Nine actions to consider before 2015

This year-end checklist offers suggestions that will enable you to take control of your digital strategy in 2015.

This year end checklist offers suggestions designed to enable you to take control of your digital strategy in 2015. Consider these actions to ensure you dominate digital disruption in the new year.

1. Matrix Commerce: Scrub your data

By Guy Courtin

Guy Courtin
When it comes to Matrix Commerce, companies need to focus on the basics first. What are the basics? Cleaning up and getting your data in order.

Much is discussed about the evolution of supply chains and the surrounding technologies. However these solutions are only as useful as the data that feeds them. Many CxOs that we have spoken to have discussed the need to focus on cleaning up their data.

First, work on a data audit to identify the most important sources of data for your efforts in Matrix Commerce. Second, focus on the systems that can process and make sense of this data. Finally, determine the systems and business processes that will be optimized with these improvements.

Matrix Commerce starts with the right data. The systems and business processes that layer on top of this data are only as useful as the data. CxOs must continue to organize and clean their data house.

2. Safety and Privacy: Create your Enterprise Information Asset Inventory

By Steve Wilson

Steve Wilson Constellation Research
In 2015, get on top of your information assets. When information is the lifeblood of your business, make sure you understand what really makes it valuable. Create (or refresh) your Enterprise Information Asset Inventory, and then think beyond the standard security dimensions of Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability.

What sets your information apart from your competitors? Is it more complete, more up-to-date, more original or harder to acquire? To maximize the value of information, innovative organizations are gauging it in terms of utility, currency, jurisdictional certainty, privacy compliance and whatever other facets matter the most in their business environment.

These innovative organizations structure their information technology and security functions to not merely protect the enterprise against threats, but to deliver the right data when and where it's needed most. Shifting from defensive security to strategic informatics is the key to success in the digital economy. Learn more about creating an information asset inventory.

3. Data to Decisions: Create your Big Data Plan of Action

By Andy Mulholland

Andy Mulholland Constellation Research
Big Data is arriving at the end of the hype cycle. In 2015, real-time decision support using 'smart data' extracted from Big Data will manifest as a requirement for competitiveness. Digital Business, or even just online sellers, are all reducing reaction and response times.

Enterprises have huge business and technology investments in data that need to support their daily activities better, so its time to pivot from using Big Data for analysis and start examining how to deliver Smart Data to users and automated online systems.

What is Smart Data? Well, let's say creating your organization's definition of Smart Data is priority number one in your Big Data strategy. Transformation in Digital markets requires a transformation in the competitive use of Big Data. Request a meeting with Constellation's CTO in residence, Andy Mulholland.

4. Next Gen CXP: Make Customer Experience Instinctual

By Natalie Petouhoff

Natalie Petouhoff Constellation Research
Stop thinking of Customer Experience as a functional or departmental initiative and start thinking about experience from the customer's point of view.

Customers don't distinguish between departments when they require service from your organization. Customer Experience is a responsibility shared among all employees. However, the division of companies into functional departments with separate goals means that customer experience is often fractured. Rid your company of this ethos in 2015 by using design thinking to create a culture of cohesive customer experience.

Ensure all employees live your company mythology, employ the right customer and internal-facing technologies, collect the right data, and make changes to your strategy and products as soon as possible. Read "Five Approaches to Drive Customer Loyalty in a Digital World".

5. Future of Work: Take Advantage of Collaboration

By Alan Lepofsky

Alan Lepofsky Constellation Research
Over the last few years, there has been a growing movement in the way people communicate and collaborate with their colleagues and customers, shifting from closed systems like email and chat, to more transparent tools like social networks and communities. That trend will continue in 2015 as people become more comfortable with sharing and as collaboration tools become more integrated with the business software they use to get their jobs done.

Employees should familiarize themselves with the tools available to them, and learn how to pick the right tool for each of the various scenarios that make up their work day. Read "Enterprise Collaboration: From Simple Sharing to Getting Work Done".

6. Future of Work: Prepare for Demographic Shifts

By Holger Mueller

Holger Mueller
In the next ten years, 10 percent to 20 percent of the North American and European workforce will retire. Leaders need to understand and prepare for this tremendous shift so performance remains steady as many of the workforce's highly skilled workers retire.

To ensure smooth a smooth transition, ensure your HCM software systems can accommodate a massive number of retirements, successions and career path developments, and new hires from external recruiting.

Constellation fully expects employment to be a sellers market going forward. People leaders should ensure their HCM systems facilitate employee motivation, engagement and retention, lest they lose their best employees to competitors. Read "Globalization, HR, and Business Model Success". Additional cloud HR case studies here and here.

7. Digital Marketing Transformation: Brand Priorities Must Convey Authenticity

By R "Ray" Wang

R Ray Wang Constellation Research
Brand authenticity must dominate digital and analog channels in 2015. Digital personas must not only reflect the brand, but also expand upon the analog experience. Customers love the analog experience, so deliver the same experience digitally. Brand conscious leaders must invest in the digital experience with an eye towards mass personalization at scale.

While advertising plays a key role in distributing the brand message, investment in the design of digital experiences presents itself as a key area of investment for 2015.

Download free executive brief: Can Brands Keep Their Promise?

8. Consumerization of IT: Use Mobile as the Gateway to Digital Transformation Projects

By R "Ray" Wang

Constellation believes that mobile is more than just the device. While smartphones and other devices are key enablers of 'mobile', design in digital transformation should take into account how these technologies address the business value and business model transformation required to deliver on breakthrough innovation.

If you have not yet started your digital transformation or are considering using mobile as an additional digital transformation point, Constellation recommends that clients assess how a new generation of enterprise mobile apps can change the business by identifying a cross-functional business problem that cannot be solved with linear thinking, articulating the business problem and benefit, showing how the solution orchestrates new experiences, identifying how analytics and insights can fuel the business model shift, exploiting full native device features, and seeking frictionless experiences. You'll be digital before you know it. Read "Why the Third Generation of Enterprise Mobile is Designed for Digital Transformation"

9. Technology Optimization & Innovation: Prepare Your Public Cloud Strategy

By Holger Mueller

In 2015 technology leaders will need to create, adjust and implement their public cloud strategy. Considering estimates pegging Amazon AWS at 15- to 20 percent of virtualized servers worldwide, CIOs and CTOs need to actively plan and execute their enterprise's strategy vis-à-vis the public cloud. Reducing technical debt and establishing next generation best practices to leverage the new 'on demand' IT paradigm should be a top priority for CIOs and CTOs seeking organizational competitiveness, greater job security and fewer budget restrictions.

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