Category: Trends

Content and User Experience Design for the Internet of Smart Things – Gilbane Conference Spotlight

The blog on our sister site, gilbane.com, is the place to tune to for our series of speaker spotlights and general updates about our upcoming conference in Boston. Here, I’ll be highlighting a few conference sessions and why we have decided to include them.

There are many reasons to be excited about the Internet of Things, a content channel is not usually considered one of them. In fact, the mere suggestion of a need to support one more digital channel is enough to cause many execs to consider a career change, never mind n additional channels, and n is the future.

Many internet things don’t and won’t need to prepare content for direct human consumption, but many will – cars and watches and glasses are just the beginning. The variety of form factors, display technologies, and application requirements will present challenges in user experience design, content strategies, content management and data integration. The session we are spotlighting today will focus on the user experience design challenges, of which there are many.

T7. Have You Talked To Your Refrigerator Today? Content and User Experience Design for the Internet of Smart Things

Wednesday, December, 4: 2:00 p.m. – 3:20 p.m. – The Westin Boston Waterfront

The web is dead. Or is it evolving into the Internet of things? If so, how can we harness the emergence of smart and app-enabled devices, appliances, homes, cars and offices into the digital gene pool? Four senior executives in experience planning and strategy, technology, creative and user experience will provide a point of view on the Internet of smart things and answer key questions, including the following, using real world examples:

  • How can your smart washing machine, refrigerator and dishwasher be mated with intelligent apps, CRM, and dynamic content management systems to create real-time marketing and ecommerce experiences?
  • What happens to content strategy and management as app-enabled “playthings” become essential to your work and family life?
  • What do we do as video baby monitors become digital caretaking, developmental tracking, medical monitoring, and product ordering parent-bots?
  • What is the optimal customer experience for using voice to simultaneously integrate and operate your car, your mechanic, your GPS, your iPod, your radio, your tablet and your smartphone?
  • What best practices are needed for creative designers, content strategists, marketers, and user experience designers to create engaging Internet of smart things experiences?
Moderator:
Doug Bolin, Associate Director, User Experience Design, Digitas
Panelists:
Michael Vessella, Vice President, Director, Experience Design, Digitas
Michael Daitch, Vice President, Group Creative Director, Digitas
Adam Buhler, Vice President, Creative Technology / Labs / Mobile, Digitas

 

Tablets in the Enterprise and BYOD strategies

A couple of observations about tablets in the enterprise:

  • Tablets of all dimensions have a role in enterprise use, as do all types of personal computing devices.
  • BYOD is certainly a challenge for some organizations, but is a reminder of how we should have been managing data all along.

Tablets and other personal computing devices in the enterprise
One reaction to Apple’s iPad mini last week was that it would change the dynamic of Apple’s market for tablets since a 7″ inch tablet is more appropriate for consumers so enterprises would stick to the 10″ versions. The only thing correct about this view is that the tablet market will change. But we don’t know how – use-cases are evolving and there are way too many variables beyond physical size. It seems just as likely that the iPad mini form-factor could grow faster in enterprises than the full size iPad. In any case there are certainly enterprise use cases for a smaller, cheaper iPad, especially since those seem to be the only significant differences, and there is no apparent app development cost or learning curve further easing enterprise adoption.

But the bigger point is that enterprises need to be able to support not only multiple tablet and smartphone form factors but a large subset of an unpredictably large set of personal device types.

This is not a new challenge, it is simply one that is accelerating because of the decreasing costs and increasing ease of device development. “Personal” devices in enterprises are not new – employees have often used their own personal computers especially as they shrunk in cost and to BYOD notebook size. Tablets and phones are the next step, but enterprises will soon be dealing with watches, wearable computing, and implants which is why…

BYOD strategies need to focus on the data not the devices
The BYOD continuum is also largely additive – employees aren’t just replacing devices but often using multiple devices to access and process much of the same data – keeping up with the variety and volume and versions of personal devices is hopeless. A BYOD management strategy that focuses on device management will at best have a negative impact on productivity, will certainly increase costs, and most likely fail. There are environments and applications where data security is critical enough to warrant the overhead of a device management strategy that approaches being fail-proof, but even in these cases the focus should be on the data itself with device control as a backup where it makes sense.

It may not be much easier to manage the data independently but that’s the ball to keep your eye on.

