IBM Center for Applied Insights
Ellen Cornillon 110000K9SX firstname.lastname@example.org 507 Visits
Susanne Hupfer 2700006BQ0 Susanne_Hupfer@us.ibm.com Tags:  social_software social-networking social-software social-business social_networking ibmcai social social_business 1,023 Visits
Client Insights, Consultant
IBM Center for Applied Insights
If you've paid attention to the business press this past year, you've no doubt heard all about the potential benefits of social software to the enterprise (improved organizational collaboration, transparency, decision-making, and innovation). Maybe you're seriously considering deploying enterprise social software and becoming a "social business." If so, you'll be in good company: organizations that outperform financially are 57% more likely to allow their people to use social and collaborative tools. We outline these benefits in our recent short paper: Social is great! So, now what?
But you may be wondering what to expect once you roll out social software to your organization. An IBM Research study of social networking inside a large enterprise may hold some clues.
In 2007, IBM launched an experimental internal social networking site for employees -- SocialBlue (once-upon-a-time known as Beehive) -- that was designed to blur the boundaries between professional and personal, and business and fun. The site capabilities included customizable user profiles, status messages, "friending" of people, photo and list sharing, and commenting (on profiles, photos, lists). Through interviews and quantitative analysis of usage logs, the researchers set about studying the adoption, usage, motivations, and impact of social networking in the workplace.
The results were fascinating. Within a year of launch, upwards of 30,000 employees had opted in to use the site. We all know that, on personal social networking sites such as Facebook, we tend to connect to friends and acquaintances -- the people we already know. So you might guess that employees using enterprise social software would mainly want to connect to their immediate coworkers... but you'd be wrong. Employees instead used the site to meet new colleagues and also to connect and keep up with "weak ties" -- colleagues they didn't know well or weren't in regular communication with. They hoped to strengthen these ties in case they needed to call upon those connections later.
Why were all those thousands of IBMers connecting and sharing? It turns out they were Caring, Climbing, and Campaigning:
Caring: Interviews showed that employees enjoyed connecting on a social level with their colleagues. One user explained: "[the system] helps me connect to people personally, which helps me to like these people more, which makes me want to work with them." Another explained that, with teams becoming increasingly distributed and lacking everyday, face-to-face contact, the system "added that interpersonal relationship back in."
Climbing: A subset of users deliberately used the system as a career advancement tool. Techniques included becoming a visible expert on a topic by participating in professional conversations, and also strategically "friending" upper management.
Campaigning: Some users leveraged the system as a platform for promoting and gaining support for their ideas and projects. Due to the flat, cross-divisional nature of the system, some noted that putting an idea out there might garner attention and support from an executive in a way that would be harder to achieve through traditional, hierarchical corporate channels.
Today, 400k+ IBMers continue to connect to one another and care, climb, and campaign using the IBM Connections product, which was influenced by the research work on SocialBlue.
There are two other important "C's" you'll want to carefully consider when you deploy social software to your enterprise: Capabilities and Culture.
Capabilities: The capabilities of an enterprise social networking system have a direct impact on the kind of usage you're going to see. For instance, if SocialBlue hadn't allowed commenting on others' profiles and content, much of the casual, conversational, watercooler-ish nature of the site would not have been possible.
Culture: If your enterprise is multi-national and globally integrated, you'll need to take geographic needs and behavior into account. Users from different geographies and cultures perceive different benefits from enterprise social software and participate at varying levels and in different ways. The "corporate culture" that your organization promotes is also fundamental to becoming a social business, and will drive how your employees make use of social software and what they do with it.
What have you seen as the biggest barriers to adoption or benefits realized within your organizations?
Ellen Cornillon 110000K9SX email@example.com Tags:  public_safety roi outcomes ems disaster_response fire police smarter_planet efficiency roi-for-smart law_enforcement benefits 1,017 Visits
John Reiners (profile)
Government Leader - IBM Center for Applied Insights
Last week, IBM hosted several U.S. Congressmen, their support teams, and media on Capitol Hill on the theme "IBM's Smarter States: How Tech Innovations Will Impact the Future of Government."
