Saying CX Is A Priority Is Easy. Following Through On It Is Tough.

Kyle McNabb

Any executive can say they place great priority on customer experience (CX). In fact, 74% of executives state their top 2015 priority is improving CX. And if you’re a Forrester client, you know - thanks to our ongoing research - that doing so will drive greater customer acquisition and loyalty.

But saying CX is a priority is easy, making it actionable speaks volumes. Frankly, if your firm isn’t taking action to relentlessly pursue CX improvement, to become customer obsessed, you’re making a mistake.

Those actions give CIOs and their teams an incredible opportunity. Technology empowers your customers, members, clients, and buyers today. And your business leaders need you to expand beyond using technology to support or transform internal operations - what we call the IT agenda. Today, business leaders need your help to compete for customer loyalty. Today, business leaders need you and your teams to help them apply technology, systems,and process to win, serve, and retain customers- the business technology (BT) agenda.

Executing on the BT agenda gives you and your team the opportunity to make the biggest, most visible contribution to your firm I can think of - top line growth. Keep three things in mind as you strive to take advantage of this opportunity:

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Samsung Commits To The Business Segment At CeBIT 2015 With IoT Solutions

Dan Bieler

Samsung launched its business offerings at CeBIT 2015. Samsung Business is a new brand and combines Samsung’s Knox for security and enterprise mobility management, Smart Signage, and printing. Samsung Business offers industry-specific solutions for retail, education, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, and financial services.

In retail, Samsung offers digital mirror and video wall devices. School Solution integrates its mobile devices with interactive learning tools. Its Smart Hotel Solution offers premium in-room experience and information bulletin touchscreens. The Preventive Mobile Cardiac Rehabilitation solution enables real-time monitoring of chronic conditions. For financial services, Samsung provides secure document handling and printing services. And its transportation solution provides real-time information and analysis of data. My main takeaways:

  • Samsung Business is a good first step toward catering to businesses. Samsung has enormous potential to leverage its existing consumer device expertise and experiences, especially in the B2B2C space. Samsung is right to opt for an open and collaborative Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem to overcome the challenges of platform compatibility, data analysis, and security. Samsung has a long track record in focusing on user experience. This should help it deliver high-quality and intuitive-to-use business solutions.
  • Samsung’s sector solutions are still rather basic. At this stage, Samsung is right to focus on a handful of offerings that it is familiar with and can deliver with high quality. However, Samsung will need to drill down deeper into business processes and business models to become successful in the emerging world of IoT longer term.
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Beyond Show-Me-The-Money: Tech Jobs Require More Than Tax Incentives

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

 

A Mission of MercyEconomic development means different things to different people. It depends on their context.  In my early work as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa development meant bringing running water to villages.  My town was the new recipient of a public water system from the Danish Aid Agency.

But broadly speaking, economic development initiatives are efforts to attract investment to a region.  For most places, it’s not about running water but about creating jobs.  And, some of the best jobs out there – in demand and high paying – are in technology or in software development more specifically.  Software is the future.  And, many cities, states and countries want to get in on the act.  Yes, many of the software development jobs will go to product development shops but they need to hire from somewhere and government leadersare hoping to bring those jobs to their constituents.

A classic strategy for attracting investment to a region is to provide tax incentives.   We’ll give you a break on your corporate taxes for a period of time if you bring your new headquarters or factory or research facility to our region.  A quick search reveals many such programs. Apparently Texas is “wide open for business” and is willing to provide tax abatements and local incentives. 

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How Data Can Enable Business Disruption: Traditional Retailers Must Take Note Of The Sharing Economy

Dan Bieler

Recently, I talked with the CEO and founder of reBuy about the shifting dynamics in the retail sector as a result of digitalization. The use of data has evolved to the point where data has become the enterprise’s most critical business asset in the age of the customer. The business model of reBuy reCommerce — the leading German marketplace for secondhand goods — can help CIOs understand how the intelligent use of data can significantly disrupt a market such as retail.

