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This book describes the trends in digital innovation that are of most importance for businesses and explores the key challenges. The book is in three parts, the first of which focuses on developments in digital systems. Here, the ever-growing relevance of big data, cloud computing, and mobile services for business is discussed, and detailed consideration is given to the importance of social listening for understanding user behavior and needs and the implications of IT consumerization. In the second part, trends in digital management are examined, with chapters devoted to work practice, digital business identity as well as branding and governance. The final part of the book presents and reviews case studies of digital innovation at the global level that provide a benchmark of best practices, with inclusion of instructive fact sheets.

While the book offers academic coverage of the digital transformation of business organizations and the associated challenges, it also describes concrete, real-world issues in clear, easy-to-understand language and will serve as a toolbox for managers that can be readily consulted. The text is supported by informative illustrations and tables, and practitioners will also benefit from the reported case studies and highlighted insights and recommendations.



Digital Systems Trends


Chapter 1. Big Data

The role of this Chapter is to introduce the reader to the area of Big Data, one of the IT trends actually emerging as strategic for companies competing in current digital global market. The Chapter aims to clarify the main drivers and characteristics of Big Data, both at technical and managerial level. Furthermore, the Chapter aims at investigating management challenges and opportunities, identifying the main phases and actions of a Big Data lifecycle. Finally, the discussion of case studies concludes the Chapter, providing insights from practice on factors and strategic points of attention, suitable to support Big Data-driven decision making and operational performance.

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Chapter 2. Cloud Computing

During the last decade, the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) industry has been transformed by innovations that fundamentally changed the way we use computers, how we access information, how businesses derive value from ICT and how consumers live their daily lives. This fast evolution made the ICT able to cover more areas in business and other fields. It can be used to reduce costs by keeping accurate records of all the transactions that are happening in the company, which enables better stock controlling by using Electronic Point of Sales (EPOS), Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Electronic Funds Transfer at Point of Sale (EFTPOS), and allows improved automation of the production process by using computer controlled machines. Moreover, marketing has benefited from ICT in many ways such as analyzing the results of market research in more effective ways by utilizing the capabilities of Business Intelligence (BI), ICTs have important role in improving communications between the different departments and branches within the same company, among other firms by using mobile phones, emails, intranet, internet, and faxes, and between the business and its customers. One important new development in the ICT field is the cloud computing, which will be investigated in details in this Chapter.

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Chapter 3. Mobile Services

In this Chapter we discuss the main implications of mobility for digital business. In particular, we introduce the reader to the drivers and the enablers that impose mobility as the characterizing feature of digital services, depending on and made possible by the convergence and the resulting dependencies between contents, devices, networks, and social activities. Furthermore, the Chapter provides the reader an introduction to frameworks related to the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) academic research stream. The discussion is suitable to provide useful insights and conceptual tools for increasing the understanding of the behavioral intention to accept and adopt a mobile technology as well as the related services and applications. Then the Chapter focuses on how IT managers and executives interested in digital innovation of services through mobile can face challenges related to the lifecycle of such initiatives: from development and integration with enterprise information systems, to a secure supply to the final users, through a constant control and performance monitoring. Finally, the discussion of case studies concludes the Chapter, providing insights from practice on factors and strategic points.

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Chapter 4. Social Listening

This Chapter aims to discuss the key issues raised by social networks and 2.0 technologies for companies competing in a digitalized market. In particular, the Chapter provides an overview of the main characteristics that marketing intelligence activities assume when they become more and more a means to carry out social listening initiatives. Considering them as a core marketing driver for digital business value, the Chapter discusses the main approaches and tools for sentiment analysis and opinion mining, as well as a model for market monitoring. In addition the Chapter introduces the reader to social sensing as a specific configuration of social listening, emerging from the convergence of sensors and social network technologies.

