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THE RISE OF
DIGITAL DARWINISM
AND THE FALL OF
BUSINESS AS USUAL
By Brian Solis
with Jon Cifuentes
Custom research by Altimeter Group on behalf of Cognizant
Photo Credit: Cognizant
THE STATE OF THE DIGITAL WORLD:
The Future Is Already Here
Executive Summary
It is a strange and wonderful phenomenon: You’re sitting
at home, or perhaps at work, and you turn to your dazzling
personal computing device. Within seconds, you’re transported
to both a virtual and incredibly real online world, one that’s
global yet intimate. Although the device is driven by silicon
and fiber, the experience feels remarkably human. Here you
find friends, share ideas, conduct commerce, and delight in
moments of genuine engagement.
The more time and emotion we spend on our devices, the more
we blur the line between online and offline and enhancing the
experience of both. This isn’t an accident. We’re connected
because we can be. At any given moment, most people have
access to fast, always-on Internet, through a growing number of
mobile devices, where through social media we are at the center
of our own digital universe. With each moment, the coalescence
between the virtual and real worlds starts to transform
everything. It alters and enhances how we connect with friends,
discover and buy goods and services, ask for directions,
collaborate with colleagues, consume media, and even exercise.
Let us say that again: Technology has changed everything about
how people communicate, connect, and decide.
This means that a chasm already exists between how we work
and how we need to work.
About This Research
This custom research report
is sponsored by Cognizant.
While the research in this
report may have been
informed by Cognizant, all
findings and analysis are
independent.
2
Being online has never been more experiential, with technology
impacting our every analog decision. Technology advancements,
combined with the evolution in our behavior, is also affecting
businesses, governments, education, and, well, just about
everything. The world as we knew it and the world that we need
to get to know are getting farther and farther apart.
All of this talk about the future and how one day technology
is going to disrupt everything around us is more than just
talk. The future is already here. And for some, disruption has
followed closely behind. What lies ahead is both a challenge
and an opportunity. While customer behavior is changing,
causing tremendous shifts in our markets, we can benefit from
understanding not only what’s happening but also why. When
we understand these things, we’ll shift from reacting to trends to
leading them.
But we have to start with accepting that the way we approach
markets was only good enough for yesterday. Tomorrow will
require a new perspective and a new approach because the
future is here, now.
Already many seemingly invincible US brands have failed to
adapt, including Circuit City, Borders Group, Wherehouse,
Tower Records, Pontiac, Saturn, and Palm, among others. Grim
predictions show that the pattern has no end in sight.
Sometimes, the natural order of things proves too powerful to
overcome.
3
Executive Summary (continued)
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Digital Darwinism.................................................................................
Technology is Part of the Problem and Part of the Solution............
But We Really Aren’t Are Customer-Centric!....................................
Digital Transformation is the Key to Surviving Digital Darwinism...
Understanding the Dynamic Customer Journey..............................
Recognizing Code Halos...................................................................
The Crossroads Model: How to Win with Code Halos...................
The Path to Digital Transformation..................................................
Three Elements of Digital Transformatiom.....................................
Code Halos are the Life Force of the Second Economy................
Eight Success Factors of Digital Transformation............................
In the End this is Just the Begining.................................................
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4
DIGITAL DARWINISM
AND THE NATURAL SELECTION
OF ADAPTIVE ORGANIZATIONS
In 2011, Marc Andreessen famously said, “Software is eating
the world.”1
It is as poignant now as it was then. His point is
that technology is changing how business is done; once-prized
goods and services are becoming either commodities or simply
outmoded because of the acceleration and proliferation of
software.
But it is more than just software. Yes, it is what runs business,
fuels our entertainment, and keeps governments in power.
Software — in fact all of technology — is becoming more and
more approachable by anyone with an idea to do something
different or better. Innovation, or the likelihood of it, is now a
constant. Expect disruption.
Products are disrupted. Leadership and management systems
are disrupted. Business models are disrupted. Everything can
change and everything is changing.
And believe it or not, this is a good thing.
With the pervasiveness of innovation, companies are now
standing at a crossroads. Adapt to this connected environment
and join the evolved, digital ecosystem or become extinct.
Disrupt or Die!
This is a dire phenomenon known as Digital Darwinism, when
technology and society evolve faster than the ability to adapt
or lead. It is a form of natural selection in which organizations
must either possess or invest in specific traits to adapt to
environmental pressures or die out. Digital Darwinism favors
those companies that at least try to evolve to compete.
5
Digital Darwinism
When technology
and society evolve faster
than the ability to
adapt or lead
Malcolm Frank, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Pring. In their
book, the authors point out that when these six
companies used consumer technologies in new ways,
they “transformed customer expectations, established
new operating models, and violently upended
roughly a dozen mature industries.”5
In those mature
industries, the likes of Nokia, Borders, and AOL “lost
more than 90% of their 2003 enterprise values.”6
The story of Digital Darwinism is as vast as it is humbling.
There are almost too many examples to explore:
Mobile devices: Between 2004 and 2012, the
market capitalization for Nokia and Motorola
shrank by over 90%, or a combined $84 billion
loss, while Apple and Samsung gained more
than $600 billion in value. (Apple’s market cap
is clearly based on more than mobile phones,
but mobility is a cornerstone of its DNA.)7
Book retail: Between 2000 and 2012,
Barnes & Noble lost about half its market
value, while Borders’ value collapsed to zero.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s market cap grew more
than 20 times.8
Movie rentals: Between 2006 and 2012,
Blockbuster’s value dropped from about $5.5
billion to near zero, while Netflix grew more
than 360% during the same timeframe.9
Figure 1
The point of natural selection is that only some
businesses will survive. But unlike animal species, which
were unaware and unable to influence the evolution
around them, we have a choice in the matter.
In their book, Built to Change, authors Edward Lawler
and Christopher Worley observed that going back
to as early as the 1970s, businesses were struggling
to compete in or adapt to their environments. In
an analysis of Fortune 1000 corporations, they
discovered that between 1973 and 1983 35% of
companies in the top 20 were new.2
Their work shows that the number of new leading
companies rose to 45% between 1983 and 1993. That
number increased to 60% between 1993 and 2003,
causing them to ask, “Any bets as to where it will be
between 2003 and 2013?”3
Before you place your bet, think about this: a recent
advertisement produced by Babson College noted that
over 40% of the companies that were at the top of the
Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there in 2010.4
In fact, six digital-born companies — Amazon, Apple,
Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Pandora — have
created $1 trillion in market value, according to Code
Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and
Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business,
by Cognizant Center for the Future of Work members
6
360%
20X
$
600B
Source: Altimeter Group 2014
TECHNOLOGY IS PART OF THE
PROBLEM AND PART OF THE
SOLUTION
You need perspective, empathy, and the courage to
push forward when everyone around you is seemingly
pushing back to survive Digital Darwinism and excel in
digital transformation. What separates brands that fall
to digital evolution from those that excel is the ability
to recognize the need for change and the vision to
blaze a path toward renewed relevance among a new
generation of consumers.
Still, there’s a general lack of urgency and
understanding preventing acceptance that Digital
Darwinism is real. Changes in customer behavior and
expectations don’t affect businesses until they do.
Instead of leading change, however, businesses are
at risk of forever reacting to market changes until they
can no longer do so.
This leads to inevitable extinction. But it doesn’t have
to, so what’s the problem?
Many CEOs believe that technology is the most
important external factor shaping their organizations,
more so than market factors and macroeconomic
concerns, which are very dynamic in their own regard.
Yet knowing this, executives still can’t do anything
about it within a reasonable amount of time and
effort. In a recent executive survey conducted by
IBM, research found that 63% of executives believe
the pace of technology change in organizations
is too slow10
. Others complain that no one in the
organization is creating or illustrating the need to
change in order to rally people and create a sense of
overwhelming need to do something about it.
Another problem
is how companies
see the role of
technology within the
organization.
Historically,
businesses have used
technology to
improve efficiencies, optimize scale, and increase
margins wherever possible. At the same time,
technology investments have unintentionally created
distance between businesses and the people they’re
meant to serve.
For instance, when we think about customer
relationship management today, we could argue that
most organizations put their effort in quantifiable results
like sales and marketing, not into the relationship
itself. When technology is about scale, automation,
and in some cases forcing customers into non-human
channels to minimize “costly” engagement, the ability
to become customer-centric is impossible at best.
Technology isn’t just for automation and
operationalization, though. It is the very key to scale
personalization and engagement. After all, the
technology we use as consumers offers distinct clues
into who we are, what we value (or don’t), who we
connect with, what we shop for and buy, and how we
use things.
Businesses, though, still see customers as strangers, if
they see them at all.
7
CEOs believe
technology is the
most important
external factor
in shaping their
organizations
Technology
factors
2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2013
Market factors
Macro-economic
factors
People skills
Regulatory
concerns
Socio-economic
factors
Globalization
Environmental
issues
Geopolitical
factors
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9
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Figure 2 Technology at the top
CEOs think technology will be the most important external
force shaping the future of their enterprises
Source: IBM Global C-suite Study, 2013
As customers, we’ve come to expect certain details
and decisions already laid out for us. But there are
plenty of obvious cases, even in advanced businesses
that don’t consistently meet this call. For instance, why
doesn’t your ATM know what language you speak? It
only knows what’s in its system rather than all of those
critical bits of digital encoding that make you a unique
customer. The transactional data exists but only in
isolation to itself, not the world of data swimming
around you, the customer.
It is almost as if businesses don’t know us at all. What
happened to that pleasing online world you were
visiting just a few minutes ago?
We can do better. We have to do better. We just need
a new point of view.
BUT WE REALLY AREN’T
ARE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC!
We really aren’t as customer-centric as we believe.
The problem is that we still see these digital
customers through our analog standpoint. We
make strategic investments based on analog-first
experience, gut instinct, and business goals without
appreciating the differences between analog and
digital ways of thinking.
We may think we know that things are changing;
we may even use many of the technologies that are
disrupting behavior. But we’d argue that how digital
customers use technology is often questioned or
perhaps mocked simply because of the increasing
gap between analog-first incumbents and digital
natives. Many decision makers are out of touch with
what makes digital customers so different in terms
of what they value and expect. That mindset has to
evolve, says Cognizant’s vice president of customer
experience Ted Shelton. “Arriving at this new state
will require enormous changes in individual attitudes,
business processes, organizational structures, and
the technical infrastructure to support all of these
changes,” writes Shelton in Business Models for the
Social Media Cloud.11
This growing
chasm between
assumptions and
reality means
that a sense of
urgency is already
percolating.
Times are different now. And we’re just getting
started, because what’s new and different is rapidly
becoming the new normal. In fact, according to
SiriusDecisions, “67% of the buyer’s journey is already
done digitally.”12
That means where you’re investing in customer
experience and where customers are making
decisions and informing others of their decisions are
starting to fracture, if they haven’t already done so.
We can only benefit by getting answers or insights we
might not have had otherwise. Moving forward, we
need to answer a few critical questions:
• Do we know the differences between traditional
and digital customers?
• Do we understand their paths to purchase,
influence, and barriers to decision making?
• Do we know what, in each moment of truth, our
digital customers will do?
• Do we really know our customers at all?
We’re often challenged by executives who don’t feel
a sense of urgency to invest time and resources in
studying digital customers.
Yet we’ve heard time and time again that it is this
lack of urgency that prevents not only change but
discussions about change to gain traction.
“We’re profitable today,” executives will say.
Others will ask, “We already know our customers,
so why do we need to look at digital customers any
differently?”
What most executives are missing is that the digital
world offers a better chance than ever to reach
8
67%
of the buyer’s journey is
already done digitally.
		 -SiriusDecisions
9
customers. We have more data than ever to impact
customer choices, and customers have more data
on the businesses and brands trying to connect with
them. This is a real, current dystopia for businesses
that don’t invest, not some far-off, esoteric future for
doing business.
Perhaps most daunting of all is the complete lack of
any panacea for connecting with digital customers.
Connecting requires a complete transformation in
thinking, understanding, and, ultimately, the actions
we take for survival and success.
Another common problem we see in organizations is
the inability to accept or acknowledge perspectives
that look at the state of the business from the
outside. Outsider perspective often offers just that:
perspective.
Honestly, we’ve never met an executive who believes
that customers aren’t important. But the term
customer-centric is so much part of the business
vernacular that it is lost its meaning and significance.
There’s a difference between saying you’re customer-
centric and actually investing in customer-centricity
in the form of purpose, people, processes, and
technology.
Unfortunately, the Tempkin Group, an organization
focused on developing customer experience (CX)
strategies, found that only 7% of companies it
studied were actually customer-centric.13
This small
group didn’t just say they were customer-centric;
they talked to customers, recognized challenges and
opportunities, and invested in systems and processes
that brought them closer to customers.
Becoming customer-centric is key to not just success
but survival. It is the only way to understand the needs
and differences of digital and traditional customers.
It is what you do with these insights that sets you up
for immediate and long-term success. The process
of learning from changes in customer behavior and
the role digital plays in both affecting change and
enabling changes in business is often referred to as
digital transformation.
THE WHEEL OF DISRUPTION
KEEPS SPINNING FASTER
With each new innovation that hits the market,
businesses either react to it or don’t. In most cases,
their reasons why aren’t clearly defined.
It is as though they’re seeing new technology through
a dusty lens.
Some businesses clearly see technology trends as the
springboards to customer relevance, but they jump
from trend to trend without understanding why. They
come down with Shiny Object Syndrome. After all, if
customers use new devices, apps, and networks, then
businesses must do so as well, right? As a result, they
develop misguided strategies and programs around
these new tools and services.
If we don’t see technology clearly or we succumb
to Shiny Object Syndrome, we miss how and why
markets adopt, evoluti, and use new technology.
