Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Gartner Says by 2017 Your Smartphone Will Be Smarter Than You

Smartphones will soon be able to predict a consumer’s next move, their next purchase or interpret actions based on what it knows, according to Gartner, Inc. This insight will be performed based on an individual’s data gathered using cognizant computing — the next step in personal cloud computing. 

The first services that will be performed "automatically" will generally help with menial tasks — and significantly time consuming or time wasting tasks — such as time-bound events (calendaring) such as booking a car for its yearly service, creating a weekly to-do list, sending birthday greetings, or responding to mundane email messages. Gradually, as confidence in the outsourcing of more menial tasks to the smartphone increases, consumers are expected to become accustomed to allowing a greater array of apps and services to take control of other aspects of their lives - this will be the era of cognizant computing. 

By 2017 mobile phones will be smarter than people not because of an intrinsic intelligence, but because the cloud and the data stored in the cloud will provide them with the computational ability to make sense of the information they have so they appear smart.

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Study Reveals More than 2/3 of Marketing & IT Leaders Report Being “More Effective” Due to Collaboration

To meet the needs of today’s evolving digital, mobile and social world, marketing and technology executives are finding collaboration across people, processes and technologies is leading to more effective business outcomes. To demonstrate how organizations are embracing collaboration, Oracle, in partnership with Leader Networks and Social Media Today, launched an executive study revealing opportunities and obstacles for senior marketing and technology leaders to more effectively collaborate and to deliver real-world business value. The results of the survey highlight how marketing and technology teams are working together, when they are working in silos, and the business value of becoming a socially enabled enterprise.

Key Findings

-- Marketing and technology roles are changing: Both marketers and IT leaders report seeing their roles evolve due to a greater emphasis on social business activities. Both groups indicate they now have the ability to collaborate more effectively. They also recognize the need to acquire new skills and hire new skillsets to meet the needs of today’s evolving digital, mobile and social landscape.

-- Marketers lead the collaboration charge: Marketing respondents were more likely to report a higher level of collaboration than their IT/technology counterparts.

-- Current collaboration leaves room for growth: Only 36 percent of marketing respondents and 26 percent of IT/technology respondents report collaborating with each other “frequently” on projects. Slightly more than half of marketing and IT/technology respondents classify their collaboration as “adequate.” Sixteen percent of IT/technology respondents reported that collaboration with marketing is “non-existent.”

-- Despite challenges, collaboration is better than before: Very few respondents reported collaborating less than they did a year ago. Moreover, 41 percent of marketing and 38 percent of IT/technology leaders indicate improved collaboration from last year.

-- Collaboration delivers business value: More than two thirds of both marketing and technology leaders stated that they are “more effective” professionally due to increased collaboration. Reported benefits included stronger and more compelling marketing messages, faster speed-to-market, greater product adoption, project cost reductions, and fewer defects in product and services.

More information on IT, marketing and CRM can be found at

Monday, November 4, 2013

Investing in Digital Technologies and Improving Customer Experiences is Enabling Companies to Identify New Growth Opportunities and Enhance Performance

While many organizations are focused on IT cost reduction, productivity gain and process improvement, the latest global research from Accenture reveals that companies that invest in digital technologies and improving customer experiences are able to identify new growth opportunities and enhance performance.

The research report, HighPerformers in IT: Defined by Digital, features insights from senior IT executives in more than 200 global companies across a range of industries. The report shows that high performers devote 55 percent of their information technology (IT) budgets to delivering strategic capabilities that support growth and business performance. Their counterparts, however, invest only 37 percent. Moreover, five times more businesses (50 percent) that excel in their use of IT, look beyond a narrow IT lens to consider broader business implications - social, economic and geopolitical factors - as part of their strategy and planning.

Accenture’s research found that the adoption rate of key technologies, including cloud computing, analytics, social, mobility and security, was greater across-the-board for companies that excel in their use of IT than their counterparts. According to the research, these companies have recognized and embraced the transformational impact of digital IT to create new products and services that supports growth. 

For example, the high performers are leading the way in “mobilizing” their businesses. According to the research, 69 percent of them are committed to mobile transactions compared to 42 percent of other organizations, which allows their customers to reorder their favorite pair of shoes, book travel, pay for their coffee and even transfer cash between bank accounts on the go. And approximately twice as many IT leaders than non-leaders are achieving or exceeding expected business value from their investments in predictive and descriptive analytics.

Mastering a Hybrid IT Environment
According to the findings, the leaders in IT are also moving to the cloud faster and reaping more benefits sooner than other organizations. One-third (33 percent) of the executives representing those companies responded that they are effectively replacing legacy components with private and public cloud alternatives while almost one in six (15 percent) already centrally manage a fully virtualized, dynamically provisioned hybrid infrastructure.

The survey also found that companies expect to operate in a hybrid IT environment for the foreseeable future. The top performers predict that a substantial part of their IT footprint – whether infrastructure, middleware or applications – will remain “traditional,” both hosted and on-premise. In fact, these leaders believe that they will still maintain nearly six in 10 of their applications (59 percent) in a traditional license model by 2020.

It’s clear that high performers are more effective in taking advantage of cloud technology considering that:

       -- 40 percent see measurable improvements in IT agility, with only 9 percent of other organizations claiming the same.

-- 43 percent declared strong results in aligning between project portfolios and IT business goals, a 23 percent advantage over other organizations.

      --  33 percent see direct cost reductions as a result of their cloud investments while only 14 percent of other organizations see similar results.

Having the Right Data Creates Competitive Advantage
Leaders in the use of IT have been investing in master data management and data quality assurance for years, and as a result, they hold a significant advantage in the race to getting the right data. Their investments are now paying off. According to the research, twice as many high performers as other organizations are achieving or exceeding the business value they expected in key areas such as data management (77 percent vs. 30 percent), content management (77 percent vs. 23 percent)  and predictive analytics (54 percent vs. 21 percent).

By successfully navigating the dynamics between information and business processes and systems, those performing at the very top are much better equipped to build strategic analytic capabilities than their counterparts. Almost half (46 percent) say they already have developed and capitalized on new insights on changing customer behavior, compared to just three percent of other organizations.

It Really is All About the Customer
Leaders in IT consistently chose customer-focused business objectives among the top three priorities that guide their IT investment strategies. This includes providing the right information to the right person at the right time, finding better ways to interact with customers and delivering new services and products to customers. They also rated front-office applications among their best-performing in terms of technical and business adequacy, which was significantly higher for their companies than for other organizations.

Managing IT Security and Business Risk
Organizations are increasingly focused on ensuring the security of their growing digital business but many struggle to keep pace with new security technologies. Although most survey respondents believe they currently have the right level of investment in compliance and overall security, 44 percent concede that they have been underinvesting in cyber-security. There is a general acknowledgement that endpoint security is not sufficient.  But the shift to active defense strategies – staying one step ahead of the attackers – has not yet taken hold. Still, 75 percent of high- performing organizations have made it a priority to further lower their risk profile and more rapidly upgrade their IT security practices within the next year. 
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