With e-commerce growth rates predicted to decline, online businesses wishing to outperform competition and gain market share, are increasingly required to invest in order to differentiate themselves, deploy richer and innovative applications and deliver more personal, compelling and engaging online user experiences.
Scene7, part of Adobe Systems, released the results of a business survey entitled “Web 2.0 Experience 2008 and beyond”, identifying and analysing how online businesses will be investing in order to enhance their customer experience. Key findings indicated that more than 50 percent plan to deploy new features and rich Internet enhancements including …
While every day seems to bring a whole bunch of predictions and thoughts for this new year (and the decade to come!), I have selected this excellent article from The McKinsey Quarterly entitled “Eight business technology trends to watch“. In a Nutshell, this article provides an extremely interesting overview of emerging technology-enabled trends that will shape businesses and the economy in coming years.
These trends fall within three broad categories, namely managing relationships, managing capital & assets and leveraging information in new ways, and include …
Now that we’re on the other side of the New Year, I thought I would share my thoughts on what I feel should be one of the companies’ top priorities – and probably their number 1 resolution for this year: Efficiently managing their online reputation.
Managing online reputation is fast becoming a growing problem for businesses. With the rise of social media and user-generated content, the Internet has quickly become a complex ecosystem where public opinion can be created and disseminated within seconds. Keeping your eyes and ears on the world of consumer generated media can be a daunting task for any company. Blogs, forums, wikis and social networks gain popularity every day and without a plan to monitor and manage your company’s online reputation, you could be at risk.
A great brand can take months, if not years, and millions of dollars to build. It should be the thing you hold most precious and managing your business’s online reputation is key to owning your brand.
So now is the time to take control of your online reputation!
Discover how to maintain, enhance & protect your brand identity …
Now that 2008 has arrived, along with the New Year’s resolutions and the ever-present pundit predictions, I thought it was the perfect timing to dive into what Saugatuck Technology just reported as being their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) predictions, highlighting five key trends for 2008 and beyond:
SaaS platforms and marketplaces will begin to proliferate, becoming a significant channel opportunity for vendors, as well as a key means by which users will gain access to SaaS solution capabilities.
SaaS is becoming an international phenomenon, driven by both local demand as well as large multi-nationals who are adopting SaaS business solutions on a global basis. While US SaaS adoption is clearly going “mainstream”, Europe and Asia are only now beginning to experience the steep adoption ramp that the US has witnessed over the past two years. Whereas average US market growth rates will likely slow into the 35-40 percent range in 2008, European market growth rates should exceed 60-70 percent next year.
SaaS merger & acquisition activity will explode. No doubt a serious feeding frenzy is about to unfold and it could be anticipated that a large number of venture-backed start-ups and emerging SaaS companies would be acquired by either SaaS pure-plays, ISVs hungry to enter the SaaS fray or on-shore & off-shore IT services and BPO providers who are eager to leverage a SaaS model.
Traditional on-premise application ISVs will earnestly begin to fight back. Approximately 15-20 percent of ISVs have already either begun new initiatives or gained access to SaaS assets and development experience through M&A activity. However, over the next 12-24 months, this number is anticipated to rise dramatically, as a tougher economic climate will only exacerbate an already challenged on-premise and traditional perpetual license model.
SaaS development platforms will evolve and 2008 will see explosive growth in the adoption and use of SaaS-based software development platforms and services. Wide availability of open, standardised tools and technologies in subscription-based, on-demand environments will help streamline and reduce the costs of software development and customisation.
Other key insights and Strategic Planning Positions provided by Saugatuck include the following predictions …
Many organisations aspire to be customer-centric, yet few have figured out the recipe for successfully transforming their business. It seems like it was just yesterday that companies were discovering the importance of implementing CRM technologies and strategies aimed at acquiring new customers, managing effectively customer interactions, selling more to current customers, analysing the effectiveness of marketing activities and providing better customer service. All in the name of building stronger, longer lasting business relationships. Well, today is a new day, and the customers now decide who they do business with, as well as how and when they will do so.
“CMR” – or “Customer Managed Relationships” started to be spoken about 2 years ago but still gets little airplay despite Web 2.0 gaining increased traction as a full-fledged platform fostering collaboration, participation and community building. Companies will only achieve improved results in this “customer managed world” if marketers are quickly understanding and embracing this new concept, and are changing the way they define customer centricity accordingly.
So what does implementing a CMR initiative really entail?
When thinking about factors that distinguish top performing companies, the root of their success often can be traced to the human equation. But how many companies are able to tap more than a fraction of their workforce potential? How many are able to take advantage of latent talents, ideas and contributive strengths waiting to be switched on? How many are able to unleash the power of remote collaboration & virtual team management? The companies that find the means to use a larger fraction of their human resources will undoubtedly supersede their competitors. That is their edge in the global economy.
With increased globalisation, virtual leadership has started gaining a strong foothold in recent times. As the workplace evolves, the techniques for managing employees are changing. Today’s leaders and managers are faced with a different set of challenges for managing employees who work in various locations across the globe or telecommute. Managing in the virtual environment can be quite a daunting undertaking.
The biggest challenge with remote collaboration & virtual team management is actually to maintain quality and productivity across all participants, despite the physical and cultural distance. Other associated issues are operational. Indeed, you do need to ensure that everyone is working on “the same project”. Social issues may also come into play: If the teams adopt an “us versus them” mindset, they might well wind up working at cross-purposes. All these challenges may finally be exacerbated by time zone and language differences that make collaboration and real-time communication even more difficult.
Advances in information and communications technologies have enabled businesses to become truly global in scope. There is an abundance of technology available today for collaboration. However, a company’s culture and processes that encourage people to share work in a productive manner are central to effective collaboration.
So how are top performing organisations avoiding the many pitfalls of remote collaboration & virtual team management and what are the key to success for adapting to this complex and ever-changing working environment?