Posts tagged ‘Articles’

Ten tech-enabled business trends to watch

McKinsey Quarterly recently published an interesting article covering ten tech-enabled business trends to watch. I summarised these below.

Trend 1: Distributed co-creation moves into the mainstream. Distributed co-creation means gaining value from your web community (followers, influential bloggers, etc.) by getting them involved (giving feedback, sharing ideas, asking questions, reviewing and rating products and services). To do this successfully, an organisation needs to gain and maintain the trust of their web community.

Trend 2: Making the network the organisation. Organisations can optimize access to sought after skills by setting up internal or external networks using web technologies.

Trend 3: Collaboration at scale. Using Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, etc.), organisations can reach better collaboration between their knowledge workers. To do this successfully, an organisation needs to understand how knowledge work takes place (information pathways, employee interactions, etc.).

Trend 4: The growing ‘Internet of Things’. This term refers to assets (such as cars) becoming elements of an information system (e.g. by having a sensor installed in a car that collects vital information). Organisations need to explore ways on how to use assets to collect information and data.

Trend 5: Experimentation and big data. Big data includes customer data from public, proprietary, and purchased sources, web communities and smart assets. Organisations need to understand the value of experimentation (a ’test and learn’ mind-set ) and learn how to access, capture and analyse data.

Trend 6: Wiring for a sustainable world. Sustainability has already become a performance metric for organisations. In future, organisations will also need to manage the environmental impact of their IT (e.g. by using green data centres, reducing the number of servers, etc.). At the same time, IT will help to use resources in smarter, more efficient ways.

Trend 7: Imagining anything as a service. The key word is cloud computing which, simply put, means to access computer resources provided through networks, rather than running a software. Web-based Software as a Service (SaaS) allows organisations to access and use services, and to market their own services to potential and existing clients.

Trend 8: The age of the multisided business model. One example is the “freemium” model: Organisations (such as Flickr or Skype) provide free services to a large number of users while charging a smaller number of users for premium services. Organisations need to investigate whether they could benefit from a multisided business model – because if they can, so can their competitors!

Trend 9: Innovating from the bottom of the pyramid. Technology has gone global and reached emerging markets. Local entrepreneurs and businesses best understand the needs of these markets and are able to respond with innovative approaches. This new type of competitor not only challenges the players in the developing markets but also in the developed ones. Organisations need to understand how best to tap into the local resources.

Trend 10: Producing public good on the grid. This refers to the role of governments and the use of technology for creating new types of public goods and improving access to and effectiveness of public services. Areas that are already impacted include, for example, mass-transit systems, law enforcement and education. Open data initiatives and new forms of collaborations will make public policy making more transparent and efficient. Public organisations will need to embrace new approaches to creating, delivering and managing public goods.

For the full article, go to (login required).

I would like to thank Robin Van der Breggen, Managing Director of Mavim New Zealand Ltd, who shared this article through LinkedIn.


September 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm Leave a comment

Articles vs Blog Posts

When does an online article become a blog post? When does a blog post turn into an article? What exactly is the difference?

The general consensus is that blogs are written more in the nature of a conversation than an article, with grammatical orderliness mostly ignored. Blog writers take full advantage of the writing freedom this allows and, due to the fact everyone seems to be able to type so fast these days, blogs have basically become the modern day soliloquy.

Many websites have a blog specifically in order to build site traffic and increase their search results. Having a lot of links in the content does this, and in blogs that are somewhat abstract you can turn specific words into links that lead to explanations for those not on the same wavelength. Although articles have started to do this more and more, especially those on the tabloid newspaper websites, the ideas and points still have to be introduced and structured properly.

For a blog to work it needs to keep churning out content, so it’s common to see writers post about things because they are topical, even though they haven’t given it much thought yet. There will no doubt be a superficial promise to give more details later, but this type of blog post is a conversation starter. The comments section is going to provide the body for the piece.

Articles aren’t quite as temporary as blog posts and are considered to be more informative and accurate where details are concerned. While a blog post is generally anywhere from 200-500 words (if you can even narrow it down), articles tend to be 800 words plus. You tend to need to do a bit of research for an article, and even when its finished it needs to be edited to ensure immaculate language free of flaws.

That’s not to say some people don’t blog like that… it’s just not that common.

June 1, 2010 at 4:20 am Leave a comment

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