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?