The truth is that technology changes aren’t slowing
down; they’re only accelerating. Until we see and
appreciate technology and its effect on our markets
and our business, we are unknowingly marching
toward Digital Darwinism and, inevitably, irrelevance.
Sometimes the truth hurts. But it is still the truth.
Technology is relentless in its iteration and innovation
and disruption is inevitable.
We can’t be ostriches, ignoring what’s taking place.
Nor can we jump headfirst into every new trend as a
matter of survival.
Instead, we must study, analyze, and plan
accordingly. These are times when key roles inside
the organization, leaders of disparate fronts, need to
unite to learn, assess, and take informed steps toward
relevance.
One way to track these steps and appreciate their
grandiosity is the Wheel of Disruption.
10
This tool organizes disruptive technologies so you can
assess the relationship between each, as well as the
relationship between cause and effect in customer
behavior. Keep in mind, though: technology isn’t a one-
time affair; it is constant. This iteration was developed
recently and will soon be in need of updating.
In the center of this model is the Golden Triangle:
social, mobile, and real time. These three elements
represent the core of today’s disruptive technologies,
with each surrounded and supported by the cloud.
For businesses to thrive, developing customer-centric
social, mobile, and real-time strategies in isolation
isn’t enough.
Encircling the Golden Triangle are emergent
technologies and trends built upon or resulting from
mobile, social, and real-time platforms, such as big
data, geolocation, and more.
These disruptive technologies are just the beginning
of a still-shaping era of connected consumerism. Each
is significant in affecting how business is done.
But customer behavior and expectations — and
those of employees for that matter — continue to
evolve. And the list of disruptive technologies that are
pushing business leaders and processes out of their
respective comfort zones is far more exhaustive and
constant. The outer-most circle contains some of the
most disruptive:
• Wearables
• Maker movement
• Beacons
• Geolocation
• Internet of Things
• Sharing economy
Figure 3
CLOUD
CLOUD
DISRUPTIVE
TRENDS +
TECHNOLOGIES
APPS
EP
HEMERALGEOLOCATAAION
GAMIFICATAA ION
2NDSCREEN
BIGDATAA
A
TTW
EARABLES MAKERS
BEACONS
INTER
NETOFTHINGS
SHARING
VIRTUALAI
+AR
PAPPYAAMENTS
REAL TIME
SOCIAL
MOBIL
E
MESSAGING
Within the Wheel of
Disruption, the “Golden
Triangle” is encircled
by other emergent
technologies and sectors
affected by mobile, social,
and real-time, such as big
data, geo-location, cloud
and more.
Source: Altimeter Group 2014
• Gamification
• Big data
• Second screen
• Augmented reality and
artificial intelligence
• Payments
11
If we were to add to the list of disruptive technologies
today, we would include:
• Platforms and
ecosystems
• Alternative currencies
• Mass personalization
• Crowd funding/
lending
We wonder what does tomorrow bring?
And that’s the point. Technology is always changing,
and we need mechanisms to track everything
systematically.
It can be challenging to imagine how some of these
tools impact your customers or business today, but this
really isn’t anything new. We’ve always been reluctant to
appreciate the impact of new technology in our work. If
we’d had this conversation in the early ’90s, we would
have been discussing whether our employees should
have a desktop PC or access to email. In the later ’90s,
the conversation would have focused on whether we
should have a website and, if so, what kind. Just a few
years later, we’d have been questioning the ability for
employees to have access to cell phones and debating
the role and corresponding investment in ecommerce.
Now, we’re discussing the need to support the mobile
web, mobile commerce, and omnichannel.
The Wheel of Disruption keeps on accelerating, so we
can’t afford to lose time debating processes at the risk
of missing significant opportunities. We just need to
get better at recognizing opportunities and weighing
abilities to pursue them.
The above list represents the next set of tools
businesses need to embrace or not. The time between
these phases of evolution is compressing, and
businesses must adequately invest in the ability to
change now.
From the CEO to the CIO, the CMO, and any other CXOs
responsible for employee and customer engagement,
technology affects every aspect of business.
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
IS THE KEY TO SURVIVING
DIGITAL DARWINISM
The real threat — and opportunity — in technology’s
disruption lies in the evolution of customer and
employee behavior, values, and expectations.
Companies are faced with a choice between investing
resources and budgets in current technology and
business strategies (business as usual) or in new
technologies, aligning them with market and behavior
shifts.
We need an infrastructure that understands this,
tracks trends in technology and behavior, and makes
decisions to efficiently test, learn, and adapt.
Indeed, Digital
Darwinism brings
an end to business
as usual. It sets the
stage for a new era of
leadership, charging
behind a mantra of
“Adapt or die!”
To determine
a technology’s
relevance takes
understanding. Understanding takes research.
Research insights reveal the path forward toward
digital transformation.
What is digital transformation?
It is the changes associated with businesses applying
digital technology, along with modernizing the
company vision, organizing the way it works, and
aligning investments in technology, process, and
people to compete in a digital economy. It is the
very thing that will help businesses become not only
customer-centric but also resilient to disruption and
change.
Digital transformation is real, and it is already gaining
momentum among business leaders today.
• Anonymous web
• Private web
• Instant gratification
services
Only
1out of 3companies globally
have an effective digital
transformation program
in place.
-MIT Center for Digital Business
and CapGemini Consulting
12
In November 2012, the MIT Center for Digital
Business and CapGemini Consulting published a
three-year study that more than made the case for
digital transformation. The report found that even
though digital transformation improves business,
increases efficiencies, and boosts profitability, only
one-third of companies globally have an effective
digital transformation program in place.14
One-third.
If digital transformation represents the future of
business and yields competitive market advantages,
why isn’t every business enlisting in digital
transformation?
It comes down to change. Change is not only hard, it
can be dispiriting and unnerving. But businesses have
to start somewhere.
THE CASE FOR
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
The question of why businesses should transform
digitally led us to study companies that are embracing
digital transformation and those that aren’t. Why are
some companies studying the evolution of customer
behavior and changing accordingly while others
missed the proliferation of digital customers yet still
pursued change nonetheless?
It took over a year of research and two reports to start
to answer that question.
We started by studying the most progressive
businesses out there, such as Starbucks, LEGO,
Sephora, and Intuit, and published the results in
Digital Transformation: Why and How Companies
Are Investing in New Business Models to Lead Digital
Customer Experiences.
From the outset, these companies were different. It
turns out that the most advanced companies pursuing
digital transformation set out to change based on
what they learned from exploring the customer
journey. Driven by a key differentiating question,
“What would my digital customer do?” strategists
made informed decisions about where to invest in
technology, people, and processes to effectively
navigate the digital customer experience (DCX).
We then surveyed a broader set of executives and
digital strategists to understand the state of digital
transformation. We did so to understand how
everyday businesses compared to those who were
well ahead of digital transformation.
The results were staggering.
Figure 4
ORGANIZATIONS
UNDERGOING DIGITAL
TRANSFORMATION
EFFORTS
Is your organization undergoing a formal digital
transformation effort in 2014? Altimeter defines digital
transformation as: the re-alignment of, or new investment in,
technology and business models to more effectively engage
digital consumers at every touchpoint in the customer
experience lifecycle.
I don’t know. 2%
No 10%
Yes 88%
Source: Altimeter Group, 2014
13
As you can see in the graphic, 88% of executives
and digital strategists stated that their company is
undergoing a formal digital transformation effort in
2014. Yet through deeper analysis of our extensive
interviews and survey data, we found that some
executives confuse technology enabler investments
and customer-centric technology investments. There’s
a key difference between investing in technology just
be digital (e.g., social, mobile, cloud, big data) and
investing in technology to think digital or customer first.
While the word digital is part of digital transformation,
the essence of digital transformation comes down
to people and how their digital behaviors differ from
those of traditional customers. The transformation
must be informed by understanding and empathy. To
get this right requires research and study.
We found that even though most respondents said
they were in the throes of digital transformation, only
25% had actually mapped out the digital customer
journey. It is unfortunate that so much time and
resources are going toward programs that may or may
not hit the mark. We also learned that 42% haven’t
studied the digital customer journey and another 12%
had talked about the need to do so, but no one had
taken the lead yet.
We can do better.
COMPANIES MUST FOCUS ON JOURNEY MAPPING
TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
Which of the below best describes your company’s efforts around the customer journey/experience?
42%
We’ve talked about
the need to do so
but no one has
taken the lead yet.
We are researching
customer behavior now
and waiting for results
to inform our digital
transformation strategy.
We have completely
mapped out the customer
journey within the last year
and have a clear
understanding of new
digital touch-points.
The need to do
so hasn’t come
up or been made
a priority. 3%
25%
12%%
12%
We have not officially researched
the digital customer journey but
we have updated digital touch
points with new social and
mobile technologies and
investments.
Figure 5
Source: Altimeter Group, 2014
14
UNDERSTANDING THE
DYNAMIC CUSTOMER JOURNEY
Those companies that were exceling in digital
transformation shared more than the question “what
would my digital customer do?” They set out to
follow their customers’ footsteps and every aspect
of engagement, goal, technology, and emotion that
surrounded that journey, creating what some call a
customer journey map.
In this case, customer journey mapping shows that
consumer habits and expectations are outpacing
current organizational fractures. As a result, companies
need to ask the following questions:
• What uniquely defines the persona of our
digital customers?
• What is different about their customer journey?
• What are the touch points they frequent, how do
they use them, and with what devices?
• What are their expectations, what do they value,
and how do they define success?
• How are they influenced, and by whom? How and
to whom do they in turn influence?
For example, Intuit studies the relationship between
customer technology usage and path to purchase.
The Intuit team starts with a simple but integral
question: Based on technology adoption, what is
our customer’s path to purchase? To be successful,
the team looks beyond demographics and invests in
psychographics (e.g., shared behaviors and interests)
to create accurate buyer personas and better
understand the new customer journey.
But digital transformation takes more than that.
The goal of digital transformation is to deliver a more
natural and meaningful experience using technology.
Reaching that goal requires an upgrade or a complete
reboot of business philosophy. Nothing will move
forward without developing a focus on customer-
centricity and a support system for discovering what
your digital customers would do and determining
how that’s different from what your traditional
customers do.
Photo Credit: Cognizant
15
RECOGNIZING
CODE HALOS
Think for a moment about your personal devices and
all the things you do with them: connect with friends,
play games, manage your money, read books, work,
watch movies, listen to music, monitor your fitness, get
directions, buy any number of products, and so on.
Now imagine all of the data flowing through all your
devices as an invisible field that surrounds each
device. As more and more devices add the ability
to connect, the data fields become more complex.
They encompass not just a device but a person,
organization, or process.
The multinational IT, consulting, and business process
outsourcing company, Cognizant, calls these invisible
fields of code Code Halos™. Code Halos: How the
Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are
Changing the Rules of Business, written by Cognizant
Center for the Future of Work members Malcolm
Frank, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Pring, clearly lays out
how companies can use this data to unlock insights
on those lines of code and connect with digital
customers in meaningful ways. By creating meaning
from the digital information that surrounds people,
organizations, and devices, business strategists can
extract unprecedented levels of value and insights.
We’re all generating Code Halos all the time.
A few years ago, I introduced a concept of the human
algorithm. At a high level, it was an idea for applying
a very human filter and process for understanding
needs, expectations, and opportunities; generating
internal empathy among executives and key
stakeholders; and developing relevant strategies,
products, and services. It identified and internalized
personal information stemming from tech halos, as
well as the trends, behaviors, and so forth driving the
future of new consumerism.
Clearly, Code Halos are important to us on a
personal level; most of us generate and share digital
information every day. But they’re also vital to future
business success by lifting some of the pressures
brought on by Digital Darwinism, or what the authors
of Code Halos refer to as an extinction event, the
moment when a company falls altogether.
Historically, a winning business model meant making
the best product for the best price with the best
service. That’s no longer the case. It is still essential
to have great products and people, but future-ready
businesses understand that it is customers’, products’,
partners’, and employees’ digital information — the
Code Halos — that can create unprecedented levels
of insight and business value and, as a result, a
winning business model.
Clearly understanding digital customers’ behavior
and expectations is the key to future success. Where
do you start? The good news is that this is a time
of unprecedented data availability and awareness.
Digital breadcrumbs are strewn everywhere for us to
trace, decipher, and analyze. We’ve never had such a
chance to learn from and empathize with customers.
We simply must embrace a new philosophy to
recognize this opportunity. We must invest in a new
era of information architecture that’s personal and
human.
Initially, Code Halos were rooted in our personal
interactions with online market leaders. However,
established enterprises are now deriving meaning
from Code Halos, and this trend is moving rapidly into
more traditional business sectors, changing the basis
of competition throughout many industries.
Cognizant organizes Code Halos into five categories,
each representing an opportunity for businesses of
any size, shape, or industry to compete for the future
right now:
• Customer Code Halos
• Product Code Halos
• Employee Code Halos
• Partner Code Halos
• Enterprise Code Halos
Understanding each category helps us reshape the
enterprise from the inside out and the outside in from
an informed and even inspired perspective — without
the guesswork.
16
CUSTOMER CODE HALOS:
CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
GET REDEFINED
Customer Code Halos leverage consumer data and
insights to create an enriched customer experience.
Sophisticated algorithms are applied to individualized
code, such as past usage, to provide input given to
systems like the Amazon Betterizer, and artist selections
added to Pandora streams, to derive business meaning
and then deliver a customized experience.
This is not just reserved for companies with a
born-digital DNA. Disney, for example, launched
MagicBand bracelets to help guide visitors through
its amusement parks, manage ticketing, act as room
keys, personalize the guest experience, and even
work as a portable bank.
The MagicBand is already transforming a day at a
Disney park from a one-size-fits-all experience to a
highly personalized one. As a user of MagicBand,
I can attest to its integrated and personalized
experience. It continues to deliver value in between
park visits, as well, simply by knowing who I am
and improving the foundation for engagement over
time.
