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The Future Of Technology Adoption And The Impact Of Transformation

Daniel Newman

One of the great challenges for many companies when it comes to technology and its impact on corporate transformation isn’t whether to invest in it, it’s how to get employees using it after that investment is made. People are creatures of habit, and we become comfortable with the platforms we’ve grown to love. And considering the pace of change that’s occurring today when it comes to new platforms, devices, and apps, it can be hard sometimes to keep an open mind about new technologies—and even harder to integrate them into everyday work habits.

This isn’t just an issue for the rank and file. It’s an issue for companies from the top down. Remember when the character of Eduardo Savrin in “The Social Network” confessed to not knowing how to change his relationship status on Facebook even though he was the CFO…? We can giggle, but this is exactly what happened at corporations everywhere. If company leaders aren’t adopting the latest and greatest technology, how can they expect their employees to eagerly jump on board?

Why adoption isn’t happening

Here’s the thing—in my opinion, adoption will be more important in the future, as technology’s shelf life continues to shorten. This means that companies must be proactively in front of the changing landscape of devices and application usage. They also need better education plans to help employees learn about new innovations and methods of adoption.

If not? Here’s the outcome: Employees attend easy, breezy, workshop-style training sessions, and then are left to their own devices. These workers don’t know how to incorporate what they’ve just learned into their established daily routines. They forget everything they learned and continue performing duties like they always did, using the tried and true apps and platforms they’ve come to love. Six months later, the C-Suite is shocked to discover that employees—who should be hips deep in the newest technology—are toiling away using an outdated system, and money is flying out the door.

To solve this learning gap, businesses need to focus on adoption efforts rather than just teaching efforts. While I think training employees on how to use devices is still important, it’s the actual implementation of the devices that’s being lost in the shuffle. On-demand learning, training, and user experience prioritization are going to be key when it comes to adopting new technology at an enterprise level.

To successfully navigate the wide world of constantly updating devices and applications, we need to implement solid education plans plus adoption techniques, as soon as the technology becomes publicly available. This combination ensures the people in your company will come out of the technological gate ready to go.

Build a toolbox for success

If you’re ready to build a transformed digital organization, armed with the capability to adopt the latest tech, employees must be given the tools needed to successfully adopt new technology. These include:

  • Innovative and user-friendly training programs.
  • Employee monitoring after new technology has been introduced.
  • Question-and-answer forums about the new technology through a shared space, like a virtual whiteboard or a collaboration application like Slack.
  • Top-down leadership—giving employees a role model to follow while trying to integrate the new technology.
  • Ensuring there’s follow-up employee progress so everyone is benefiting from the new technology, and no one is left behind.
  • Comprehensive plans outlining the ways in which the new technology will be used in the future.
  • Incentives for those who go the extra mile in the first legs of adoption, which can increase employee involvement and lead to better overall implementation.

Follow up on transformation

To improve business productivity, I believe new technology can’t simply be introduced and then forgotten. It must be constantly tweaked, reevaluated, and replaced as evolution in the space occurs. Adoption encouragement will always be a practice well worth your company’s time and collective energy, and will always result in positive ROI. Businesses that fail to incorporate new innovation trends will be left in the dust in today’s fast-moving and rather merciless tech-savvy universe.

Don’t be disheartened by the challenges that come with implementing corporate wide tech adoption and transformation. After all, what is new technology for if it isn’t to improve our lives?

 

This article has been brought to you in part by the SAP Store. Please visit the SAP Store to find the latest in software and services to power your business.

The post The Future of Technology Adoption and the Impact of Transformation appeared first on Millennial CEO.

