The Five Issues to Ponder Now

At the end of the year I work on my wrap-up for the year, and prepare for the year ahead.

I go through my notes from conversations, oft-forgotten “blogs that I must read”, books, and everything else that  has a tangential effect into my research for next year.  I end up with my “predictions” for next year and the next five years, and a wrap-up of what mattered in the year past.

These are the five bullet points that are getting more and more momentum as the key issues for next few years:

1. Generational Shift – This is the one where I am reading more and more off-topic information.  Anything from Zogby’s book  “The Way We’ll Be” and academic research dealing with the coming generational shift from the Generation X and Baby Boomers to Generation Y Digital Citizens.  This is the root cause for the “social business” coming of age.  Our responses to this are evolving and it is becoming quite interesting.  It is not what we are thinking, but what we are doing about it.

2. Experience Continuum – I started to talk about the social experience and the change in the customer experience when I wrote “A Brief History of SCRM”.  I started this blog to dig deeper into customer experiences and the coming changes in organizations, and it remains the focus of all my research.  Social businesses’ goal is to co-create ever improving experiences using feedback from customers – the biggest change brought on by the Social Evolution has been an increased and faster influx of data to co-create these great experiences. It is this faster change to experience management that becomes interesting.

3. Communities – I am not thinking how to create better communities, or how to be a better community manager.  Plenty has been written (wrongly, I might add) about that.  My thought process on this is how to make better use of communities (Brent Leary wrote a great short post recently about what he considers communities – I agree with him) that already exist, how to leverage the knowledge created and how to do it better.  Communities are not managed, nor created ad-hoc – you can only leverage them.  It is leveraging communities outcomes that will make a difference for organizations.

4. Analytics – I was recently asked what was the biggest change we experienced in the last five years, and what will it be for the next five.  The biggest change has been the change from “drinking from a firehose” of data produced by CRM to “surfing the tsunami” of data produced by the social evolution.  And this is where Analytics is critical.   The input from SCRM into the organization is actionable insights – and analytics is the only way to do that.  It is about creating actionable insights in a timely manner.

5. Data Management – All the data we are capturing is becoming too much for our antiquated models of data management to handle.  There are three areas that matter: the speed of analytics (stream flow analytics), the capacity of the store-and-retrieve models (theory that goes way beyond relational), and the actual storage medium (the hardware).  All three must work together for us to be able to realize real-time (or near-real-time) benefits.  It is about using what we have, better.

What are your top-of-mind issues right now? How about for 2010? Did I miss something big in my thinking?

10 thoughts on “The Five Issues to Ponder Now”

  1. Community is an ever evolving concept as worksettings become more international and media permit such a range of connections in terms of place and depth and topic.

    My current focus is supporting the quality of workplace communities, with a special focus on workgroups that have not found a way to get along with one another. The more diverse the workgroup, the more sensitivity and responsiveness is necessary to reach their full potential. Lots of serious challenges, but ultimately, these are problems that can be addressed to develop a more fulfilling worklife for all concerned.

    All the best,
    Michael
    http://www.workengagement.com/crew

  2. How about the upcoming SaaS shakeout? We started from software, went to platform and then infrastructure (as a service). All the while adoption has shifted to more mission critical, back office and security management applications. As (CRM) application providers vertically integrate (i.e.Oracle/Sun) it is bound to consolidate provisioning of software, infrastructure and platforms from a single source. Since SaaS started with CRM it will be part of the consolidation as well.

    1. Fred,

      This had me thinking for a couple of days. Did I miss this trends? Should it be a trend? First, I want to be able to differentiate SaaS from the Cloud (SaaS is one of the three key components of a cloud, but not THE cloud). While I do agree the cloud is getting some traction, I don’t think we are yet at the point where the cloud becomes an issue. SaaS today is no more than a delivery method for applications – not fully engrained into the cloud either… so I am going to say: it is an interesting area where we may see some developments — but not qualified as a trend for 2010 in my world.

      of course, there will be plenty of people to prove me wrong in the next couple of weeks and call 2010 the year of the cloud, or something like that, and i am going to have to eat crow — then again, i won’t have to do that until EOY 2010 🙂

      Thanks for the read.
      Esteban

  3. As usual, more good stuff! Per item #3 I think that experts (and sometimes clever marketers) can tap into, ideally steer, and sometimes even co-opt a community. Whether this = “managing” is a question of semantics. But I get the point. 🙂

    And I think that 4 and 5 are really two sides of the same issue. Agree that analytics (my first love, going back to my R&D days in neural nets) are definitely critical to getting value out of SCRM in the enterprise. But also, I think social models may reinvent the way businesses do data analysis and BI at some point – sort of a spin on tapping into the wisdom of the crowd. One of the things I’ll be looking at in Q1 BTW.

    Finally, what about location? Seems like that subject/capability is popping up on a number of 2010 predictions pieces. How do you see the spread/integration of location data impacting things in next 12 months?

    best,
    Allen
    Twitter.com/abonde

  4. Hi esteban,

    am glad myself to be able to read and comment on your wonderful insights. this was long pending in my to-do list. #1 and #5 strike out of the lot and have more far reaching implications beyond 2010. what has been brought out of #5 is more of a industry and conceptual change rather than a mere mention! too much data handled in too old a fashion, how truer can it be?

    one of the top of the mind stuff that I can think of is a convergence of the above. this will drive innovation through the next 2-3 years. This will necessitate a relook at the existing models and latch on and take the help of the new found frameworks. SCRM *will* act as an enabler and move to a more transformational and strategic perspective. My 2c and would welcome others thoughts on the same.
    .-= venkataramanr´s last blog ..MDM Products – Are they becoming too big to consume? =-.

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