PRODUCT CODE HALOS:
PRODUCT VALUE SHIFTS
FROM WIDGETS TO DIGITS
One of the key elements in the Wheel of Disruption
is that of connectedness. Indeed, we are moving into
the era of the Internet of Things, where independent
devices, appliances, components, really all things,
are connected to the Net. This trend already
permeates manufacturers that use advanced sensor
technology on the shop floor, but it extends far
beyond factory walls.
From GE aircraft engines to mobile phones and even
personal grooming tools, such as toothbrushes, more
and more devices today are becoming network aware.
They all have the potential to generate rich Code
Halos that interact with the halos of information from
people, business processes, and organizations and
generate streams of data ripe for deriving meaning.
As Code Halos grow, these products’ software will
become far more valuable than their associated
hardware.
For example, with a smart toothbrush, the physical
tool itself is a commodity, while brushing habits,
dental hygiene history, and health needs create a
halo of information that is of premium value. In many
sectors, new business processes, industry models,
and products are being formed at this Code Halo
intersection.
EMPLOYEE CODE HALOS:
EMPLOYEES CONNECT
TO SOLVE PROBLEMS
DIFFERENTLY
Code Halos can be built around individual employees,
creating new models by which knowledge work is
conducted. In the same way, Employee Code Halos can
be far richer and more powerful than many consumer
halos, as they comprise work histories, subject matter
expertise, perspectives, work styles, and experiences.
Employee halos facilitate getting the right work to
the right person at the right time, all contextualized
within a work stream, delivering the most appropriate
organizational assets to the individual. In much
the same way that Amazon’s consumer halos and
algorithms individualize the shopping experience,
employee halos and organizational algorithms
individualize and transform the work experience.
PARTNER CODE HALOS:
ECOSYSTEM PARTNERS LINK
TO FORM VALUE WEBS
With new technologies and more collaborative
mindsets, traditional supply chains (primarily linear
and designed for physical products) are reorganizing
into tightly integrated systems for sharing and co-
creating knowledge assets.
People will still need tangible things, but companies
in life sciences, banking, insurance, healthcare, and
manufacturing are now using innovative technologies
to create more efficient and effective partner
ecosystems.
17
ENTERPRISE CODE HALOS:
YOUR COMPANY’S BRAND IS
A CODE HALO
Think of all the digital interactions associated with
your company or business unit. Information about
products, clients, partners, and employees creates or
destroys value every day.
Angry customers, positive media coverage, financial
data, and a million other information sources create a
perception of your company as real as the bricks and
rebar of a manufacturing plant.
Whether you manage it or not, your company is
continually defining itself by its Code Halo. In many
cases, this halo of information has much greater
clarity and authority than your marketing department’s
efforts.
THE CROSSROADS MODEL:
HOW TO WIN WITH CODE
HALOS
Change isn’t an option. Digital Darwinism is real. The
future is already here, and we are firmly planted at
the crossroads. The question is do we change and
do so in the confines of yesterday’s perspectives,
processes, and systems? Or do we look forward,
making bold investments in new models and
decision making, all rooted in a culture of innovation
and agility?
Personally, we’ll take the latter, and not only that,
we’ll double down.
It is no secret that now is the time for organizations
to develop new norms to meet digital customers’
enhanced expectations. For some reason, we still
need to tell this story. We still need to create a sense
of urgency. To survive an extinction event, better, to
win, takes a series of strategic steps. These moves
are described by Cognizant’s Crossroads Model™,
a system for assessing the potential for disruption
and investing in transformation to eliminate the
likelihood of an extinction event while establishing
significant competitive advantages.
The Wheel of Disruption keeps on turning and while
it does, it produces a second economy, where there
are already winners and losers. The good news is
that Code Halos are becoming the key building
blocks of the second economy.
The industrial economy — from the steam engine
onward — has focused on design, manufacturing
process, selling, and servicing of increasingly
complex physical products and services. The coming
phase of commerce is not only about Code Halos
surrounding people and products but also business
processes that support organizational models that
will thrive in the digital economy.
The list of companies finding success with Code
Halos is growing every day.
Amazon beat Borders. Netflix knocked off
Blockbuster. Even billion dollar startups like Uber
and Airbnb are chipping away at the entrenched
industries of urban transit and hospitality. These are
not isolated or random events; they’re canaries in the
coalmine.
Both traditional and digital-born companies are
harnessing the power of Code Halos. As outlined in
Code Halos, GE is creating Brilliant Machines, Disney
is launching MagicBands at its theme parks, Allstate
is using mobile telematics devices and analytics
to transform auto insurance, and Nike has gained
tremendous traction with its FuelBand. And though
it is decided to stop making the actual device, Nike
continues to double down on the data that makes
its athletes unique through software innovation and
hardware partnerships.
These industry leaders aren’t taking action because
they’re threatened or losing ground. They’ve looked
ahead and decided to lead rather than react.
Leadership within these organizations recognizes
that this digital transition is already happening, and
they grasp the scale of the opportunity ahead as the
second economy grows.
18
Company Industry and Initiative
Industrial Goods
Through its “Industrial Internet” and “Brilliant Machines”
initiatives, GE is creating Code Halos around industrial machines
such as jet engines, locomotives, and power turbines.
Hospitality
With its “MagicBands,” Disney is creating a wearable wristband
to generate Code Halos around its park guests, creatibg unique
tailored experiences for those customers.
Insurance
Through its “Drivewise” in-car mobile telematics device, Allstate
is building Code Halos around drivers and their cars, thus
providing personalized auto insurance and rates.
Fitness
With Nike+ FuelBand — a wearable activity monitor —Nike is
putting Code Halos around its customers, helping to analyze and
improve their levels of personal fitness.
These are just a few examples that demonstrate
the optimistic side of Digital Darwinism. Thus, an
extinction event is a choice. It just comes down to
whether or not you decide to compete for the future
right now. As former Intel CEO Andy Grove once
said, “Only the paranoid survive.”
For example, an upstart builder of jet engines or
power turbines does not seriously threaten GE.
Neither is Disney too worried about a venture-
backed amusement park being built in Orlando.
However, these firms recognize the power of Code
Halos and the value of digital and its impact on
customer experiences. Even more, they recognize
the opportunity to insert these new capabilities into
their existing business models to extend their market
leadership.
Leading companies acknowledge that the Code Halo
has become the key structural element of today’s
business models. It is what leads executives such as
GE CEO Jeff Immelt to wax prophetic. “Industrial
companies, not just GE, but all industrial companies,
are no longer just about the big iron,” says Immelt.
“All of us are going to seek to interface with the
analytics, the data, [and] the software that surround
our products.”
Figure 6 Code Halo Innovation in Established Leaders
Source: Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business, 2014
19
THE PATH TO
DIGITAL
TRANSFORMATION
The path toward digital transformation is not
prescribed. Nor does it end. It is a constant journey,
and Code Halos guide the way. The good news is
that every step you take toward optimizing for the
second economy is also one step away from Digital
Darwinism.
Rather than react to change or be disrupted by it,
some forward-looking companies are investing in
digital transformation to adapt and outperform
peers. In the Capgemini and MIT study on digital
transformation, research shows that companies
that are highly vested in both digital intensity and
transformation management intensity, AKA the
digerati, derive more revenue from their physical
assets, are more profitable, and possess high market
valuations.
Why is that?
It comes down to one word: relevance. If consumer
behavior is evolving as a result of technology,
businesses either compete to get ahead of it,
perpetually react to it, or belittle it. One of the
most troubling aspects about digital maturity is that
technology is both part of the solution and part of the
problem. With the onslaught of connected devices
and tools enabling brands to connect with consumers
in timely, relevant, and experiential ways, companies
will have to further empathize for consumer wants,
solving the right problems for the digital customer in
the right place and channel, right when they want it.
This is designing the customer experience.
Some businesses are already succeeding in digitally
transforming the customer experience. They’re driving
changes that are both externally focused (customer-
facing) and internally focused (collaboration, process,
technology, etc.) to build a scalable infrastructure
for the digital economy. Those changes take
reorganization and resilience. A clear vision, an
empowering leadership, and ample resources must
support digital transformation efforts for the business
to achieve meaningful success.
THREE ELEMENTS OF
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
Altimeter Group identified three elements of successful
digital transformation that, when combined, react to
form the base for digital transformation:
• Vision and leadership
• Digital customer experience
• A digital transformation team
Code Halos, the information running through and
around everything, informs and inspires this process.
While technology makes discovering Code Halos
possible, these beacons of data and insight transcend
constructs like IT, big data, and analytics. Code Halos
make meaningful connections between people,
organizations, and devices in a business context.
Extracting meaning from Code Halos and applying that
understanding to business strategies and practices are
new and essential management skills that are not yet
clearly or widely understood.
It takes an entire organization to compete in the second
economy, and that takes digital transformation.
20
THE THREE ELEMENTS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
ELEMENT ONE:
Inspire Leadership with a Vision
Whether it is running under the banner of customer
experience, convergence, omnichannel, or another
moniker, a customer-centric culture guides businesses
on the uncharted path of digital transformation.
It takes vision to earn executive sponsorship and rally
teams in new directions. We learned that traditional
vision statements typically aren’t specific enough
to communicate what’s different about digital
transformation or why it is important. Often, it takes a
renewed focus on the customer to better communicate
a vision centered on digital transformation.
The Role of the Change Agent
Today’s Code Halo leaders go far beyond transactional
relationships; they forge deep human connections and
even create moments of magic. It can occasionally feel
as if these companies are reading your mind as they
anticipate needs and fulfill desires you may not have
recognized yourself. Code Halo leaders, by their very
nature, become the spark for change. They become the
change agents and get the ball rolling.
But the business case needs more than evidence
or anecdotes; it needs a story and a vision for what
change looks like and what it delivers. Change
doesn’t just appear, and in very few cases does digital
transformation come from the top.
Change agents leverage leadership to identify the
players and influencers within the company who can
help move the needle. The key is to find an executive
or stakeholder who believes in what digital can do and
make them the focus of a targeted pilot. Code Halos
provide the insight to identify those executives and
stakeholders.
This is the time for change agents to rise, unite with one
another, and partner with executives to collaborate and
organize to create digital leadership. Code Halos chart
the course.
Figure 7
Source: Altimeter Group, 2014
21
ELEMENT TWO:
Reimagine the Digital
Customer Experience
To compete in this new world, managers must
understand how the Code Halo economy works,
because it already affects organizations today.
Customers are using technology their way, regardless of
your intentions, and the customer experience strategy
must align with their journey and aspirations. Digital
customer experience begins with Code Halos, and
research — not guesswork — is necessary to study
personas, behaviors, and expectations throughout every
stage of the customer lifecycle.
Once a business is armed with information, its digital
transformation will take shape. Its people, processes,
and technologies will be aligned with the business’s
goals and milestones, mapping an effective journey for
digital customers.
Map the Journey:
What Would My Digital Customer Do?
What would my digital customer do?
How is that different than traditional customer activities
and preferences?
Code Halos lead the way. To compete in the second
economy, businesses must define or improve the
customer experience, which requires an understanding
of the digital customer journey and the experience it
delivers. Code Halos assemble into a journey, which
reveals a map of engagement and relevance. However,
someone has to assemble those halos into a map that
everyone across the organization can appreciate and
take action on.
Customer journey mapping is actually two actions:
• Outlining the customer journey through physical
and digital touch points.
• Researching and charting the customer journey
based on digital customer behavior and trends.
The two actions aren’t always related, but they should
be. A best practice is to combine the two: Invest time
in researching physical and digital journeys and how
customer behaviors and expectations play a role at each
touch point.
Another way to think of this is as decoding the Code
Halo for each customer. After all, journey mapping may
reveal a complicated, tech-laden path where customers
continuously hop from one route to the next.
Serendipitous Product and Service
Innovation Through Journey Mapping
In discussions with companies on the frontline of
digital transformation, we’ve found that studying
customer expressions along with journey mapping
reveals common customer questions, interesting ideas,
beneficial product opinions, and competitive sentiment.
The insights that emerge from this work can spark ideas
to improve, end the life of, or invent products and
services.
For example, credit card provider Discover invested in
journey mapping to visualize the customer lifecycle and
to learn where customers go, how they pay for goods,
when they borrow money, and more. In the process,
they discovered an opportunity.
“We’re proud of the exercise, because the result was
coming up with a product that is now entering the
market in a louder way. Our new Discover it card was
born from customer decision journey work we did that
uncovered how people online behaved differently.
Now, this new product speaks to the digital needs of
our customers,” representatives from the company
said. This finding shows that Code Halos represent
opportunities for innovation as well, improving not only
how Discover adapts but also how it will compete for
new business.
Collaboration Is Table Stakes
Code Halos are not confined to any one department.
They represent the journey and the experience people
have and share. They span departments and functions.
For example, some customer service teams don’t
have access to customer loyalty statistics, while some
marketers don’t have access to customer service issues
or trends. Depending on which group customers talk
to, representatives can only offer a sliver of what the
22
company could offer in total. In this silo-driven model,
Code Halos complicate cross-functional engagement;
more importantly, though, they have the potential to
unite disparate fronts around a common cause.
To truly deliver a 360-degree customer experience,
businesses must use Code Halos to connect the dots
between touch points, business units, and customer
expectations. This creates an inherent need for solid
internal collaboration to optimize the journey from the
inside out. Frictionless teams and smashed silos are no
longer signs of advanced organizations. They’re table
stakes for digital transformation.
