December 10, 2010 7:12 pm

The Connected Business - future topics

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Themes for 2014

24th February: Mobility

Overview: Barcelona curtain-raiser

The Mobile World Congress in Barcelona opens today and runs until February 27. The event has always prided itself on showcasing what the next big things will be in mobile communications. But it is not just the latest cool devices that the industry and its customers come to Barcelona for. The 2014 conference themes – such as the social impact of mobile, successful strategies for managing the mobile enterprise and the opportunities of mobile media - highlight key trends and business opportunities.

Main theme: mobility

1) M work

Smart cities and smarter living will be reflected in the workplace, with ambitions to create offices where mobility is being put at the centre of operations. How can businesses exploit enterprise applications and “bring your own” device strategies to increase productivity?

1a) M people

How is the nature of work changing for people, either being able to work remotely or within devolved office spaces? This will look from the worker perspective, at what people can expect in their day to day workplace and how they can best prepare for the shifts in technology.

2) M security

With even fridges now being hacked by criminals, the importance of secure connections has never been higher for companies and their employees. How can they best protect themselves? What changes are required to technology usage guidelines and policies? How should IT department support mobility and mobile devices; particularly within a BYOD strategy? What devices or applications are available for corporate use and how do you manage and secure these?

3) M commerce

An article looking at how industries such as retail will be transformed by mobile-based wallets and payment schemes, with a focus on driving new revenues and relationships for brands with their customers. Can businesses use a mobility strategy to improve loyalty and retention as well as revenues – and how does the relationship with the consumer change over time?

4) M money

The article will a look at where the power lies with mobile payments – the operators, banks or brands – as well as the facilitating effect of mobile NFC services. Who will be the disruptors in mobile payments? Will advertisers be able to truly embrace the advantages of big data – utilising the extent of online information and personal preferences – and how will this evolve with the mobile payment schemes?

5) M media

Online first strategies across the global media are set to be transformed again as companies increasingly focus on provision of content over the phone or tablet computer. How will this change the nature of content, and how do the advertising and subscription models at the publishers alter in turn to deal with the changing market dynamic? Which devices will be the winners in the battle for the multi-screen home and pocket?

6) M wearables

How can businesses embrace the popularity of wearable technology? With people now likely to be connected to the internet like never before, will there be an opportunity and new market in helping augment everyday reality for people with internet-connected wearable screens and storage?

PLUS: new monthly column from Paul Taylor – tech for business users

Plus: Connected Business video : What next for corporate Windows XP users?

Mini-theme: IT and privacy

7) Overview

After a year in which the privacy of personal information was rarely out of the news, following Edward Snowden’s revelations about the US National Security Agency, this article looks at where does the balance stand between the individual and big corporations in terms of the data the latter hold on the former? What are the big issues in terms of privacy, and how are things changing? Is the era of big data exacerbating the concerns of privacy campaigners, and what are the next likely flashpoints going to be?

8) Retailers

Ever since the launch by supermarkets and other retailers of loyalty cards, and more recently with the arrival of online shopping, retailers worldwide have amassed reams of information about their customers’ buying preferences. What are the key issues here from the point of view of shoppers’ privacy?

9) Data brokering

Concern is growing, notably in the US, about data brokering, where information about individuals’ buying preferences is collated and sold, providing a treasure trove for marketers but often with the consumer totally unaware that data about them have been traded. Regulators are beginning to push data brokers to give consumers more information and control over what happens to their data. There are all sorts of implications – for example, employers with access to data brokers may be able to form preconceptions about potential recruits before they even have an interview.

26th March. Business Data Analytics

1. Introduction:

Businesses are well aware of the benefits they can get from analysing the vast quantities of data now available to them. So why are so many still struggling to use the information effectively? A recent MIT Sloan Management Review survey found that 60 per cent of organisations collect more data than they can effectively use. A further study found that less than 10 per cent of big corporations are in a position to use the data they have. Why is this the case and how can companies do better?

Graphic: a look at the industries with most to gain from big data.

2. Data Analytics Tools:

A jargon-busting guide to the main data analytics tools in the market, explaining what they do and how to use them.

3. Data Dashboards:

What are the best data dashboards for chief executives? What should a dashboard be giving you and should it be the CEO – rather than CIO or another member of the C-suite who is looking at the business analytics dashboard?

4. Data Scientists:

Do you need a hire a specially trained (and expensive – starting salaries reported to be $300,000 a year) data scientist or can you train your own staff? A lot of companies are now offering data science training, but how much competence do these courses give you?

5. Data Leaks:

How do you stop your data leaking? What is current best practice for keeping data safe?

6. Legal Issues:

What data can you collect – and what shouldn’t you? For example, can you collect licence plate information, or use facial recognition? The US Commerce Department is working with tech companies on a voluntary code of conduct on use of facial recognition. What will this mean in practice?

7. Innovation and Social Media:

What are some of the most innovative ways companies are using data gathered from social media? Case study: a company active in the area.

Special section – new payment systems

8. Bitcoin:

Should businesses be looking seriously at Bitcoin? With many Bitcoin exchanges currently experiencing problems, the cryptocurrency looks pretty risky. But some small businesses have experimented with accepting Bitcoins. What benefits did they get from this?

9. Alternative Payment Systems:

What alternative payment systems should you be using? Which ones should companies be looking at the moment – or should they wait until becomes a little clearer which are likely to survive?

10) Column: Executive Tech column by Paul Taylor

April. IT in Marketing

May. Design and manufacturing (including 3D printing)

June. Companies and cybersecurity

July. Healthcare, pharma and IT tcb

September. IT in Education

October. IT and the supply chain

November. Retailing and IT

December. Future tech for business...trends and predictions

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