Technology

Google Glass

Competing in the Age of Omnichannel Retailing

Recent technology advances in mobile computing and augmented reality are blurring the boundaries between traditional and Internet retailing, enabling retailers to interact with consumers through multiple touch points and expose them to a rich blend of offline sensory information and online content. In response to these changes, retailers and their supply-chain partners will need to rethink their competitive strategies.

New Balance 3D printed shoes
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With 3-D Printing, the Shoe Really Fits

  • Blog
  • Read Time: 3 min 

Few new technologies receive more intense interest than 3-D printing, with some predicting that it will revolutionize manufacturing. That promise remains emergent. But it is taking shape in some industries, such as shoes. The shoe company New Balance thinks that within five years it will custom-make shoes with 3-D printers. And there are already entrepreneurial fashion designers trying to leverage 3-D printing to build up their presence in the market.

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Video: The Digital Transformation of Health Care

  • Interview
  • Read Time: 1 min 

One of the largest health insurers in the United States, WellPoint, is using technology to change its business model. Lori Beer, WellPoint’s executive vice president of specialty businesses and information technology, talks about how technology is helping doctors and nurses be more efficient and effective and lowering costs. Beer explains how WellPoint, which is the first commercial adopter of IBM’s Watson technology, is using analytics to help health-care providers work more efficiently.

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How Starbucks Has Gone Digital

  • Interview
  • Read Time: 15 min 

Starbucks chief digital officer Adam Brotman and chief information officer Curt Garner explain how they collaborate closely. The two constantly seek to improve customer experience through technology and to unify marketing efforts across channels. Their partnership has forged a fast-paced rollout of new digital efforts, from faster payment processing to mobile ordering, across Starbucks’ 17,000 stores.

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The Importance of IT-Enabled Flexibility in Alliances

Strategic alliances are arguably more critical now than ever before. In this highly digital age, organizations rely increasingly on Internet-based or computerized products and services that require the simultaneous cooperation of multiple organizations. The authors’ research has shown that flexible IT systems can help enable successful partnerships. But the opposite — that inflexible IT systems can hinder partnerships — is true, too. And it’s something about which organizations should be careful.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user BenLucier.

Optimizing Your Digital Business Model

A company’s digital business model describes how the enterprise interacts digitally with its customers to generate value. If you lack a good digital business model, your customers may leave you behind. This article presents a framework to help enterprises compete digitally with three capabilities: their content, customer experience and platform. The framework is illustrated with case studies of top performers like Amazon, Apple, LexisNexis and USAA and results from an effective practices survey.

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The Advantages of Digital Maturity

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 5 min 

New research suggests that companies with well-managed investments in digital technology and transformation management can achieve up to 26% more profits than their industry average. A digital maturity model developed by MIT’s Center for Digital Business and Capgemini Consulting combines two elements: digital intensity (the level of technology investment directed towards changing how a company operates) and transformation management intensity.

Image by Greg Morris courtesy of Riverhead Books.
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What “Peer Progressives” Bring to Corporations

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  • Read Time: 2 min 

Steven Johnson’s new book “Future Perfect: The Case For Progress In A Networked Age” shows that “collaborative peer networks outperform free-market arrangements all the time,” according to the Guardian.

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Video: Leading Your Company’s Digital Transformation

  • Interview

Business leaders hear plenty about how digital technology can transform a business, but so much of the discussion focuses on technology-based companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google that executives at traditional companies might be forgiven for thinking that only high-tech startups can achieve digital transformation. In this video, George Westerman of the MIT Center for Digital Business explains how business executives can drive digital transformation within established companies.

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How to Digitally Transform Your Company

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  • Read Time: 3 min 

Companies such as Apple, Amazon and Facebook aren’t the only ones who can use high technology to get bottom-line results. For instance, PagesJaunes, the French Yellow Pages, has completely changed its business model with a strategy of building 100,000 websites for small businesses.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user iriss.org.uk.

The Digital Capabilities Your Company Needs

  • Research Highlight
  • Read Time: 5 min 

Companies need to invest in four kinds of digital capabilities to achieve digital transformation. They must start with a unified digital platform to integrate data and processes across sales channels. They need a way to revamp solution delivery to adapt new technologies into their operations. They need to develop analytics capabilities, which often requires a change in corporate culture. And they need good working relationships and tight integration between business executives and information technology executives.

Image courtesy of Boeing.

The Problem With Digital Design

Traditionally used for computer aided design and manufacturing applications, in recent years digital design has migrated to the front end of the development process, facilitating ideation, conceptual design and globally distributed innovation. Through empirical and case-based research — including a longitudinal study of 145 organizations that are heavy users of digital design — this article explores the challenges and opportunities of employing digital design during these early stages.

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Skills That Will Remain in Demand In a Computer-Rich World

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  • Read Time: 2 min 

Skills such as applied math and statistics, negotiation and group dynamics, and persuasion can help you prepare yourself for careers in a fast-changing economy filled with ever-faster, ever-smarter computers, write MIT Sloan’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user K.Costin Photography.

The Manager’s Guide to IT Innovation Waves

The relentless advance of information technology today means that a key task of the business manager now is to cope with one wave of IT innovations after another. At any given time, an executive is likely to feel more or less inundated by a current wave, unsure of what all the commotion is about, unable to avoid the topic in conversation and yet suspicious that the latest “killer app” may be mostly hype. Is there a better way?

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Should Information Have an Expiration Date?

  • Blog
  • Read Time: 1 min 

We should give our information delete dates, says Mayer-Schönberger.

Should information be finite? Should it cease to exist after a certain point?

On the face of it, an expiration date on information sounds like a wild idea.

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How the Digital Revolution is Affecting Employment

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  • Read Time: 2 min 

Race Against the Machine, a new book by MIT Sloan’s Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee argues that while digital automation is accelerating innovation and driving productivity, it’s also transforming what kinds of jobs are secure.

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