ELEMENT THREE:
Form a Digital Transformation Team
Successful businesses undergoing digital
transformation do break down silos and form new
teams, and they do so with an important goal: to
more effectively manage the customer journey in
real time. They combine Code Halos with strategic
company priorities and objectives to define the
steps needed for the digital transformation and form
specialized teams to lead these efforts. These teams
manage programs, analyzing Code Halos, defining
roadmaps, and prioritizing initiatives, and then
communicate progress and findings to the C-suite.
Research shows that companies successfully pursuing
digital transformation create the following three
things:
• A center of excellence/DCX hub. This steering
committee is a cross-functional group tasked
with redesigning and optimizing the customer
experience. It includes roles, responsibilities, and
change-specific projects.
• An organizational structure to support the
transformation. Digital expertise is not common
throughout the organization, but it does exist in
pockets. Assemble a qualified team of strategists
and then educate key stakeholders along the way.
• An IT partnership. A strategic alliance between
IT and marketing will streamline and scale digital
transformation efforts.
Build a Center of Excellence/DCX Hub
Who owns the customer experience? Everyone. But
like everything in business, structure, organization,
roles, and responsibilities must be defined.
Pioneering organizations form special teams to start
talking about change and putting it into motion.
These teams go by many names: digital circles,
centers of excellence, rapid innovation teams, digital
acceleration teams, and more.
Other organizations create the team with a more
organic approach. For example, some form multiple
working groups, or circles, that aim to understand and
act on problems and opportunities based on Code
Halo elements. Eventually, those circles unite under
a formal digital leadership committee with executive
sponsorship to create a dedicated team responsible
for bringing about digital transformation across the
enterprise.
Code Halos Unite CMOs and CIOs
Companies making progress in digital transformation
unanimously agree that bringing IT in from the
beginning and working with it throughout the process
is essential.
In any digital transformation initiative, CIOs and
CMOs share goals and outcomes. By creating a
strategic partnership, IT and marketing can expedite
change while accelerating initiatives that optimize
digital customer journeys and experiences. Without
that partnership, digital transformation efforts become
ad hoc, get stuck in silos, lessen enterprise-wide
impact, and prevent true scale.
At Motorola Solutions, the partnership between IT
and marketing was elevated to a formal level. Dubbed
the MIT Group, marketing and IT officially allied to
focus on an integrated approach to digital customer
experience and change.
“These two functions have tremendous ability to
impact customer experience through change,” says
Grant Ferguson, leader for Systems of Engagement
at Motorola. “Marketing defines the vision of the
company and value proposition for our customers,
23
while IT touches and enables every part of our
business and is the ultimate orchestrator of change.
Combining these two functions allows us to more
effectively align our strategy and execution to become
a more customer solutions-driven business.”
Find Your Halo Heroes
In the world of Code Halos, business and technology
are inextricably linked, creating an opportunity
for Halo heroes to step forward and lead their
organization to new levels of corporate performance
through digital innovation. Whether they’re in IT,
marketing, or executive management, your Halo
heroes are leaning into your business and leading
the charge toward digital transformation. It is on you,
the organization, to uncover these forward-thinking
leaders and empower them to grow their areas of the
business around digital.
CODE HALOS ARE THE LIFE
FORCE OF THE SECOND
ECONOMY
The coming phase of commerce is all about the
virtual fields of information that surround people,
products, places, and organizations. But we can’t
just build those Code Halos. We must reimagine and
reengineer the organizational models and business
processes that will support the halos in order to
thrive in the new digital economy. In many cases, this
transition will be a heavy lift, as established businesses
will have to manage traditional ways along with
digital ones, yet this is unavoidable in these times of
tremendous change.
To succeed, strive to be a “Meaning Maker.”
Cognizant’s research shows that while the potential
for using data is vast, not all companies leverage it
the same way. The study defines three approaches to
leveraging data through the people who leverage it:
Meaning Makers, Data Collectors, and Explorers.
Why be a Meaning Maker?
Because Meaning Makers have begun to master
the ability to generate meaningful insight from their
big data sources and integrate it into their daily
work more effectively than others. Data Collectors
and Explorers are missing the shift and lag industry
leaders.
To be a Meaning Maker and understand the
economics of information, just doing analytics isn’t
enough. You must:
• Reimagine work at the process level through
analytics.
• Build a business analytics ecosystem.
• Separate the signal from the noise, the number
one killer business skill for the next decade.
• Pick the right target for disruption (which is hard
to do).
To make a Code Halo fundamentally attractive and
compelling:
• Make it physically beautiful (interface).
• Create moments of magic through correlations
found in big data (personalization).
• Make it virtually beautiful.
It is critical to create trust when you’re gathering and
analyzing Code Halos. Here’s how:
• Give your Code Halo a delete button.
• Act with transparency: make the relationship
truly elective.
• Demonstrate value.
• Calibrate your approach to a global stage.
• Hard-code organizational self-control.
24
rientation
Change can be scary, and in the absence of information, people make assumptions. Success begins with
vision and leadership to guide companies and change agents in a new direction. Leadership must inspire and
take charge, offering a glimpse of what the new digital customer experience looks and feels like. Remember,
leadership can come from the top or from anywhere in the organization.
eople
Code Halos, data, customer journey mapping, and observation allow change agents to better understand the
digital customer, leading to meaningful investments in a new customer experience.
rocesses and Policies
Models, processes, and policies will need to be either amended or rewritten to support new direction and
scale, as well as to empower and reward employees for their role in bringing about change. Additionally,
you’ll need collaboration and the alignment or integration of cross-functional workgroups to truly make
changes. Design an org chart that brings together disparate groups of people to form a team or teams aimed
at consolidating and enhancing the journey and the digital customer experience.
bjectives
Define what success ultimately looks like and, equally important, the steps to get there. Take the time to
document and articulate short-term and long-term purpose. This helps people grasp what they’re working
toward and how they’ll recognize when they’ve accomplished important objectives.
trategy
Code Halos represent insights that help businesses develop a digital-first or born-digital plan that invests
in and optimizes digital touch points and engagement. Each strategy should consider customers’ native
expectations and behaviors. More importantly, touch points should seamlessly combine to deliver a holistic,
and desired, experience throughout every step in the customer lifecycle. Strategies must also focus on
directing and enabling the development of new processes, policies, and workgroups.
S
O
P
P
O
O.P.P.O.S.I.T.E.
EIGHT SUCCESS FACTORS OF
DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
There will be no extinction event here. OPPOSITE — an acronym based on Altimeter Group research
— combats Digital Darwinism through a series of best practices that help your organization embrace
and understand Code Halos to effectively compete in the second economy.
25
nsights
Data is of limited use until someone translates it into actionable insights. It is no longer good enough to
capture transactional data (e.g., Visitor A purchased Product B for $C at D time). Now you must understand
why this transaction occurred, what the motivations were for it, and what the cascading series of events are
that will result from it.
These behavioral insights will inform everything, including strategies that grow engagement and build
relationships throughout the customer journey. Whichever group houses data and analysis must be
empowered to deliver insights to stakeholders and decision makers. At the same time, recipients of the
information must be held accountable, with their work being measured against how well insights were
integrated and how well they performed.
Halo heroes will pave the way here. What is the most important ingredient that allowed Code Halo masters to
win their markets and build so much value? The highly individualized experiences created by managing the
Cod Halos meaning.
echnology
Most organizations’ IT functions are moving through their own version of the Crossroads Model. Expectations
for IT as the enabler are evolving just as quickly as they are for customers. Many wonder what the future will
hold, with this rapid change only furthering some aspects of technology as being seen as a slow-moving cost
center that offers, at best, competitive parity.
The OPPOSITE approach requires strategists to think about technology’s role in the customer journey.
Technology is no longer the chief catalyst in developing strategies; instead, it is an enabler for digital
transformation’s role in improving customer experiences and relationships. Strategists must fight Shiny Object
Syndrome, selecting technology solutions that solve problems and create opportunities based on every step
in the OPPOSITE framework. It is important to consider legacy investments and how they can play a role in
transformation, but do not let legacy influence important decisions if current systems are not the right solution
for delivering a desired digital customer experience.
xecution
With the incredible amount of work ahead of businesses everywhere, Code Halos may unintentionally cause
analysis paralysis. To put transformation in motion, therefore, execution is as important as vision. Execution
must be broken into tangible steps, however, with associated metrics and key performance indicators to
communicate progress and reinforce or validate work.
Execution triggers learning and learning fosters best practices. This new knowledge should live in a central
repository and become part of a recurring cross-functional assembly where insights are shared and questions
are asked and answered.
Lastly, execution requires reward. As a result, policies and processes should consider systems for incremental
recompense.
E
T
I
26
IN THE END
THIS IS JUST THE
BEGINING
In the end, it really is a matter of perspective. We’re optimists. We see the
opportunity to utilize the information contained within Code Halos as vast and
monumental. Even though Digital Darwinism is real and now part of everyday
business, we believe that adopting an infrastructure to use Code to inform
and inspire meaningful digital transformation is unparalleled in its promise and
potential. Again: an extinction event is a choice and the fate of any organization
depends on how we learn from, employ, and shape Code Halos. On the
flipside, all of the factors affecting today’s business models and processes are
also pushing us to innovate in ways that connected customers and employees
will value and appreciate.
How you manage these dynamics during the next few years could define the
arc of your career. Think ahead a decade, when people are sure to ask two
questions: Did you see this technology-based sea change coming? Were you
able to capture the commercial opportunity?
Code Halos are already creating an entirely new economy, full of opportunities
of unprecedented scale. By their very nature, Code Halos will help you answer
those questions and help you not just survive Digital Darwinism but excel in this
second economy. Through their very nature, you become customer-centric. You
become agile. You become innovative.
This profound new understanding of data obligates you to constantly anticipate,
rather than merely react to, your customers’ needs and expectations. Culture,
trust, and transparency take on a whole new meaning. This customer-centric
approach informs your digital transformation strategy in ways not possible
otherwise. And it is this digital transformation that will carry profound
implications for your market, your employee and customer relationships, your
partners — basically everything and everyone related to your business.
What an amazing opportunity you have right now. You now can do so much that
others before you didn’t have the ability to do.
The future will happen to us or because of us. This is your time.
Define your future.
ENDNOTES
1
Andreessen, Marc. “Why Software Is Eating the
World.” The Wall Street Journal. August 20, 2011.
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424053
111903480904576512250915629460.
2
Lawler, Edward and Christopher Worley. Built to
Change: How to Achieve Sustained Organizational
Effectiveness. Wiley & Sons, 2006.
3
Lawler, Edward and Christopher Worley. Built to
Change, p.1.
4
Babson Magazine, Summer 2011, p. 37. http://
www.babson.edu/news-events/babson-magazine/
summer-2011/Documents/alumni-news-summer-2011.pdf.
5
Frank, Malcolm, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Pring. Code
Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and
Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business.
Wiley & Sons, 2014.
6
Frank, Malcolm, et al. Code Halos.
7
Frank, Malcolm, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Pring. Code
Rules: A Playbook for Managing at the Crossroads.
Cognizant Technology Solutions, June 2013, p. 6,
http://www.cognizant.com/Futureofwork/Documents/
code-rules.pdf.
8
Frank, Malcolm, et al. Code Rules, p. 6.
9
Frank, Malcolm, et al. Code Rules, p. 6.
10
Fitzgerald, Michael, Nina Kruschwitz, Didier Bonnet,
and Michael Welch. 2013 Digital Transformation
Global Executive Study and Research. Cambridge,
MA: MIT Project Sloan Management Review,
October 7, 2013. http://sloanreview.mit.edu/
projects/embracing-digital-technology.
11
Shelton, Ted. Business Models for the Social Mobile
Cloud: Transform Your Business Using Social Media,
Mobile Internet, and Cloud Computing. Hoboken,
NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2013.
12
Heuer, Megan. “Three Myths of the ‘67 Percent’
Statistic.” SiriusDecisions, July 3, 2013. https://www.
siriusdecisions.com/Blog/2013/Jul/Three-Myths-of-the-
67-Percent-Statistic.aspx.
13
The State of CX Metrics, 2012. Waban, MA: Temkin
Group, December 2012. http://www.temkingroup.
com/research-reports/the-state-of-cx-metrics-2012.
14
Westerman, George, Maël Tannou, Didier Bonnet,
Patrick Ferraris, and Andrew McAfee. The Digital
Advantage: How Digital Leaders Outperform Their
Peers in Every Industry. Capgemini Consulting,
November 2012, p. 10. http://www.capgemini.
com/resource-file-access/resource/pdf/The_Digital_
Advantage__How_Digital_Leaders_Outperform_their_
Peers_in_Every_Industry.pdf.
15
Westerman, George, et al. The Digital Advantage.
DISCLAIMER
ALTHOUGH THE INFORMATION AND DATA USED IN THIS
REPORT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM
SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY
EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED IS MADE REGARDING THE
COMPLETENESS, ACCURACY, ADEQUACY, OR USE OF THE
INFORMATION. THE AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS OF
THE INFORMATION AND DATA SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY
FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED HEREIN OR
FOR INTERPRETATIONS THEREOF. REFERENCE HEREIN TO
ANY SPECIFIC PRODUCT OR VENDOR BY TRADE NAME,
TRADEMARK, OR OTHERWISE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE
OR IMPLY ITS ENDORSEMENT, RECOMMENDATION, OR
FAVORING BY THE AUTHORS OR CONTRIBUTORS AND
SHALL NOT BE USED FOR ADVERTISING OR PRODUCT
ENDORSEMENT PURPOSES. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED
HEREIN ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.
27
Brian Solis, Principal Analyst
Brian Solis (@briansolis) is an award-winning author, prominent blogger, and
keynote speaker. Solis works with enterprise organizations and technology
vendors to research the state and direction of markets, competitors, and
customer behavior. Through the use of proven frameworks and best practices,
Solis analyzes trends, opportunities, capabilities, and areas for improvement to
align new media initiatives with business priorities.
