Archive for the ‘Futures’ Category

Information Technology and Sustainable Competitive Advantage   Leave a comment

How does information technology help you sustain your competitive advantage?

Is it just a matter of simply just getting the latest smartphone and apps? Or ensuring that your staff have the latest laptops and fastest internet connection? What about the cloud, and moving your data and applications to a completely web-based scenario?

These are important, but there is so much more to consider.

For IT should be there to support the business, not the other way around. IT is a service, a service to help the organisation achieve its goals. And to achieve long term success, those goals should be framed with sustainable competitive advantage in mind. And sustainable competitive advantage is built upon what you do with what you have. Therefore the question is: how well are you using the resources and capabilities at your disposal?

One way of thinking about sustainable competitive advantage is the VRIO model. Where V stands for value, R for rare, I for imitable and O for organisation. So, what do you have that is of value? And does this value enable you to compete in your market? The second layer is rarity. How rare is that resource/capability? Third is imitable. You may have something of value, and it may be somewhat rare, but how easy is it to copy? Perhaps a technology, a process, or the people you have. How easy is it for your competitors to imitate what you do or have? And finally, organisation. How well are you organised to take advantage of what you have?

And this is where information technology comes in. For IT is about information. It’s about the technology you use to support the flow of information throughout your organisation.

Pardon the pun, but IT helps you organise your organisation!

Think about all the different parts of your for-profit or not-for-profit organisation. Think about the operational departments, the sales and marketing people, the product support team, and so on. How well is information flowing between them? How easy is it for the people in each of those sections to get hold of the information they need to do their jobs? Who uses their information outputs, and what do they do with that information.

So we can see that there is a direct link between sustainable competitive advantage and the information technology you employ.

Information Technology helps you to take advantage of the valuable, rare and imitable resources and capabilities at your disposal.
For more of what I have to offer, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my strategy and futures-centric blog.

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Posted November 2, 2015 by terop in Futures, ICT Strategy, Innovation, Technologies

What do we do with all of this data?   Leave a comment

At the recent CES, the “Internet of Things” (IoT) was all the rage. With internet connected sensors, miniature computers, appliances, and more being touted as the best thing to get a hold of. It seems that we will be flooded with data.

And what about our personal tech? Think wearables and biometric data. From a third party perspective, think about the mass of heart rate, step, cadence and calorie data that is now available.

And then there is all that data available from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Data concerning our preferences, our connections, our habits.

Where will this lead?

What is the point of having this surfeit of data?

Where will this abundance take us to.

Well, one view is that all this data is but the foundation of the DIKW pyramid.

  1. Data
  2. Information
  3. Knowledge
  4. Wisdom

We have all of this data. But from data we derive information. That is, we can describe sets of data using terms and language with which we are familiar. For example, the data we read from a mass of temperature sensors leads us to describing how hot or cold the day feels. Then from this information, we derive knowledge. Knowledge, in the case of information derived from temperature sensors, about what we should wear. That is, how we should react to the information we receive.

And then finally wisdom. Knowledge in action. Judgement about choosing between courses of action.

So, the question is, will we use this abundance of data for making right decisions? Will the data collected from say these “Internet of Things” devices lead to providing ethical solutions to intractable problems? Will the data collected from personal tech lead to an improvement in, for example, mortality rates? Will the use of data that social media platforms collect lead to better societies and communities around the globe?

For more, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my strategy and futures-centric blog.

IT Bias Improves Innovation   Leave a comment

Research indicates that investment in IT leads to improved innovation outcomes. For the purposes of this short discussion, there are three components of innovation:

  1. the intensity of research & development
  2. acknowledged Intellectual Property of the firm (patents)
  3. the value of intangible assets

Further, it has been found that four of the top five reasons for investment in information technology among Fortune 500 companies are related to:

  • intangible assets
  • innovation activities
  • exploration activities

Thus IT is associated with the finding new areas of growth, for exploring perhaps unchartered territory. IT is central to innovation. A focus on IT improves the value of the firm by expanding the intangible asset base.

So, are you using information technology to:

  • develop new products?
  • analyse current and new markets”
  • expand your theoretical knowledge about your products and services?
  • understand how you can do what you do in a better way?

For more, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my strategy and futures-centric blog.

Posted August 18, 2014 by terop in Futures, ICT Strategy, Innovation

Technology Hype or Trend?   Leave a comment

In the world of technology there are many fascinating developments. Think about Google Glass, 3D printing, driverless cars and graphene.

But what causes these developments to move out of hype and inflated expectations into something disruptive. What causes a potential disruption to become an actual disruption?

Think about cloud computing. Several years ago it was pie in the sky. That there was the possibility that enterprises could offload all of their computing infrastructure to a third party. That organisations of all sizes could stick to their knitting and not worry about their IT.

And what happened? Delivery costs came down, governance questions were answered satisfactorily, provider choice blossomed. To the point that that hype has become a trend to the point that the technology is becoming embedded into how organizations run their IT.

Now, think about Bitcoin. About crypto-currency. Its all the hype now. There’s some inflated expectations that it will replace our standard commercial and retail transactions. That in the wake of recent financial matters that this industry is ripe for disruption.

So, what will happen? Well, the stages are:

  1. the framing of technology and its uses will iteratively improve over time
  2. some key people, institutions and organisations will take the lead and become a change agent with this technology
  3. issues around how the technology will be used in the mainstream will be resolved as it becomes more widespread

Thus, with respect to Bitcoin, watch to see if there are some key backers of the technology. It’ll tell you that this financial instrument is headed to mainstream.

For more, visit Dellium Advisory, follow on Twitter, connect using LinkedIn, or review my strategy and futures-centric blog.

Posted July 22, 2014 by terop in Futures, ICT Strategy, Innovation, Technologies