Posts Tagged ‘ strategic technology ’

sensible tech supply and demand

what do samsung and barnes&noble have in “common” today?  well b&n seems poised to lose out a golden opportunity create a market for nook. they wont have the nook in stores for sales or demos because … get this … excess demand for its devices!  hmmm …

on the other hand, samsung announced that is has beat its 2009 handset demand handsomly (pun intended).  50M units by end of nov 09 vs. 10M units by end of nov 08.  wow ….

so, what’s with the difference between ‘hmmm…’ and ‘wow…’ … and whats it got to do with the economics of tech supply and demand?

3 obvious ideas:

a. plan for success … blazing success: whether you are an old hand at tech a-la samsung, or a newbie like b&n, plan for success.  if you truly believe in your product, plan to have a product on hand when that elusive much-anticipated customer comes calling.  especially during holiday shopping.  there is no charm in gifting someone a nook gift-card.  get the real deal.  or be ready to see your competition kindle a hotter fire this year!

b. strategy focused operations: got to get your operations right and have it aligned with your strategy.  strategy without operations is like a hot air balloon without the hot air.  operations might be the plain ‘old boring stuff.  but thats what makes organizations run … or soar.  if you cant make a holiday delivery during the holiday season, its time to re-examine your operations.  what are the kinds of cascading management decisions that led you to this mess?  some over-compensation for the bull-whip effect?  cludgy inventory holding costs that held a supplier back?  a vendor management policy that turns up with unintended consequences?  oh, pray.  what made a ‘wow’ a ‘hmmmm’?!

c. marketing buzz and magic: whatever you do … whatever you do … dont forget the power of marketing.   even scarcity is an opportunity … if marketed well.  (apple seems to get this right all the time).  why, even google, the purveyor of digital goods has made scarcity an art form … and used it to generate hyper demand.  no wonder you see waves of interest in google! – the Business Value Alignment™ firm, linking Strategy | Organization | Execution


social networking … will the pendulum swing back?

in a world where everybody seems to have something to say in the hope that everyone else is following … we are beginning to see some curbs come into play.

the pentagon reviewed social networking on computers and we see that the marines have banned social networking sites.  that is pretty reasonable given the security risks involved in publishing any-to-any information over open networks.

one person has even gone far enough to suggest that social networking is outright dangerous!

the transient nature of instant-contact and combined with the permanence of communication-records, makes for an interesting environment where folks tend to share things that they might never otherwise consider sharing.  add to that the relative comfort afforded by keyboards that seem to ‘de-personalize emotions’, you’ve got a flood of expression out on in public domain that might otherwise not escape the privacy of ones cranial confines.

makes me wonder whether the pendulum which has swung to the extreme of total openness will begin to swing back … after all, just how much of our time pie can be continue to give up to the social networking slice?  what do you think?

3 obvious ideas:

a. why: consider why you are connecting and communicating through social networking sites.  if its ‘because its the cool thing to do’, you are probably sending the wrong kinds of messages.  it helps to have a pretty solid reason to be out there.  while this might appear to go against the very grain of social networking, let us not forget that social networking on the internet is still about human-to-human contact and you dont want to be out there blabbering from a soapbox like the guys you find at trafalgar square declaring that the ‘end of the world is here’.  (i guess you could say they know ‘why’ they are there)

b. what: consider what the core essence of your message is.  whether you are posting pictures of your weekend party or random musings from the beach, dont lose sight of what the core message is.  communicating for the sake of communicating just adds more noise to the channel and makes for an overall sub-optimal experience … over the long term.

c. whom: its pretty obvious to consider whom you are trying to reach out to.  deeply divisive and polarising topics tend to attract undue interest and intense online debate.  dont forget that the ‘whom’ in this case can be pretty much anyone out there.  so dont get into an online debate or argument with a total stranger … regardless of how passionate you are about the topic.  its just not worth it.

teachable moments … in technology leadership

the world of technology leadership is long overdue for its share of ‘teachable moments’.  i was going through some old trade rags and business mags that seemed to have escaped the eventual journey to the recycle bin … for about 7 or 8 years!  i was struck by how the topic of ‘business-IT’ alignment seems to have barely progressed in the last half decade or so.

the pain points, promises and pontifications on business-IT alignment have not seemed to change a lot.  indeed, that is depressing.

i would have hoped to see the dialog progress in some direction.  hopefully progressive, not regressive.  but status-quo is dangerous.   even disastrous.

3 obvious ideas:

a. from buzz to business-need: we need to step back from the din of new buzzwords and tech, and ask ourselves a fundamental questions: “what do we want to achieve with technology?” “what are we able to?” “what are we not able to?”

b. from cost to competency: we need cio’s to move away from a focus on cost-containment to one on organization competency-creation.  “what can we do with technology to enable business value creation?”

c. from staffing-for-operations to staffing-for-success: we also need cio’s to shift their staffing from a vertical domain-orientation to a horizontal competency-orientation.  while engineering and operations oriented teams will still be needed, we will need to see more artistic analysts and creative consultants within the cio organization.

what do you think?

innovation @ the speed of … oh, waIT! has an interesting piece by mark johnson from innosight where he suggests that IT must play a role if a company is reinventing itself.

his charge to the world @ large is that ceo’s must think about the role of the cio in business model reinvention.  also, cio’s need to think about the business model taking a business perspective and work with the heads of marketing or biz dev to address opportunities early on…

very timely insights and counsel … more so during this time in our economy when cio’s are facing economic pressures they must make sure that they dont cut back on support for ideation and innovation … even if payoffs dont appear to sit on the quarterly horizon.

3 obviousideas:

a. directionally: think industry first, inside next.  it is alluringly easy to get caught in the trap of internal policies, processes and practices … and end up losing sight of where we are going  … and where others are headed.

b. organizationally: cio’s must have a dedicated internal consulting and advisory practice which is not linked to ‘billable hour’ targets.  take away their time-sheets and chargeback mechanics … give them a healthy business development budget (read: lunch / dinner / golf) and let them interface and interact with your internal customers.

b. practically: dont let IT governance models like project portfolio management process / systems / tools  come in the way of true innovation.  remember, your competition could be innovating and executing at a much faster speed with the benefit of light-weight governance.  you dont want to get killed by your seatbelt, do you?  yes, a rough analogy …

mit sloan cio symposium planning meeting … what an evening!

the 6th annual mit sloan cio symposium will convene on may 20 in cambridge on the hallowed lands of mit … it promises to be a dynamic day with ceo’s, cio’s, analysts, faculty and practitioners.

it is amazing to note what a 100% volunteer team has managed to execute.  the planning event earlier today had its usual mix of friendly folks + fine food + fun.  graham rong + chris reichert are leading an amazingly talented team between sponsorship, marketing, logistics, web, partnerships and more.

3 obviousideas:

a. if you are a cio, do not miss this event.   it is a unique opportunity for a mind-meld with like-minded professionals that care about delivering business value through information technology.

b. if you are not a cio, show up to find out what your cio cares about.  get a sneak peek into what the future of business technology might look like and figure out what you’d like to do about it today.

c. if you are still not sure why you should go… check out and see who is coming !  at a minimum, the rich conversations + connections will make the hike to mit worth the while.