Jon Cifuentes, Senior Researcher
Jon Cifuentes (@JonCifuentes) supports research in disruption on leadership,
organizational change, and analytics at Altimeter Group. In his previous work,
Jon led social media efforts for large-scale B2B and B2C organizations, with a
focus on the measurement and optimization of engagement across all digital
channels.
AUTHORS
28
About Altimeter Group
Altimeter is a research and consulting firm that
helps companies understand and act on technology
disruption. We give business leaders the insight and
confidence to help their companies thrive in the face of
disruption. In addition to publishing research, Altimeter
Group analysts speak and provide strategy consulting
on trends in leadership, digital transformation, social
business, data disruption and content marketing strategy.
Altimeter Group
1875 S Grant St #680
San Mateo, CA 94402
info@altimetergroup.com
www.altimetergroup.com
@altimetergroup
650.212.2272
About Cognizant
Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider
of information technology, consulting, and business
process outsourcing services, dedicated to helping the
world’s leading companies build stronger businesses.
Headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant
combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology
innovation, deep industry and business process
expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that
embodies the future of work. With over 75 development
and delivery centers worldwide and approximately
187,400 employees as of June 30, 2014, Cognizant is a
member of the NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes
Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among
the top performing and fastest growing companies in the
world. Visit us online at www.cognizant.com or follow us
on Twitter: Cognizant.

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The Rise of Digital Darwinism and the Fall of Business As Usual by Brian Solis

  • 1. THE RISE OF DIGITAL DARWINISM AND THE FALL OF BUSINESS AS USUAL By Brian Solis with Jon Cifuentes Custom research by Altimeter Group on behalf of Cognizant Photo Credit: Cognizant
  • 2. THE STATE OF THE DIGITAL WORLD: The Future Is Already Here Executive Summary It is a strange and wonderful phenomenon: You’re sitting at home, or perhaps at work, and you turn to your dazzling personal computing device. Within seconds, you’re transported to both a virtual and incredibly real online world, one that’s global yet intimate. Although the device is driven by silicon and fiber, the experience feels remarkably human. Here you find friends, share ideas, conduct commerce, and delight in moments of genuine engagement. The more time and emotion we spend on our devices, the more we blur the line between online and offline and enhancing the experience of both. This isn’t an accident. We’re connected because we can be. At any given moment, most people have access to fast, always-on Internet, through a growing number of mobile devices, where through social media we are at the center of our own digital universe. With each moment, the coalescence between the virtual and real worlds starts to transform everything. It alters and enhances how we connect with friends, discover and buy goods and services, ask for directions, collaborate with colleagues, consume media, and even exercise. Let us say that again: Technology has changed everything about how people communicate, connect, and decide. This means that a chasm already exists between how we work and how we need to work. About This Research This custom research report is sponsored by Cognizant. While the research in this report may have been informed by Cognizant, all findings and analysis are independent. 2
  • 3. Being online has never been more experiential, with technology impacting our every analog decision. Technology advancements, combined with the evolution in our behavior, is also affecting businesses, governments, education, and, well, just about everything. The world as we knew it and the world that we need to get to know are getting farther and farther apart. All of this talk about the future and how one day technology is going to disrupt everything around us is more than just talk. The future is already here. And for some, disruption has followed closely behind. What lies ahead is both a challenge and an opportunity. While customer behavior is changing, causing tremendous shifts in our markets, we can benefit from understanding not only what’s happening but also why. When we understand these things, we’ll shift from reacting to trends to leading them. But we have to start with accepting that the way we approach markets was only good enough for yesterday. Tomorrow will require a new perspective and a new approach because the future is here, now. Already many seemingly invincible US brands have failed to adapt, including Circuit City, Borders Group, Wherehouse, Tower Records, Pontiac, Saturn, and Palm, among others. Grim predictions show that the pattern has no end in sight. Sometimes, the natural order of things proves too powerful to overcome. 3 Executive Summary (continued)
  • 4. TABLE OF CONTENTS Digital Darwinism................................................................................. Technology is Part of the Problem and Part of the Solution............ But We Really Aren’t Are Customer-Centric!.................................... Digital Transformation is the Key to Surviving Digital Darwinism... Understanding the Dynamic Customer Journey.............................. Recognizing Code Halos................................................................... The Crossroads Model: How to Win with Code Halos................... The Path to Digital Transformation.................................................. Three Elements of Digital Transformatiom..................................... Code Halos are the Life Force of the Second Economy................ Eight Success Factors of Digital Transformation............................ In the End this is Just the Begining................................................. 5 7 8 11 14 15 17 19 19 23 24 26 4
  • 5. DIGITAL DARWINISM AND THE NATURAL SELECTION OF ADAPTIVE ORGANIZATIONS In 2011, Marc Andreessen famously said, “Software is eating the world.”1 It is as poignant now as it was then. His point is that technology is changing how business is done; once-prized goods and services are becoming either commodities or simply outmoded because of the acceleration and proliferation of software. But it is more than just software. Yes, it is what runs business, fuels our entertainment, and keeps governments in power. Software — in fact all of technology — is becoming more and more approachable by anyone with an idea to do something different or better. Innovation, or the likelihood of it, is now a constant. Expect disruption. Products are disrupted. Leadership and management systems are disrupted. Business models are disrupted. Everything can change and everything is changing. And believe it or not, this is a good thing. With the pervasiveness of innovation, companies are now standing at a crossroads. Adapt to this connected environment and join the evolved, digital ecosystem or become extinct. Disrupt or Die! This is a dire phenomenon known as Digital Darwinism, when technology and society evolve faster than the ability to adapt or lead. It is a form of natural selection in which organizations must either possess or invest in specific traits to adapt to environmental pressures or die out. Digital Darwinism favors those companies that at least try to evolve to compete. 5 Digital Darwinism When technology and society evolve faster than the ability to adapt or lead
  • 6. Malcolm Frank, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Pring. In their book, the authors point out that when these six companies used consumer technologies in new ways, they “transformed customer expectations, established new operating models, and violently upended roughly a dozen mature industries.”5 In those mature industries, the likes of Nokia, Borders, and AOL “lost more than 90% of their 2003 enterprise values.”6 The story of Digital Darwinism is as vast as it is humbling. There are almost too many examples to explore: Mobile devices: Between 2004 and 2012, the market capitalization for Nokia and Motorola shrank by over 90%, or a combined $84 billion loss, while Apple and Samsung gained more than $600 billion in value. (Apple’s market cap is clearly based on more than mobile phones, but mobility is a cornerstone of its DNA.)7 Book retail: Between 2000 and 2012, Barnes & Noble lost about half its market value, while Borders’ value collapsed to zero. Meanwhile, Amazon’s market cap grew more than 20 times.8 Movie rentals: Between 2006 and 2012, Blockbuster’s value dropped from about $5.5 billion to near zero, while Netflix grew more than 360% during the same timeframe.9 Figure 1 The point of natural selection is that only some businesses will survive. But unlike animal species, which were unaware and unable to influence the evolution around them, we have a choice in the matter. In their book, Built to Change, authors Edward Lawler and Christopher Worley observed that going back to as early as the 1970s, businesses were struggling to compete in or adapt to their environments. In an analysis of Fortune 1000 corporations, they discovered that between 1973 and 1983 35% of companies in the top 20 were new.2 Their work shows that the number of new leading companies rose to 45% between 1983 and 1993. That number increased to 60% between 1993 and 2003, causing them to ask, “Any bets as to where it will be between 2003 and 2013?”3 Before you place your bet, think about this: a recent advertisement produced by Babson College noted that over 40% of the companies that were at the top of the Fortune 500 in 2000 were no longer there in 2010.4 In fact, six digital-born companies — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Pandora — have created $1 trillion in market value, according to Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business, by Cognizant Center for the Future of Work members 6 360% 20X $ 600B Source: Altimeter Group 2014
  • 7. TECHNOLOGY IS PART OF THE PROBLEM AND PART OF THE SOLUTION You need perspective, empathy, and the courage to push forward when everyone around you is seemingly pushing back to survive Digital Darwinism and excel in digital transformation. What separates brands that fall to digital evolution from those that excel is the ability to recognize the need for change and the vision to blaze a path toward renewed relevance among a new generation of consumers. Still, there’s a general lack of urgency and understanding preventing acceptance that Digital Darwinism is real. Changes in customer behavior and expectations don’t affect businesses until they do. Instead of leading change, however, businesses are at risk of forever reacting to market changes until they can no longer do so. This leads to inevitable extinction. But it doesn’t have to, so what’s the problem? Many CEOs believe that technology is the most important external factor shaping their organizations, more so than market factors and macroeconomic concerns, which are very dynamic in their own regard. Yet knowing this, executives still can’t do anything about it within a reasonable amount of time and effort. In a recent executive survey conducted by IBM, research found that 63% of executives believe the pace of technology change in organizations is too slow10 . Others complain that no one in the organization is creating or illustrating the need to change in order to rally people and create a sense of overwhelming need to do something about it. Another problem is how companies see the role of technology within the organization. Historically, businesses have used technology to improve efficiencies, optimize scale, and increase margins wherever possible. At the same time, technology investments have unintentionally created distance between businesses and the people they’re meant to serve. For instance, when we think about customer relationship management today, we could argue that most organizations put their effort in quantifiable results like sales and marketing, not into the relationship itself. When technology is about scale, automation, and in some cases forcing customers into non-human channels to minimize “costly” engagement, the ability to become customer-centric is impossible at best. Technology isn’t just for automation and operationalization, though. It is the very key to scale personalization and engagement. After all, the technology we use as consumers offers distinct clues into who we are, what we value (or don’t), who we connect with, what we shop for and buy, and how we use things. Businesses, though, still see customers as strangers, if they see them at all. 7 CEOs believe technology is the most important external factor in shaping their organizations Technology factors 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2013 Market factors Macro-economic factors People skills Regulatory concerns Socio-economic factors Globalization Environmental issues Geopolitical factors 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Figure 2 Technology at the top CEOs think technology will be the most important external force shaping the future of their enterprises Source: IBM Global C-suite Study, 2013
  • 8. As customers, we’ve come to expect certain details and decisions already laid out for us. But there are plenty of obvious cases, even in advanced businesses that don’t consistently meet this call. For instance, why doesn’t your ATM know what language you speak? It only knows what’s in its system rather than all of those critical bits of digital encoding that make you a unique customer. The transactional data exists but only in isolation to itself, not the world of data swimming around you, the customer. It is almost as if businesses don’t know us at all. What happened to that pleasing online world you were visiting just a few minutes ago? We can do better. We have to do better. We just need a new point of view. BUT WE REALLY AREN’T ARE CUSTOMER-CENTRIC! We really aren’t as customer-centric as we believe. The problem is that we still see these digital customers through our analog standpoint. We make strategic investments based on analog-first experience, gut instinct, and business goals without appreciating the differences between analog and digital ways of thinking. We may think we know that things are changing; we may even use many of the technologies that are disrupting behavior. But we’d argue that how digital customers use technology is often questioned or perhaps mocked simply because of the increasing gap between analog-first incumbents and digital natives. Many decision makers are out of touch with what makes digital customers so different in terms of what they value and expect. That mindset has to evolve, says Cognizant’s vice president of customer experience Ted Shelton. “Arriving at this new state will require enormous changes in individual attitudes, business processes, organizational structures, and the technical infrastructure to support all of these changes,” writes Shelton in Business Models for the Social Media Cloud.11 This growing chasm between assumptions and reality means that a sense of urgency is already percolating. Times are different now. And we’re just getting started, because what’s new and different is rapidly becoming the new normal. In fact, according to SiriusDecisions, “67% of the buyer’s journey is already done digitally.”12 That means where you’re investing in customer experience and where customers are making decisions and informing others of their decisions are starting to fracture, if they haven’t already done so. We can only benefit by getting answers or insights we might not have had otherwise. Moving forward, we need to answer a few critical questions: • Do we know the differences between traditional and digital customers? • Do we understand their paths to purchase, influence, and barriers to decision making? • Do we know what, in each moment of truth, our digital customers will do? • Do we really know our customers at all? We’re often challenged by executives who don’t feel a sense of urgency to invest time and resources in studying digital customers. Yet we’ve heard time and time again that it is this lack of urgency that prevents not only change but discussions about change to gain traction. “We’re profitable today,” executives will say. Others will ask, “We already know our customers, so why do we need to look at digital customers any differently?” What most executives are missing is that the digital world offers a better chance than ever to reach 8 67% of the buyer’s journey is already done digitally. -SiriusDecisions
  • 9. 9 customers. We have more data than ever to impact customer choices, and customers have more data on the businesses and brands trying to connect with them. This is a real, current dystopia for businesses that don’t invest, not some far-off, esoteric future for doing business. Perhaps most daunting of all is the complete lack of any panacea for connecting with digital customers. Connecting requires a complete transformation in thinking, understanding, and, ultimately, the actions we take for survival and success. Another common problem we see in organizations is the inability to accept or acknowledge perspectives that look at the state of the business from the outside. Outsider perspective often offers just that: perspective. Honestly, we’ve never met an executive who believes that customers aren’t important. But the term customer-centric is so much part of the business vernacular that it is lost its meaning and significance. There’s a difference between saying you’re customer- centric and actually investing in customer-centricity in the form of purpose, people, processes, and technology. Unfortunately, the Tempkin Group, an organization focused on developing customer experience (CX) strategies, found that only 7% of companies it studied were actually customer-centric.13 This small group didn’t just say they were customer-centric; they talked to customers, recognized challenges and opportunities, and invested in systems and processes that brought them closer to customers. Becoming customer-centric is key to not just success but survival. It is the only way to understand the needs and differences of digital and traditional customers. It is what you do with these insights that sets you up for immediate and long-term success. The process of learning from changes in customer behavior and the role digital plays in both affecting change and enabling changes in business is often referred to as digital transformation. THE WHEEL OF DISRUPTION KEEPS SPINNING FASTER With each new innovation that hits the market, businesses either react to it or don’t. In most cases, their reasons why aren’t clearly defined. It is as though they’re seeing new technology through a dusty lens. Some businesses clearly see technology trends as the springboards to customer relevance, but they jump from trend to trend without understanding why. They come down with Shiny Object Syndrome. After all, if customers use new devices, apps, and networks, then businesses must do so as well, right? As a result, they develop misguided strategies and programs around these new tools and services. If we don’t see technology clearly or we succumb to Shiny Object Syndrome, we miss how and why markets adopt, evoluti, and use new technology. The truth is that technology changes aren’t slowing down; they’re only accelerating. Until we see and appreciate technology and its effect on our markets and our business, we are unknowingly marching toward Digital Darwinism and, inevitably, irrelevance. Sometimes the truth hurts. But it is still the truth. Technology is relentless in its iteration and innovation and disruption is inevitable. We can’t be ostriches, ignoring what’s taking place. Nor can we jump headfirst into every new trend as a matter of survival. Instead, we must study, analyze, and plan accordingly. These are times when key roles inside the organization, leaders of disparate fronts, need to unite to learn, assess, and take informed steps toward relevance. One way to track these steps and appreciate their grandiosity is the Wheel of Disruption.