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About Daniel Newman

Daniel Newman serves as the Co-Founder and CEO of EC3, a quickly growing hosted IT and Communication service provider. Prior to this role Daniel has held several prominent leadership roles including serving as CEO of United Visual. Parent company to United Visual Systems, United Visual Productions, and United GlobalComm; a family of companies focused on Visual Communications and Audio Visual Technologies. Daniel is also widely published and active in the Social Media Community. He is the Author of Amazon Best Selling Business Book "The Millennial CEO." Daniel also Co-Founded the Global online Community 12 Most and was recognized by the Huffington Post as one of the 100 Business and Leadership Accounts to Follow on Twitter. Newman is an Adjunct Professor of Management at North Central College. He attained his undergraduate degree in Marketing at Northern Illinois University and an Executive MBA from North Central College in Naperville, IL. Newman currently resides in Aurora, Illinois with his wife (Lisa) and his two daughters (Hailey 9, Avery 5). A Chicago native all of his life, Newman is an avid golfer, a fitness fan, and a classically trained pianist

Transform Or Die: What Will You Do In The Digital Economy?

Scott Feldman and Puneet Suppal

By now, most executives are keenly aware that the digital economy can be either an opportunity or a threat. The question is not whether they should engage their business in it. Rather, it’s how to unleash the power of digital technology while maintaining a healthy business, leveraging existing IT investments, and innovating without disrupting themselves.

Yet most of those executives are shying away Businesspeople in a Meeting --- Image by © Monalyn Gracia/Corbisfrom such a challenge. According to a recent study by MIT Sloan and Capgemini, only 15% of CEOs are executing a digital strategy, even though 90% agree that the digital economy will impact their industry. As these businesses ignore this reality, early adopters of digital transformation are achieving 9% higher revenue creation, 26% greater impact on profitability, and 12% more market valuation.

Why aren’t more leaders willing to transform their business and seize the opportunity of our hyperconnected world? The answer is as simple as human nature. Innately, humans are uncomfortable with the notion of change. We even find comfort in stability and predictability. Unfortunately, the digital economy is none of these – it’s fast and always evolving.

Digital transformation is no longer an option – it’s the imperative

At this moment, we are witnessing an explosion of connections, data, and innovations. And even though this hyperconnectivity has changed the game, customers are radically changing the rules – demanding simple, seamless, and personalized experiences at every touch point.

Billions of people are using social and digital communities to provide services, share insights, and engage in commerce. All the while, new channels for engaging with customers are created, and new ways for making better use of resources are emerging. It is these communities that allow companies to not only give customers what they want, but also align efforts across the business network to maximize value potential.

To seize the opportunities ahead, businesses must go beyond sensors, Big Data, analytics, and social media. More important, they need to reinvent themselves in a manner that is compatible with an increasingly digital world and its inhabitants (a.k.a. your consumers).

Here are a few companies that understand the importance of digital transformation – and are reaping the rewards:

  1. Under Armour:  No longer is this widely popular athletic brand just selling shoes and apparel. They are connecting 38 million people on a digital platform. By focusing on this services side of the business, Under Armour is poised to become a lifestyle advisor and health consultant, using his product side as the enabler.
  1. Port of Hamburg: Europe’s second-largest port is keeping carrier trucks and ships productive around the clock. By fusing facility, weather, and traffic conditions with vehicle availability and shipment schedules, the Port increased container handling capacity by 178% without expanding its physical space.
  1. Haier Asia: This top-ranking multinational consumer electronics and home appliances company decided to disrupt itself before someone else did. The company used a two-prong approach to digital transformation to create a service-based model to seize the potential of changing consumer behaviors and accelerate product development. 
  1. Uber: This startup darling is more than just a taxi service. It is transforming how urban logistics operates through a technology trifecta: Big Data, cloud, and mobile.
  1. American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO): Even nonprofits can benefit from digital transformation. ASCO is transforming care for cancer patients worldwide by consolidating patient information with its CancerLinQ. By unlocking knowledge and value from the 97% of cancer patients who are not involved in clinical trials, healthcare providers can drive better, more data-driven decision making and outcomes.

It’s time to take action 

During the SAP Executive Technology Summit at SAP TechEd on October 19–20, an elite group of CIOs, CTOs, and corporate executives will gather to discuss the challenges of digital transformation and how they can solve them. With the freedom of open, candid, and interactive discussions led by SAP Board Members and senior technology leadership, delegates will exchange ideas on how to get on the right path while leveraging their existing technology infrastructure.

