview is with Ved Sen, Global Head, Advisory Services, Social, Mobile and Sensors at Cognizant.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/1u5gzIQN-us?list=UUGizQCw2Zbs3eTLwp7icoqw


************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Friday, December 12, 2014

IT and Data Security and the Risk to Christmas and the Global Economy

Come let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves. ~ Genesis
I have a sizable collection of books in my library, in fact I have a tower of books in my office that is a danger to small children.  Many of the books in my collection are on the topic of technology strategies for businesses.  This collection represents a passion I have for connecting business strategies and new technologies together to improve business performance.  I have, however, learned over the years that with new technologies comes new vulnerabilities that must be considered as part of the adoption strategy.

Today, 27 missiles can destroy our entire commercial global GPS system, and another 2,465 missiles or laser attacks could destroy every active satellite we have in orbit.  That represents a new and emerging vulnerability to our digital economy.

We have seen demonstrated this year that private and government sponsored hackers can bring down markets, transportation systems, communication networks, financial systems and utility grids.  We have seen this month how cyber-attacks, suspected to originate from North Korea, can dramatically impact an entire industry (Entertainment). Cyber-attacks are fast becoming the weapon of choice for countries and organizations with limited funds and military capabilities.  It is a way to maximize the damage they cause for the investment - a kind of bad guy ROI.
Experts believe that for impoverished North Korea, expanding its warfare into cyberspace is an attractive choice because it is cheaper and faster to develop malicious computer codes than to build nuclear bombs or other weapons of mass destruction. Online attacks can be performed anonymously, another upside for the infiltrators. - AP By: YOUKYUNG LEE, December 18, 2014
For all the benefits technology enables, it also makes us more vulnerable to computer and software failures and cyber-attacks (See Flights Disrupted After Computer Failure at UK Control Center).
Philosopher and Urbanist Dr. Paul Virilio said, "To invent something is to invent an accident. To invent the ship is to invent the shipwreck; the space shuttle, the explosion. And to invent the electronic superhighway or the Internet is to invent a major risk which is not easily spotted because it does not produce fatalities like a shipwreck or a mid-air explosion." ~ An Interview with Paul Virilio." in: Apres Coup Psychoanalytic Association. January 2005.
Today, however, fatalities can result from problems with the Internet and associated systems because they touch so many important systems including healthcare systems (see http://www.cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/2014/12/12/nr-dnt-feyerick-cyber-security.cnn.html). We have placed nearly all of our systems of importance on the Internet and into the cloud.  Our military runs on a network centric strategy and our economy as well.  Cyber-attacks today are a most serious threat.

Dr. Virilio identified the fact that all new technologies include new and guaranteed accidents or vulnerabilities.  It doesn't mean we don't pursue them, it just means we need to acknowledge the associated risks, prepare for and manage them.

We are hearing a constant drum beat of the successes hackers and cyber-attackers are having in their attacks on our financial and payment systems, and the theft of our personal data.  When will this become a true priority for "C Level" folks?  It is not just their own companies CEOs are risking today, every interaction and transaction connects businesses to individuals.  Our personal data is now intimately tied to the companies we do business with, and as recent events have proven our data is now in real jeopardy.

Shouldn't we, as customers, be looking to penalize businesses with poor IT security practices and systems?  In a world where our data is currency, the protection of our data is vital.  It is a personal and national security issue.  We need a understand the importance of IT security and data to global economies, and then take the necessary steps to protect them.
The original industrial accidents as, for instance, the derailment of a train or the crash of an airplane, were all specific, localized, and particular accidents. They were taking place at a certain place and at a certain moment in time. Now, however, the revolution of instantaneous transmissions brought about by telecommunications makes the accident global." ~ Virilio Paul and Andreas Ruby (Interviewer). "Surfing the Accident. in: Institute for the Unstable Media. Publication "The Art of the Accident." 1998. (English).
I have seen steps in the right direction.  In 2011, the United States military designated certain kinds of cyber-attacks as "acts of war" that would be treated as such.
WASHINGTON—The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force.  "If you shut down our power grid, maybe we will put a missile down one of your smokestacks," said a military official.  SIOBHAN GORMAN And JULIAN E. BARNES, May 31, 2011
I am no fan of war, as I have a son in the military, but we must recognized the seriousness of attacks that cripple our country's infrastructures, economy and security.

