The Connected Value Chain
Two years ago at our 10th anniversary roundtable we took a step back and did a different kind of roundtable, one with only CIOs and technology industry participants, to examine the impact of five technology megatrends on corporate IT and business models in the tech industry. It seemed there was a genuine sea change under way, the ultimate landing place of which was unclear, but the directional trends of which were clear enough: ubiquity of data and information, democratization of participation, rapidly shifting partnerships and competition and a kind of role reversal between corporate IT and consumer technologies. In between we’ve examined the business impact of mobile, mobile apps and mobility trends, of “big data”, of IT-enabled products and services, driving revenue, and enterprise risk management. And the time seems ripe to examine the business impact of all of these together, this creation of an increasingly networked, information-intense and connected value chain.
Discussion in this roundtable focused on the exchange of information among various parts of the value chain (i.e. between enterprises in the value chain), other external information exchanges with partners tangential to the chain, as well as the flow within enterprises in support of the value chain exchange. So much information is available, and as each part of the chain becomes smarter, both in the data it collects and technology it employs, how do we connect it all in the most productive way? Specifically, we addressed such questions as:
- What are the critical flows of information in your industry? How have they changed? What are the best examples of the opportunities and challenges you now have?
- What are the integration and coordination challenges? Are there still certain chokepoints that are preventing smooth exchange of information within your value chain? Does information only flow one way instead of both up and down the chain? Are the issues more inside the enterprise or between enterprises?
- In what areas critical to your business is the amount of data available exploding? How are you addressing it? How do you manage the information created across the lifecycle?
- What is the readiness of processes, organizational structure, culture and people, and technology to take advantage of the opportunities?
- What is the level of trust between enterprises in your value chain? What tends to increase it and what tends to decrease it? How critical is this trust?
- How will an increase in data on customers, sales, inventories and other critical aspects of your business reshape decision-making? Who owns the data and the presumably collaborative outcomes in your organization? In your value chain?
- How good are you at combining information from different parts of the value chain in order to create insights no one had before? Will better decisions come faster? Is the increased exchange targeted at efficiency, effectiveness, or driving new business?
- Does the overall greater speed of business increase or reduce the exposure and risk inherent in your business? How are the increased expectation and reality of transparency affecting you? Especially given the increased exposure in social media?
- How tolerant will consumers and other customers be if enterprises combine previously separate stacks of data to better predict behavior? Will they be delighted or upset? Who owns the rights to this information?
Joan Gillman expresses her thoughts and Javier Benito turns to hear her.
The full room closely considered the connected value chain.
Professor Taylor, Carlos Pappier and Scott Zimmerman listen closely to the discussion.
Aetna's Micheal Palmer leans in to hear more.
Brown-Forman's Greg Newbern speaks up.
Hans, Geir and the rest of the room listen.
Professor Taylor listens to Martin Petry make his point.