The case of reBuy offers interesting insights into how the wider trends of the sharing and collaborative economy affect retail. If you can buy a good-quality used product with a guarantee for half the price, many people will not buy the product new. Many consumers increasingly accept product reuse and see it as an opportunity to obtain cheaper products and reduce their environmental footprint by avoiding the production of items that wouldn’t be used efficiently. The reBuy case study highlights that:

  • Business technology is taking the sharing economy into new realms. The reBuy business model demonstrates that consumers are starting to push the ideas of the sharing economy deep into the retail space. CIOs in all industries must prepare for the implications that this will have for their businesses.
  • Standalone products are at particular risk of sharing dynamics. The example of reBuy shows that businesses that sell plain products will come under even more pressure from shifting shopping behavior, where people are increasingly satisfied with buying used goods. These businesses need to add value to those products that are not available for secondhand purchase.
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Cloud Implementations: The Default Choice For CIOs In Healthcare

Skip Snow

Up to a couple of years ago, healthcare technology executives advocating the use of managed services, cloud, and other off-premises uses of data were mavericks. Management told us that cloud presented too much risk. One leading doctor in a prestigious institution said to me, “I would rather see my institution’s name on the front page of the New York Times because of a data breach on premise. Seeing adverse publicity because we released our data to the cloud and a bad thing happened will destroy our reputation.” Management insisted that we keep the data under the control of our institutions by keeping it in a data center. In the age of health information exchange and value-based medicine, the rising cost of that infrastructure paradigm is no longer feasible. Today we hear healthcare CIOs telling us that the preference for solutions is cloud first, and on-premises solutions must be justified: Cloud-based solutions are becoming the default choice.

This seismic shift is due to several factors: 

  • Building and operating data centers is complex, expensive, and resource-intensive.
  • The network is fast and strong.
  • The removal of capital costs of hardware and infrastructure from budgets releases a great deal of capital for other more pressing needs.
  • The enactment of the HIPAA Omnibus rule, finalized in January 2013 and effective as of September of the same year, forces the vendor community to accept the responsibility for PHI and thus changed the paradigm around the feeling of regulatory protection granted to healthcare organizations when contemplating a "loss of control" of their data that was feared as they anticipated moving functions and capabilities to the cloud (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/administrative/omnibus/).
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Observations From Mobile World Congress 2015 From A CIO's Perspective

Dan Bieler

Mobile World Congress (MWC) was a real marathon: According to my wearable gadget, I walked 70,278 steps, or 53.7 km, in four days. So was it worth it apart from the workout?

MWC was certainly busy; it attracted more than 90,000 attendees, including about 50,000 C-level executives (of whom 4,500 were CEOs) — making it the largest MWC event to date. While MWC does not attempt to cater to CIOs’ requirements — only about one-third of the attendees come from outside the technology sector, mostly from government, financial institutions, and media and advertising firms — the event deals with all the critical topics that CIOs will have to address in the years ahead.

This year’s MWC focused on innovation, which is arguably the single most important business priority to ensure business survival in a rapidly changing marketplace. As a business enabler, every CIO must meet the expectation of today’s business customer that he can get what he wants in his immediate context and moment of need. MWC highlighted that:

  • Mobile is critical to provide a great user experience. Therefore, mobile is becoming a critical factor for CIOs in driving product, service, and process innovation and enhancing customer and employee engagement.
  • Consumerization is redefining enterprise mobility. At MWC we saw more and more vendors targeting the mobile mind shift taking place in the business segment. This is reflected in the shift of most mobile business solutions away from traditional sales and field force automation toward delivering mobile moments.
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The CIO And Digital Business

Nigel Fenwick

Digital footprintOver the past year, there has certainly been plenty of press coverage surrounding the emergence of the new “Chief Digital Officer” (CDO). And the research we published in 2013 on the CDO role does identify how some firms can potentially benefit from a CDO role working alongside the CMO and CIO. But I’m beginning to see more business-savvy CIOs follow Starbucks' ex-CIO Stephen Gillett’s example and step up to lead digital strategy and digital initiatives.