  • 10. 10 This tool organizes disruptive technologies so you can assess the relationship between each, as well as the relationship between cause and effect in customer behavior. Keep in mind, though: technology isn’t a one- time affair; it is constant. This iteration was developed recently and will soon be in need of updating. In the center of this model is the Golden Triangle: social, mobile, and real time. These three elements represent the core of today’s disruptive technologies, with each surrounded and supported by the cloud. For businesses to thrive, developing customer-centric social, mobile, and real-time strategies in isolation isn’t enough. Encircling the Golden Triangle are emergent technologies and trends built upon or resulting from mobile, social, and real-time platforms, such as big data, geolocation, and more. These disruptive technologies are just the beginning of a still-shaping era of connected consumerism. Each is significant in affecting how business is done. But customer behavior and expectations — and those of employees for that matter — continue to evolve. And the list of disruptive technologies that are pushing business leaders and processes out of their respective comfort zones is far more exhaustive and constant. The outer-most circle contains some of the most disruptive: • Wearables • Maker movement • Beacons • Geolocation • Internet of Things • Sharing economy Figure 3 CLOUD CLOUD DISRUPTIVE TRENDS + TECHNOLOGIES APPS EP HEMERALGEOLOCATAAION GAMIFICATAA ION 2NDSCREEN BIGDATAA A TTW EARABLES MAKERS BEACONS INTER NETOFTHINGS SHARING VIRTUALAI +AR PAPPYAAMENTS REAL TIME SOCIAL MOBIL E MESSAGING Within the Wheel of Disruption, the “Golden Triangle” is encircled by other emergent technologies and sectors affected by mobile, social, and real-time, such as big data, geo-location, cloud and more. Source: Altimeter Group 2014 • Gamification • Big data • Second screen • Augmented reality and artificial intelligence • Payments
  • 11. 11 If we were to add to the list of disruptive technologies today, we would include: • Platforms and ecosystems • Alternative currencies • Mass personalization • Crowd funding/ lending We wonder what does tomorrow bring? And that’s the point. Technology is always changing, and we need mechanisms to track everything systematically. It can be challenging to imagine how some of these tools impact your customers or business today, but this really isn’t anything new. We’ve always been reluctant to appreciate the impact of new technology in our work. If we’d had this conversation in the early ’90s, we would have been discussing whether our employees should have a desktop PC or access to email. In the later ’90s, the conversation would have focused on whether we should have a website and, if so, what kind. Just a few years later, we’d have been questioning the ability for employees to have access to cell phones and debating the role and corresponding investment in ecommerce. Now, we’re discussing the need to support the mobile web, mobile commerce, and omnichannel. The Wheel of Disruption keeps on accelerating, so we can’t afford to lose time debating processes at the risk of missing significant opportunities. We just need to get better at recognizing opportunities and weighing abilities to pursue them. The above list represents the next set of tools businesses need to embrace or not. The time between these phases of evolution is compressing, and businesses must adequately invest in the ability to change now. From the CEO to the CIO, the CMO, and any other CXOs responsible for employee and customer engagement, technology affects every aspect of business. DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION IS THE KEY TO SURVIVING DIGITAL DARWINISM The real threat — and opportunity — in technology’s disruption lies in the evolution of customer and employee behavior, values, and expectations. Companies are faced with a choice between investing resources and budgets in current technology and business strategies (business as usual) or in new technologies, aligning them with market and behavior shifts. We need an infrastructure that understands this, tracks trends in technology and behavior, and makes decisions to efficiently test, learn, and adapt. Indeed, Digital Darwinism brings an end to business as usual. It sets the stage for a new era of leadership, charging behind a mantra of “Adapt or die!” To determine a technology’s relevance takes understanding. Understanding takes research. Research insights reveal the path forward toward digital transformation. What is digital transformation? It is the changes associated with businesses applying digital technology, along with modernizing the company vision, organizing the way it works, and aligning investments in technology, process, and people to compete in a digital economy. It is the very thing that will help businesses become not only customer-centric but also resilient to disruption and change. Digital transformation is real, and it is already gaining momentum among business leaders today. • Anonymous web • Private web • Instant gratification services Only 1out of 3companies globally have an effective digital transformation program in place. -MIT Center for Digital Business and CapGemini Consulting
  • 12. 12 In November 2012, the MIT Center for Digital Business and CapGemini Consulting published a three-year study that more than made the case for digital transformation. The report found that even though digital transformation improves business, increases efficiencies, and boosts profitability, only one-third of companies globally have an effective digital transformation program in place.14 One-third. If digital transformation represents the future of business and yields competitive market advantages, why isn’t every business enlisting in digital transformation? It comes down to change. Change is not only hard, it can be dispiriting and unnerving. But businesses have to start somewhere. THE CASE FOR DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION The question of why businesses should transform digitally led us to study companies that are embracing digital transformation and those that aren’t. Why are some companies studying the evolution of customer behavior and changing accordingly while others missed the proliferation of digital customers yet still pursued change nonetheless? It took over a year of research and two reports to start to answer that question. We started by studying the most progressive businesses out there, such as Starbucks, LEGO, Sephora, and Intuit, and published the results in Digital Transformation: Why and How Companies Are Investing in New Business Models to Lead Digital Customer Experiences. From the outset, these companies were different. It turns out that the most advanced companies pursuing digital transformation set out to change based on what they learned from exploring the customer journey. Driven by a key differentiating question, “What would my digital customer do?” strategists made informed decisions about where to invest in technology, people, and processes to effectively navigate the digital customer experience (DCX). We then surveyed a broader set of executives and digital strategists to understand the state of digital transformation. We did so to understand how everyday businesses compared to those who were well ahead of digital transformation. The results were staggering. Figure 4 ORGANIZATIONS UNDERGOING DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION EFFORTS Is your organization undergoing a formal digital transformation effort in 2014? Altimeter defines digital transformation as: the re-alignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital consumers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle. I don’t know. 2% No 10% Yes 88% Source: Altimeter Group, 2014
  • 13. 13 As you can see in the graphic, 88% of executives and digital strategists stated that their company is undergoing a formal digital transformation effort in 2014. Yet through deeper analysis of our extensive interviews and survey data, we found that some executives confuse technology enabler investments and customer-centric technology investments. There’s a key difference between investing in technology just be digital (e.g., social, mobile, cloud, big data) and investing in technology to think digital or customer first. While the word digital is part of digital transformation, the essence of digital transformation comes down to people and how their digital behaviors differ from those of traditional customers. The transformation must be informed by understanding and empathy. To get this right requires research and study. We found that even though most respondents said they were in the throes of digital transformation, only 25% had actually mapped out the digital customer journey. It is unfortunate that so much time and resources are going toward programs that may or may not hit the mark. We also learned that 42% haven’t studied the digital customer journey and another 12% had talked about the need to do so, but no one had taken the lead yet. We can do better. COMPANIES MUST FOCUS ON JOURNEY MAPPING TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE Which of the below best describes your company’s efforts around the customer journey/experience? 42% We’ve talked about the need to do so but no one has taken the lead yet. We are researching customer behavior now and waiting for results to inform our digital transformation strategy. We have completely mapped out the customer journey within the last year and have a clear understanding of new digital touch-points. The need to do so hasn’t come up or been made a priority. 3% 25% 12%% 12% We have not officially researched the digital customer journey but we have updated digital touch points with new social and mobile technologies and investments. Figure 5 Source: Altimeter Group, 2014
  • 14. 14 UNDERSTANDING THE DYNAMIC CUSTOMER JOURNEY Those companies that were exceling in digital transformation shared more than the question “what would my digital customer do?” They set out to follow their customers’ footsteps and every aspect of engagement, goal, technology, and emotion that surrounded that journey, creating what some call a customer journey map. In this case, customer journey mapping shows that consumer habits and expectations are outpacing current organizational fractures. As a result, companies need to ask the following questions: • What uniquely defines the persona of our digital customers? • What is different about their customer journey? • What are the touch points they frequent, how do they use them, and with what devices? • What are their expectations, what do they value, and how do they define success? • How are they influenced, and by whom? How and to whom do they in turn influence? For example, Intuit studies the relationship between customer technology usage and path to purchase. The Intuit team starts with a simple but integral question: Based on technology adoption, what is our customer’s path to purchase? To be successful, the team looks beyond demographics and invests in psychographics (e.g., shared behaviors and interests) to create accurate buyer personas and better understand the new customer journey. But digital transformation takes more than that. The goal of digital transformation is to deliver a more natural and meaningful experience using technology. Reaching that goal requires an upgrade or a complete reboot of business philosophy. Nothing will move forward without developing a focus on customer- centricity and a support system for discovering what your digital customers would do and determining how that’s different from what your traditional customers do. Photo Credit: Cognizant
  • 15. 15 RECOGNIZING CODE HALOS Think for a moment about your personal devices and all the things you do with them: connect with friends, play games, manage your money, read books, work, watch movies, listen to music, monitor your fitness, get directions, buy any number of products, and so on. Now imagine all of the data flowing through all your devices as an invisible field that surrounds each device. As more and more devices add the ability to connect, the data fields become more complex. They encompass not just a device but a person, organization, or process. The multinational IT, consulting, and business process outsourcing company, Cognizant, calls these invisible fields of code Code Halos™. Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business, written by Cognizant Center for the Future of Work members Malcolm Frank, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Pring, clearly lays out how companies can use this data to unlock insights on those lines of code and connect with digital customers in meaningful ways. By creating meaning from the digital information that surrounds people, organizations, and devices, business strategists can extract unprecedented levels of value and insights. We’re all generating Code Halos all the time. A few years ago, I introduced a concept of the human algorithm. At a high level, it was an idea for applying a very human filter and process for understanding needs, expectations, and opportunities; generating internal empathy among executives and key stakeholders; and developing relevant strategies, products, and services. It identified and internalized personal information stemming from tech halos, as well as the trends, behaviors, and so forth driving the future of new consumerism. Clearly, Code Halos are important to us on a personal level; most of us generate and share digital information every day. But they’re also vital to future business success by lifting some of the pressures brought on by Digital Darwinism, or what the authors of Code Halos refer to as an extinction event, the moment when a company falls altogether. Historically, a winning business model meant making the best product for the best price with the best service. That’s no longer the case. It is still essential to have great products and people, but future-ready businesses understand that it is customers’, products’, partners’, and employees’ digital information — the Code Halos — that can create unprecedented levels of insight and business value and, as a result, a winning business model. Clearly understanding digital customers’ behavior and expectations is the key to future success. Where do you start? The good news is that this is a time of unprecedented data availability and awareness. Digital breadcrumbs are strewn everywhere for us to trace, decipher, and analyze. We’ve never had such a chance to learn from and empathize with customers. We simply must embrace a new philosophy to recognize this opportunity. We must invest in a new era of information architecture that’s personal and human. Initially, Code Halos were rooted in our personal interactions with online market leaders. However, established enterprises are now deriving meaning from Code Halos, and this trend is moving rapidly into more traditional business sectors, changing the basis of competition throughout many industries. Cognizant organizes Code Halos into five categories, each representing an opportunity for businesses of any size, shape, or industry to compete for the future right now: • Customer Code Halos • Product Code Halos • Employee Code Halos • Partner Code Halos • Enterprise Code Halos Understanding each category helps us reshape the enterprise from the inside out and the outside in from an informed and even inspired perspective — without the guesswork.
