Charting Your Digital Agenda: Six Technology Trends Driving Competitive Advantage, Now and in Years to Come
 

Charting Your Digital Agenda: Six Technology Trends Driving Competitive Advantage, Now and in Years to Come

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Companies today need to capitalize on these six consumer-influenced technologies to achieve competitive advantage in the years to come.

Companies today need to capitalize on these six consumer-influenced technologies to achieve competitive advantage in the years to come.

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Charting Your Digital Agenda: Six Technology Trends Driving Competitive Advantage, Now and in Years to Come Charting Your Digital Agenda: Six Technology Trends Driving Competitive Advantage, Now and in Years to Come Document Transcript

  • • Cognizant 20-20 InsightsCharting Your Digital Agenda:Six Technology Trends DrivingCompetitive Advantage, Now andin Years to Come Executive Summary explore the world. Somewhat more slowly, but just as surely, these consumer-oriented technologies Whether they serve consumers, businesses or are forcing traditional business models to mutate, both, companies today need to create an agenda presenting both unprecedented opportunity and that outlines how they will capitalize on the latest massive disruption in affected industries. developments in the consumerization of infor- mation technology. In particular, organizations Organizations of all sizes are grappling with how need to consider how to incorporate six technical best to leverage these consumer technologies developments for profitable use: to advance business objectives and experience • Mobile devices breakthroughs in competitive advantage. The six technologies discussed in this report are not nec- • Game dynamics essarily new in terms of having just appeared, but • Augmented reality companies are beginning to use them in innovative • Social currency ways that will drive profits for years to come. • Location-based applications Now more than ever, technology reflects that • Virtual goods we are social creatures, whether interacting for business or pleasure. No matter which industry These technological developments first emerged you operate in, your organization needs to outline in the consumer world, but business applications how it will use mobile platforms, social capabili- are becoming prevalent. This white paper will ties and virtualization to achieve its potential in discuss the six key technologies that will work the digital economy. individually and in concert to engage and delight customers and prospects. In our view, there are six key technologies and developments that businesses should embrace Embracing Consumer Technologies to stay competitive in the near term. Leading Consumer technologies such as smart devices, companies are already infusing these technolo- social networks and intuitive Web interfaces gies into the core of their digital agenda — singly began in the consumer world and quickly trans- or in combination — using them to offer richer, formed the way we socialize, interact, shop, relax, more interactive user experiences that will keep consume entertainment and reading material and customers coming back for more. cognizant 20-20 insights | september 2011
  • 1. Mobile devices. Mobile devices have exploded tive collaboration requires a breaking down in the last five years due to widespread of barriers such as inertia and mistrust, consumer adoption of smartphones (notably which is difficult to achieve without offer- the iPhone) and tablets (chiefly ing participants an incentive for doing so. the iPad). In fact, according Many organizations are now applying game to IDC, sales of smartphones dynamics to influence collaboration and com- surpassed those of PCs last year, munity with employees, partners and even with smartphone shipments customers, both within and outside their cor- growing 87% from 2009 to porate boundaries. Companies have created 2010, while PC shipments rose platforms to incorporate game dynamics so only 3%.1 Consumers now people can engage more effectively with their expect to be able to consume content and also to motivate desired behav- data anywhere, any time, iors among their constituencies. on any device, and business For example, with its Humana Games for user expectations are only slightly behind Health (HG4H) site, health insurance giant consumers’. Humana Health Insurance has used games — A notable B2B example: The real estate arm video games, among others — to encourage its of the insurance and financial services giant members to exercise their minds and bodies Prudential recently launched a listing app for for better health. Members can participate the iPad.2 Forward-thinking companies are in challenges, earn points toward rewards offering their own mobile apps stores a la and engage in friendly competition with iTunes so both internal and external users can friends and family. Theoretically, Humana will download and use their applications. Any orga- reduce healthcare claims from its members, nization that has not already enabled mobile while members benefit from being healthier. consumption of its data (or does not have Another potential health application: a daily an active project in the works to do so) is in game that prompts patients to take their danger of failing to provide a critical aspect of medications while engaging them in enter- customer experience. taining play. This does not imply, of course, that the mobili- Gamification enables organizations to make zation of data is a straightforward proposition, their content more compelling — and fun — especially in a B2B context. On the data con- so people want to come back. Research has sumption side, organizations are grappling with shown that