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Thriving in an Increasingly Digital Ecosystem

Peter Weill & Stephanie L. Woerner
in the Summer 2015 issue
of MIT Sloan Management Review

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Research Topics

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MIT CISR Research Poll: Internet of Things Strategy and Investment
The Internet of Things has the potential to connect assets, people, products, processes, and/or sources of data to each other via sensors, smart devices, and network infrastructure, realizing the long-forecasted connected house, car, factory, and ecosystem. All of this connectedness has the potential to radically change business models and the competitive landscape. Does your enterprise have an Internet of Things strategy, and more importantly, is there sufficient investment to get results from that strategy? Results from this poll will be part of MIT CISR’s 2015 Internet of Things research project findings.

Learn more about MIT CISR’s current research projects.

MIT CISR Spotlight

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Digital World: Analogue Workplace

As we move from products to customer solutions, we have to collaborate across silos, integrate processes, connect across company boundaries, communicate over time and space, and bundle together products and services that were often never built to be bundled. Traditional workplaces are designed around standalone, systematized work practices to deliver maximum efficiency. The problem is that when we try to deliver more complex digital products and services from traditional (analogue) workplaces, we make work really hard.

To set a digital course for the organization with an analogue workplace is like asking employees to walk in quicksand. Their work lives get complicated, frustrating, and stressful. Without an organization-wide approach to the Digital Workplace, teams and business units tend on their own to acquire readily available cloud-based tools, add personal technologies, and start to work in ways that satisfy personal needs.1 So rather than reducing the complexity around technology, we add to it. To manage the complexity of the digital world, we need to step away from analogue workplaces and lead an organization-wide approach to making work easier.

Our research on the Digital Workplace is examined in a series of MIT CISR Blog posts:
Bricks, Bytes, Behavior, and Branding: Four Pillars of the Digital Workplace
Is the Digital Workspace New? Lessons from Building 20
Reimagining the Digital Workplace
We expect to publish a related research briefing in August 2015.

For further information on complexity in the digital era, see M. Mocker, P. Weill, and S./L. Woerner, “Finding Your Complexity Sweet Spot,” MIT Sloan CISR Research Briefing Vol. XIII, No. 12, December 2013.

1 Over 25% of companies in our study reported that new work practices were simply sprouting up in islands. These practices tend to result in significant challenges for IT to support a wide range of applications and processes to support this approach.

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