The Innovation Imperative


Web 2.0 capabilities align very closely with mounting enterprise issues; and it’s changing the way that knowledge workers interact with information and one another. Web 2.0 and advanced forms of analytics support the most compelling challenge facing the 21st century Enterprise; the need to create sustainable competitive advantage. New forms of innovation and the speed of that innovation are the keys to creating that competitive advantage. The perfect storm of technology innovation referenced on this Blog will enable: 1) the inclusion of consumers, partners, employees, and other stakeholders in the innovation process. 2) The ability to collaborate, access, and act on growing amounts of information in a shorter timeframe. 3) Small groups to come together quickly to problem solve. 4) Customers to receive personalized products and attention. 5) The enterprise to meet customer demand for more customization and flexibility and create products and services faster, at far lower cost, with far less risk. 6) Employees to improve communication, productivity, and knowledge capture. 7) The increase of loyalty and revenues, while reducing sales and support costs. 8) The retention of tacit knowledge as key staff retires or moves on to other opportunities (baby boomer). 9) The attraction and retention of younger talent (the Internet generation).

These business imperatives are essential for the enterprise to compete: innovation is the only answer. Web 2.0 enables employees, partners, customers, consumers, government, and other stakeholders to participate in the innovation process, while advanced analytics provide actionable intelligence to accelerate it. When a phenomenon this large aligns so closely with the compelling needs of business, it is a clear sign that the time is now.

Disruption in the Retail Industry


In this report from The IBM Business Value Institute titled Meeting the Demands of the Smarter Consumer, it is easy to see the impact that the smarter consumer is having on the retail industry. This is a broader indicator of the challenges facing all businesses and governments and underscores the need for customer intimacy as a business imperative. This to me continues to highlight that our current social and data-rich state represents both tremendous opportunity and considerable challenge. I recommend this report for its insight into this growing phenomena.

The Value of Twitter


I highly recommend this article by Mark Suster titled The Power of Twitter in Information Discovery. This same author has written a piece on Twitter’s use cases, which is also a good read. For those that still think Twitter is about telling people what you had for breakfast, these are must reads. I agree completely with his perspective and use Twitter in a very similar manner.

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A look at 2011


As 2010 winds down, it is time to look ahead to 2011. I have high expectations as the calendar turns, and I believe 2011 will be the year of adoption. I believe we’ve reached a point where cash will come off the sidelines and I expect to see technology investments focused on revenue generation and value creation. With that as a backdrop, I’ll Label 2011 as the year of collaboration and intelligence – the two areas that I believe align very well with pressing business priorities. So here are my thoughts on 2011.

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Reinventing Customer Relationships


CEOs believe that the time has come to reinvent customer relationships. That’s one of the key findings in IBM’s 2010 CEO Study titled “Capitalizing on Complexity”. This belief is based on the following observations: 

  1. The world is massively interconnected, thereby making customer intimacy a priority
  2. Customers have more options due to globalization and dramatic increases in available information
  3. Differentiation will come from innovation and co-creation with customers
  4. The information explosion presents a great opportunity to develop deep customer insights 

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Social Technologies and Innovation


I have long believed that social technologies would usher in a new era of innovation. Terms like crowd sourcing, the wisdom of crowds and collective Intelligence, all speak to the notion that innovation is not an organizational function, but the ideas of an organization, community, or society. Social technologies and new emerging forms of analytics allow us to create an environment for idea creation, and an ability to quickly capture the resulting insight. User generated content has long existed in the world of social media – and new ways to capture relevant insight are evolving. What’s exciting is the growing use of social technologies inside the enterprise. Once the environment for collaboration and idea generation is established, the next step us harnessing all of the insight available both inside the enterprise and out. This article on Social Technologies and Innovation does a good job of describing the growing role of social technology inside the enterprise.