If your company has been diligent in culling, sorting, portioning and analyzing its incoming data, this is the time to reap. Data-driven companies see a tremendous surge in their business performance, scaling higher than their competitors. This is a short period of phenomenal change, causing sudden flips in market leadership. This is the Crossroads, the stage where corporate fates are determined.
Highly enriched Code Halos become pivotal assets, determining the fate of a company. For the Crossroads to happen, a Code Halo has to reach critical mass in its unprocessed data and the meaning derived from it. In a very condensed period of time – usually within one to three years – market leaders cede their positions to upstart competitors.
Customer expectations might transform the way business is conducted by a traditional company. Amazon challenged conventional bookstores after carefully treading through the first three phases. When its Code Halos reached a critical mass, it clinched the market leadership at the Crossroads. Although the industry might have looked the same, Amazon cashed in on the pain points of customers — the expense of buying a book, the shortage of space for retail outlets to store books — and caused a rapid market disruption. Market leadership flipped in favor of Amazon, while conventional bookstores saw their growth stagnate.
Just as Netflix navigates an avalanche of data to enhance familiarity with users and constantly tailor suggestions to improve its understanding of their preferences, a slew of companies are now using social, mobile, analytics and cloud technologies (the SMAC Stack™) to offer music suggestions, compare rates, file claims, etc.
From Code Halos becoming the focal point, to virtual interaction taking center stage, a slew of key events occur at the Crossroads of a company or business process.
Enriched Code Halos become the focal point. With technological innovation churning out smarter products nearly every day, analyzing and managing Code Halos becomes simpler. The "give-to-get" equation makes sense to customers. Companies at the Crossroads experience success or failure, depending on the insights derived from Code Halos.
Business processes converge. As companies shift their focus to Code Halos, virtual interaction propagates. Business processes seemingly melt from the heat of new insights and understanding, and it gets increasingly difficult to discern where one organization ends and the other starts. Companies gleaning insights from their Code Halos find themselves re–forming connections. Conventional sales methods change from waiting for a customer to walk in to the store, to providing a personalized, technology–enhanced experience.
Algorithms link the chain. How does Facebook know its users so well? Or how does Amazon offer exactly the kind of product suggestions customers want? The strength of these companies' lies in their algorithms, and at the Crossroads, they turn a massive amount of data into meaning. At this phase, a major chunk of business value is generated from the insights derived from algorithms.
Software eats the process. A significant sign that your company is at the Crossroads is when customer expectations and software become the prime factors to drive process change. This is the time when the insights extracted from Code Halos unravel new business value. This is already happening in many industries. Insurance companies' drive to step up their interaction with customers by creating online communities is a classic case in point. Progressive Insurance, particularly, shifted its focus to SMAC Stack (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) technologies to track driving behavior, file online claims, etc.
Halo-based customer expectations become the norm. Customer loyalty shifts radically at this point. There is an upswing of customer and employee expectations once they experience the value of Code Halos. The difference between a "smart" product and a "dumb" one becomes glaring. If a company is bolstered with agile algorithms, their products or services will stay "smart" in the market.
Virtual interaction grows around physical objects. Take for example, GE aircraft engines, UPS packages or Beam Technology toothbrushes. Linking people, processes and devices with data is changing our expectations of everyday devices. When your internal or external processes can be reshaped by new devices, your company is at the Crossroads.
When Code Halos gain prominence, communication is not the only thing that goes virtual. The focus for value shifts from physical assets to virtual assets. The early leaders of mobile phones (Motorola, Nokia) competed on the hardware (flip/slide phones), but soon the source of value shifted to software (iPhone and Android devices competing over the efficiency of apps).
While companies with well–researched analytics blaze business frontiers during the Crossroads, this is also the time when those with yesteryear business models and poorly managed data face an Extinction Event.
Our next installment covers the post–Crossroads stage, or winning the new code rush.
To learn more about the Crossroads Model and how Code Halos transform companies – and entire industries – read our white paper Code Rules: A Playbook for Managing at the Crossroads, available on our Code Halos website. Once you understand Code Halos and the Crossroads Model, you can begin crafting a strategy for winning the new "code rush."
In addition, check out our new app at the Apple App store and look for our book, "Code Halos ... How the Digital Lives of People,Things and Organizations are Changing the Rules of Business," recently published by John Wiley & Sons.