In our 2014 Digital IQ survey of almost 1,500 business and technology executives, only 20% of respondents are highly confident in their organization’s Digital IQ—a company’s acumen in understanding, valuing and weaving technology throughout the enterprise.
How can a company raise its Digital IQ and harness the full power of technology to advance their business performance? Top performers—companies that reside in the top quartile for revenue growth, profitability, and innovation—point the way.
We analyzed the responses of top performers to understand what they do differently to fuse business and technology. For top performers, digital isn’t window dressing or corporate speak. Digital is a way of life. Following are five key best practices that top performers employ to outdo the competition:
1. CEO is the Digital Leader
81% of top performers say their CEO is an active champion of using information technology to achieve business goals, compared with 68% of other companies. Executives tell us that CEO involvement in shaping strategy provides them with a competitive advantage. Once the company determines its digital strategy, the CEO must define clear roles, accountability, and governance for how the strategy is executed. The scope should address who is responsible, and how the functional or business unit leaders will work together—for example, what the CMO is responsible for in a customer initiative, what the CIO does, and together what they will deliver and when.
2. CMO and CIO are Collaborative Partners
The CIO and CMO relationship is critical to success because many digital technology initiatives are driven by marketing needs. 70% of top performers say their CIO and CMO have a strong relationship, compared with just 45% of the pack. The growth in digital marketing spending, often independent of IT, has led to debate among industry analysts about whether the marketing organization will soon yield more spending power than the IT department.
Business IT spending in the UAE is expected to increase 8.3% year on year in 2014 to total $4.63 billion, according to the latest figures released today by International Data Corporation. Referencing its recently released United Arab Emirates Vertical Markets 2013–2017 IT Spending Forecast (IDC#ZV11V), IDC anticipates healthy growth over the 2013–2017 forecast period as the governments of Abu Dhabi and Dubai continue to spend on upgrading the country’s infrastructure.
The public sector, which includes government, education, and healthcare organizations, will account for most of the business IT spending in 2014. Organizations in this vertical are predicted to invest $1.12 billion in IT and account for 24.3% of the spending, driven primarily by government-led initiatives to bring more public services to online and mobile platforms. Government-backed projects to increase the use of ICT in educational institutions, together with regulations in the healthcare sector that mandate a reduction in paper-based processes, are other major factors driving IT spending in this sector.
‘Combined Finance’ is the second-biggest vertical in the UAE with respect to business IT spending. Organizations in this vertical, which includes banking, insurance, and securities services providers, are predicted to invest $719.77 million in IT in 2014. The rapid expansion of branch and ATM networks, investments in online and mobile banking channels, and the need for better regulatory compliance are the primary drivers of ICT investments in the banking sector.
Consumer IT spending in the UAE is expected to account for 30.5% of total IT spending in 2014, though it will contract 8.4% year on year. This decrease in spending is a result of the stagnating PC market, which is being cannibalized by the growing demand for tablets.
Content Marketing World, the largest content marketing event on the planet, is coming back to the United States for a fourth year.
Content Marketing World is the one event where you can learn and network with the best and the brightest in the content marketing industry. You will leave with all the materials you need to take a content marketing strategy back to your team – and – to implement a content marketing plan that will grow your business and inspire your audience. Register today for the best price (and save)!
Already confirmed 2014 speakers include such brands as Kraft Foods, Microsoft, Facebook, SAP, Cisco Systems, Coca-Cola Braziland more than 100 content marketing experts from around the globe. SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Actor, Director, Producer Kevin Spacey to be closing keynote speaker.
Last week’s passing of Pat McGovern, founder of tech publisher IDG, feels like the end of an era. Over a span of five decades, McGovern brought a passionate spirit and a culture of innovation to B2B publishing – qualities that too often are absent from today’s B2B media companies.
I met with Pat a few times during my time at IDG from 2004 to 2006, and each interaction left an impression, similar to the times I spent with another tech publishing legend, Bill Ziff, who led IDG rival Ziff-Davis through the mid-1990s. Both were larger-than-life yet surprisingly humble leaders who balanced strong business instincts with a passion for journalism – and the people who produce it.
Here are three lessons B2B media leaders can (and should) take from McGovern’s approach to publishing.
Find & cultivate new markets
McGovern was a big thinker who saw great promise in emerging markets for technology news and information, not just in the U.S. but internationally. Just five years after launching Computerworld in the U.S. in 1967, McGovern launched Shukan Computer in Japan, kicking off a long string of global licensing deals and other partnerships that built IDG into a global powerhouse. In 1980, McGovern forged one of the first joint ventures in China by a U.S. business. In 1992, he established IDG Technology Ventures, one of the first venture capital firms in China.
In a demo, Microsoft executive Julia White showed off the new app offering a glimpse at the work Microsoft has done to make its Office apps touch friendly. “It’s unmistakably Word but it’s natural on the iPad,” she said.
The apps will be free for anyone to use to read and “present” Office content, she said. Users who have an Office 365 subscription will be able to create and edit Office files on their iPads, she said.
In an interesting twist, this touch friendly version of Office comes to iPad before Microsoft’s own products. White said that a touch-friendly version of Office would come to Windows next.
In one of his first big public appearances since taking over the helm, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company’s goal is to be mobile first and cloud first, and to offer apps that people can use no matter what device they’re using.