At the event, public safety was discussed as one of the areas of opportunity. We have recently published our research into the ROI of smarter public safety.
Our research, carried out over several months last year, looked at new approaches to public safety being adopted by agencies around the world, in law enforcement, fire, EMS, and disaster response. It presents the growing evidence of tangible benefits that these new approaches are delivering. You can check out a summary of the results in the study report. You and your colleagues can also access a Benefit Estimator, which can apply the research findings to calculate the potential benefits for your own organization.
I was asked the other day to summarise what we found out from our research, beyond the results presented in the report. There is always more to say than will fit in a single report! That question got me thinking, however, because the lessons learned during this research project probably apply equally to other areas of government and indeed other industries facing rapid technological change. So, here are my top 5 lessons learned:
There is a natural tendency to prefer this last one, as it offers the promise of cost saving & improved service levels as well as keeping control of operations. Though because investment is needed, it may be harder to secure the funds needed unless a convincing case can be made.
So do these points resonate with other areas of government and other industries? and what are the implications? For example, how can we move to a more sophisticated debate on how to invest in smarter approaches that:
Derek Franks 1100007YTJ firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  roi-for-smart for state industry insights ibm_center_for_applied_in... center analytics of retail applied state-of-smart smarter_analytics smarter_retail smart ibm 1,519 Visits
Consultant, IBM Center for Applied Insights
Welcome! This is the first post in a series of articles I’ll be writing over the coming months that delve a bit deeper into some of the more interesting findings from our State of Smart research here at the IBM Center for Applied Insights. Today we’ll be discussing some of the interesting data points for the retail industry including some surprising findings about CRM.
If you’re not familiar with our State of Smart work, an overview of our research and findings can be found in our Executive Report. We surveyed over 1100 executives worldwide across 9 industries to determine their organizations’ information and analytics capabilities (we refer to these capabilities as “listen” and “anticipate”). We found that organizations with these capabilities significantly outperformed their peers: 1.6x revenue growth, 2x EBITDA growth, and 2.5x stock price appreciation over a five year period. Not bad, huh?
But this only tells part of the story. We also asked these enterprises about where they realize value from analytics and how they deploy “listen” and “anticipate” capabilities. So let’s dig into the retail data a bit deeper.
For our purposes, we’re going to refer to retailers in the top right quadrant as “Outperformers” and everybody else as “Others”. Only 29% of retailers are Outperformers. About 62% of retailers have a high level of “listen” capabilities while only 38% of retailers have a high level of “anticipate” capabilities.
What this tells us is that retailers are pretty good at “Listening” – i.e. capturing data. By and large, most retailers have done a good job of laying down an information foundation. However, a much smaller proportion of those retailers are then translating that data into actionable insights.
So we know that retailers have room to improve when it comes to leveraging the data that they capture. What other interesting insights did we uncover?
For starters, as you might expect from the high “listen” capabilities, retail Outperformers are very good at capturing different types of data. Specifically, 84% of Outperformers capture data at every customer interaction (this was the highest % across any industry we surveyed). The 'data at every customer interaction' spread between outperformers and others is 2.2x, the second highest gap among the nine industry categories.
Additionally, the 56% of the Outperformers captured unstructured data versus 35% of the Others. Essentially the Outperformers are looking beyond individual transaction data and are mining social media, weather patterns, etc to drive more robust information for applied decision making.
The Outperformers then leverage this information to drive actionable insights about their customers. For example, 84% of Outperformers (vs 38% of Others) use their information and analytics capabilities to recommend actions to customers. This can take the form of both customer facing recommendations, such as cross-selling or up-selling opportunities, or internal actions such as identifying next best actions to convert abandoned baskets or reactivate a dormant customer.
The holy grail of retailers has long been to develop deep insights about customers from a variety of data sources and then use these insights to drive actions that positively impact the customer experience and consequently improve their top and bottom line. Our data shows that the Outperformers are doing just that.
