Manage Code Halos to Win in the Digital Economy

A new book by Cognizant consultants says enterprises need to get to grips with virtual identities

Think for a moment about the technology in your home – laptops, tablets, mobile devices, gaming consoles, health sensors, and so on. Over time, every click, swipe, “like,” buy, comment, deposit, jog, and search produces information that creates a unique pattern of accumulated data and information that becomes your virtual identity. This is your personal Code Halo.

A similar pattern is playing out in the world of business. People, organizations, and things – basically any noun – can now have a Code Halo. Far beyond Big Data, the ability to manage information to improve customer relationships, connect devices, and improve business processes is changing how organizations create value.

This story is not only for digital native companies like Google, Amazon, Pandora, and Netflix. GE is creating Brilliant Machines. Disney is launching the Magic Band at its theme parks. Allstate and others use mobile telematics devices and analytics to transform auto insurance. Philips is improving customer experiences by distilling meaning from the digital information surrounding its products. The list goes on, and it’s growing every day.

There is no single “right” answer, but our book provides tactical recommendations on how companies can begin to pull value from the invisible.

•          Recognize the Value of Signal. Decision makers from 300 firms told us they achieved a total economic benefit of roughly $766 billion over the past year from their use of business analytics. Companies that generated the most value from business analytics expect to grow revenue faster and reduce costs more aggressively.

•          Deliver Beautiful Products and Experiences. In many – OK, most – organizations, design is often an after-thought. This is misguided, and it needs to change – fast. Design – and even beauty – needs to be embedded into the end-to-end process and user experience.

•          Earn – and Keep – Trust in a Transparent World. The ability to generate, maintain, and ultimately compete on trust will separate winners from losers in the new digital economy.

•          Win in the Wirearchy. Re-imagine and re-wire corporate IT to build and manage code for competitive differentiation. IT must become your “halo heroes.”

•          Find your Place on the Crossroads Model. Sense opportunity, innovate, and pilot your best Code Halo solutions.

Some business leaders are wondering whether they are facing the same extinction event that hit Borders, Kodak, HMV, Blockbuster, and others. The truth is that many are. So for those who want to win in the new “code rush” and lead in a world of digital transformation, it’s time to unlock value with Code Halo thinking and solutions.


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Excerpted from Code Halos: How the Digital Lives of People, Things, and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business by Malcolm Frank, Paul Roehrig and Ben Pring