The Next Big Thing
Posts about next generation technologies and their effect on business.

Service centric innovation – does it require a change in thinking?

 

SaaS.pngI was just in a stimulating discussion with a co-worker preparing to be part of a panel (that ISSIP is hosting) and looking at the question:

“Most product companies are making a shift from product-centric business models to more service-centric business models?  How does this impact your innovation ecosystem and how can entrepreneurs leverage this trend?”

 

This question seems to be based on the foundation that companies that may be product centric don’t understand services. I don’t actually see this as true. Almost all companies get a significant amount of value from service activities and innovation, even if it is just servicing and maintaining their products. The day of throwing the product out the door and checking the transaction complete are over.

 

In fact the whole IoT phenomenon is based on adding services to devices, whether it is your TV now being able to download content or your thermostat managing temperature based on how the environment around it is being used – these are all services – and IoT will have significant implications.

 

Now I do think there is a fundamental question about how much the context and culture of the companies has changed and if a company’s (or IT’s) approach to innovation has shifting. Since almost everyone lives in a consumer-oriented lifestyle, service innovation has been creeping into our thoughts and expectations for a very long time.

 

We have all this talk about digital natives and digital companies maybe that is all misplaced and we should be looking at it from a services impact and futures perspective. It is not that companies are becoming digital – it is that they are being more services oriented and in the process, hunger for greater information and action.

 

The use of experience and an organizational error culture

 

opps.pngI recently came across a blog on the error culture of organizations. It was focused on: when it comes to learning from errors, it is how an organization behaves that is important.

 

“…when errors do occur, they aren’t swept under the rug. Instead, they’re treated as valuable learning opportunities that help companies avoid the repetition of similar mistakes in the future.”

 

With all the new technology around us and new business trends the old adage that “if you are making mistakes you’re not learning” in more relevant than ever.

 

On the other hand, we need to benefit from those previous errors. I see lots of discussions about ITIL and ITSM and their role in helping organizations deliver more reliable services. These are not just academic exercises, the learnings (of the users, operations…) need to be reinvested in improved practices, even in these very dynamic new models.

 

All too often, the new flexible techniques view basic operational approaches as constraining or even unnecessary. It makes me ask people how they will understand the ‘normal’ operations of the system and be able to see a pattern where intervention is needed. One thing is clear, you don’t want to learn how to fire a gun in the middle of a firefight. Similarly, you don’t want to diagnose a system for the first time when it is going (or has gone) down. Experience is needed to help talk people through this process, since it is rarely taught and needs to be felt.

 

Will the Internet of Things turn all CEOs into CIOs?

 

CEO.pngSince the CIO's role is focused on generating business value out of information securely and reliably, and now an ever increasing percentage of our enterprise environment will be collaborating in that goal – the CEO’s dependence and need to manage the use of information will increase.

 

IoT means sensitive information, can be derived leading to information about enterprise operation details and personal data crossing from secure networks to devices and third party services. The risk and the benefit are far different than what traditional CIOs have had to address. The CEO will need to understand (at least at some level) the rapidly changing world of security and information consumption and the implications of IoT – even if it is just to make sure that the delegated business and IT responsibilities are being addressed effectively.

 

Some view that IoT hype has peaked. If that is the case, it would only be because organizations have internalized the change, but I doubt that. I think we have a long way to go before the possibilities are even well understood, let alone embraced and incorporated to generate value outside the initial deployment silos.

Leaders need to ask two questions:

  • So what? – find out the perspective of business value for the effort
  • Is that all? – see if the teams are thinking broadly enough about where and how the information can be used. There seems to be a great deal of potential being left on the table.

 

IT as outsiders, a luxury no one can afford

 

alone.pngRecently, Terry Bennett (someone from the Dallas area I’ve known for quite a while) wrote a post about Overcoming Your IT Department’s Outsider Reputation. I have finally gotten around to giving it a quick response. In his post he says:

“At a time when all companies need everyone on one team pulling together, IT professionals are often seen by others as ... well ... different.”

 

This seems like a luxury no one can afford. He mentions a number of approaches to shift IT personnel behavior:

  • Change the IT mindset
  • Align goals
  • Show your appreciation
  • Participate in company activities

It really gets down to being aware and involved in the business and its culture and not to look at your role (in IT) as part of a different industry.

 

I sometimes ask people: “If you win and the company doesn’t, did you actually win?”

 

As services becomes an ever increasing part of the economy and the revenue stream for companies, it needs to be sure not to fall into the same trap. This is also a concept those in the outsourcing space need to embrace with the customers – to the extent possible.

 

New HP automotive industry e-zine

Lately I’ve been blogging quite a bit about the Internet of Things. Few industries are so permeated with IoT activities (both in production and in their products) than automotive. Periodically the HP Enterprise Services team focused on automotive create an e-zine and the new one just came out. At least I think it should be out there by now. If not, it will be soon. Here is a brief video about the effort:

 

 

You can see the latest edition of the e-zine here. The previous edition of the e-zine is located here. If you are really interested, you can sign up for a subscription service so the new information is pushed to you directly.

 

You can also download the latest digital edition!

 

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About the Author(s)
  • Steve Simske is an HP Fellow and Director in the Printing and Content Delivery Lab in Hewlett-Packard Labs, and is the Director and Chief Technologist for the HP Labs Security Printing and Imaging program.
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