Archive

Archive for July, 2011

Innovating and Enabling Digital Futures

July 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Certain trends and observations in the use and growth of content and communication technologies make it clear that the future of digital enterprise will depend heavily on key enablers such as Mobile Infrastructure. As ever, technology is probably the least of a set of key challenges facing those that would capitalize on such clear foresight, and this was the topic of my webcast at a BrightTalk Summit earlier this week.

Mobile Infrastructure: Innovating and Enabling Digital Futures

Mobile Infrastructure: Innovating and Enabling Digital Futures

First of all, my thanks to the kind people at BrightTalk for inviting me to share some thoughts and opinions at their Mobile Infrastructure Summit (click here to view the full webcast), and despite running out of time near the end, the audience feedback was most generous. To summarise briefly, some key points of discussion included:

  • Social, technology & business trends (with particular relevance to mobile)
  • Demand, usage, fulfillment and monetisation scenarios
  • Key issues around privacy, security, and health & safety
  • Opportunities with business models, Cloud and next generation mobile capabilities
  • An overview of 5 key stakeholders, business model innovation and our approach to innovation

The one message to take away from this, in my opinion, is the clear need and responsibility of any digital / mobile enabled enterprise to engage in constant innovation and adaptation of its business model, process and customer engagement approach. The current business environment has become far too dynamic and fluid for any rigid or hierarchical approach to remain unchallenged for any length of time.

Other events and similar discussions:

Interestingly, some of the above points were either echoed, or expanded on, by speakers at other relevant events I attended this month, notably:

  1. Google Apps Seminar – This event, hosted at Google’s office near Buckingham Palace, addressed four key trends (i.e. innovation, collaboration, social and mobility) and provided insight into what it takes to migrate from hosted services to Cloud based enterprise applications services, including real life examples from companies such as Jaguar Landrover and Ladbrokes.
  1. Mobile Privacy – Another excellent Mashup Event which dealt with various privacy issues thrown up by mobile services, as well as the implication of ‘giving a user control over their data’. This session boasted a good cross section of industry players, in addition to a pretty knowledgeable panel, which made for some intelligent exchange of views on such things as the meaning (or meaninglessness) of Privacy in a mobile and global context.
  1. CW5000 Club – This was a networking event for CIO and IT leaders to discuss the Web’s Next Generation, and featured speakers from Betfair, BBC Worldwide, Net-A-Porter and Interactive Media in Retail Group. Key high-light for me was that discussions consistently returned to the theme of customer centricity. Progress, IMHO!
Advertisements

The Innovative Art of Business Model Generation

July 1, 2011 1 comment

Simplify and facilitate. In my opinion, this should be a key principle for any modern business operating in the Internet age. It really baffles me to see many so called business models that appear to be doing just the opposite. Well, the remedy is close to hand, in form of a novel approach to business modelling using something called a Business Model Canvas.  

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas (businessmodelgeneration.com)

The business model canvas, as shown in the above template, is a tool that allows you to create high-impact, visual models of your business, (or any other business for that matter), on a single sheet of paper (or any other suitable surface or medium – ranging from the storied paper napkin to an iPad). At the heart of any business is the ultimate, bottom line, question of profitability (i.e. how much it costs versus how much it makes), but it is often not that easy to understand the other key aspects that make a business work; at least not in such a straightforward manner as the single sheet canvas allows .

The great thing about the Business Model Canvas is the comprehensive way in which it can describe a business, by breaking it down into nine key components (including cost and revenues) as follows:

  • Key Partners
  • Key Activities
  • Key Resources
  • Value Proposition
  • Customer Relationship
  • Customer Channels
  • Customer Segments
  • Cost
  • Revenue

Furthermore, this is not a stand-alone tool. Even though it may be simple enough for anyone with a little common sense to use the canvas to describe innovative business models, the canvas is part of what I can only describe as a multi-publishing project which includes: the website, the book (click here to see my review of same), an iPad App, and a thriving community of experts and users, many of whom had direct input to the content in those products and channels.

I’m not normally one to be effusive in praise of anything, but in this case, the proof is overwhelming that the clarity and immediacy this canvas brings to describing any business can only be matched by the screaming urgency of need for such a tool. Anything that helps to accelerate the creation, articulation and / or understanding of any modern day business model can only be a good thing in my book.

So who should use this tool?

In my opinion, the Business Model Canvas should be a mandatory tool for business leaders (i.e. CxOs), entrepreneurs, financiers (e.g. business angels / venture capital / private equity), strategists and consultants, as well as any business school curricula. You could say that I am sold on this concept, not only because I have read and reviewed the book, (and even used the App to create and analyse new and existing business models), but also because I feel the need to discuss it here. But don’t take my word for it – try it out for yourself – what’s more, it’s also free to use, share and remix the canvas under a Creative Commons License! What more could anyone ask?