Business moments in the algorithm economy
Digital businesses are redefining economy, enabled as they are to be part of “cross” ecosystems, built on connections not achievable before. Technology is more and more enabling these connections, actually flattening the world as never before: time and distance are changing their meaning, and today obtaining an answer or a behavior is something quite different if compared with just five years ago. Business activities, once asking for hours if not days, can now be fulfilled in a moment.
And how many business moments are coming in our work days even before breakfast time early in the morning?
Those connections we are talking about are not just referred to people and businesses, but also physical “things” are part of the game, and even managing assets today means acting no longer as owner but rather playing a role as an ecosystem actor. Capital assets are actually no longer the primary means of generating value. Just think about Airbnb, the major operator in hotelier services around the world, or Uber, the largest private urban transport operator: they do not own assets that are leveraging to create value. Instead, they are part of an ecosystem of parties independent among themselves.
Let’s have a look to another case: Tesla Motors.
Elon Musk knows that a robust electric cars ecosystem makes Tesla Motors itself more valuable. Result: he’s shared all Tesla patent assets, a business decision that contributed to build the ecosystem and to leverage it. All these cases are showing that successful business initiatives in the “connected and shared” economy leverage some core principles, one of the most relevant is the shift from controlling business interactions to influencing them.
Let’s just briefly recap what discussed so far: technology today means connections and connections mean ecosystems. Actors are not just people and businesses, but also things, intellectual patent assets, etc., interacting among them. And interactions are business moments.
Now the point is: how to influence the business moments?
A business moment, driven by a specific set of requirements, is often popping up with no advise within a large ecosystem. To meet these emerging requirements, several assets possibly from many organizations, have to be combined and assembled “on the fly”. The ability to discover, influence and finally activate a business moment like this, will be the key to succeed in the world of digital business.
Due to their intrinsic nature, business moments cannot be actually leveraged and monetized through predefined and controlled business processes.
The transactional approach is no longer sustainable and must be changed in favor of a new one based on influence and facilitation.
Gartner is saying that, by the end of this year, 70% of successful digital businesses are expected to rely on deliberately unstable processes designed to shift, following situations and people’s needs changes. Business process management is equally expected to move from designing and managing predefined processes to establish processes able to understand the environment and provide an “improvisation” ability. And in this sense, business moments management is less control and more facilitation.
Exploiting the economics of connections requires flexibility to obtain value in responding to the specifics of the exact moment as it pops up: business moments are very dynamically responding to an evolving situation. The new business processes must be ultimately based on agents able to situationally change the nature of their own role, adapting to the situation that a specific business moment is creating.
And this is exactly what the title is referring to.
Algorithm Economy is based on the ability to exploit new business opportunities, popping up thanks to the interconnected ecosystems, in a fully automated way, thanks to the leverage of any available digital technology able to transform data into decisions and actions.
And Delegation of Authority processes will have to be inclusive of “Cobots” [Collaborative Robots], with the same dignity and recognized roles as people have.
Are you ready for this?
Highlighted image from the movie: “A beatiful mind” (2001, directed by Ron Howard)