Posts Tagged ‘organizational strategy’

Monday’s Musings: Understand The Four Organizational Personas Of Disruptive Tech Adoption

Pace of Innovation Exceeds Ability To Consume

Rapid innovation, flexible deployment options, and easy consumption models create favorable conditions for the proliferation of disruptive technology.  In fact, convergence in the five pillars of enterprise disruption (i.e. social, mobile, cloud, big data, and unified communications), has led to new innovations and opportunities to apply disruptive technologies to new business models.  New business models abound at the intersection of cloud and big data, social and mobile, social and unified communications, and cloud and mobile.

Unfortunately, most organizations are awash with discovering, evaluating, and consuming disruptive technologies.  Despite IT budgets going down from 3 to 5% year over year, technology spending is up 18 to 20%.  Why?  Amidst constrained budgets, resources, and time limits, executives are willing to invest in disruptive technology to improve business outcomes.  Consequently, successful adoption is the key challenge in consuming this torrent of innovation.  This rapid pace of change and inability to consume innovation detract organizations from the realization of business value.

Organizations Fall Into Four Personas Of  Disruptive Technology Adoption

A common truism in the industry is “Culture trumps technology”.  As organizations apply methodologies such as Constellation’s DEEPR Framework in improving adoption, leaders must first determine which of the four personas best fits their organization’s appetite for consuming and innovating with disruptive technologies.

The personas of disruptive technology adoption assess organizational culture in two key axes (see Figure 1).  The first is how incremental or transformational an organization looks at applying disruptive technology to business models.  The second assesses how proactive or reactive an organization is in carrying out new initiatives.  Based on these dimensions, the four personas include:

  1. Market leaders. Market leaders prefer to drive transformational innovation.  They look at technologies as enablers in disrupting business models.  They see competitive differentiation in delivering outcomes to customers. Market leaders accept failure as part of the innovation process.  They fail fast and move on.
  2. Fast followers. Fast followers prefer to react to the success of market leaders and their experiments.  When they sense success, they tend to jump in.  Fast followers do not like to fail and rapidly apply lessons learned from market leaders into their road maps.  Fast followers tend to deliver scale in the markets as a counter balance to arriving later in the market.
  3. Cautious adopters. Cautious adopters proactively deliver incremental innovation.  They tend to take a more measured approach and spend more time studying how they can improve an existing success than creating a transformational change.  Cautious adopters often come from regulated industries where security and safety are paramount objectives.
  4. Laggards. Laggards tend to procrastinate on applying innovations to their business models.  They prefer not be bothered by trends and will only react when the trends have moved beyond mainstream.  They see value in waiting as prices will drop over time as success rates increase over time.  Laggards enjoy waiting.

During the interviews and discussions with the 2012 Constellation SuperNova award participants, key questions emerged in the decision process on whether to adopt or pass on a disruptive technologies.  These questions aligned well with the four personas of disruptive technology adoption.

Figure 1.  Organizations Should Understand Which Persona Of Disruptive Tech Adoption Describes Them Best

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Strategy: 5 Lessons Learned From A Decade Of Naught

I’ve had considerable time to catch up on reading this holiday season.  Traditionally, it’s a time for predictions, resolutions, and reflections.  But as we close out the last decade, I couldn’t help but dwell on economist Paul Krugman’s Op-Ed from December 27th titled “The Big Zero”.   He brings up good points that it’s been an “era best forgotten” and “it was a decade in which nothing good happened, and none of the optimistic things we were supposed to believe turned out to be true”.  He dives deep to rant about how we’ve achieved zero economic gains and makes compelling arguments.  However, in the world of innovation and adoption of disruptive technologies, it may be safe to say that his point on “our unwillingness, as a nation, to learn from our mistakes”, seems to be less true.

In fact, emerging organizational trends in the next decade can be well rooted in lessons learned through the boom and bust cycle of the 2000′s.  Here’s my opinion on five lessons learned from the tragedy of what we call the past decade:

  • Pace of change moves from constant to constantly accelerating. Quickly evolve or die.  Organizations need to find ways to stay ahead of change or risk being obsolesced.  Organizations must organize around supporting flexibility and agility.  Disruptive technologies play a role in leapfrogging organizational models, business processes, and business models.
  • Planning switches from static to iterative. Agile is the new poster child for today’s approach.  The best plans assume constant iteration.  Organizations must expect to reevaluate and assess plans in shorter cycles.  3 to 5 year plans can’t account for or incorporate the entry of disruptive technologies.  Iterations move from years to months.
  • Viability shifts from size to innovation. Size does not equate to viability.  Success requires solving pain chains.  Mergers and acquisitions will continue out of necessity but must be done strategically.  Not only must organizations achieve an economy of scale that reduces overhead, funds innovation, and grabs the largest share of the customer budget, but they must also address pain chains by developing and delivering innovative last-mile solutions that dis-intermediate inefficiencies in existing business models.  If size gets in the way, then you must divest.
  • Success evolves from technology adoption and process improvement to business value and business impact. Benefits should only focus  on business impact.  After a decade of technology and business process centricity, organizations must start with the business value story.  Business processes must be flexible enough to accommodate the pace of change.  Technology provides an enabler but not the complete solution.  People still matter at the end of the day so make sure the incentives are aligned.  Holistic goals such as the total customer experience, beyond real time relationships, and optimal compliance will provide the business drivers for new initiatives.
  • Collaboration evolves from nice to have to essential. Plain and simple – partnerships count more than ever. No single organization can serve every market, provide every last mile solution, and deliver value in a focused manner.  Most organizations can not afford go it alone strategies.  Partnerships must be based on an understanding of what each party will not do in order to find the common ground among 4 key dimensions: product road map alignment, service and support coverage, sales coordination, and community engagement.

Your POV.

What have you learned from the past decade?  Do you feel it was for naught or were you fruitful in your pursuits?  Feel free to post your comments here or send me an email at rwang0 at gmail dot com or r at softwareinsider dot org.

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