What we’ve talked about so far is fairly intuitive. However in the course of analyzing the State of Smart data we saw several things that intrigued us. For instance, found that only 36% of Outperformers vs 31% of Others realized value from customer relationship management. We expected the overall percentages to be higher and gap to be wider. The data suggest several things. First, the true value of CRM has likely not yet been realized by most retailers. Second, the outperformers haven’t yet found a way to drive the additional insights they’ve been generating into their CRM practices.
Hopefully you found this deep dive into our State of Smart retail industry data to be interesting and useful. If you're interested in calculating the potential impact that developing your "listen" and "anticipate" capabilities can have on your business, I suggest you take a quick look at our Smarter Merchandising and Smarter Shopping Experience toolsets. We've developed online calculators that let you quickly and easily get an idea of the potential economic benefits that leveraging analytics can have for your organization.
I’ll be posting more deep dive articles over the next few months. Check back next next week for a deep dive into the banking industry data. If you have any questions about this article or requests for future articles, please feel free to let me know.
Derek Franks 1100007YTJ email@example.com Tags:  smart banking analytics financial_services roi-for-smart state-of-smart 1,048 Visits
Consultant, IBM Center for Applied Insights
If you look at the distribution matrix below, the first think you’ll notice is that 46% of the respondents were identified as “Outperformers”. This was the highest ratio of Outperformers of any of industry we surveyed. Simultaneously, 33% of respondents were identified as having low Listen and Anticipate capabilities.
What we’re seeing here is an interesting dichotomy. Simultaneously, a significant proportion of
the industry are Outperformers while a smaller yet significant proportion of
the industry has low Listen and Anticipate capabilities – without much in between. This tells us that while Banking is clearly one of the more advanced industries when it comes to data and analytics, there are still significant opportunities for improvement.
As you might expect, the Banking industry Outperformers capture quite a bit of data. 79% captured customer data at every interaction (2.1x more than the Others). Additionally 58% of the Outperformers captured unstructured data (1.6x more than the Others).
What is that data used for? Interestingly, both Outperformers and Others used analytics to guide the actions executive decision makers (83% and 79% respectively). This was by far the smallest gap in this capability between the Outperformers and Others of any industry and suggests that this capability is “table stakes”.
However, there are several uses of data that differentiate Outperformers from Others. First, 84% of Outperformers provide insights to suppliers and business partners (2.4x more than the Others). Second, the Banking Outperformers tied for the highest percentage usage of analytics to recommend actions to customers among the industries (87% - 1.7x more than the Others).
Finally, we saw 2 very interesting results when we asked where Banks realized value from analytics. We found that 37% of Outperformers realized value when they used analytics to drive workforce planning and management. This was particularly interesting because the Outperformers were 9(!) times more likely to realize value here than the Others.
The other interesting result was one that we haven’t found a complete explanation for (yet!). 65% of the Others vs 48% of the Outperformers realized value from analytics in regards to risk management. This was a counter-intuitive result, so there’s clearly something interesting going on here.
My current theory is that this result doesn’t mean that these Outperformers aren’t engaged in risk management activities. To the contrary, it likely means that about half of them have other systems in place that drive their risk management activities without relying significantly on Analytics. They may make more use of policies, procedures, limits, and executive oversight. Or perhaps their greater use of analytics to engage with customers, suppliers, and business partners is effectively providing indirect risk management.
Hopefully this has provided you with some interesting insights into the Banking industry. As always, please feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail if you have any questions. I’d be particularly interested in any thoughts you might have on risk management in the Banking industry.
See you next time!
Derek Franks 1100007YTJ firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  roi-for-smart roi industry unstructured_data state-of-smart c&p chemical&petroleum 786 Visits
Consultant, IBM Center for Applied Insights
Welcome to another State of Smart industry deep dive. Today we’ll be taking a look at the Chemical and Petroleum industry. I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a while now. We came across some data points when we looked at unstructured data that initially were surprising but actually make quite a bit of sense when you think about it.