As a passionate mobile industry analyst and enthusiast, I am eager for us to solve these cyber-attack and data security issues. We clearly have a massive global problem that needs solved, and the solution is not just a series of small start-ups with clever technologies.  It is bigger than that.  It is a global economic and security issue.  It needs the highest levels of emphasis and collaboration.

We need to be the vanguards of IT security and data protection.  What are the steps needed?  Here are some ideas to consider:
  • Elevate defense against cyber-attacks to a corporate, IT, economic and national security priority.
  • Recognize cyber-attacks are not just an individual company's IT problem or inconvenience, it is a national economic and security issue.
  • Measure executive's on their company's IT and data security practices and performance and base their compensation packages at least in part on these measurements.
  • Encourage all companies to prioritize IT and data security, and to educate IT staff on how to best respond to cyber-attacks.
  • Develop standards for IT and data security practices.
  • Motivate companies to meet these IT and data security standards by certifying them and publishing the results.
  • Encourage consumers to support certified businesses.
  • Organize independent IT and data security auditors that certify businesses against these standards.
  • Enforce stiff penalties against countries protecting organizations involved in cyber-attacks. 
The digital economy is growing exponentially, but cyber-attacks, left unchecked, will halt the digital economy like the Grinch Who Stole Christmas [data].

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mobile Cyber Security News Weekly - Week of December 7, 2014

Welcome to the Mobile Cyber Security News Weekly, our newest online newsletter. Mobile Cyber Security will focus on the most interesting news, articles and links related to mobile and cyber security, mobile malware, mobile application management, cyber warfare (and more!) that I run across each week.  I am specifically targeting market trend information.

Also read Connected Globe News Weekly
Also read Field Mobility News Weekly
Also read Mobile Commerce News Weekly
Also read Mobile Health News Weekly
Also read Mobility News Weekly

Looking for an enterprise mobility solution?  Read the Mobile Solution Directory Here!

New security measures by Apple have reduced phone theft by as much as 40 percent, a study from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has shown. Read Original Content

Mobile device security software market is forecast by Infonetics Research to increase at a 25 percent compound annual growth rate topping $4 billion by 2018. Read Original Content

Analysts at Research and Markets forecast the global BYOD security market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 35.23 percent over the period 2014-2019. Read Original Content

B2M Solutions’ mobile software delivers valuable insight and actionable analytics for enterprise customers. Business leaders and managers within the mission critical, rugged mobile enterprise now have operational views of key business and technology analytics affecting performance and productivity. B2M software is developed with specific functionality to help organizations identify and unblock mobility problems as soon as, or even before, they occur, allowing customers to sustain critical business processes and gain competitive advantages. To Lean more visit www.B2M-Solutions.com.  This newsletter is sponsored in part by B2M Solutions

Financial-services companies plan to bolster their cyber security budgets by about $2 billion over the next two years, according to accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers. Read Original Content

A particularly nasty mobile malware campaign targeting Android users has hit between four million and 4.5 million Americans since January of 2013, according to an estimate by Lookout, a San Francisco mobile security company. Read Original Content


In the recent Mobile Cyber Threats report from Kaspersky Lab and INTERPOL, it was revealed that Android is by far the biggest target for mobile malware. Because of the huge Android user base and being an open platform, malware designed for Android has the greatest odds of success and easy to exploit as well. Read Original Content

Blackberry has announced a security partnership with Samsung aimed at bolstering the encryption on the firm’s Android smartphones. Read Original Content

MasterCard has revealed plans to make use of biometric information to replace passwords required for online payments, harnessing technologies such as Apple’s TouchID fingerprint scanner found on iPhones and iPads. Read Original Content

Latest Articles on http://mobileenterprisestrategies.blogspot.com

The Internet of My Things and How It Works

Mobile Expert Interviews: B2M's CEO Julie Purves
Mobile Apps, Sensor Platforms, Code Halos and Consumer Behaviors
Digital: Big Vision, Small Action
Amplified Influence and Mobile Apps
Feeling Thankful - Is there an App for That?
Gamification Strategies and Mobile Applications - The Way it Should Be
2015 Enterprise Mobility Events Announced
Insights into the Impact of Big Data, Mobile Apps and Code Halos Strategies on Retail

