IT alignment can produce inertia — unless it’s accompanied by the right culture. Sure, closely aligning IT with the rest of a company’s strategy can cut costs and improve the ability to collect data, facilitating the creation of early-warning systems and operational dashboards. But a less regimented approach has its place, too, allowing responses to changing business and economic conditions that are swift and creative.
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- Read Time: 8 min
Machine-learning algorithms enable companies to realize new efficiencies for tasks from evaluating credit for loan applications to scanning legal contracts for errors. But they are as susceptible as any system to the “garbage in, garbage out” syndrome when it comes to biased data. Left unchecked, feeding biased data to self-learning systems can lead to unintended and sometimes dangerous outcomes.
- Read Time: 6 min
Moving to a zero-trust network, where all the services an organization needs are hosted in the cloud, is the most secure IT option. Most network breaches are caused by human error: People forget their laptops in bathrooms and cabs, connect to insecure public Wi-Fi, click on emails they shouldn’t, and download attachments carrying malware. The only way to manage this threat is to dismantle the privileged intranet and treat every login as a potential threat.
Launching a peer-to-peer knowledge-sharing platform is not easy. Online support forums have two distinct segments: those who seek product support, and those who provide it. Knowledge seekers are hesitant to ask questions if knowledge contributors are few and far between, and knowledge contributors will not sign up if there are not enough problems to solve. It is a classic chicken or egg challenge that can be effectively addressed by seeding the platform with expert knowledge.
New studies show that companies can derive significant value from free digital goods such as open source software, especially when they pay their own employees to contribute to their creation — even if these assets become available to competitors.
- Read Time: 9 min
Researchers are exploring how to create intelligent machines that work with us better as opposed to taking our place. Robots that can express human body language can have a positive effect on their human colleagues, enabling them to be more effective at their jobs, take on higher-level tasks, and realize psychological benefits. The overall result is a more productive human-robot team.
For young adults accustomed to continually checking their cellphones, even a single day without access to them can be anxiety-producing. What are the implications for executives about managing this constantly connected generation – and their devices – in the workplace?
Much as relationships in social networks have been analyzed to understand and influence how ideas flow among people, researchers wondered whether it might be possible to use the structure of product recommendation networks online to understand or influence how demand flows among products. The short answer is yes, and the implications for marketers are important.
- Read Time: 13 min
Anindya Ghose, Heinz Riehl Chair Professor of Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business, is one of the pioneering explorers of the intersection of mobile and marketing. In his new book, Tap, he collects his findings and weaves them together into a set of nine forces that marketers can wield to drive sales via mobile technologies.
Zhang Ruimin, the CEO and chairman of the Qingdao, China, white goods giant Haier Group Corp., has done what most chief executives dare not even dream about. He blew up nearly the entire administrative structure of a global manufacturing enterprise, eliminating the 10,000 management jobs that once held it together, and reshaped the organization into a network of entrepreneurial ventures run by employees.
- Read Time: 1 min
MIT Sloan Management Review and MIT Press join forces to launch two new book series exploring the digital frontiers of management. One series will feature original titles. The other series will collect the best MIT SMR articles on key digital topics. Editor in Chief Paul Michelman will serve as the overall series editor. The series will marry groundbreaking new ideas from leading lights in academia and industry with practical advice on how to prepare for the future.
- Read Time: 7 min
Too many big companies are formulating their growth strategies using traditional planning approaches — yearly cycles, historical analytics, incremental thinking. The velocity that characterizes this new digital economy means this kind of growth planning is obsolete. To assert digital dominance, big companies need to capitalize on their ability to do things the disruptors can’t — like plan globally and mobilize considerable resources.
- Read Time: 4 min
What’s happening this week at the intersection of management and technology: Three stages of digital transformation; questions for digital disruptors; IoT and blockchain in the supply chain.
- Read Time: 4 min
What’s happening this week at the intersection of management and technology: Digitization and operations management; a VR glove for tactile training; when robots train themselves.
- Read Time: 4 min
As demand for big data technologies grows, so does the problem of finding sufficient skills. Result: Talent shortages could limit the rate of productivity growth. Research shows that labor-market factors have shaped early returns on investment in big data technologies such as Hadoop, a framework for distributed processing of large data sets. It turns out that when know-how is scarce, organizations that invest in new IT or R&D derive significant benefits from the related investments of other organizations.
- Read Time: 3 min
What’s happening this week at the intersection of management and technology: Smart earbuds at work; adding cybersecurity to the executive job description; diving into data lakes
- Read Time: 5 min
Eight out of 10 executives surveyed say that as the business value of data grows, the risks their companies face from improper handling of data increase exponentially. While digital advancements enable new opportunities for businesses to compete and thrive, they also create increased exposure to systemic risks. Success in the digital age will require a new kind of ethical review around how companies gather and use data.
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