Archive | December, 2012

‘Value & Worth’: Irene Ng’s new book

23 Dec

For Irene Ng’s new book the title of our review, ‘Make of it what you will’, captures the sense of empowerment that is so evident in the digital economy.

This is an economy where the consumer plays a huge role in how products and services are used to create value.  It is an economy where suppliers must rethink their propositions.

In our increasingly digitally-enabled economy it is no longer sufficient for businesses to see sales of a product or service as their sole objective.  The value seen by the consumer will be co-created in combination with an array of services and digital devices and further conditioned by the context in which they are being used.

The author does not hide her academic credentials (including a Professorial Chair at Warwick University) but it is her pre-academic business experience that is evident throughout.  The challenges of creating and sustaining new markets will be fought in an intensely competitive arena – and one where the platforms for value co-creation are often beyond the influence of second-order supplicants.

Many business leaders will respond to these challenges with innovative creativity and startling success.  This week’s report from the GDS shows very clearly that the government is taking a lead.  Others may not be so responsive.  The world will move on and the disruption to the established order of things will be devastating for those who do not see or fully understand the changes that are already upon us.

This an explorer’s handbook as we venture into the digital unknown.

More at the Sunday Breakfast Book Review

See also our Business Advisory note at Bdaily – the UK business news network


Sustainable Economic Development

14 Dec

Those who doubted the findings in 2009 of Wilkinson and Pickett’s ‘The Spirit Level’ may care to revisit the subject of equality in the light of the recent report from Boston Consulting Group.

In BCG’s ‘Sustainable Economic Development Assessment’ we have new methodologies and data for assessing the quality of GDP growth – the extent to which wealth is converted into well-being.

It turns out that countries with high rates of growth are not necessarily able to convert that into societal development whereas other less-GDP-impressive countries seem to have far better mechanisms for raising living standards.

Why should this matter when we seem to have little or no growth?  This study arrives at a time when people are drawing lessons from recessionary times and, in facing up to the creative disruptions of the digital economy, are more than ever beginning to appreciate the real role of infrastructure in enabling both wealth and wellbeing.

Full story here

Less roaming risk – more roaming reward?

14 Dec

Progress towards elimination of excessive Mobile Roaming charges in Europe may be moving at a glacial pace but at least they are moving faster than the efforts to introduce national roaming within the UK.

As they square up to bidding at the UK’s auction for 4G spectrum all mobile operators are acutely aware of the costs of infrastructure investment.   At the same time ordinary users are equally aware that when their signal fades they guy in the next seat may well have a good signal from another operator.   The regulator has always claimed that national roaming (like its EU-wide counterpart) is technically too complex.  Maybe the cost of duplicate base stations will, at last, force the operators to collaborate – ‘tho it seems unlikely that they can get their heads around sensible nationwide wholesale mobile connectivity.

Meanwhile across the EU, INTUG, the representative body for business users, is working hard to define the market requirements for the July 2014 change that requires all operators to offer roaming as a separate service – thus calling time on the era of unexpectedly high bills.

Full story here


Average Understandings

10 Dec

Following a recent flurry of expensive reports claiming insights into aspects of digital infrastructure provision and use, it is time to remind readers of the ‘last law of averages’.

The oft-quoted ‘Law of Averages’ is, of course, a statistical nonsense usually deployed in the cause of ‘advanced wishful thinking’.  Our version highlights a darker side.  Over-reliance on averaged data means that your understanding of the data will be less than adequate – you might say, ‘below average’!

‘The devil is in the detail’  is a common complaint.   With great successes (and failures) hidden under the average blanket, the risks for policy developers are huge – and often  followed by ‘unintended consequences’.

Fortunately the digital economy is gradually eliminating the need for the bland summary reports lacking essential insights.  It is becoming altogether easier to provide the data packaged with the tools for its exploration and in-depth analysis.

Full story here

Economic Revitalisation

10 Dec

It’s becoming better understood that Cities and Communities who have identified better connectivity as an enabler of economic growth must also pursue a series of programmes designed to exploit the enhanced infrastructure and secure commitments to its future improvement.

In this briefing on Economic Revitalisation, written ahead of NextGen’s 2013 UK events programme, we identify five essential programme strands that together will ensure that the investment in connectivity is worthwhile. At the same time these strands will also inform the local criteria for network design and operation.

The five key strands have emerged from global studies of ‘intelligent communities’ and the UK government’s Open Data and Digital by Default initiatives. They are collectively described as ‘applied’ digital infrastructure.