Whitepapers of Note

Don't Get SMACked - How Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud are Reshaping the Enterprise
Making BYOD Work for Your Organization

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Telling the Brand Story with Mobile Applications and Code Halos

Click to Enlarge
"48% of eBay’s transactions globally are now touched by mobile at some point in the transaction." ~ Jonathan Gabbai, Head of International Mobile at eBay
The pace of change in retail today is crazy!  Consumer behaviors are changing as fast as new mobile applications are being released.  I don't envy the role of the IT strategy team or the marketing team in a retail operation today.  The shopping experience is changing monthly.  The way consumers research products and pricing is changing.  Customer expectations are increasing, and customer loyalty is a fleeting goal.  On top of all this, we (the consumer) are quickly finding ways to ignore mobile advertisements.

Juniper Research predicts smartphone and tablet users will make 195 billion mobile commerce transactions by 2019, up from 72 billion in 2014.  That massive increase, represents fewer visits to expensive big box stores for most customers. This trend will most definitely impact retailers' strategies and business models.

In our house, most of our Christmas shopping is completed online! Our dogs (Molli and Nelli) no longer even bark when the delivery man arrives as he is like family now. They only get off their beds long enough to eat the dog biscuits he brings.

Dr. Windsor Holden of Juniper Research predicts a huge jump in the number of transactions made on smartphones and tablets this holiday season alone. “Last year, about 18% of all e-transactions in the U.S. were on mobile phones and tablets. I expect to see a very, very sharp increase … around 30% to 35% of all e-commerce transactions,” he said.

With fewer opportunities to impress customers in their stores, retailers will need to impress through their mobile applications, user experiences and digital storytelling capabilities.   This will elevate the role of mobile application developers as the app is the brand.  This is reminiscent of the transformation in marketing where spending on traditional media moved to online and mobile. The sea-change is upon us.

A recent survey titled B2X Customer Care  (see  attached image) found participants in all countries would rather give up their TVs before their phones. Why?  The phone and tablet are becoming our TVs of choice.  Another data point that shows us how smartphones and tablets are changing our behaviors.

Given the increasing importance of mobile devices, marketers need to quickly understand how to tell their brand and product stories via mobile devices.  The good news is these mobile devices today have incredible story telling abilities.  Donald Miller, the author of multiple New York Times bestsellers (and 212,000 Twitter followers), has recently founded a new consulting firm called StoryBrand  whose purpose is to teach businesses how to combine storytelling skills and processes with emerging technologies.  Let's think about the storytelling tools available on an average smartphone:
  1. Customized and hyper-personalized mobile applications that know you and your preferences.
  2. Embedded video and music to add dramatic flair, coolness and romance.
  3. Mobile apps and embedded sensors to understand your health and physical activity level.
  4. Interactive mobile apps that answer questions, provide advice and help you solve problems.
  5. Maps and turn-by-turn navigation to lead you to the nearest stores with your brand and style preferences.
  6. Mobile apps that know your location and history of activities at particular locations.
  7. Mobile payment systems and retail apps that know your transaction histories and buying habits.
  8. Mobile apps like Starbucks that know the location of stores you most frequent, your travel history, favorite drinks, volume of drinks, if you order multiple or single drinks (they know if you often order as a single, couple or family), where you likely work (location where you order during business hours).
  9. Mobile apps combined with MNO (Mobile Network Operator) data and big data analytics can quickly understand the demographics of where you live, travel and work - your patterns of life.  They can quickly make assumptions of your age, income, educational level, preferences and family size and season of life.
These technologies and the data collected (Code Halos), once analyzed, are golden in the hands of a digital storyteller.  Businesses now need to tell a better digital story, while making the technology disappear into the background.

For more information on Donald Miller's StoryBrand workshops visit http://storybrand.com/.

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

The Internet of My Things and How It Works

IoT MyThings
In this article, my ever brilliant friend and colleague, Ved Sen, shares what the IoT (Internet of Things) is really about and the processes, technologies, systems and strategies behind it.
***

So there’s been all this talk about the Internet of Things. What the heck is it? You may well be cautious. Especially since it’s currently perched at the peak of the Gartner Hype curve for 2014.