Let’s take a look at the data, shall we? As you can see, 39% of C&P companies surveyed fell into the “Outperformers” category, having both high Listen and Anticipate capabilities. Very few companies reported to have high Anticipate and low Listen capabilities (which makes sense if you think about it).
Overall, C&P companies are very good at Listening, with 59% having a high Listen capability. Simultaneously only 42% have a high Anticipate capability.
So as you might expect, C&P outperformers are really good at capturing data. When we dig a little deeper into the data, we find that 70% of Outperformers capture data at every customer interaction. That a little less than 1.7x more than the Others.
When it came to unstructured data however we found something really interesting. Initially, I wasn’t expecting C&P companies to spend a lot of time and effort capturing unstructured data. However, we found that 55% of the Outperformers in fact did so. They were 2.1x more likely to capture unstructured data than the Others.
This was surprising in a couple of ways. First, we didn’t expect so many C&P outperformers to capture unstructured data (they were 4th out of 9 industry groups). Second, we didn’t expect to see such a large gap between the Outperformers and Others (this was the largest gap of any industry).
So what exactly are C&P companies doing with unstructured data? Well to begin with they’re looking beyond social media to things like weather/climate data, economic forecasts, and international political data. It makes sense. Many of these companies operate in volatile regions of the world, or rely on raw materials that come from those volatile regions.
In that context, being able for example to actively monitor or even predict civil unrest, or predict the path of a hurricane is vital to maintaining operations. So while at first glance, you might think that C&P companies don’t have much use for unstructured data, in fact successfully leveraging unstructured data can be quite critical to their business.
Our research also showed that 78% C&P Outperformers then empowered employees to take action based on analytics. They were 2.1x more likely to empower their employees than the Others (the largest gap of any industry). Again this makes a lot of sense. What good is developing insight if you don’t allow your employees to act on it?
We saw that 75% C&P Outperformers shared their insights with suppliers and business partners compared to 41% of the others. C&P companies often have complicated supply chains and sharing insights can help mitigate a number of risks.
Looking at where C&P Outperformers realize value from analytics, we found that 47% used analytics for risk management (1.7x more than the others – again this was the largest gap among the industries). Given the capital intensive nature of many C&P companies’ operations, this makes quite a bit of sense. It also seems logical from a health and safety perspective when you consider the impact (both environmental and political) and high level of visibility that incidents within this industry can have.
We’re not the first group to identify this linkage with risk management. In 2008, the IBM Institute for Business Value published a study linking risk management at C&P companies to improved financial performance. It’s good to see that the linkage is still valid.
That’s it for today’s discussion of the Chemical and Petroleum industry. As always, please feel free to send me an e-mail or leave a comment if you have any questions. In my next installment, we’ll take a closer look at the healthcare industry.
Just like our State of Smart research has shown that outperforming organizations listen (and anticipate), Amgen CEO Kevin Sharer shows us that listening is no less important for leaders. Interestingly enough, this was something he picked up from Sam Palmisano. Sharer points out that listening with the sole goal of understanding or comprehension, is the greatest sign of respect you can extend to others. As a leader within your organization, do you listen with the sole goal of understanding? And perhaps more importantly, does your company listen to its customers with that same mindset?
DAVID JARVIS 1000007UE6 email@example.com Tags:  security_essentials cloud cloud_security security 1,246 Visits
Senior Consultant, IBM Center for Applied Insights
According to the 2012 Cloud Computing Survey released this month by IDG, the number one barrier to implementing cloud strategies is security. A full 70% of respondents reported being significantly worried about it. More than service interruptions and other factors – unauthorized users getting access to data strikes fear into the heart of potential cloud adopters.
However, because of their flexibility, potential cost savings and ease of use, the allure of cloud computing is undeniable. So, what to do? How can we have cloud computing platforms that inspire confidence instead of instill fear?
It all starts with education. Everyone developing a cloud-delivered service becomes, de facto, an IT architect. Users must understand the risks and responsibilities in operating on a cloud, and follow a set of best practices that they respect and incorporate into their daily routines.