online users are highly motivated creating processes and governance policies by the prospect of earning currency — money, for employees to use mobile devices like the rewards points or social currency. Companies iPad in the workplace. Security and privacy could harness this concept to encourage are major concerns that must be addressed employee interaction. Beyond tangible rewards, sooner rather than later. most people appreciate recognition of their Get ready: Every future IT project or program expertise, whether shared via reviews, online will build in smartphone and/or tablet integra- bulletin boards or an e-knowledgebase. Users tion as the primary means for consuming data. could earn points in these venues, allowing Organizations that have not considered this them to make a name for themselves by being should revisit their IT roadmaps. a frequent reviewer or commentator.2. Game dynamics or “gamification” tech- In a B2B context, customer service personnel niques involve the application of game design could earn recognition for sharing product- techniques and mechanisms to create compel- quality information with the product devel- ling, interactive content. Game opment team, enabling ongoing collaborative dynamics will be a large part of process improvement. Entrenched corporate strategies that involve consum- cultures have created roadblocks to collabo- er engagement. The use of such rating; gamification may be the lubrication game dynamics will be the next that greases the wheels. And gamification wave of generating loyalty and platforms (such as Nitro from Bunchball4) will advocacy among consumers. make it easier for companies to inject game techniques into their content and applications, Business applications will whether B2B or consumer-oriented. come, as well. After all, effec- cognizant 20-20 insights 2
  • 3. Augmented reality (AR). AR has enormous dimensions.8 The simulator will quickly and potential in both the consumer and business elegantly say whether or not the user’s goods worlds. Advanced companies are already will fit in the box. Augmented reality has putting AR to countless innovative uses — enormous potential for both fun and practical everything from a virtual mirror to check business and consumer uses. out how clothes and hairstyles 4. Social currency. Related to the “gamifica- would look on you, to virtual tion” trend noted previously, social currency worlds on your smartphone that involves a form of currency (points, ratings orient you to your surround- and the like) that users earn in an online social ings using floating icons. AR context. The rewards points that credit cards is a natural for the consumer offer in exchange for meeting world, but enterprises will also certain purchasing levels were embrace AR-based applications an early form of social cur- and solutions en masse in the rency. E-community sites are next few years. Vendors offering already offering social currency AR platforms will be in high in exchange for posting user- demand. generated content. Sites like For consumer applications, AR can add much Amazon.com could offer cur- sizzle to the user experience. Visitors to the rency to influential reviewers; BMW Web site, for example, can explore their these elite users could then use desired model, for example the Z4, in a highly points to pay for or reduce the realistic way and can even configure their cost of purchases. Many companies that have dream car via an AR-powered configurator.5 employed games to sweeten the use of their But AR need not be confined to luxury goods; content also offer social currency as a reward it can be used effectively for simple goods, too. for participation. Children, for example, can scan the code from In addition to virtually limitless consumer their Doritos Sweet Chili chips package on the application possibilities, businesses can offer Doritos Web site to access a special cartoon, social currency to motivate their employees a fun experience that has a cache of exclusiv- toward preferred behaviors, such as collabora- ity.6 Another example: the Topps “3D LIVE” tion. Consumer and B2B marketplaces will be baseball card line features a baseball that built on social currencies. leaps from the card onto the user’s desk, as viewed via a webcam.7 While viewing miniature Enterprises will increasingly adopt strategies holographic representations of a player, users that tap into the geo-social behavior of can control the player’s signature moves via consumers to maintain the loyalty of their the keyboard. consumer base. Social currency will become one of the most popular and lucrative Beyond the fun of exploring a virtual world, approaches. AR has a highly practical side. A business that buys a high-end printer, for example, 5. Location-based applications. Yelp, Four- might get up to speed on its features via an square and the like have been on the scene AR application. Field service personnel could for years now, but they will come to greater access AR tutorials to better understand how prominence (even ubiquity) to repair a piece of equipment. Virtual agents in coming years. Many orga- already welcome visitors to a variety of Web nizations, especially those sites, in hopes of making users feel a personal serving consumers, are connection with the material presented there. examining how they can use location-based applications It is only a matter of time — and not much time, to delight their customers. at that — before AR applications will become entirely routine for consumer and business Location-based apps require experiences, from the sublime to the mundane. a particularly thoughtful The U.S. Postal Service now offers a “virtual approach, as they neces- box simulator” that allows users to scan the sarily impact the user’s privacy. Many people items they want to ship on a PC’s camera and are not comfortable with letting an applica- then virtually place them in a box of certain tion use their current physical location as the cognizant 20-20 insights 3
