Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 3 days ago
What does the sports revolution mean for businesses in other industries? Everything. "Championship organizations" are using analytics to inform and shape their overall strategy, make wise investments in technology, and more. Learn more about the upcoming Sports Analytics Conference as well as how analytics can help your organization get more wins in 2018.
Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 4 months and 9 days ago
Douglas Ready knows a lot about leadership. The MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer is considered one of the world’s leading authorities on strategic talent management and executive development and has been named multiple times to Thinkers50, the premier ranking of the world’s top thought leaders. Ready, who is also Founder and CEO of the International Consortium for Executive Development Research, is a prolific writer on enterprise leadership and implementing strategic and cultural change; his articles have set the agenda for talent, leadership, and strategic change over the last two decades. And he is an active advisor to CEOs and top executive teams around the world.
Digital disruption, as Ross explains in this 2016 video, involves the impact of "SMACIT"—social, mobile, analytics, cloud, and the Internet of Things. In the course of their research, the paper's authors noted that efforts to leverage digital technologies and enhance customer information and engagement is resulting in the need for greater integration of products, services, and processes across entire organizations.
Among the report's key findings:
The extent to which digitized solutions are integrated and customer engagement is personalized predicts a company's performance relative to competitors.
Companies that create both integrated digitized solutions and personalized customer engagement demonstrate more innovativeness and agility.
Companies rely on three key technology resources to build this innovativeness and agility: an operational backbone; a digital services platform with reusable business, technology, and data components; and linkages between newer digital services and data and infrastructure services embedded in the operational backbone.
Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 1 year and 2 months and 27 days ago
The digital platform—connecting people, organizations, and resources in an interactive ecosystem through technology—is taking the business world by storm. The platform model powers many of today's biggest and most disruptive companies, like Amazon, Airbnb, and Uber. Platform businesses bring together producers and users in efficient exchanges of value (think Uber drivers and passengers), and they leverage network effects—the more participants, the greater the value produced.
Building a platform business differs from traditional product or pipeline marketing in a number of ways, perhaps most notably by virtue of its pull (rather than push) strategies. Instead of creating awareness through channels like advertising and PR (that's the push), the goods and services of a platform must attract users with incentives for participating (the pull). In network businesses, marketing must be baked into the platform. While push strategies are still valuable to a platform model, they can easily get lost in a sea of abundance and distraction.
The follow-the-rabbit strategy: Use a non-platform demonstration project to model success and attract users and producers and then convert to a platform. (Amazon, for example, started as an effective pipeline business, then converted itself into a platform by opening its system to external producers.)
The piggy-back strategy: Connect with an existing user base from a different platform, such as when PayPal piggybacked on eBay’s online platform, or when YouTube rode the Myspace growth wave by offering its powerful video tools to attract members of the social network.
The seeding strategy: Create value units that will be relevant to at least one set of users, and other users (who want to interact with the first set) will follow. Take Adobe, for example, which launched its PDF document-reading tool in part by arranging to make all federal government tax forms available online. The IRS saved money on printing and postage, and taxpayers got fast and easy access to documents. Millions of people were turned on to Adobe this way and since adopted Adobe as their document platform of choice.
Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 1 year and 7 months and 13 days ago
The platform concept is not new; it's actually been practiced for millennia. The traditional, open-air marketplace, such as a Middle-Eastern souk, is one such platform in which farmers and craftspeople sell their wares openly to consumers. The original stock markets were the same--buyers and sellers of shares would gather in person to establish fair market prices.
The difference between these traditional platform businesses and modern platforms is the addition of digital technology, which expands reach, efficacy, and convenience. Businesses engaged in digital platform models seek to leverage network effects--a phenomenon whereby a good or service becomes more valuable when more people use it. The car-service platform Uber is the perfect example, claiming a huge and growing share of the rides-for-hire market, displacing taxi and limousine services as a result.
However, Uber's disruption of its industry may only have just begun. In the upcoming MIT Sloan Executive Education program, Platform Revolution: Making Networked Markets Work for You (online), Geoffrey Parker, a Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow at MIT's Initiative for the Digital Economy, will suggest that the advent of self-driving cars may signficantly improve Uber's already stellar economic model and possibly lead to a series of cascading impacts. Might millions of people eschew car ownership altogether and instead rely on instantly available driverless vehicles? What would this mean for ancillary business, such as automakers, auto insurance, or even parking?
Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 1 year and 7 months and 14 days ago
There's great debate around Bitcoin, a digital currency and blockchain (the underlying technology behind Bitcoin). Is it a good thing, or will it propagate in the "dark Internet?" How will countries and institutions regulate it? Could it really revolutionize financial transactions in developing and third world countries? And, a question posed at the recent MIT Sloan CIO Symposium, what use case of blockchain will become its tipping point?
The MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative describes blockchain as a decentralized public ledger of debits and credits that no one person or company owns or controls; its users control it directly. This system lets people transfer money without a bank, for example, or write simple, enforceable contracts without a lawyer. It can even turn physical items like real estate or concert tickets into digital assets that can be sold with low (or nonexistent) transaction fees. According to Brian Forde, Director of Digital Currency at the MIT Media Lab, "Many are projecting that the impact [of blockchain] will be similar to that of the Internet--disrupting traditional industries, challenging existing regulations, and significantly increasing the volume of commerce by dramatically lowering the cost to transact and establishing trust between two previously unknown parties." You can learn more about blockchain in this video from Financial Times.
MIT's Digital Currency Initiative brings together global experts in areas ranging from cryptography to economics, privacy, and distributed systems to take on this important new area of research. Experts involved in the Initiative include MIT Professor Christian Catalini*, who moderated the recent CIO Symposium panel, "How Blockchain will Transform the Digital Economy." As Catalini described it, blockchain is “bringing together the fields of computer science, market design, and law.” In some ways, the opportunities around blockchain technology seem almost limitless—it can enable trusted micro-transactions, it is inherently auditable, and it addresses what can’t be addressed by traditional distributed databases.
Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 1 year and 8 months and 30 days ago
It's no overstatement to say that the two-sided networked market--or platform--model is one of the most important economic and social developments of our time. The platform model powers many of today's biggest and most disruptive companies, like Amazon and Airbnb, with others, like Nike, coming on board. Platforms use technology to connect people, organizations, and resources in an interactive ecosystem in which enormous value is created and exchanged. And researchers believe that the transformation is soon to hit a range of other economic and social arenas, from health care and education to energy and government.
Surprisingly, many people--even savvy business executives--remain unaware of how the platform revolution happened, or what to do about it. In a new MIT Sloan Executive Education program, Platform Revolution: Making Networked Markets Work for You (online), Geoffrey Parker, Professor of Management Science at Tulane University and Visiting Scholar and Research Fellow at MIT's Initiative for the Digital Economy, explores the escalation of IT-driven platforms over established product leaders--such as iPhone's rapid domination of its industry at the expense of Nokia, Blackberry, Motorola, Sony Ericsson and others. The four-week, online course also provides technology leaders with ways to prepare for even more rapidly unfolding disruption.
Posted by MIT Sloan Executive Education - 1 year and 9 months and 6 days ago
Intuit, the Mountain View, California-based maker of business and financial management software, has made the move from packaged product to a purely online digital strategy. The company started in 1983 with its Quicken personal finance software--one of the early success stories in boxed software. But the company has recently decided to shed its PC roots and become a cloud software company, selling Quicken to a private equity firm in order to focus the business on their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or cloud, offerings--its TurboTax software andQuickBooks Online.
"[Intuit] is a classic case of a onetime disrupter being challenged by an upstart with a new approach and a simpler product," reported The New York Times, referring to Xero, a New Zealand company that offers a flexible, online accounting system for as little as $9 a month.
Intuit has made a bold move to embrace its digital strategy, which Jeanne Ross, Principle Research Scientist at MIT Sloan's Center for Information Research, defines as “an integrated business strategy inspired by the capabilities of powerful, readily accessible technologies and responsive to constantly changing market conditions.”
According to the The New York Times, Intuit’s digital reinvention strategy is bearing fruit. Subscriptions to its QuickBooks Online software grew 49% last year, and overall revenue grew 23%. QuickBooks Online now connects with about 2,000 apps, and the open structure has increased customer retention and helped feed customers into the TurboTax side of the business, especially its online version.
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