Jim Stikeleather: My point is that if you are going to have to embed the analytics into the data stream because of the way many of the privacy laws are written, they have to do with the storage of the data. So, if I see a transaction go through, as long as I’m not storing the transaction I can use the information in it and begin building, if you will, my summary analytics. That way you can’t tie a particular part back to a specific transaction, which is the way the privacy laws are being written.
The other thing to keep in mind is that it’s a bit of a fallacious assumption you made because the new IT is actually going to be spread across multi devices. IT will have limited control over its environment because of this trend of bringing your own device. The person coming in to work is probably bringing his or her own machine with them. From an analytics point of view, I almost have to manage them the same way a retailer would manage a consumer.
Sramana Mitra: I don’t agree with that. I think you have to bring your own device, yes, but you still have an enterprise. You still as an enterprise IT team have control over policies. Between vendors and consumers there’s no such relationship.
JS: I disagree to some extent. I will agree that you can establish policies, but if you look at the dynamics of the new workforce, when you hire someone from the new generation, that person comes in with their own basic personal IT infrastructure they’ve built up over the years, which is the basis of their prior activity and in turn the basis of the value they bring with them to the organization. We used to say, Here is your desk, here is your phone, here is your PC, here is the software you can use. For the new generation coming to work, that is not an option anymore. Although you can establish certain policies – and probably most organizations will accomplish it by putting a virtual desktop onto the devices – it’s now like we hand over all of those control we had in the past. We can and do establish policies and we can look at automated place to monitor the policies, but it’s not the same.
In some ways the retailer and the consumer have a similar relationship because my app may work only on an iPhone or on the Android platform, or my app may require GA special permission that you as a user have been granted. It’s not as complex as dealing with a true consumer, but we are moving to that environment in the workplace. Another thing to think about is something I read in a “future of IT study.” We are moving to what Tom Peters called the Hollywood model of business in which your business has a small core of people who work for you and everybody else are on-demand contractors. If you’re dealing with on-demand contractors, you don’t have control over the end user. It’s not as clean cut as internal IT.
SM: Yes, I think the problem of embedded real-time analytics is complicated. It has complicated the business model. It’s slightly easier on the IT side than it is on the consumer side, which has several other orders of complexity which I think are going to take longer to get sorted out. This is why we see such little real personalization right? Personalization has been one of the areas I’ve been monitoring for a long time. Over the past 12 or 13 years that I’ve been paying attention to this, we haven’t seen significant development in personalization.
JS: I absolutely agree. We call it personalization, and if you go back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, strategists were calling it mass customization after each person could have exactly the PC they wanted. They could configure the computer the way they wanted, and we figured out how to do that. I don’t think we figured out how to do that on the software. But I think HTML5 is one going to be one of the drivers of the cloud because as we start getting closer and closer to HTML5-based delivery of information, which I’m beginning to see more of, it suggests that we will see a shift from the downloaded app and move to HTML5. The only reason being is you will start to see people who have the same capability on their phone, on their kitchen cupboard, on their PC, and on their TV set. I think we are going to see a shift from apps to HTML5.
SM: I think it’s a good point you bring up.
JS: And if we start moving in that direction, the resources that are going in to writing from the pespective of, I have an app, and I have to write the Android version, the IOS version, the Web OS version, whatever other version that’s out there to a new perspective. Now, I can write the app one time and take those same resources that were used to write it and move toward put more tailoring, customization, and personalization capabilities into it. This is because HTML5 is not just the presentation piece, it also presumes the ability to manage behavior piece and presents you with the ability to manage the communication piece in a consistent way. So, I think we’ll see more personalization as we get to HTML5. In fact, I think of HTML5 as the basis for [personalization]. You can put all kinds of stuff into it and you will still behave the same way.