Stay tuned for exclusive insights from this invitation-only event in our next blog!
Scott Feldman is Global Head of the SAP HANA Customer Community at SAP. Connect with him on Twitter @sfeldman0.

Puneet Suppal drives Solution Strategy and Adoption (Customer Innovation & IoT) at SAP Labs. Connect with him on Twitter @puneetsuppal.

 

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About Scott Feldman and Puneet Suppal

Scott Feldman is the Head of SAP HANA International Customer Community. Puneet Suppal is the Customer Co-Innovation & Solution Adoption Executive at SAP.

What Is Digital Transformation?

Andreas Schmitz

Achieving quantum leaps through disruption and using data in new contexts, in ways designed for more than just Generation Y — indeed, the digital transformation affects us all. It’s time for a detailed look at its key aspects.

Data finding its way into new settings

Archiving all of a company’s internal information until the end of time is generally a good idea, as it gives the boss the security that nothing will be lost. Meanwhile, enabling him or her to create bar graphs and pie charts based on sales trends – preferably in real time, of course – is even better.

But the best scenario of all is when the boss can incorporate data from external sources. All of a sudden, information on factors as seemingly mundane as the weather start helping to improve interpretations of fluctuations in sales and to make precise modifications to the company’s offerings. When the gusts of autumn begin to blow, for example, energy providers scale back solar production and crank up their windmills. Here, external data provides a foundation for processes and decisions that were previously unattainable.

Quantum leaps possible through disruption

While these advancements involve changes in existing workflows, there are also much more radical approaches that eschew conventional structures entirely.

“The aggressive use of data is transforming business models, facilitating new products and services, creating new processes, generating greater utility, and ushering in a new culture of management,” states Professor Walter Brenner of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, regarding the effects of digitalization.

Harnessing these benefits requires the application of innovative information and communication technology, especially the kind termed “disruptive.” A complete departure from existing structures may not necessarily be the actual goal, but it can occur as a consequence of this process.

Having had to contend with “only” one new technology at a time in the past, be it PCs, SAP software, SQL databases, or the Internet itself, companies are now facing an array of concurrent topics, such as the Internet of Things, social media, third-generation e-business, and tablets and smartphones. Professor Brenner thus believes that every good — and perhaps disruptive — idea can result in a “quantum leap in terms of data.”

Products and services shaped by customers

It has already been nearly seven years since the release of an app that enables customers to order and pay for taxis. Initially introduced in Berlin, Germany, mytaxi makes it possible to avoid waiting on hold for the next phone representative and pay by credit card while giving drivers greater independence from taxi dispatch centers. In addition, analyses of user data can lead to the creation of new services, such as for people who consistently order taxis at around the same time of day.

“Successful models focus on providing utility to the customer,” Professor Brenner explains. “In the beginning, at least, everything else is secondary.”

In this regard, the private taxi agency Uber is a fair bit more radical. It bypasses the entire taxi industry and hires private individuals interested in making themselves and their vehicles available for rides on the Uber platform. Similarly, Airbnb runs a platform travelers can use to book private accommodations instead of hotel rooms.

Long-established companies are also undergoing profound changes. The German publishing house Axel Springer SE, for instance, has acquired a number of startups, launched an online dating platform, and released an app with which users can collect points at retail. Chairman and CEO Matthias Döpfner also has an interest in getting the company’s newspapers and other periodicals back into the black based on payment models, of course, but these endeavors are somewhat at odds with the traditional notion of publishing houses being involved solely in publishing.

The impact of digitalization transcends Generation Y

Digitalization is effecting changes in nearly every industry. Retailers will likely have no choice but to integrate their sales channels into an omnichannel approach. Seeking to make their data services as attractive as possible, BMW, Mercedes, and Audi have joined forces to purchase the digital map service HERE. Mechanical engineering companies are outfitting their equipment with sensors to reduce downtime and achieve further product improvements.

