Saturday, December 15, 2012

Three Perspectives for 2013 & Beyond: “SMAC”K the Old Business Mindset

Shape the accelerated mindset and culture of innovation.

It’s almost the end of year again, many business and technology predictions popped up, it seems 2013 is too close to read tea leaves again as we did last year, to evoke full picture of imagination, a few forward-looking organizations start to contemplate what will be happening in 2020: How big is big Data; how “mega” the city would be, will talent mobility continue to dance across the globe or the cloud keeps flow through the digital universe., etc….

Still, every journey starts with the first step, each step comes with mindset shift, 2013 can be such a new year, to smack the old business mindset, to make progress from technology innovation to management innovation, to renew the fresh energy of our earth, and open the new chapter for humanity.

1. From “See Trees Only” Silo Mind to “See Through the Forest” Holistic Thinking

SMAC –The four forces of technology wind –Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud will continue to blow, According to multiple estimates, by 2020:

  • The SMAC stack will represent $5 trillion in spending.
  • As many as 100 billion computing devices will be connected to the Web.
  • Corporations will be managing 50 times the data currently managed.

“SMAC”K the Silos: The old IT with industry speed will continue to be accelerated into digital speed, the aging technology, and complex process is under siege; the business functional silos will also start break down via enterprise social platform, and the most important thing is still about people: the silo mindset need be shifted to use whole-brain. The old riddle asked whether the tree falling in the forest makes a sound if no one is there to hear it. Leaders know the answer is no, listen into the forest.
·       Business Wholeness: Digital technology will continue to blur the functional and organizational borders, and help business climb up the new level of organizational maturity: Business as a whole is more effective than the sum of pieces. Business is not just working within the industry, but also permeating cross-ecosystem.

·       “Delight” in Enterprise Architectural Design: With new wave of digitalization, both smart device and data generated has grown by an order of magnitude, the speed and scale of coming transformation will greatly outpace the prior shift, from EA perspective, business can not just stop at “functioning” stage, need to move up to “firm” as well as “delight’ level.

·       Organizational Agility, Elasticity and Resilience: SMAC stack will continue to shape digital enterprise with agility—doing things better & faster; elasticity: scale up & down seamlessly and resilience: from risk mitigation to risk intelligence, organizations today are facing more opportunities, also more risks, as every opportunity has risks, and every risk has opportunities. If you see “trees” only, you may lose the chance or can not dig through the root cause of critical problems, the holistic mindset will help not only dispassionately analyze the business scenario, but also synthesize into optimal solutions.                

See Through the Forest in 2013!

2.   From “Inside-Out” Closed Mind to “Outside-In” Open View 

Many organizations are still running with industrial speed via monolithic IT backbone, legacy infrastructure & applications turn to be an obstacle to elevate business performance, the inside-out driven processes stiffen innovation, add multiple layers of complexity, prevent the enterprise from cultivating the unique business capabilities to adapt to changes and adjust to the digital speed.

  • The Future of Cloud is not so Cloudy:  The benefit of clouds such as the ability to move costs from Capex to Opex and increased speed-to-market, are now well understood – not just by the technology visionaries and marketing promoters, but by those in the lines of business with proven case studies. Based on emerging digital technology trend, IT deliveries will likewise be mosaics —mosaics linked by process management and integration technology.
  • Outside-in Open View:  Business’s digital transformation takes fresh view,  from inside-out single lens into outside-in multidimensional-vision: to perceive business value via different angles: quality value, utility value, economical value as well as perceptive values (not just about shareholders, but also include customers, employees, partners as well as society., etc)  
  • Crowd-Sourcing Amplify Collective Business Mindset: Enterprise social platform will enforce culture of innovation, provides ideal set of tools to encourage employees sharing ideas and thinking differently, and mobility movement will further blur the line between work and life, make business hyper-connected and always on, Big Data analytics makes it easier to get a working feedback loop from the social world back to businesses, let business quickly processes the vast data streams, analyze them, understand customer deeper to capture the new insight on the future of business, and deliver ROI for social business.

3.    From “Human Resource” Industrial Mind to “Human Capital” Digital Empowerment

People want autonomy (let me do it!), mastery (how to do it better with resources), and purpose (why & how: my work fits into the larger project, and how our project fits our corporate purpose, and why the corporate objectives add meaning to the world). These are actually both universal drivers, and deeply unique and personal. And the productivity & creativity need be improved via uniting people’s hand, mind and heart. So the old “Human Resource” mindset need be “SMAC” ed to the new concept of empowering talent to unleash full potentials.

  • Shape the Accelerated Mindset & Culture of Innovation: There’re three different types of groups in modern business : Organization structure (formal hierarchy); Work structures (tend to be horizontal interactions); and Social structures (tend to be either way), SMAC may not flatten the pyramid yet, however, it will help orchestrate these structures to discover the degree of “cultural coherence”, recognize the positive cultural or sub-cultural traits, to amplify and accelerate them in order to shape the culture of innovation. 
  • Culture of Learning: One of best predictions for the new year so far is: “The future of illiterate is not the one who can’t read or write; it’s the one who can’t learn, unlearn and relearn”. While the tasks are no longer micro-managed, today’s knowledge workers face their own dilemma, knowledge and skills need be updated every couple of years,  even shorter, globility –anyone can compete anything from anywhere is the by-product of internet and globalization. Continuous learning attitude is essential for many professions now. Through Big Data, talent manager can recognize thought leaders, social influencers or domain expert more easily; data analysis of employee and talent performances also allow experiments and feedbacks, make sure the right talent in the bus at the right time.
  • From Talent Controller to Talent Multiplier: Talent managers start using data analytics not just to monitor employees’ behavior, but to ask& answer some hard questions that are at the heart of how employees contribute to business performance, predict employee preferences and behaviors and tailor next practices to attract and retain talent. Develop predictive models and identify leading indicators to forecast business requirements and staffing requirements, track skills and performance, and maximize human capital investment.
The new year perspective is the state of mind: think positively & look forward: the business is continuous on; the world is continuous on and the progress of mankind is base on the advancement of mindset. 


Interesting post you made. Definitely something to look into since more and more data are being streamed, copied, stored, etc to different networks at huge sizes. It’s definitely a probability in the nearer future that this would be more recognized and utilized than what we currently have.

Ruby Badcoe

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