  • 16. 16 CUSTOMER CODE HALOS: CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS GET REDEFINED Customer Code Halos leverage consumer data and insights to create an enriched customer experience. Sophisticated algorithms are applied to individualized code, such as past usage, to provide input given to systems like the Amazon Betterizer, and artist selections added to Pandora streams, to derive business meaning and then deliver a customized experience. This is not just reserved for companies with a born-digital DNA. Disney, for example, launched MagicBand bracelets to help guide visitors through its amusement parks, manage ticketing, act as room keys, personalize the guest experience, and even work as a portable bank. The MagicBand is already transforming a day at a Disney park from a one-size-fits-all experience to a highly personalized one. As a user of MagicBand, I can attest to its integrated and personalized experience. It continues to deliver value in between park visits, as well, simply by knowing who I am and improving the foundation for engagement over time. PRODUCT CODE HALOS: PRODUCT VALUE SHIFTS FROM WIDGETS TO DIGITS One of the key elements in the Wheel of Disruption is that of connectedness. Indeed, we are moving into the era of the Internet of Things, where independent devices, appliances, components, really all things, are connected to the Net. This trend already permeates manufacturers that use advanced sensor technology on the shop floor, but it extends far beyond factory walls. From GE aircraft engines to mobile phones and even personal grooming tools, such as toothbrushes, more and more devices today are becoming network aware. They all have the potential to generate rich Code Halos that interact with the halos of information from people, business processes, and organizations and generate streams of data ripe for deriving meaning. As Code Halos grow, these products’ software will become far more valuable than their associated hardware. For example, with a smart toothbrush, the physical tool itself is a commodity, while brushing habits, dental hygiene history, and health needs create a halo of information that is of premium value. In many sectors, new business processes, industry models, and products are being formed at this Code Halo intersection. EMPLOYEE CODE HALOS: EMPLOYEES CONNECT TO SOLVE PROBLEMS DIFFERENTLY Code Halos can be built around individual employees, creating new models by which knowledge work is conducted. In the same way, Employee Code Halos can be far richer and more powerful than many consumer halos, as they comprise work histories, subject matter expertise, perspectives, work styles, and experiences. Employee halos facilitate getting the right work to the right person at the right time, all contextualized within a work stream, delivering the most appropriate organizational assets to the individual. In much the same way that Amazon’s consumer halos and algorithms individualize the shopping experience, employee halos and organizational algorithms individualize and transform the work experience. PARTNER CODE HALOS: ECOSYSTEM PARTNERS LINK TO FORM VALUE WEBS With new technologies and more collaborative mindsets, traditional supply chains (primarily linear and designed for physical products) are reorganizing into tightly integrated systems for sharing and co- creating knowledge assets. People will still need tangible things, but companies in life sciences, banking, insurance, healthcare, and manufacturing are now using innovative technologies to create more efficient and effective partner ecosystems.
  • 17. 17 ENTERPRISE CODE HALOS: YOUR COMPANY’S BRAND IS A CODE HALO Think of all the digital interactions associated with your company or business unit. Information about products, clients, partners, and employees creates or destroys value every day. Angry customers, positive media coverage, financial data, and a million other information sources create a perception of your company as real as the bricks and rebar of a manufacturing plant. Whether you manage it or not, your company is continually defining itself by its Code Halo. In many cases, this halo of information has much greater clarity and authority than your marketing department’s efforts. THE CROSSROADS MODEL: HOW TO WIN WITH CODE HALOS Change isn’t an option. Digital Darwinism is real. The future is already here, and we are firmly planted at the crossroads. The question is do we change and do so in the confines of yesterday’s perspectives, processes, and systems? Or do we look forward, making bold investments in new models and decision making, all rooted in a culture of innovation and agility? Personally, we’ll take the latter, and not only that, we’ll double down. It is no secret that now is the time for organizations to develop new norms to meet digital customers’ enhanced expectations. For some reason, we still need to tell this story. We still need to create a sense of urgency. To survive an extinction event, better, to win, takes a series of strategic steps. These moves are described by Cognizant’s Crossroads Model™, a system for assessing the potential for disruption and investing in transformation to eliminate the likelihood of an extinction event while establishing significant competitive advantages. The Wheel of Disruption keeps on turning and while it does, it produces a second economy, where there are already winners and losers. The good news is that Code Halos are becoming the key building blocks of the second economy. The industrial economy — from the steam engine onward — has focused on design, manufacturing process, selling, and servicing of increasingly complex physical products and services. The coming phase of commerce is not only about Code Halos surrounding people and products but also business processes that support organizational models that will thrive in the digital economy. The list of companies finding success with Code Halos is growing every day. Amazon beat Borders. Netflix knocked off Blockbuster. Even billion dollar startups like Uber and Airbnb are chipping away at the entrenched industries of urban transit and hospitality. These are not isolated or random events; they’re canaries in the coalmine. Both traditional and digital-born companies are harnessing the power of Code Halos. As outlined in Code Halos, GE is creating Brilliant Machines, Disney is launching MagicBands at its theme parks, Allstate is using mobile telematics devices and analytics to transform auto insurance, and Nike has gained tremendous traction with its FuelBand. And though it is decided to stop making the actual device, Nike continues to double down on the data that makes its athletes unique through software innovation and hardware partnerships. These industry leaders aren’t taking action because they’re threatened or losing ground. They’ve looked ahead and decided to lead rather than react. Leadership within these organizations recognizes that this digital transition is already happening, and they grasp the scale of the opportunity ahead as the second economy grows.
  • 18. 18 Company Industry and Initiative Industrial Goods Through its “Industrial Internet” and “Brilliant Machines” initiatives, GE is creating Code Halos around industrial machines such as jet engines, locomotives, and power turbines. Hospitality With its “MagicBands,” Disney is creating a wearable wristband to generate Code Halos around its park guests, creatibg unique tailored experiences for those customers. Insurance Through its “Drivewise” in-car mobile telematics device, Allstate is building Code Halos around drivers and their cars, thus providing personalized auto insurance and rates. Fitness With Nike+ FuelBand — a wearable activity monitor —Nike is putting Code Halos around its customers, helping to analyze and improve their levels of personal fitness. These are just a few examples that demonstrate the optimistic side of Digital Darwinism. Thus, an extinction event is a choice. It just comes down to whether or not you decide to compete for the future right now. As former Intel CEO Andy Grove once said, “Only the paranoid survive.” For example, an upstart builder of jet engines or power turbines does not seriously threaten GE. Neither is Disney too worried about a venture- backed amusement park being built in Orlando. However, these firms recognize the power of Code Halos and the value of digital and its impact on customer experiences. Even more, they recognize the opportunity to insert these new capabilities into their existing business models to extend their market leadership. Leading companies acknowledge that the Code Halo has become the key structural element of today’s business models. It is what leads executives such as GE CEO Jeff Immelt to wax prophetic. “Industrial companies, not just GE, but all industrial companies, are no longer just about the big iron,” says Immelt. “All of us are going to seek to interface with the analytics, the data, [and] the software that surround our products.” Figure 6 Code Halo Innovation in Established Leaders Source: Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business, 2014
  • 19. 19 THE PATH TO DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION The path toward digital transformation is not prescribed. Nor does it end. It is a constant journey, and Code Halos guide the way. The good news is that every step you take toward optimizing for the second economy is also one step away from Digital Darwinism. Rather than react to change or be disrupted by it, some forward-looking companies are investing in digital transformation to adapt and outperform peers. In the Capgemini and MIT study on digital transformation, research shows that companies that are highly vested in both digital intensity and transformation management intensity, AKA the digerati, derive more revenue from their physical assets, are more profitable, and possess high market valuations. Why is that? It comes down to one word: relevance. If consumer behavior is evolving as a result of technology, businesses either compete to get ahead of it, perpetually react to it, or belittle it. One of the most troubling aspects about digital maturity is that technology is both part of the solution and part of the problem. With the onslaught of connected devices and tools enabling brands to connect with consumers in timely, relevant, and experiential ways, companies will have to further empathize for consumer wants, solving the right problems for the digital customer in the right place and channel, right when they want it. This is designing the customer experience. Some businesses are already succeeding in digitally transforming the customer experience. They’re driving changes that are both externally focused (customer- facing) and internally focused (collaboration, process, technology, etc.) to build a scalable infrastructure for the digital economy. Those changes take reorganization and resilience. A clear vision, an empowering leadership, and ample resources must support digital transformation efforts for the business to achieve meaningful success. THREE ELEMENTS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION Altimeter Group identified three elements of successful digital transformation that, when combined, react to form the base for digital transformation: • Vision and leadership • Digital customer experience • A digital transformation team Code Halos, the information running through and around everything, informs and inspires this process. While technology makes discovering Code Halos possible, these beacons of data and insight transcend constructs like IT, big data, and analytics. Code Halos make meaningful connections between people, organizations, and devices in a business context. Extracting meaning from Code Halos and applying that understanding to business strategies and practices are new and essential management skills that are not yet clearly or widely understood. It takes an entire organization to compete in the second economy, and that takes digital transformation.
  • 20. 20 THE THREE ELEMENTS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ELEMENT ONE: Inspire Leadership with a Vision Whether it is running under the banner of customer experience, convergence, omnichannel, or another moniker, a customer-centric culture guides businesses on the uncharted path of digital transformation. It takes vision to earn executive sponsorship and rally teams in new directions. We learned that traditional vision statements typically aren’t specific enough to communicate what’s different about digital transformation or why it is important. Often, it takes a renewed focus on the customer to better communicate a vision centered on digital transformation. The Role of the Change Agent Today’s Code Halo leaders go far beyond transactional relationships; they forge deep human connections and even create moments of magic. It can occasionally feel as if these companies are reading your mind as they anticipate needs and fulfill desires you may not have recognized yourself. Code Halo leaders, by their very nature, become the spark for change. They become the change agents and get the ball rolling. But the business case needs more than evidence or anecdotes; it needs a story and a vision for what change looks like and what it delivers. Change doesn’t just appear, and in very few cases does digital transformation come from the top. Change agents leverage leadership to identify the players and influencers within the company who can help move the needle. The key is to find an executive or stakeholder who believes in what digital can do and make them the focus of a targeted pilot. Code Halos provide the insight to identify those executives and stakeholders. This is the time for change agents to rise, unite with one another, and partner with executives to collaborate and organize to create digital leadership. Code Halos chart the course. Figure 7 Source: Altimeter Group, 2014
  • 21. 21 ELEMENT TWO: Reimagine the Digital Customer Experience To compete in this new world, managers must understand how the Code Halo economy works, because it already affects organizations today. Customers are using technology their way, regardless of your intentions, and the customer experience strategy must align with their journey and aspirations. Digital customer experience begins with Code Halos, and research — not guesswork — is necessary to study personas, behaviors, and expectations throughout every stage of the customer lifecycle. Once a business is armed with information, its digital transformation will take shape. Its people, processes, and technologies will be aligned with the business’s goals and milestones, mapping an effective journey for digital customers. Map the Journey: What Would My Digital Customer Do? What would my digital customer do? How is that different than traditional customer activities and preferences? Code Halos lead the way. To compete in the second economy, businesses must define or improve the customer experience, which requires an understanding of the digital customer journey and the experience it delivers. Code Halos assemble into a journey, which reveals a map of engagement and relevance. However, someone has to assemble those halos into a map that everyone across the organization can appreciate and take action on. Customer journey mapping is actually two actions: • Outlining the customer journey through physical and digital touch points. • Researching and charting the customer journey based on digital customer behavior and trends. The two actions aren’t always related, but they should be. A best practice is to combine the two: Invest time in researching physical and digital journeys and how customer behaviors and expectations play a role at each touch point. Another way to think of this is as decoding the Code Halo for each customer. After all, journey mapping may reveal a complicated, tech-laden path where customers continuously hop from one route to the next. Serendipitous Product and Service Innovation Through Journey Mapping In discussions with companies on the frontline of digital transformation, we’ve found that studying customer expressions along with journey mapping reveals common customer questions, interesting ideas, beneficial product opinions, and competitive sentiment. The insights that emerge from this work can spark ideas to improve, end the life of, or invent products and services. For example, credit card provider Discover invested in journey mapping to visualize the customer lifecycle and to learn where customers go, how they pay for goods, when they borrow money, and more. In the process, they discovered an opportunity. “We’re proud of the exercise, because the result was coming up with a product that is now entering the market in a louder way. Our new Discover it card was born from customer decision journey work we did that uncovered how people online behaved differently. Now, this new product speaks to the digital needs of our customers,” representatives from the company said. This finding shows that Code Halos represent opportunities for innovation as well, improving not only how Discover adapts but also how it will compete for new business. Collaboration Is Table Stakes Code Halos are not confined to any one department. They represent the journey and the experience people have and share. They span departments and functions. For example, some customer service teams don’t have access to customer loyalty statistics, while some marketers don’t have access to customer service issues or trends. Depending on which group customers talk to, representatives can only offer a sliver of what the
  • 22. 22 company could offer in total. In this silo-driven model, Code Halos complicate cross-functional engagement; more importantly, though, they have the potential to unite disparate fronts around a common cause. To truly deliver a 360-degree customer experience, businesses must use Code Halos to connect the dots between touch points, business units, and customer expectations. This creates an inherent need for solid internal collaboration to optimize the journey from the inside out. Frictionless teams and smashed silos are no longer signs of advanced organizations. They’re table stakes for digital transformation. ELEMENT THREE: Form a Digital Transformation Team Successful businesses undergoing digital transformation do break down silos and form new teams, and they do so with an important goal: to more effectively manage the customer journey in real time. They combine Code Halos with strategic company priorities and objectives to define the steps needed for the digital transformation and form specialized teams to lead these efforts. These teams manage programs, analyzing Code Halos, defining roadmaps, and prioritizing initiatives, and then communicate progress and findings to the C-suite. Research shows that companies successfully pursuing digital transformation create the following three things: • A center of excellence/DCX hub. This steering committee is a cross-functional group tasked with redesigning and optimizing the customer experience. It includes roles, responsibilities, and change-specific projects. • An organizational structure to support the transformation. Digital expertise is not common throughout the organization, but it does exist in pockets. Assemble a qualified team of strategists and then educate key stakeholders along the way. • An IT partnership. A strategic alliance between IT and marketing will streamline and scale digital transformation efforts. Build a Center of Excellence/DCX Hub Who owns the customer experience? Everyone. But like everything in business, structure, organization, roles, and responsibilities must be defined. Pioneering organizations form special teams to start talking about change and putting it into motion. These teams go by many names: digital circles, centers of excellence, rapid innovation teams, digital acceleration teams, and more. Other organizations create the team with a more organic approach. For example, some form multiple working groups, or circles, that aim to understand and act on problems and opportunities based on Code Halo elements. Eventually, those circles unite under a formal digital leadership committee with executive sponsorship to create a dedicated team responsible for bringing about digital transformation across the enterprise. Code Halos Unite CMOs and CIOs Companies making progress in digital transformation unanimously agree that bringing IT in from the beginning and working with it throughout the process is essential. In any digital transformation initiative, CIOs and CMOs share goals and outcomes. By creating a strategic partnership, IT and marketing can expedite change while accelerating initiatives that optimize digital customer journeys and experiences. Without that partnership, digital transformation efforts become ad hoc, get stuck in silos, lessen enterprise-wide impact, and prevent true scale. At Motorola Solutions, the partnership between IT and marketing was elevated to a formal level. Dubbed the MIT Group, marketing and IT officially allied to focus on an integrated approach to digital customer experience and change. “These two functions have tremendous ability to impact customer experience through change,” says Grant Ferguson, leader for Systems of Engagement at Motorola. “Marketing defines the vision of the company and value proposition for our customers,
  • 23. 23 while IT touches and enables every part of our business and is the ultimate orchestrator of change. Combining these two functions allows us to more effectively align our strategy and execution to become a more customer solutions-driven business.” Find Your Halo Heroes In the world of Code Halos, business and technology are inextricably linked, creating an opportunity for Halo heroes to step forward and lead their organization to new levels of corporate performance through digital innovation. Whether they’re in IT, marketing, or executive management, your Halo heroes are leaning into your business and leading the charge toward digital transformation. It is on you, the organization, to uncover these forward-thinking leaders and empower them to grow their areas of the business around digital. CODE HALOS ARE THE LIFE FORCE OF THE SECOND ECONOMY The coming phase of commerce is all about the virtual fields of information that surround people, products, places, and organizations. But we can’t just build those Code Halos. We must reimagine and reengineer the organizational models and business processes that will support the halos in order to thrive in the new digital economy. In many cases, this transition will be a heavy lift, as established businesses will have to manage traditional ways along with digital ones, yet this is unavoidable in these times of tremendous change. To succeed, strive to be a “Meaning Maker.” Cognizant’s research shows that while the potential for using data is vast, not all companies leverage it the same way. The study defines three approaches to leveraging data through the people who leverage it: Meaning Makers, Data Collectors, and Explorers. Why be a Meaning Maker? Because Meaning Makers have begun to master the ability to generate meaningful insight from their big data sources and integrate it into their daily work more effectively than others. Data Collectors and Explorers are missing the shift and lag industry leaders. To be a Meaning Maker and understand the economics of information, just doing analytics isn’t enough. You must: • Reimagine work at the process level through analytics. • Build a business analytics ecosystem. • Separate the signal from the noise, the number one killer business skill for the next decade. • Pick the right target for disruption (which is hard to do). To make a Code Halo fundamentally attractive and compelling: • Make it physically beautiful (interface). • Create moments of magic through correlations found in big data (personalization). • Make it virtually beautiful. It is critical to create trust when you’re gathering and analyzing Code Halos. Here’s how: • Give your Code Halo a delete button. • Act with transparency: make the relationship truly elective. • Demonstrate value. • Calibrate your approach to a global stage. • Hard-code organizational self-control.