“The specific potential and risks at hand determine how and by what means each individual company approaches the subject of digitalization,” Professor Brenner reveals. The resulting services will ultimately benefit every customer – not just those belonging to Generation Y, who present a certain basic affinity for digital methods.

“Think of cars that notify the service center when their brakes or drive belts need to be replaced, offer parking assistance, or even handle parking for you,” Brenner offers. “This can be a big help to elderly people in particular.”

Chief digital officers: team members, not miracle workers

Making the transition to the digital future is something that involves not only a CEO or a head of marketing or IT, but the entire company. Though these individuals do play an important role as proponents of digital models, it also takes more than just a chief digital officer alone.

For Professor Brenner, appointing a single person to the board of a DAX company to oversee digitalization is basically absurd. “Unless you’re talking about Da Vinci or Leibnitz born again, nobody could handle such a task,” he states.

In Brenner’s view, this is a topic for each and every department, and responsibilities should be assigned much like on a soccer field: “You’ve got a coach and the players – and the fans, as well, who are more or less what it’s all about.”

Here, the CIO neither competes with the CDO nor assumes an elevated position in the process of digital transformation. Implementing new databases like SAP HANA or Hadoop, leveraging sensor data in both technical and commercially viable ways, these are the tasks CIOs will face going forward.

“There are some fantastic jobs out there,” Brenner affirms.

Want more insight on managing digital transformation? See Three Keys To Winning In A World Of Disruption.

Image via Shutterstock

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Andreas Schmitz

About Andreas Schmitz

Andreas Schmitz is a Freelance Journalist for SAP, covering a wide range of topics from big data to Internet of Things, HR, business innovation and mobile.

Robots: Job Destroyers or Human Partners? [INFOGRAPHIC]

Christopher Koch

Robots: Job Destroyers or Human Partners? [INFOGRAPHIC]

To learn more about how humans and robots will co-evolve, read the in-depth report Bring Your Robot to Work.

Download the PDF (91KB)

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About Christopher Koch

Christopher Koch is the Editorial Director of the SAP Center for Business Insight. He is an experienced publishing professional, researcher, editor, and writer in business, technology, and B2B marketing. Share your thoughts with Chris on Twitter @Ckochster.

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Top 5 Content Marketing Trends Of 2016 So Far

Michael Brenner

Can you believe we’re more than halfway through 2016 already? It feels like just yesterday when we were making our 2016 content marketing predictions last year.

In 2015, 88% of marketers said content marketing was core to their overall marketing strategy. Their top five priorities included creating more engaging content, developing a better understanding of their audience and what content is effective (and isn’t) for them, finding more and better ways to repurpose content, creating visual content, and becoming better storytellers.

According to Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 76% of marketers surveyed said they had planned to produce more content in 2016 in order to drive more brand awareness, engagement, lead generation, lead nurturing, and sales – the top five content marketing goals marketers said were most important to their organizations.

So what are marketers doing in 2016 to achieve these goals? This Business 2 Community post looks at five of the top content marketing trends we have seen so far this year:

1. Content personalization

With so many marketers and brands around the world creating new content every day, it’s not enough to just create good content anymore. Just like the rest of us, today’s consumers are pressed for time, and so when they want to read content they will only want to see what is valuable and relevant to them.

To do so, many brands have started creating more personalized content tailored to their target audience’s needs and interests. Personalized content that helps solve a customer’s biggest pain point or answer a tough question they have is key to standing out from the flood of content that is out there today, to win your target audience’s attention, increase reach and engagement, and ultimately convert them into sales.

Here is an example of effective content personalization. According to the Business 2 Community blog, the e-commerce company Clymb was able to increase its sales by 12% by personalizing the products shown on the home screen when users visit the site.

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To get started, here are some helpful tips you’ll want to know to develop a successful content personalization strategy.

