Deloitte & Touche USA talk about Competition at the Crossroads

I was searching for a few podcasts last weekend, to increase my knowledge of the medium and try to work out what’s a good podcast and what’s a bad one.  I stumbled upon Deloitte & Touche’s podcast directory and was very pleasantly surprised by not only the quality of the podcasts, but also the depth and variety available from their various practices in the US, London and Australia.

The podcast I’m referring to in this post, Competition at the Crossroads, highlighted the research of John Ciacchella, principal and Deloitte Consulting LLP’s technology industry leader. The snap-shot for this research being, that while many business leaders believe their market is getting more competitive, the sources of this competition is changing dramatically.

John’s podcast covers a couple of interesting points that are relevant for CI practitioners, particularly those working within the Technology industry.

  1. Disruptive change is increasing. Technology by nature is disruptive, but with change comes pressure to explore new business models and markets to drive growth.
  2. Too much reliance on “If it aint broke, don’t fix it” mentality. I’m paraphrasing here. Companies that have a strong first mover competitive advantage often rest on their laurels and rely too heavily on that as a competitive differentiator. John mentions the need for sensor networks to help create predictive intelligence that can identify threats and opportunities in a changing market.
  3. Rise of consumerisation of business IT: As users grow used to social networks and highly flexible communication tools, tomorrows business users will expect much more out of traditional business applications and software.

The last five minutes or so of the podcast are particularly valuable to positioning CI’s future value within an organisation. The rise of more interconnected ecosystems, be they partner or customer, drives a need for more granular insights into how to create compelling competitive strategy. John believes this can be solved through an increase in primary research and gives the example of old style Tech vendors being able to poll their largest 2-3 customers and would have a pretty good idea of what the market needs. A rise in consumerization of IT (think iPhones, Social Networks, Google Maps) means you have to poll a much larger group of customers to pick the next trend correctly.

Definitely food for thought and a nice reminder for me on the value of primary research as a competitive differentiator.

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