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5 Building Blocks for Cyber-Physical Value Chains Premium

People & Machines Working in Sync

Sachon, Marc

The digitalization that has disrupted services is set to do the same in industry, and manufacturing in particular. With supply chains operating at their limits amid a growing list of global challenges, new approaches are required to save time, improve efficiency and gain flexibility to survive in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) times. Based on interviews, case studies and collaborations with German firms at the leading edge of this field, the author identifies five key building blocks for the successful implementation of Industry 4.0, and highlights several implications. To stay competitive, companies will have to learn to cooperate, using platform-based business models via which they can sell services and expertise, not just physical products. Those prepared to adapt their skills and protect their value chains will find new opportunities for growth -- while others who are slow to adapt will get left behind.

Programming Business Models Through Digital Density Premium

The Internet of Things

Zamora, Javier

The exponential growth of digital connections and data generates myriad interactions between organizations, people and things that executives can leverage to enhance their current business models or create entirely new ones. But how best to harness the power of this digital density? This article presents a framework to help senior executives tap connected data and pinpoint the programmable elements of their value proposition. The author also highlights the pros and cons, so businesses can maximize the value drivers while simultaneously monitoring the privacy, reliability, security and integration issues associated with a high-digital-density environment.

Tips to Prevent, Detect & Respond to Cyberattacks Premium

How Safe Is Your Firmware?

Padilla, Elmar

This article describes the various ways that industrial firmware can be compromised. The author recommends how companies can defend themselves against cyberattacks, based on the latest research conducted by the research institute Fraunhofer (FKIE). How aware is your organization of the issues at stake? What is your senior management team doing to address firmware security and prevent a devastating cyberattack? How prepared are you if -- and when -- an attack occurs? Executives enthusiastic about the possibilities of Industry 4.0 need to understand the threats posed by manipulated firmware and take steps to protect their companies against them.

3 Steps to Market-Driven Digital Transformation Premium

Stairway to Digitalization

Villanueva, Julián; Ferrándiz, Luis

The authors interviewed C-suite executives from 22 companies to discover best practices, and missteps, on the path to getting a business ready for a digitally transformed world. Their model, called the Stairway to Digitalization, starts with the ability to interpret market forces. This demands a marketing-driven fixation on customers, but since customers' evolving needs do not happen in a vacuum, managers also need to analyze competitors, collaborators and context. The next step is for the executive committee and board to express a wholehearted digital commitment. Finally, the authors explain the chief levers of execution, so that the strategic goal of digital transformation might be achieved, resulting in a new business proposition for the firm. This article contains useful tips applicable to incumbent firms and digital pure players alike.

Selling Experiences to Connect With Consumers Premium

Experiential Advertising

Gallo, Iñigo; Townsend, Claudia

The Experience Economy is pervasive. Consumers are diverting more of their disposable income to engaging in experiences. And even material purchases are increasingly being positioned as experiential. This article presents the findings of the authors' research into the marketing of experiences. Selling products through the allure of experiences can yield enormous benefits, such as increasing the "talkability" of the product -- highly relevant in today's social media age. Yet there are limits to doing so. Marketers aiming to position their material brands as experiences need to understand the dynamics at play in order to be successful.

Using Big Search Data to Map Your Market Premium

Marketing in a Digital Age

Skiera, Bernd; Ringel, Daniel M.

Markets today are flooded with an increasing number of products and brands, making it difficult for companies to track how their products compete in the market. Big search data allow companies to obtain valuable insights on market share as well as on key competitors. But collecting and analyzing vast amounts of data pose huge challenges. In this article, the authors describe how they used clickstream data to visualize competition in product categories containing more than 1,000 products. Both manufacturers and retailers can profit from their approach, which yields more meaningful information on customer behavior than traditional market research methods.

Future-proofing Your Job From Robots Premium

Technology & Employment

Pastor, Alfredo; Mercadal Dupree, Bartolomé

Will a robot take your job? Although workers have worried about being replaced by a machine since the Industrial Revolution, the changes brought by computerization, digitization and robotization are being felt more profoundly. One study predicts that 47 percent of 400 million U.S. jobs are considered at high risk. This article summarizes the latest research, which includes interviews with executives from Spanish corporations, to help separate science fiction from business reality. Armed with this deeper understanding, executives may start to view technological change not with fear but with flexibility, and identify some practical actions they can take to ready themselves for whatever lies ahead.

Five Keys to Manage Millennial Talent Premium

Make Way for a New Generation

Stein, Guido; Martín, Miguel

By 2025, millennials will represent an estimated 75 percent of the world's working population. With a view to meeting the needs and demands of this generation, many companies are rethinking their people management policies and leadership styles. The authors surveyed 22,000 international executives, hundreds of participants of IESE Executive MBA programs and their managers, as well as a group of final-year students from the University of Navarre's School of Economics and Business Administration. Their responses confirm that a shift is indeed taking place in professional aspirations, the priorities people weigh when choosing a job, and the type of leadership expected from managers. This article suggests the keys for attracting, developing and retaining millennial workers.

Staying Ahead in the New Employment Context Premium

The Rise of Alternative Work

Cappelli, Peter

The rise of alternative work arrangements in the United States is consistent with a growing phenomenon happening in Europe and elsewhere: the conventional full-time employment model is giving way to emerging forms of temporary, nonstandard or contingent work. How can companies make sense of it all? The author proposes a new taxonomy for understanding employment in the new economy. His classification is predicated on who maintains directive control, which is conditioned by the presence or absence of a third party as well as the nature of the contractual relationship itself. Executives may find this framework useful for managing employment relationships in an evolving context.

The Keys of the Collaborative Business Model Premium

The Mechanisms That Matter

Lago, Alejandro; Sieber, Sandra

Call it the sharing, collaborative or peer-to-peer (P2P) economy, a new business paradigm is gradually taking shape. And as with any disruptive business paradigm, this one comes with controversy and debate. This article examines the key levers of several well-known business models, in particular, the market-access mechanisms, the resource-allocation models, and the approach to governance, monitoring and control. Highlighting the differences may help academics, practitioners and policymakers better understand the potential advantages and shortcomings of the collaborative economy.

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