Apps and The Wide Lens

March 12th, 2012

This spring, both our European and Americas Roundtables are focused on mobility and the potential of corporate apps.  As with other elements of consumerization, consumer apps are changing the way we work and driving IT innovation in the enterprise.  At the heart of this discussion are rapidly evolving IT ecosystems that are fundamentally changing enterprise computing (see my recent U.S. News blog post).

This weekend I finished reading Ron Adner’s new book The Wide Lens.  Anyone interested in understanding the explosive app economy will find this new book invaluable.  Many authors today are chanting “ecosystem.” Few provide any real insight on how ecosystems develop or how managers can build successful ecosystems.  Adner helps managers step back and really understand the ecosystem in which their new initiative must thrive.  Through stories of success (Apple iPod) and failure (Michelin run-flat tires), Adner uncovers hidden ecosystem elements that dictated the eventual outcomes.  These stories and analysis make The Wide Lens a great book.  But Adner delivers something far more valuable than historical analysis.  He identifies five ACTIONABLE levers that managers can use to reconfigure their ecosystem and ensure success.  These pearls make the The Wide Lens a must read for CIOs working on corporate app initiatives or for anyone launching a new product or service.

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