So I started thinking about this by listing all the ‘things’ I interact with. From my house & home to the trains I take and from the clothes I wear to the hotel room I might live in on my travel. Obviously you can get many levels in the hierarchy. The home is a complex construct, and comprises many sub-things. Example – rooms, walls, plumbing. Some of these, such as ‘heating’ may have further sub-components – radiators, boilers, etc.  The resultant picture looks something like this, at a very high level. Of course, this is hugely inadequate for detail, but you get the conceptual model.

Then I started thinking about an appropriately benign and traditionally less intelligent ‘thing’ – like a window. Everybody has windows at home and they affect our everyday lives.  They have states (open/ shut), based on the environment and conditions. For example we associate safety, air-conditioning and sunlight with windows being open or closed, and based on the weather, time of day, etc.  So I drew this table of the different emotions and feelings we derive, the specific benefits they deliver, the activity or state associated with this and the conditions under which these states need to be enabled.

IoT State and Benefits
At this point, I came to an important realisation. Products can be smart and controllable, they can even react to the environment, all without the help of the internet. For example, we have some Velux(TM) windows on the skylights. These windows come with a remote control, they can be opened and closed and they can also react to weather conditions and close if left open when it starts to rain. So they are actually smart, in some way, and possess the capability to communicate. They’re just not on the internet. The challenge of this model is that my ability to control these outcomes is limited to the pre-set automations and my being in close proximity – i.e. at home. (Disclaimer: I’m obviously referring to the specific models we have installed. Velux does not have any IOT proclamations on it’s website, but this is not to say that they don’t have or are planning to launch models that come with their own smartphone apps, which allow control of windows from anywhere.)

This excellent article by Michael Porter & James Heppelman posits that all products in future should have:
  1. Mechanical/ electrical components
  2. Software components
  3. Communication components 
These three collectively make products smarter and ultimately evolve to product systems (e.g. home security) and then to a ‘system of systems’ model (e.g. connected homes) – which spans an entire problem domain, according to the authors.

The kind of activities that we can perform on smart products evolves from monitoring, to control, optimisation and then to autonomy. Ultimately this leads, according to the authors, to improved competitive performance via operational efficiencies and strategic positioning choices. Often, forcing the question ‘What business are we in?’

So for example the Velux windows we have installed, have a rain sensor, which allows them to automatically close if it starts to rain, they don’t have a sun-sensor, which allows them to re-open when the sun comes out again. Of course, I may not want them to open just because the sun is out. So it needs my intervention. I can only do this from home, currently, which is a constraint. Putting the Velux windows to one side, for all my windows, I would also like to be reminded if ground floor windows are left open at night or when I’m away. If I had pollen allergies, I would probably like to be alerted if the pollen count is too high, or have the windows close. I would like to be able to open all multiple windows or close them, even if I’m not at home, based on weather conditions.

So you see, we have a need for state information (monitoring) as well as control. I might even have settings for ‘sunny day’ which applies a set of commands to all windows. This is the optimisation that the article above refers to. These control should extend to blinds (effectively these are a part of my window settings). This is where we consider windows as a product system, whereas currently, we tend to have completely different suppliers for these 2 products (windows and curtains/blinds). Any maker of smart windows must therefore consider blinds and curtains as a part of their product system.
Now, considering any smart and connected product, we could argue that they have sensors, which generate data, which are used by apps, which enable access and control of the product, and provide additional functions that ultimately deliver a benefit. The sensors are obviously on-board the device/ product. But the data generated could be anywhere, typically on a cloud, so that the apps and the access can take place through any connected control point (such as a mobile phone).
IoT Data Access Function Layers

This is where the internet of things really kicks in. In my previous example of the Velux window models which we have installed, the data, access, applications and controls all sit within a closed system involving the window and the remote control. You could argue therefore that a true IoT model requires a cloud based data and access model and an ability to use the data and control/ monitor the product from any device and application that is authorised.

Of course, everybody looking at the Internet of things should bear in mind Bruce Sterling’s SPIME model (derived from space + time). According to Sterling, the SPIME object has 6 facets:
  1. identification
  2. location
  3. data mining
  4. computer aided design & construction
  5. prototyping
  6. lifecycle management
Using these, we can track the history of any object from concept to grave.

