Do or die
An enterprise can consider a few alternative pathways as to how they respond to the technology induced changes. The enterprise can decide to create waves by defining their own way to leverage the technologies. Another possibility is to ride the waves others have created. Or the enterprise can crash some waves. The last one is not really a choice but rather a disastrous outcome due to inaction. It is like the proverbial red carpet [or any color] being pulled from underneath you.
An enterprise wishing to be competitive in this connected world needs to leverage the technologies and squeeze innovation out of them, in a way that is meaningful for the enterprise, not the market as a whole. Competitive moves come from left field at a pace and in ways that typical approaches to competitive behavior cannot keep up with.
For example the telcos are rapidly shifting their business models based on the fact that the old network revenue models do not work anymore. One example is of course BT who are investing billions to streamline their environment. BT – new core will initially replace 16 different network environments, each with their own billing systems, operating systems and even companies operating them. The cost savings alone from the new network environment are huge but that will not be enough to have a meaningfully defined role in the new connected world.
One thing that fascinates me in all this is that the networks created from mid 1800s to end of the 20th century were done obviously over a long time and also were done with technologies and even in some cases raw materials we could not redo any more due to the sheer volume of demand. Imagine re-digging the ground for copper wires to every home. No way! and then do that in China….
Now we have several players, so very soon after many of those just re-emerged from the financially challenging 3G auctions in the early 2000, again reinvesting billions of dollars to completely change the landscape. And the target for doing so is a short 5-10 years. May we live in interesting times ……
The enterprise plays a role in this rebuild, as a client but also as a provider. How’s that? Many of the innovations as to how exactly the key technologies are leveraged and used for the benefit of the connected world come out of the enterprise vision and strategy.
By all means leave the doing to others but without a sense of who you wish to be when you grow up you are bound to be crashing some waves you did not see coming.