Frank Gilbane interview on Big Data

Big data is something we cover at our conference and this puzzles some given our audience of content managers, digital marketers, and IT, so I posted Why Big Data is important to Gilbane Conference attendees on gilbane.com to explain why. In the post I also included a list of the presentations at Gilbane Boston that address big data. We don’t have a dedicated track for big data at the conference but there are six presentations including a keynote.

I was also interviewed on the CMS-Connected internet news program about big data the same week, which gave me an opportunity to answer some additional questions about big data and its relevance to the same kind of  audience. There is still a lot more to say about this, but the post and the interview combined cover the basics.

The CMS-Connected show was an hour long and also included Scott and Tyler interviewing Rob Rose on big data and other topics. You can see the entire show here, or just the 12 twelve minute interview with me below.

Comeback Kids – IT Spending and Growth in Construction and Retail Markets

During the global economic crisis in 2008 and 2009, the financial industry had all kinds of problems as we are all aware which not surprisingly  impacted IT spending. Since then they seem to be doing just fine. But other problems have lingered. One of those challenging segments is the construction industry which has taken a lot longer to recover. In addition, particularly in the US, retail drives so much of the economy and that industry suffered as well.

Fast forward to 2012 as the economy has been on the mend and we look back at the progress over the past few years and see 2 industries that have seen solid growth in IT spending along with growing revenue.

Among the Global 5000 companies, there are 210 companies in the Construction industry and 340 companies in Retail.

Over the past few years, the Construction companies saw year over year changes as follows:

  • 2008 grew at 12.3%
  • 2009 was negative – 7.6%
  • 2010 grew again at 6%
  • 2011 surged ahead 12.2%

Revenue for Retail companies did not fall as much and did not bounce back as high either.

  • 2008 growth was 6.9%
  • 2009 was negative – 2.6%
  • 2010 grew again at 5.6%
  • 2011 showed growth at 7.7%

Looking at IT spending in those industries, the Construction companies in the Global 5000 spend approximately $11 billion annually while those in the Retail industry spend over $62 billion per year … both substantial sums.

In both cases, the IT spend in these two sectors grew more than 9% from 2010 to 2011 and for those providers in the right spot to watch these comebacks, the rewards can be attractive.

IT Spending in the Financial Industry

In a previous post, we looked at IT spending across the landscape of all major corporate industry verticals of The Global 5000 sized firms and noted that the Financial markets lead the way in terms of spending on IT products and services. Finance covers a wide swath of companies and market niches so we are drilling down a bit further here to look at countries, sub-segments of finance and some specific company examples.

The major powers in the world are naturally where we find the biggest finance spenders. In this case, among Global 5000 companies the largest firms are US, UK, Japan, France, China and Germany.  Finance organizations in these 6 countries represent approximately 60% of the finance IT spending market. While many like to rush into new markets to be present when emerging growth starts to ‘pop’ focusing on the big players can obviously pay dividends.

Withing the finance sector, there are many types of organizations that specialize in various products and services. Looking at the 2 largest – banking and insurance, those verticals represent over 70% of the financial IT services market and banking is 50% larger than the insurance market. These two areas dwarf other niches including brokerage, private equity, holding companies and other investment services firms.

Looking closer at banking, US, France, China, UK and Spain are the countries with the largest IT spending. Drilling down further, we find the top 5 banks by IT spending metrics are:

  • BNP Paribas SA
  • Banco Santander, S.A.
  • Bank of America Corporation
  • HSBC Holdings
  • Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)

In the insurance portion of the financial markets, the major countries leading the way here are: US, Japan, France, Germany and UK. Using the same type of benchmarks applied to insurance company revenues, the Top 5 Global 5000 companies would be:

  • AXA Group
  • Allianz SE
  • Assicurazioni Generali
  • Nippon Life Insurance
  • Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance

As you look at market planning and forecasts for serving the financial sector, lining up these segments, countries and individual companies with your own internal systems will help point you in the direction of some of the big spenders.

 

IT Spending by Industry … a way to estimate market potential

Nearly every organization likes to measure its activity and spending by comparing themselves to other like firms in their peer group.  Over the years,  IT spending has been one area that companies always try to measure this way.

The vendors who supply IT products and solutions have used similar metrics to help define market segments and accounts that may spend more than others and be more attractive candidates.

We took this concept to the companies in The Global 5000 — the 5000 largest companies in the world that are both public and private, across all countries, all industries. Using available research data we find IT spending as a % of revenue that can range from less than 1% for the construction industry to 6% in the financial services industry. The next step was to apply these IT Spending percentages for each industry sector to each company in the database.