Stepping back a bit, the Internet of Things seems like a catch-all neologism to encapsulate a number of related concepts. It involves:
  • smart and connected products
  • multiple types of open and closed networks
  • robotics
  • cloud based access
  • decision analytics
  • functions ranging from monitoring, control and optimisation
It can also involve single products or groups of products. Many smart products today are autonomously capable of performing advanced functions which have nothing to do with the internet of anything. The Roomba vacuum cleaner is a great example of an exceptional product that doesn’t really need to connect to the Internet.

Most individual products also tend to ignore or be indifferent to the network effect, which kicks in when we consider multiple elements in the same network. For example, my windows may be rain-sensitive, but I might have other devices, products and appliances at home which may be influenced by the occurrence of rain. Does each product need to have it’s own rain sensor? In my IOT wish list, my smart windows can communicate to other appliances at home. So for example, the washing machine can run an extra spin cycle when it rains, so clothes dry in the same time, and conversely when it’s sunny, it can reduce the spin cycle to conserve energy. For this to happen, I need a network standard for my connected home network that multiple devices can connect to (i.e. my window can ‘talk’ to my washing machine). A problem that the DLNA among many others, has been seeking to solve for years.

The true value of the IoT thus seems to become clearer when we step into the details and away from buzzwords. Much like anything else really!  And the winners as always will be those businesses which are able to truly focus on:
  • design thinking
  • benefits
  • elegance of use
  • great experiences
  • excellent engineering
Companies who will be bold enough to rethink their business models and honestly answer the question ‘what business are we in?’ – allowing them to move from selling a product to delivering a composite service which may include a physical product. It might even mean changing the commercial model where the product is only ‘leased’ to the consumer who actually buys the service rather than acquires an asset.

Meanwhile I will dream about smart, connected windows which can deliver safety, sunshine, comfort to my home. As far as consumers are concerned, the I in IoT should really stand for ‘invisible technology’.

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Mobile Expert Interviews: B2M's CEO Julie Purves

I have never before recorded an interview with the CEO of a mobile solutions company who has an office in a thatched roof cottage, in the middle of an orchard, in foggy England?  This is a first!  Julie Purves is the CEO of B2M Solutions, a mobile industry veteran and expert in all things related to mobile.  B2M Solutions is a different kind of mobile solution company.  They prioritize mobile application and user analytics so you can optimize your investments in mobile application development, design and productivity.  Enjoy!

Video Link: http://youtu.be/MNz1bZZfHbI

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Mobile Apps, Sensor Platforms, Code Halos and Consumer Behaviors

In 2015 I am going to be investing a lot of time studying how consumer behaviors are changing as a result of the use of smartphones and mobile apps.  I will also be studying what leading companies are doing to address those changing behaviors.  Why will I be focusing on this area?  Look at these numbers from the last week in November 2014 as reported by iovation:
  • 38 percent of transactions on Black Friday were from mobile devices
  • 40 percent on Saturday and Sunday Nov. 29 and 30 were from mobile devices
  • 30 percent on Cyber Monday were from mobile devices
  • 44 percent the weekend before Black Friday, Nov. 22 and 23 were from mobile devices
Does that convince you of the importance?

Here is another interesting analysis of the data, “When we looked closer at the holiday data and other historical intelligence, it was clear that fewer people shop from mobile devices during the work week as they presumably make purchases from work computers, not personal phones and tablets,” said iovation’s Vice President of Product, Scott Olson.

Mobile commerce represents a very fast growing sector and smartphones, as mobile sensor platforms, are collecting increasing amounts of data that can be used to hyper-personalize user experiences within an effective Code Halos strategy.

The importance of mobile commerce to commerce in general can be demonstrated by this statement from Juniper Research this week, "Mobile phone and tablet users will make 195 billion mobile commerce transactions annually by 2019, up from 72 billion this year."

To understand how Code Halos and big data strategies are connected to mobile commerce applications watch this video - http://mobileenterprisestrategies.blogspot.com/2014/11/insights-into-impact-of-big-data-and.html.


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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Digital: Big Vision, Small Action

In my experience with digital tools & projects, nobody’s really an expert – everybody has gaps in their understanding. ~ Ved Sen
Ved Sen
Global Head Advisory Services
Social, Mobile and Sensors
My friend and colleague Ved Sen shares his insights from working in the trenches on digital transformation projects.  This is an important piece, as he is sharing real world advice on project management, scope and change management - not hypotheticals.
***

I've been a part of scores of discussions and projects around digital transformation, strategy and innovation. I've also been in the trenches trying to make some of this stuff actually happen. Over the years I've developed a strong olfactory sense of ideas that aren't going well and those where there’s clearly a smell of success.