Second, we have to think in a different context – it needs to be more about securing information, rather than the security of physical devices and locations. If the information is secure by its nature, it doesn’t matter where it is, or what device it is on. The data has to be encrypted and available only to those who need access to it. Putting the onus on the data owner instead of the cloud provider is a good idea. Ponemon and CA released the results of a survey in May 2011 which showed that cloud providers didn’t make security their number one concern. The majority of cloud providers believed it was their customer’s responsibility to secure the cloud, not theirs.
Finally, this leads us to the importance of knowing and trusting the cloud vendor and the country the hosting data center operates in. Depending on the location of the data center, there are possible data rights issues and disruptions caused by political unrest, infrastructure issues or natural disaster. In the end, you’re investing not only in the cloud provider, but in a country as well.
The IBM Center for Applied Insights has been working with IBM’s VP of IT Risk to develop a series of eight articles on Security Essentials for CIOs, based on IBM's own experiences. The latest, the third in the series, is about what it takes for an enterprise to develop a secure cloud computing strategy.
Susanne Hupfer 2700006BQ0 Susanne_Hupfer@us.ibm.com Tags:  cai data-visualization analytics visualization graphics visual-perception infographics design 3,967 Visits
Client Insights, Consultant
IBM Center for Applied Insights
Ever wonder what makes one infographic hit the mark and another one miss? There's more science to it than you might think.
Information graphics – visual representations of information, data, knowledge, or concepts – have been around for millennia, and humans have long mapped data in order to organize what they see, filter out extraneous details, reveal patterns, suggest further exploration, and ultimately better understand the world around them.
"Why should we be interested in visualization? Because the human visual system is a pattern seeker of enormous power and subtlety. The eye and the visual cortex of the brain form a massively parallel processor that provides the highest-bandwidth channel into human cognitive centers. At higher levels of processing, perception and cognition are closely interrelated, which is the reason why the words ‘understanding’ and ‘seeing’ are synonymous.”
(Colin Ware, Information Visualization: Perception for Design, Academic Press, 2000)
“… the visual system has its own rules. We can easily see patterns presented in certain ways, but if they are presented in other ways, they become invisible. … The more general point is that when data is presented in certain ways, the patterns can be readily perceived. If we can understand how perception works, our knowledge can be translated into rules for displaying information. Following perception-based rules, we can present our data in such a way that the important and informative patterns stand out. If we disobey the rules, our data will be incomprehensible or misleading.”
DAVID JARVIS 1000007UE6 firstname.lastname@example.org Tags:  security_leader leaders security ciso cso information_security risk_management infosec 1,653 Visits
Senior consultant, IBM Center for Applied Insights
It’s easy to say that information security leaders have it tough. The security landscape is full of conflict, confusion and uncertainty, coming from a number of different directions. Leaders have a lot to handle. If it’s not a rapidly shifting threat, it’s new technology platforms to secure including mobile, cloud and social. Almost every article I see these days is focused on the growing challenges, with titles like the “Eye of the storm”, “Into the cloud, out of the fog” and “Converging waves of pain.”
Today, the IBM Center for Applied Insights releases the results of the 2012 IBM Chief Information Security Officer Assessment. This was our first foray into examining the role of information security leaders, and how they are evolving to meet the challenging landscape. While we understand and appreciate the fact that things are difficult on the technical front, we wanted to focus on the organizational and leadership aspects of information security.
What we discovered was that only 1 in 4 security leaders have made the shift to being recognized as having strategic impact on their enterprise. Based on a self-assessment of their organizational maturity and their ability to handle a security incident, three different types of leaders emerged.
We also discovered some significant differences between the groups that show how Influencers have developed their strategic voice. Compared to Responders, Influencers are:
This is just the beginning of our conversation around the role of information security leadership and its place within the enterprise. The full report goes into more detail on the security landscape, the different types of leaders and their characteristics, and a way forward for everyone.
Check out the full report, “Finding a strategic voice” for more information on this important topic. Also, catch our ongoing series of articles on best practices for information security from IBM’s VP of IT Risk on the IBM Center for Applied Insights security site.