  • basis for serving more information. We believe Insurance Group, offers insurance to secure this concern will lessen, however, especially virtual property.9 Many consumers have built among millennials and their younger counter- extensive collections of virtual goods — with parts, as users see the value of swapping some the associated online status — and they do not privacy rights for information (such as the want to risk losing them to a computer crash or nearest Indian restaurant) and value (including other mishap. According to the Inside Virtual immediate coupons for the very item the Goods report, the U.S. virtual goods market shopper seeks). Organizations will do well to will reach $2.1 billion this year.10 implement location-based applications with With such a significant market size, virtual sensitivity to privacy concerns and to embed goods are an increasingly viable way of earning ways to mitigate those concerns (for example, revenue. One possibility is for companies to allowing users to turn location-based capabili- offer virtual and physical goods in a market- ties on and off at will). place. At this moment, it is hard to fathom that6. Virtual goods. Unimaginable just a few short there is equal potential for B2B virtual goods, years ago, virtual goods are just that — online but the emotional lure is such that this may incarnations of things that people want in the come to pass. real world (flowers, clothing, jewels, pets and cars are a Enterprises of all types and sizes must build a few), as well as entities that digital agenda to remain competitive today and exist only virtually (such as survive in tomorrow’s marketplace. The six tech- avatars). Online consumers nologies and developments in this white paper have embraced virtual goods work together or separately to engage consumers with a passion. Ephemeral as and workers, now and in the future. Most of the they are, virtual goods clearly technologies have a playful aspect that does not have emotional meaning for preclude their use in business applications — far consumers. from it. The future of work will look much like play at present, with enhanced virtual interactivity to Case in point: This year for the first time, a make work compelling for all types of users and Chinese insurance company, the Sunshine applications.Footnotes1 “Slowing Consumer Demand Reduces PC Growth for 2011 While Longer Term Growth Will Remain in Double Digits,” IDC, June 6, 2011, http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS22861211; “Android Rises, Symbian 3 and Windows Phone 7 Launch as Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Increase 87.2% Year Over Year,” IDC, Feb. 7, 2011, http://www.idc.com/about/viewpressrelease.jsp?containerId=prUS2268 9111&sectionId=null&elementId=null&pageType=SYNOPSIS2 “Check Out the Prudential iPhone/iPad App,” Real Estate Connect, Feb. 11, 2011, http://realestateconnect. wordpress.com/2011/02/11/check-out-the-prudential-iphoneipad-app/3 Humana Games Web site, http://www.humanagames.com/4 Bunchball Web site, http://www.bunchball.com5 BMW Z4, BMW Web site, http://www.bmw.co.uk/bmwuk/augmented_reality/homepage?bcsource=vanity6 Doritos Web site, http://www.doritos.com.br/sweetchili/site/7 Topps Web site, http://www,toppstown.com8 U.S. Postal Service Web site, https://www.prioritymail.com/simulator.asp9 Jeremy Hsu, “Video Game Property Insurance Protects Virtual Goods,” Innovation News Daily, July 7, 2011, http://www.innovationnewsdaily.com/insurance-virtual-items-games-2105/10 Dean Takahashi, “U.S. Virtual Goods Market to Hit $2.1 Billion in 2011,” GamesBeat, Sept. 28, 2010, http://venturebeat.com/2010/09/28/u-s-virtual-goods-market-to-hit-2-1-billion-in-2011/ cognizant 20-20 insights 4
  • About the AuthorsDileep Srinivasan is a Vice President for CRM, Social CRM and Digital Marketing in Cognizant’sCustomer Solutions Practice. He specializes in helping organizations across industries apply tra-ditional and emerging social CRM tools to generate long-term business value. He can be reached atDileep.Srinivasan@cognizant.com and on Twitter @dileepsri.About CognizantCognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process out-sourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered inTeaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industryand business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 50delivery centers worldwide and approximately 118,000 employees as of June 30, 2011, Cognizant is a member of theNASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performing andfastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at www.cognizant.com or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant. World Headquarters European Headquarters India Operations Headquarters 500 Frank W. Burr Blvd. 1 Kingdom Street #5/535, Old Mahabalipuram Road Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA Paddington Central Okkiyam Pettai, Thoraipakkam Phone: +1 201 801 0233 London W2 6BD Chennai, 600 096 India Fax: +1 201 801 0243 Phone: +44 (0) 20 7297 7600 Phone: +91 (0) 44 4209 6000 Toll Free: +1 888 937 3277 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7121 0102 Fax: +91 (0) 44 4209 6060 Email: inquiry@cognizant.com Email: infouk@cognizant.com Email: inquiryindia@cognizant.com© Copyright 2011, Cognizant. All rights reserved. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by anymeans, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the express written permission from Cognizant. The information contained herein issubject to change without notice. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.