I've spent many moments reflecting on these experiences. Sometimes at airport lounges by myself after day long meetings, nursing a glass of wine. At other times, in heated discussions with colleagues, locked in the deadly embrace of entrenched opinions.

In a nutshell, in my experience, it boils down to a simple credo – big vision, small action. This is a viewpoint you will see reflected in a lot of contemporary writing and thinking around lean and agile models, but somehow, while thinking big comes naturally, it’s very hard for big companies to act small. But every day I see signs that the smartest companies are recognizing the value of lean teams, working on small outcomes, which create momentum and the building blocks of great change. For most others, fail-fast is something they like to talk about but it stays on the slides rather than finding its way into the program.

Don't get me wrong, big ideas are critical. They underscore the vision and direction in which we need to move. The big idea is the north star of our journey. But you cannot negotiate even half a mile of unfriendly terrain with your eyes fixed on the north star. And all too often we fall into the trap of big idea & big action.

A typical idea of a big action is when a large company goes – ‘we are going to completely re-engineer the way we sell our widgets to our customers, across our 16 divisions and migrate from a direct to indirect sales network whilst improving our net promoter score and digitise our entire sales process while we're about it’. You've all been there I'm sure.

I’d like to highlight five very specific benefits of small action – those agile, lean projects which we love to quote but seem reticent to undertake. And why, especially in the world of digital change and transformation, they are even less useful than a hippopotamus at a barbecue.

The first challenge is politics and alignment. If you want to make a big change, in large organisations, you are expecting to get the buy in of a dozen or more senior people, who may well have contradictory expectations and competing ambitions. The time taking process of consensus building is the anathema of change, and often the end product of a consensus is an unwieldy compromise which no longer has the ability to deliver the benefits anticipated. In contrast, the small action looks at creating the smallest viable version of this change, may be in one division and one product line of a less prominent business unit. But however insignificant it is, you can never argue with success or with data, and small change grows quickly on the back of data and proven success. The power of digital is that it IS possible to create successes and gather effective data on a small scale.

Speed is an immediate victim of the big change process. Likely timelines for getting alignment with senior teams can take months. It can even take months just to get the right people into the room, to discuss the key issues. In fact, the small change approach can deliver large transformations faster because once it gathers speed, the change rate is exponential. A few years ago, I was working on a large complex program with half a dozen workstreams, which had gone on for over a year with almost zero success. People were demotivated and change resistant. One of the little things we tried was to take one of the workstreams and just focus on making that work over an 8 week timeframe. In two months, we had a success story, and suddenly everybody wanted to be in on the journey. The entire program was completed in under 8 months.

The actual implementation of a large scale program can be exponentially complex in terms of detail. This is not to say it can't be done. If you were building a new airport terminal, you would have to take on and manage the complexity, but in the digital world the number of unknowns is also very high. It may sound simple to say “we'll combine our CRM data with our transaction system, to create better views of customer history” but in one company where we tried it, we stumbled on firewall access, data structures, speed of response, security issues and user interface design. You can gloss over those challenges in a powerpoint presentation but not in the actual implementation. Will your grand plan survive it’s first brush with reality? In a small action approach, you can break up complexity into much more manageable chunks and solve them one at a time. Whatsapp recently announced that it had added the much awaited blue ticks for message delivery. The service has grown a lot both in features and popularity, but the first version of Whatsapp was launched in 3 months with 4 developers working. Evernote still releases a new version every other week.

You see, it boils down to learning. In the large change programs, we spend a lot of time discussing with ‘experts’ and owners of expertise areas. We seek advice and inputs and then we expect armed with all that planning, that things will go as per schedule. Small change makes no such assumptions. Small action learns ‘on the job’ and consequently it learns in real time. One is a learning by talking, the other is learning by doing. I think we all know which is more effective. In my experience with digital tools & projects, nobody’s really an expert – everybody has gaps in their understanding. So learning from expertise is immediately limited.

