Category : Digital Strategy & Innovation

Digital Strategy & Innovation

Digital Copyright, the start of a new era? Really?

Until not too long ago we were wondering what the big printed paper publishers should do about Google and Facebook. If these international Over The Top were to be considered more a threat or an opportunity. We have witnessed the like and fan battle first (but what exactly should we do with Facebook fans?), then the bickering on Instant Articles, AMP, YouTube, etcetera. Today we can start all over again, with the introduction in this scenario of the digital copyright provisions established by vote by the European Union. The big platforms, in fact, will no longer be able to use artistic and journalistic content without paying the sources. Note: it will still be possible to simply link the page containing the news or content, what will no longer be possible is offering a free summarized preview (text with images) that “satisfies” users’ needs, persuading them not to click on the said link.

So, once again: what should the big printed paper publishers do about Google and Facebook? Yes, because it’s not enough to claim victory for a European law – which is still in the making and will then require the incorporation of single State Members – that at least on paper, is on the side of publishers and journalists. It is necessary to once again wonder how to interpret, now, the new market scenario.

Here are two possible versions.

The first: it will no longer be convenient for the big platforms to invest in information, therefore they will give up all efforts in this area (as an example, no more Google News). In addition to publishers’ loss of revenue caused by the absence of links/previews in their articles, the same publishers will experience a reduction of traffic on their sites with consequences on advertising revenue. Though the first part is only “hypothetical” (as of today publishers are not compensated in any way), the second is absolutely differential compared to the current scenario, and a further drop of traffic would cause even more problems to the already marginal advertising revenue.

The second: publishers continue to be present on these platforms. Ok, but at what cost? Publishers’ “negotiating power” is such that it can elicit better conditions than the few currently effective (for example an advertising split of advertising spaces available in AMP and Instant Articles)? If we think about it carefully, any offer made available by OTTs and publishers to enable the use of their news and articles at a very low price would be better than nothing. What alternative revenue sources do publishers currently have that would enable them to turn it down? In what other way do they think they could make more?

Because the real matter is not so much the use of artistic and journalistic contents.  The real issue is: what alternative is possible?  It is on this that a publisher, or even better, the publishers combined (it would be about time) must reason.

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Digital Strategy & Innovation

Exploring the Value of the Design Thinking

by Claudio Dell’Era, Stefano Magistretti and Roberto Verganti, Osservatorio Design Thinking for Business

During the first research year the detailed analysis of over 40 organizations providing advisory services based on the Design Thinking paradigm allow us to map 4 different and particular kinds of Design Thinking. More specifically, 47 case studies about organizations providing advisory services based on the Design Thinking paradigm demonstrate that it can assume different forms and interpretations according to the nature of the companies involved (service provider and client), the specific challenges, and the objectives of the innovation project.

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Digital Strategy & Innovation

What if Facebook & Co. transferred data also on how much we eat and the food we produce?

by Filippo Renga and Chiara Corbo, Smart AgriFood Observatory

We’ve already broadly spoken about how important data is in the AgriFood sector through our research and work groups (“Cultivate data. Harvest value. Digital transformation in AgriFood”), as well as a prior key note on the blog (We must not allow anyone to steal the big data we eat! “Non facciamoci rubare i big data che mangiamo!”).

The recent Facebook scandal brings the topic further into the spotlight. It’s undeniable that big players have a strong “appetite” for information on consumer eating habits. Together with Facebook, basing its business model on this data, is certainly Instagram, another company in Mark Zuckerberg’s galaxy of properties: a platform with about half a billion users where Food is a major trend, and which reveals much about users’ tastes. But there are other major players on the web chasing after this data. Such as Google, which not coincidentally, ran an important project with Italian Chambers of Commerce; TripAdvisor, that closely monitors that last mile through reviews and restaurant bookings, following both diners and restaurant owners; Alibaba, whose openly stated goal is guiding the Chinese in Italian food purchases “step by step” across Europe as regards payments as well as travel information, but is also collaborating with dairy factories; Apple, with its wallet and mobile payments is leading us towards transactional services just as it has done in the past with information through apps; and many others.

But there are also more traditional players, as in the agriculture and service providing worlds, that have taken decisive action. John Deere, for example, purchased (for 305 Million dollars), Blue River Technology, a Silicon Valley startup operating in Agriculture 4.0 supported by machine learning; IBM acquired The Weather Company, with the clear goal of supporting the agriculture supply chain and seasonal food producers. Agro chemistry industry giants are now moving confidently in the digital innovation ecosystem, adding data processing platforms and services to their portfolio. Syngenta, for example, recently acquired FarmShots, that developed high resolution satellite image acquisition systems and a platform that enables data to be accessed at any time, in addition to adapting the format to most software used in agriculture. Bayer made an agreement with Planetary Resources, a startup that operates in remote satellite detection and marketing of collected data. Moreover, technologic integration starting from Big Data management has been one of the drivers of the integration agreement between Chemical industry leaders Monsanto and Bayer, an operation that worried the European Commission and NGOs due to the huge amount of data that the group will have available.

With this knowledge we pose ourselves some questions and come up with some quick conclusions, by no means conclusive, but that will substantially drive our future Research work as well as the work of many companies.

1 – “What is the goal of these players?” Obviously we’re talking about valorizing such data in their operating accounts. Almost too simple.

2 – “How can they valorize the data?” There are many options. Just some examples analyzed by our research: steering consumers through simple advertising or promos, but also more sophisticated mechanisms such as loyalty or brand engagement systems; selling information about their supply chain to companies in order to manage it at best; etc.

3 – “What are the implications of all this for the European ecosystem?”. Threats and opportunities, as usually happens in the event of strong innovation. Threats, because companies far from our ecosystem and justifiably disinclined to invest, mainly to invoice, in our Country, can leverage this data by harnessing us like pack animals (as happens, for example, with online advertising). Opportunity, because this data belongs to us, consumers and companies of the agricultural and agrifood supply chains: we can therefore leverage it to generate value for our ecosystem of business organizations and consumers. All we have to do is acquire appropriate competences: business, legal, etc.

The menu of the future is rich with data? It certainly is. If the courses are not well known, the risk is getting indigestion or wasting resources in wrong purchases, mistaking an appetizer for a dessert, for example.

Let’s invest in knowledge and competence!!

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Digital Strategy & Innovation

Privacy management in the Smart Home era

The 25th of May 2018 will be an important date for businesses operating in the Smart Home sector (and not only). This is the date by when companies will have to prove compliance to the new European directive GDPR EU 679/2016, which includes the adoption of specific measures to protect the privacy of consumers.

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Digital Strategy & Innovation

Biometrics: when technology and user experience go hand in hand

One of the most recent technology innovations in the field of Smartphones is biometrics, more precisely the development of biometric systems capable of recognizing people. Currently, the most widespread is fingerprint scanning, but there are other solutions including facial recognition, voice detection and iris scan. In particular, latest generation models, such as the iPhone X and the brand new Samsung S9, consider face recognition one of their strongpoints.

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Digital Strategy & Innovation

Digital tourists? They’ve become the majority, now also in China, Russia, India, Indonesia, …

by Filippo Renga and Eleonora Lorenzini, Digital Innovation in Tourism Observatory

Recently we published some comments that highlighted how much Italian and European tourists have now ‘gone digital’, giving way to tourist flows in the digital world, even though switching between physical and digital worlds is taking unexpected turns.

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