In our soon-to-be-released Digital IQ survey of over 1,400 business and technology executives, 20% of respondents say they plan to invest in sensors. We feel confident in predicting that the Internet of Things (IoT) or the Internet of Everything will finally begin to take off this year, as futurists have forecasted for years. What remains to be seen is whether or not CIOs will win their rightful place in product design planning and the development of business instrumentation strategy.
Slowly but surely businesses and governments will use sensors to digitize droves of everyday devices and extract infinite amounts of information and insights to gain a competitive edge and garner deeper relationships with customers. Here are a handful of examples we expect to materialize this year:
Mobile devices will interact with the digital data that surrounds them, giving users the benefits of a true digital assistant
Low cost sensors will track shopping traffic patterns to enable retailors to improve customer service, streamline operations and lower costs
Motion and weight sensors will direct drivers to open parking spaces
Manufacturers will track everything in their supply chains to streamline operations
City governments will use gunfire locators to sense when a gun is fired and notify authorities
Adobe and Microsoft today each released software updates to fix serious security flaws in their products. Adobe pushed an update that plugs a pair of holes in its Flash Player software. Microsoft issued five updates, including one that addresses a zero-day vulnerability inInternet Explorer that attackers have been exploiting of late.
Microsoft’s five bulletins address 23 distinct security weaknesses in Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer and Silverlight. The Internet Explorer patch is rated critical for virtually all supported versions of IE, and plugs at least 18 security holes, including a severe weakness in IE 9 and 10 that is already being exploited in targeted attacks.
Microsoft notes that the exploits targeting the IE bug seen so far appear to perform a check for the presence of Microsoft’s Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET); according to Microsoft, the exploits fail to proceed if EMET is detected. I’ve recommended EMET on several occasions, and would encourage any Windows users who haven’t yet deployed this tool to spend a few minutes reading this post and consider taking advantage of it to further harden their systems. The latest version — 4.1 — is available at this link and requires Microsoft’s .NET Framework 4 platform. For those of you who don’t mind beta-testing software, Microsoft has released a preview version of the next generation of EMET — EMET 5.0 Technical Preview.
The biggest high-concept trends in technology right now — Big Data, the quantified self, the social graph — all have something in common. They’re all about taking huge amounts of data and making them into something that helps us tease out insight into our businesses, our selves, and our relationships. But for all the brilliant work done on the back-end that allows for ever-faster access of larger and larger chunks of data, it’s been hard to find tools that let you actually do anything with it.
That may finally be changing. A new breed of cloud-based data analytics product is on the rise, all of which take different routes to the same goal: Making better business intelligence (BI) available more quickly to a much broader range of business functions.
When it’s laid out in black and white like that, it seems pretty straightforward. But there are so many vendors on the market, all promising the same thing — better, faster, more actionable insights from all your data — that it becomes incredibly difficult to know exactly what you need. Here’s how to think about better intelligence.
The growth of technological progress is outpacing our ability to keep up. Over the last few decades, we’ve witnessed the dynamics of Moore’s Law extend beyond microprocessors to storage costs, biotech applications, human genome processing, and just about anywhere where processing power plays a role in advancement. As more of our lives become digitally connected, we must ask ourselves what does this mean for our collective institutions? More specifically, how will they change? And at what pace? And, how will traditional roles and functions evolve with them?
One critically important thing to note about the pace of change of technology driven innovation is that it’sexponential. If the pace of progress continues on its current trajectory, there is a strong argument that we can expect to see the same amount of technological innovation and progress over the next 10 years as we’ve seen during the previous 100.
For perspective, in 1914 there was no such thing as a radio tuner. Band-aids did not exist. There was no tommy gun, no bubble gum, no frozen food. There were no polaroids, no jet engines, no ballpoint pens, and no helicopters. There had not yet been a world war, and Babe Ruth had not yet swung a bat in a Major League baseball game. In essence, through today’s lens, 1914 feels like just barely on this side of prehistoric. It was a different era – several eras ago.
So is it possible that 10 years from now, when my oldest son will be getting ready to graduate from high school, 2014 will feel like an era long gone, as we contemplate how we ever survived without hundreds of (yet to be created) things?
The owner of PC World, Macworld and other publications spent 50 years helping the world be smarter about technology.
Patrick J. McGovern died yesterday at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto, California. You probably don’t know his name.
But if you’re interested enough in technology to read about it in print or online, there’s a very good chance that you know one or more of the publications produced by International Data Group, the privately-held company he founded in February, 1964 and ran for the rest of his life. They included PC World, Macworld,GamePro, InfoWorld, the Dummies books and many, many more.
I worked at IDG for 16 years and eventually spent a fair amount of time in Pat’s company. It’s standard practice when someone passes away to describe that person as an unforgettable character, but trust me on this: Pat was unforgettable.
He was deeply interested in the human brain and how it worked, a pursuit he turned into a major philanthropic effort when he and his wife Lore pledged $350 million to create and fund MIT’sMcGovern Institute for Brain Research. I’m not sure if I ever completely understood how Pat’s own brain operated, but it was fascinating to watch it in action. He was a dreamer, but one with a prodigious ability to crunch numbers. (During board meetings, he often seemed to be recalculating spreadsheets about matters such as subscription revenues in his head.)