Finally, the digital landscape itself is changing. From regulatory stances on privacy (Google) or entering new markets (think Uber), to new platforms, tools, models and disruptive players, there is a high change environment in which you need to operate. Given this, the danger of the big change approach is obvious, with it’s slow and complex  approach, it may be outdated by the time the implementation has actually started. And often the fear of going back and re-negotiating the same issues, means that the program just gets shelved. This is probably the single most common outcome of large change programs in the digital environment. It gets put on the shelf and people just stop talking about it. Ultimately, it becomes a symbol in the organisation of project failure. People go ‘remember project Orion?’ (nudge! nudge!). The only way to address this is through the calculus of small change. Stick to small agile action which can help to absorb directional change brought about by the environment, and you never have to jettison a very large amount of work, so the risk is never too high.

A couple of years ago, we were pitching some new and exciting technology led change program to a client who are a well known Utility company. Our approach involved running programs of change, integrating complex back end systems and creating an aggressive 6 month program of work. One of the senior most execs in the room from the client organisation started the meeting by telling us how he along with a couple of his engineers had just spent the weekend ‘playing around’ with a new location based open source utility which they found to be quite interesting and had built a pilot for replacing their existing clunky routing application and were planning to roll out the change to a small set of service teams within the next 7 days. It suddenly made our 6 month change program look very glacial.

Think of a snowball that you start rolling down a snowy hillside, and how it gathers pace and bulk as it moves. This is how small change works. Now think of repairing a car by a committee of people with specialised and disparate skills taking the entire car apart, and then putting it back together again. This is how big change works. In the digital world, only one of these approaches is effective.

So the next time you encounter a digital transformation initiative, remember: politics, speed, learning, scaling and environmental change are the 5 reasons why it makes sense to commit to big vision but small action.
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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Connected Globe News Weekly – Week of November 30, 2014

Welcome to Connected Globe News Weekly, an online newsletter that consists of the most interesting news and articles related to M2M (machine to machine) and embedded mobile devices.  I aggregate the information, include the original links and add a synopsis of each article.  I also search for the latest market numbers such as market size, growth and trends in and around the M2M market.

Also read Field Mobility News Weekly
Also read Mobile Commerce News Weekly
Also read Mobile Cyber Security News Weekly
Also read Mobile Health News Weekly
Also read Mobility News Weekly

Looking for an enterprise mobility solution?  Read the Mobile Solution Directory Here!

According to Research and Markets, M2M and wearable technology can help wireless carriers pocket as much as $116 billion in network connectivity service revenue by the end of 2020. Read Original Content

SAP has announced enhanced Internet-of-Things applications that will take advantage of sensor data. In a separate but related announcement, SAP revealed a new partnership with Samsung that will tap into its smartphones and wearable devices in retail and IoT scenarios. Read Original Content

A new report from Hampleton Partners reveals internet-connected device investment has gathered pace in 2014, attracting a range of key US technology and telecoms companies. $9.4bn has been invested to buy Internet of Things suppliers over the last three years, with around $5 billion being invested during the initial nine months of 2014. Read Original Content

B2M Solutions’ mobile software delivers valuable insight and actionable analytics for enterprise customers. Business leaders and managers within the mission critical, rugged mobile enterprise now have operational views of key business and technology analytics affecting performance and productivity. B2M software is developed with specific functionality to help organizations identify and unblock mobility problems as soon as, or even before, they occur, allowing customers to sustain critical business processes and gain competitive advantages. To Lean more visit www.B2M-Solutions.com.  This newsletter is sponsored in part by B2M Solutions

Analysys Mason reports M2M/IoT growth in the MENA region is estimated to reach over $2 billion by 2016, with a 34 percent combined annual growth rate through 2018. Read Original Content

Telefónica Chile will use a new R&D center in the country to develop Internet of Things technologies with an initial focus on smart cities and the mining and agriculture sectors. Read Original Content

Pertino CMO Todd Krautkremer believes the Internet of Things should be called the Cloud of Things, since you can only derive its full benefit through cloud computing and storage. Read Original Content

Dell Inc. has debuted its first lab devoted to researching the Internet of Things at the company's Santa Clara offices, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Read Original Content

According to a new report by ISACA, about 50 percent of over 1,600 EMEA-based IT professionals surveyed by the association believe the benefits of IoT far outweigh the costs. Read Original Content

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************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies
Recommended Strategy Book Code Halos
Recommended iPad App Code Halos for iPads

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.