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Chapter 5. IT Consumerization

The changes that materialized in the field of information technology (IT) during the last decade have produced important effects in the strategies of the companies that produce new technologies. Consumerization is one of the new trends that have forced firms to be more flexible. In the twenty-first century, many of the great technological innovations are developed commercially first for the consumer sector, and then find their way into business applications. Consequently, popular commercial innovations have had important effects on the way how the businesses operate. Industries are now learning to follow the consumers’ behaviors not only in their markets but also in the Web. This Chapter aims to provide a better understanding of the advantages, the challenges, and the implications of the IT Consumerization on businesses. Also, it discusses enterprises’ drivers and strategies that concern this trend as well as to understand its implications on the businesses.

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Digital Management Trends


Chapter 6. Digital Work and Collaboration

The fast evolution of the Information Systems (IS) during the last decade makes it able to cover more areas in business and other fields. One example of these areas is the way that people communicate and collaborate in business environments. In business, the digital or IT collaboration is divided into electronic communication tools, electronic conferencing tools, and collaborative management tools. The previous mentioned systems have evolved tremendously in the last few years in order to improve the way a group of people from the same organization work together in a productive way. Also, Computer-Supported cooperative work (CSCW) is centrally concerned with teamwork, learning, problem solving, knowledge building, task accomplishment and other cognitive achievements by small groups of people. There are many theories useful for framing the cognitive work that groups undertake in CSCW settings, and they may in principle not be reducible to a single theory. This Chapter will look in details into the origin of the digital collaboration, its importance for work environments and its types. Also it will explain the different digital collaboration tools.

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Chapter 7. Digital Business Identity

This Chapter explores the identity challenges for businesses both as security and privacy issues. Furthermore, digital identity will be discussed also with regard to brand management in current digital ecosystems, and the consequent constant revision of value propositions and business models for re-branding a company digital business, due to strict time-to market. Case studies conclude the Chapter providing insights and points of attention suitable to support IT executive as well as other CxO managers in facing one of current main challenges of digital business.

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Chapter 8. Digital Governance

The growing use of information and communication technologies (ICT) is fostering the formation of “knowledge societies”, thus providing greater avenues for people to participate on their own development process, revolutionizing the way they live, communicate, and work, likewise. The developing of these technologies is rapid, thus mechanisms that can help to manage and measure this growth is imperative. As a result, a new research area concerned with the governance of these new developments has arisen: information technology (IT) governance is a subset discipline of corporate governance focused on information systems and their performance and risk management. This Chapter aims to offer an overview of digital governance as a comprehensive perspective on IT governance, by taking a look at the opportunities and challenges in this field. Furthermore, the Chapter provides examples of digital governance models that have arisen from the state-of-the-art research in this domain.

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Digital Innovation Trends


Chapter 9. Reinventing Business Models: The Third Way of Digital Innovation

This Part of the book explores digital innovation in practice presenting in the

Chap. 10

some of the most interesting innovative ideas of 2013, based on observation and continuous scouting of research projects. However, digital business innovation is a multi-facets concept, which has received different interpretations over the years. As a consequence, in this Chapter we discuss the underlying issues and the most relevant concepts for understanding Business Model Innovation (BMI), providing general insights on the state of the art and basic constructs of this research stream, suitable to support an understanding of its evolution in current digital business innovation experiences and practices.

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Chapter 10. Innovation Practices

This Chapter focuses on examples of digital innovation in practice, providing fact-sheets of 10 of the most interesting ideas in the field of digital innovation worldwide in 2013. The genesis of the selected ideas lies in innovative research projects that have been developed successfully, becoming start-ups and spin-offs and reaching the market, where they are currently applied. For each innovation we provide an introduction to the main characteristics of the solution, information about its developer coupled with company competitiveness indicators for time-to-market, as well as some indicators of user value in terms of perception, such as the user Experience and the so called «Wow» effect, and impact on current processes.

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Chapter 11. Conclusion

The book has discussed and presented the main trends and challenges in Digital Business Innovation to a composite audience of practitioners and scholars. In this Chapter conclusive remarks are provided as well as key advices for strategic actions as a result of the discussion of the digital trends and practices analyzed in this volume.

Vincenzo Morabito


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