Adding up the totals across the database, we find a total of $1.4 trillion is spent on IT products and services by the 5000 largest companies in world. Looking geographically, the countries with the largest amount of IT spend are the 3 largest by GDP as we would expect — US, Japan and China. Those 3 countries represent 52% of the large company spending in the world. Taking this a step further, if you are a provider of IT products or services and participate in markets around the world, a good metric for your business would to have 50% of your revenue coming from these 3 countries.

Looking at this from an industry perspective, the largest spending industries are Financial Services, Oil and Gas companies and the Telecommunications segment. That’s where the money is.

When we look at key industries within various countries the data does show some key differences.  For example, in the US, Health Care and Retailers come up strong in the top industries. In Japan, Autos and Industrial segments rise to the top. All of these metrics are worth considering as companies look to decide what markets, industries and geographies to focus on.

We’ll look to explore more details on IT spending by industry and country in the coming posts.

For more details on The Global 5000 database — click here

 

Harry Henry’s Global 5000 Insights

Colleague and market research expert Harry Henry is filling a hole in the company research market with his Global 5000 database of the 5000 largest global companies, including both public and private businesses. This is already an important resource for marketers who need to understand global market opportunities more than they ever have before – and that most likely means you, since most of our readers are from mid-to-large size companies who either are or should be growing their international business.

While we focus on the information technology strategies for reaching and engaging with customers and colleagues everywhere, you still need to decide which markets and regions, which industries, and which leading companies to target for growth. Harry has generously agreed to provide regular posts providing insights from his database to help inform those decisions.

Read Harry’s first post China Eyes Canadian Energy Resources. You can follow Harry’s posts on this blog at https://bluebillinc.com/author/hhenry/. Or you can reach him directly.

Why marketing is the next big money sector in technology

Ajay Agarwal from Bain Capital Ventures predicts that because of the confluence of big data and marketing Marketing is the next big money sector in technology and will lead to several new multi-billion dollar companies. His post is succinct and convincing, but there are additional reasons to believe he is correct.

Marketing spending more on IT than IT

Ajay opens his post with a quote from Gartner Group: “By 2017, a CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO”. It is difficult to judge this prediction without evaluating the supporting research, but it doesn’t sound unreasonable and the trend is unmistakable. Our own experience as conference organizers and consultants offers strong support for the trend. We cover the use of web, mobile, and content technologies for enterprise applications, and our audience has historically been 50% IT and 50% line of business or departmental. Since at least 2008 there has been a pronounced and steady increase in the percentage of marketers in our audience, so that 40% or more of attendees are now either in marketing, or in IT but assigned to marketing projects – this is about double what it was in earlier years. While web content management vendors have moved aggressively to incorporate marketing-focused capabilities and are now broadly positioned as hubs for customer engagement, the real driver is the success of the web. Corporate web sites have become the organizations’ new front door; companies have recognized this; and marketers are demanding tools to manage the visitor experience. Even during the peak of the recession spending on web content management, especially for marketing applications, was strong.

“Cloud” computing and workforce demographics have also beefed up marketers’ mojo. The increased ability to experiment and deploy applications without the administrative overhead and cost of IT or of software licenses has encouraged marketers to learn more about the technology tools they need to perform and helped instill the confidence necessary to take more control over technology purchases. A younger more tech-savvy workforce adds additional assertiveness to marketing (and all) departments. Now if only marketers had more data scientists and statisticians to work with…

Big data and big analytics

Big data has not caused, or contributed very much, to the increase in marketing spending to-date. Certainly there are very large companies spending lots of money on analyzing vast amounts of customer data from multiple sources, but most companies still don’t have enough data to warrant the effort of implementing big data technologies and most technology vendors don’t yet support big data technologies at all, or sufficiently. I agree with Ajay though that the “several multi-billion dollar” marketing technology companies that may emerge will have to have core big data processing and analytic strengths.

And not just because of the volume. One of the main reasons for the enterprise software bias for back office applications was that front office applications beyond simple process automation and contact data collection were just too difficult because they required processing unstructured, or semi-structured, data. Big data technologies don’t address all the challenges of processing unstructured data, but they take us a long way as tools to manage it.

The level of investment in this space is much greater than most realize. Ajay is right to invest in it, but he is not alone.

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