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1. Joining the social matrix
Social technologies are much more than a consumer phenomenon: they connect many organizations internally and increasingly reach outside their borders. Social features, meanwhile, can become part of any digital communication or transactionembedded in products, markets, and business systems. Users can like things and may soon be able to register what they want, facilitating new levels of commercial engagement. Indeed, our research suggests that when social perceptions and user experiences (both individual and collective) matter in product selection and satisfaction, the potential impact of social technologies on revenue streams can be pronounced. We are starting to see these effects in sectors ranging from automobiles to retailing as innovative companies mine social experiences to shape their products and services.
2. Competing with big data and advanced analytics
As with the social matrix, we now see data and analytics as part of a new foundation for competitiveness. The power of analytics is rising while costs are falling. Data visualization, wireless communications and cloud infrastructure are extending the power and reach of information. Planning must extend beyond data strategy to encompass needed changes in organization and culture, the design of analytic and visualization tools frontline managers can use effectively, and the recruitment of scarce data scientists (which may require creative approaches, such as partnering with universities). Decisions about where corporate capabilities should reside, how external data will be merged with propriety information and how to instill a culture of data-driven experimentation are becoming major leadership issues.