How to Innovate, Disrupt and Compete Effectively

By Eileen Feretic

Imagine a business that has implemented analytics, mobile, social, cloud and cyber technologies in one cohesive, mature ecosystem. That’s how Deloitte envisions what it has coined the “Postdigital Enterprise.”

“These are the new table stakes for enterprises to innovate, disrupt in a positive way and compete effectively,” Mark White, principal and CTO at Deloitte Consulting, told Baseline. He is also co-author of the company’s report, “Tech Trends 2013: Elements of Postdigital.”

The report focuses on two areas, “Disruptors” and “Enablers,” and each one has five components. Disrupters, according to the report, are “opportunities that can create sustainable positive disruption in IT capabilities, business operations and sometimes even business models.” Enablers are “technologies in which many CIOs have already invested time and effort, but which warrant another look because of new developments or opportunities.”

Deloitte’s disruptors are:

The CIO as the postdigital catalyst: This IT leader manages the convergence of analytics, mobile, social, cloud and cyber technologies to reshape business and drive innovation.

Mobile only (and beyond): This kind of pervasive mobile computing provides information and services everywhere they are needed. It includes voice, gesture and location-based interaction, as well as device convergence.

Social reengineering by design: This approach involves the intentional adoption of social elements into the business.

Design as a discipline: This represents a horizontal, fully integrated discipline that cuts across all elements of the business.

IPv6: It’s critical to allow time, resources, planning, execution and verifications for migrating from IPv4 to IPv6.

Deloitte’s enablers are:

Finding the face of your data: This involves combining human insight with computing power to discover new patterns and relationships

Gamification goes to work: Here, companies embed gaming into business processes to motivate and reward desired behaviors.

Reinventing the ERP engine: This requires transforming ERP to enable agility, capability and competitiveness.

No such thing as hacker-proof: Companies need to detect threats quickly, respond rapidly and isolate intrusions to limit damage.

The business of IT: IT must be transformed into a partner that delivers on the demands of the business.

White spoke extensively about security, which he says includes forensics, analytics and logistics. “You need to know how a breach happened (forensics), and you need to be able to detect patterns so you can forecast and prevent future breaches (analytics),” he explained. “From a logistics standpoint, you need to secure your facilities, operations, personnel and supply chain.

“Perimeter security has not kept the bad guys out, and defense in depth never made it to 100 percent. You need a comprehensive security strategy that encompasses early detection, defense in depth and an aggressive approach to isolation. When there’s an intrusion, you need to isolate it rapidly—even before you get confirmation. Treat an intrusion like an epidemic and act immediately to isolate it.”

When asked what “Mobile only (and beyond)” meant, White explained it this way: “Mobile goes beyond smartphones and tablets. It also includes gesture and location-based interactions, signal sensor apps and machine-to-machine communication.

“For example, the Port of Long Beach uses sensors to track the flow of ships and interface with the port’s billing system. And sensors in the ground monitor water and earthquakes, and then tie into a disaster recovery system.”

Social reengineering refers to how an organization intentionally adopts social elements into the business, White said. It includes social networking, media and technology, and it involves sharing information on a self-organizing basis. One use case involves finding and reusing knowledge and expertise that’s available throughout an enterprise, regardless of the time or location of the expert.

For design to be treated as a discipline, “it must be horizontal and fully integrated, and it must cut across all elements of a business,” White said. “A company must snap together various elements of the business: products, customers, employees, etc.”

When asked to comment on the fifth disrupter, IPv6, White stressed how critical it is. “We will run out of IPv4 addresses very soon,” he warned.”If you deal with other companies, you will have to have IPv6 so they can communicate with you.

“It’s a huge task and will take a long time, since IP addresses have been hard-coded and will have to be fixed and tested. But IT leaders have to deal with this issue, and they need to start soon.”