2. Visual content

Today’s audience needs more than plain text to engage them. They want valuable content that not only educates and informs but also entertains them.

That’s where visual content can help. According to this HubSpot article, research has found that visuals help increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by a whopping 80%! What’s more, people remember visuals six times more than plain text. An average reader also remembers 60% more of what they see compared to what they read.

It’s no wonder then that nearly two-thirds of marketers believe visual content is core to how they communicate their brand story, and that it is a top priority for marketers, as the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs study has shown.

With YouTube becoming the second-largest search engine and third most-visited site on the web, and the rising popularity of visual-focused platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, brands need to incorporate visual marketing into their content strategy if they haven’t already.

Here are 15+ best practices and tools to help you create effective visual content your target audience will love.

Visual Content Marketing: Starbucks
Visual Content Marketing: Oreo

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3. Interactive content

With so much content and so little time, coupled with shorter attention spans, it’s becoming harder and harder to reach and engage today’s consumers. This is why some brands are turning to interactive content to make a lasting impression on their target audience and to drive more engagement.

Interactive content, at its core, drives two-way conversations and allows the audience to actively participate in content rather than passively consuming it, as with static content. Content types like quizzes, tests, calculators, polls, and surveys allow consumers to gain tailored results or insights on topics they care about, or on challenges or problems they are facing, while also having fun in the process of interacting with the content.

Tourism Australia’s official website, for example, uses a variety of compelling interactive content to better engage potential tourists and convert. Its series of 360-degree virtual reality video tours, which can be watched with a VR headset, allows individuals to truly immerse themselves and virtually experience various stunning adventure spots in Australia, from swimming with whale sharks to climbing up the country’s highest building, SkyPoint Climb, for a breathtaking view of the Gold Coast.

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Tourism Australia

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4. Influencer marketing

One of the ways to cut through the content clutter and differentiate your brand today is through influencers. Influencers are individuals in your industry who have an engaged following on social (an audience that you want to target), and can help promote and amplify your content.

According to a McKinsey study, campaigns that used influencer marketing generated more than double the sales of paid ads and had 35% higher customer retention rate.

Here are 4 helpful tips to get you started with developing and driving a successful influencer marketing campaign.

5. Mobile-first content marketing

Smartphone and tablet usage accounted for 60% of all digital media time spent, according to a comScore report last year. It also reported that smartphone and tablet usage are up by a whopping 394% and 1721%, respectively!

With mobile quickly becoming the go-to device for everyday digital media consumption and services, many brands have started exploring new tactics and technologies, such a mobile apps, to create and deliver content that is mobile-first.

IKEA, for example, created a catalogue mobile app that offers customers exclusive features they are not able to get with a printed catalog. The mobile catalog gives customers access to enhanced content, such as additional product information and videos. Another useful (and fun) feature of the app allows customers to virtually place IKEA products using the camera of their mobile phone, so they can get a preview of what an item would look like in their home.

I hope these content marketing trends will inspire you with new ideas to help your brand stand out from the crowd. If you have any other content marketing ideas or strategies that you think your marketing peers should know about, please share them below!

Are you interested in engaging and converting new customers for your business? Contact me here and let’s talk about how we can help. Or follow me on LinkedInTwitter, or Facebook. and if you like what you see, subscribe here for regular updates.

The post Top 5 Content Marketing Trends Of 2016 So Far appeared first on Marketing Insider Group.

Photo Source: flickr

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About Michael Brenner

Michael Brenner is the CEO of Marketing Insider Group, former Head of Strategy at NewsCred, and the former VP of Global Content Marketing here at SAP. Michael is also the co-author of the book The Content Formula, a contributor to leading publications like The Economist, Inc Magazine, The Guardian, and Forbes and a frequent speaker at industry events covering topics such as marketing strategy, social business, content marketing, digital marketing, social media and personal branding.  Follow Michael on Twitter (@BrennerMichael)LinkedInFacebook and Google+ and Subscribe to the Marketing Insider.