In fact, CIOs with experience in marketing and/or business-unit leadership — especially eBusiness — are well equipped to lead the future digital transformation journey in many companies. They understand business strategy; they can relate to the outside-in customer view; and they already have an enterprise perspective.

OK, so there are not many CIOs out there today with this kind of experience (my estimate is around 20%) — but this is exactly the kind of CIO that CEOs need to hire in the future.

So let’s not get too hung up on titles — what really matters is the ability to combine a deep understanding of the customer with an understanding of how digital technology will drive new sources of customer value.

That’s the focus of a new series of reports we’ve just published (see below). The reports help digital-savvy CIOs work with business leaders to create a clear vision for what it means to be a digital business and start down the path toward digital business transformation.

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Open Data And Trust Play An Important Role In Emerging Digital Ecosystems

Dan Bieler

Open data is critical for delivering contextual value to customers in digital ecosystems. For instance, The Weather Channel and OpenWeatherMap collect weather-related data points from millions of data sources, including the wingtips of aircraft. They could share these data points with car insurance companies. This would allow the insurers to expand their customer journey activities, such as alerting their customers in real time to warn them of an approaching hailstorm so that the car owners have a chance to move their cars to safety. Success requires making logical connections between isolated data fields to generate meaningful business intelligence.

But also trust is critical to deliver value in digital ecosystems. One of the key questions for big data is who owns the data. Is it the division that collects the data, the business as a whole, or the customer whose data is collected? Forrester believes that for data analytics to unfold its true potential and gain end user acceptance, the users themselves must remain the ultimate owner of their own data.

The development of control mechanisms that allow end users to control their data is a major task for CIOs. One possible approach could be dashboard portals that allow end users to specify which businesses can use which data sets and for what purpose. Private.me is trying to develop such a mechanism. It provides servers to which individual's information is distributed to be run by non-profit organizations. Data anonymization is another approach that many businesses are working on, despite the fact that there are limits to data anonymization as a means to ensure true privacy.

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Cognitive Computing Is Changing Healthcare, Slowly

Skip Snow

Artificial intelligence’s (AI's) reputation is having a significant reputational uplift. We have an Academy Award-nominated film, The Imitation Game ( http://theimitationgamemovie.com/), about arguably the father of AI, or even modern computing, that advocates passionately for the power of AI. We have IBM founding a new division, "Watson," based on the premise that cognitive computing can in fact be a profitable cloud-based business service that IBM offers.

Looking at my own domain of punditry "software for healthcare," I have to ask what, if anything, does all of this AI thaw means to the technology, operational, financial, and marketing executives in Forrester’s client base? To answer that we have to look what products or solutions have entered the marketplace that are capable of changing the core models of healthcare.

After over a year of research, we are capable of saying that cognitive computing is important to healthcare and is more than a science project. What we have found is that there is a divide between big health care business and smaller ones. The big businesses, the ones that are true centers of excellence in the provider, payer, and drug research arena are using the advances of cognitive computing machine learning and big data to innovate in fundamental ways.

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Anticipating Mobile World Congress 2015: Connectivity Trumps Mere Mobility

Jennifer Belissent, Ph.D.

 

infographic-imageWe are now only a few weeks away from Mobile World Congress, historically the pre-eminent event of the mobile industry and now one of the largest global events across all industries. Last year’s even attracted almost 90,000 attendees from over 200 countries.  The event draws representatives from mobile operators, device manufacturers, technology providers, vendors, content owners and governments from across the world.  Executives from all industries pay attention to products demonstrated and announcements made.  While “mobile” remains in the event title, last year’s event marked a changing of the guard:  The large presence of car manufacturers and the buzz around Facebook reflected that shift away from the event’s telecom roots.  This year that shift will be even more pronounced as the reign of mobility gives way to the new rule of connectivity.  Yes, we are mobile but the key is that while we are roaming the halls at work or the streets of a foreign city, we remain connected to the people and things we want and need to interact with. 

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