  • 24. 24 rientation Change can be scary, and in the absence of information, people make assumptions. Success begins with vision and leadership to guide companies and change agents in a new direction. Leadership must inspire and take charge, offering a glimpse of what the new digital customer experience looks and feels like. Remember, leadership can come from the top or from anywhere in the organization. eople Code Halos, data, customer journey mapping, and observation allow change agents to better understand the digital customer, leading to meaningful investments in a new customer experience. rocesses and Policies Models, processes, and policies will need to be either amended or rewritten to support new direction and scale, as well as to empower and reward employees for their role in bringing about change. Additionally, you’ll need collaboration and the alignment or integration of cross-functional workgroups to truly make changes. Design an org chart that brings together disparate groups of people to form a team or teams aimed at consolidating and enhancing the journey and the digital customer experience. bjectives Define what success ultimately looks like and, equally important, the steps to get there. Take the time to document and articulate short-term and long-term purpose. This helps people grasp what they’re working toward and how they’ll recognize when they’ve accomplished important objectives. trategy Code Halos represent insights that help businesses develop a digital-first or born-digital plan that invests in and optimizes digital touch points and engagement. Each strategy should consider customers’ native expectations and behaviors. More importantly, touch points should seamlessly combine to deliver a holistic, and desired, experience throughout every step in the customer lifecycle. Strategies must also focus on directing and enabling the development of new processes, policies, and workgroups. S O P P O O.P.P.O.S.I.T.E. EIGHT SUCCESS FACTORS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION There will be no extinction event here. OPPOSITE — an acronym based on Altimeter Group research — combats Digital Darwinism through a series of best practices that help your organization embrace and understand Code Halos to effectively compete in the second economy.
  • 25. 25 nsights Data is of limited use until someone translates it into actionable insights. It is no longer good enough to capture transactional data (e.g., Visitor A purchased Product B for $C at D time). Now you must understand why this transaction occurred, what the motivations were for it, and what the cascading series of events are that will result from it. These behavioral insights will inform everything, including strategies that grow engagement and build relationships throughout the customer journey. Whichever group houses data and analysis must be empowered to deliver insights to stakeholders and decision makers. At the same time, recipients of the information must be held accountable, with their work being measured against how well insights were integrated and how well they performed. Halo heroes will pave the way here. What is the most important ingredient that allowed Code Halo masters to win their markets and build so much value? The highly individualized experiences created by managing the Cod Halos meaning. echnology Most organizations’ IT functions are moving through their own version of the Crossroads Model. Expectations for IT as the enabler are evolving just as quickly as they are for customers. Many wonder what the future will hold, with this rapid change only furthering some aspects of technology as being seen as a slow-moving cost center that offers, at best, competitive parity. The OPPOSITE approach requires strategists to think about technology’s role in the customer journey. Technology is no longer the chief catalyst in developing strategies; instead, it is an enabler for digital transformation’s role in improving customer experiences and relationships. Strategists must fight Shiny Object Syndrome, selecting technology solutions that solve problems and create opportunities based on every step in the OPPOSITE framework. It is important to consider legacy investments and how they can play a role in transformation, but do not let legacy influence important decisions if current systems are not the right solution for delivering a desired digital customer experience. xecution With the incredible amount of work ahead of businesses everywhere, Code Halos may unintentionally cause analysis paralysis. To put transformation in motion, therefore, execution is as important as vision. Execution must be broken into tangible steps, however, with associated metrics and key performance indicators to communicate progress and reinforce or validate work. Execution triggers learning and learning fosters best practices. This new knowledge should live in a central repository and become part of a recurring cross-functional assembly where insights are shared and questions are asked and answered. Lastly, execution requires reward. As a result, policies and processes should consider systems for incremental recompense. E T I
  • 26. 26 IN THE END THIS IS JUST THE BEGINING In the end, it really is a matter of perspective. We’re optimists. We see the opportunity to utilize the information contained within Code Halos as vast and monumental. Even though Digital Darwinism is real and now part of everyday business, we believe that adopting an infrastructure to use Code to inform and inspire meaningful digital transformation is unparalleled in its promise and potential. Again: an extinction event is a choice and the fate of any organization depends on how we learn from, employ, and shape Code Halos. On the flipside, all of the factors affecting today’s business models and processes are also pushing us to innovate in ways that connected customers and employees will value and appreciate. How you manage these dynamics during the next few years could define the arc of your career. Think ahead a decade, when people are sure to ask two questions: Did you see this technology-based sea change coming? Were you able to capture the commercial opportunity? Code Halos are already creating an entirely new economy, full of opportunities of unprecedented scale. By their very nature, Code Halos will help you answer those questions and help you not just survive Digital Darwinism but excel in this second economy. Through their very nature, you become customer-centric. You become agile. You become innovative. This profound new understanding of data obligates you to constantly anticipate, rather than merely react to, your customers’ needs and expectations. Culture, trust, and transparency take on a whole new meaning. This customer-centric approach informs your digital transformation strategy in ways not possible otherwise. And it is this digital transformation that will carry profound implications for your market, your employee and customer relationships, your partners — basically everything and everyone related to your business. What an amazing opportunity you have right now. You now can do so much that others before you didn’t have the ability to do. The future will happen to us or because of us. This is your time. Define your future.
  • 27. ENDNOTES 1 Andreessen, Marc. “Why Software Is Eating the World.” The Wall Street Journal. August 20, 2011. http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424053 111903480904576512250915629460. 2 Lawler, Edward and Christopher Worley. Built to Change: How to Achieve Sustained Organizational Effectiveness. Wiley & Sons, 2006. 3 Lawler, Edward and Christopher Worley. Built to Change, p.1. 4 Babson Magazine, Summer 2011, p. 37. http:// www.babson.edu/news-events/babson-magazine/ summer-2011/Documents/alumni-news-summer-2011.pdf. 5 Frank, Malcolm, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Pring. Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations Are Changing the Rules of Business. Wiley & Sons, 2014. 6 Frank, Malcolm, et al. Code Halos. 7 Frank, Malcolm, Paul Roehrig, and Ben Pring. Code Rules: A Playbook for Managing at the Crossroads. Cognizant Technology Solutions, June 2013, p. 6, http://www.cognizant.com/Futureofwork/Documents/ code-rules.pdf. 8 Frank, Malcolm, et al. Code Rules, p. 6. 9 Frank, Malcolm, et al. Code Rules, p. 6. 10 Fitzgerald, Michael, Nina Kruschwitz, Didier Bonnet, and Michael Welch. 2013 Digital Transformation Global Executive Study and Research. Cambridge, MA: MIT Project Sloan Management Review, October 7, 2013. http://sloanreview.mit.edu/ projects/embracing-digital-technology. 11 Shelton, Ted. Business Models for the Social Mobile Cloud: Transform Your Business Using Social Media, Mobile Internet, and Cloud Computing. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons, 2013. 12 Heuer, Megan. “Three Myths of the ‘67 Percent’ Statistic.” SiriusDecisions, July 3, 2013. https://www. siriusdecisions.com/Blog/2013/Jul/Three-Myths-of-the- 67-Percent-Statistic.aspx. 13 The State of CX Metrics, 2012. Waban, MA: Temkin Group, December 2012. http://www.temkingroup. com/research-reports/the-state-of-cx-metrics-2012. 14 Westerman, George, Maël Tannou, Didier Bonnet, Patrick Ferraris, and Andrew McAfee. The Digital Advantage: How Digital Leaders Outperform Their Peers in Every Industry. Capgemini Consulting, November 2012, p. 10. http://www.capgemini. com/resource-file-access/resource/pdf/The_Digital_ Advantage__How_Digital_Leaders_Outperform_their_ Peers_in_Every_Industry.pdf. 15 Westerman, George, et al. The Digital Advantage. DISCLAIMER ALTHOUGH THE INFORMATION AND DATA USED IN THIS REPORT HAVE BEEN PRODUCED AND PROCESSED FROM SOURCES BELIEVED TO BE RELIABLE, NO WARRANTY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED IS MADE REGARDING THE COMPLETENESS, ACCURACY, ADEQUACY, OR USE OF THE INFORMATION. THE AUTHORS AND CONTRIBUTORS OF THE INFORMATION AND DATA SHALL HAVE NO LIABILITY FOR ERRORS OR OMISSIONS CONTAINED HEREIN OR FOR INTERPRETATIONS THEREOF. REFERENCE HEREIN TO ANY SPECIFIC PRODUCT OR VENDOR BY TRADE NAME, TRADEMARK, OR OTHERWISE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE OR IMPLY ITS ENDORSEMENT, RECOMMENDATION, OR FAVORING BY THE AUTHORS OR CONTRIBUTORS AND SHALL NOT BE USED FOR ADVERTISING OR PRODUCT ENDORSEMENT PURPOSES. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED HEREIN ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. 27
  • 28. Brian Solis, Principal Analyst Brian Solis (@briansolis) is an award-winning author, prominent blogger, and keynote speaker. Solis works with enterprise organizations and technology vendors to research the state and direction of markets, competitors, and customer behavior. Through the use of proven frameworks and best practices, Solis analyzes trends, opportunities, capabilities, and areas for improvement to align new media initiatives with business priorities. Jon Cifuentes, Senior Researcher Jon Cifuentes (@JonCifuentes) supports research in disruption on leadership, organizational change, and analytics at Altimeter Group. In his previous work, Jon led social media efforts for large-scale B2B and B2C organizations, with a focus on the measurement and optimization of engagement across all digital channels. AUTHORS 28 About Altimeter Group Altimeter is a research and consulting firm that helps companies understand and act on technology disruption. We give business leaders the insight and confidence to help their companies thrive in the face of disruption. In addition to publishing research, Altimeter Group analysts speak and provide strategy consulting on trends in leadership, digital transformation, social business, data disruption and content marketing strategy. Altimeter Group 1875 S Grant St #680 San Mateo, CA 94402 info@altimetergroup.com www.altimetergroup.com @altimetergroup 650.212.2272 About Cognizant Cognizant (NASDAQ: CTSH) is a leading provider of information technology, consulting, and business process outsourcing services, dedicated to helping the world’s leading companies build stronger businesses. Headquartered in Teaneck, New Jersey (U.S.), Cognizant combines a passion for client satisfaction, technology innovation, deep industry and business process expertise, and a global, collaborative workforce that embodies the future of work. With over 75 development and delivery centers worldwide and approximately 187,400 employees as of June 30, 2014, Cognizant is a member of the NASDAQ-100, the S&P 500, the Forbes Global 2000, and the Fortune 500 and is ranked among the top performing and fastest growing companies in the world. Visit us online at www.cognizant.com or follow us on Twitter: Cognizant.