Posted: October 17th, 2013
The New York Times chose to deploy their innovative support group as a shared service. This means that the costs for supporting the group and acquiring these services will be shared among the companies. The R&D vice president expresses that the group’s role is to be able to access new markets and ideas more easily. One of the ways they do this is accessing information from websites in order to know what people are interested in. A shared service approach has several advantages; first, it reduces the cost that a business would have incurred in accessing the services as an individual business. Secondly, it leads to the growth of a business, as competition has been increased and the business is also working with other businesses, hence it is more efficient.
A shared service approach also enables a company to focus more on the business without much distraction. The support team of the New York Times is able to prototype E-ink at a point where some businesses cannot be able to afford the resources that are needed to research on the technology. The New York Times collaborated with Netflix to create a map on the most rented films. Shared services approach however has some disadvantages, they include loss of control by the companies in acquiring the service and some businesses may suffer, when they cover the costs of companies that cannot afford to cover for projects.
Boston Scientific faced the challenge of balancing openness and sharing with security and the need for restricting access to information. The company used technology to overcome this. The company created software known as Invention Machine’s Goldfire. This machine would enable researchers to access information, while at the same time limiting the information that is accessed. The company would also be able to know what information is being accessed. The cultural change that was required for this to be possible includes the inability of the organization to share its information with outsiders because it feared that some information might leak to their competitors. The organization did not allow researchers and others any access to their data. This is not as important as technology-related issues. For example, first the company’s largest sales are heart-related items. Keeping the pipeline of these items fresh is done through technology, which engineers had been focused on improving before the set up of Goldfire. Secondly, in the past researchers were unable to develop new ideas into past creations because they could not access the data from the organization. This could have led to innovations and discoveries.
The video rental map developed by The New York Times and Netflix displays movie popularity across neighborhoods from major US cities. Netflix could use this information to improve their business by supplying common films in the regions that they are common in. they could also supply films that are related to the films common in different regions. Other companies could also take advantage of these data. For example, research companies could use information on films that are common in different regions for research. Cinemas could also use this information, in order to know the type of movies to offer or show in different regions.
The newspaper industry has been facing serious challenges to its viability ever since the internet made news available online. Newspapers are coping with these through several ways. Some newspapers have ventured into the internet service by offering their news through the internet, for example The New York Times. Others are coping with these by cutting back on expensive projects, such as investigative journalism. Predictions from a number of newspaper officials are that newspapers will be printing and supplying the papers at most, three days every week. Reports also show that some newspapers have already closed down or stopped printing. For example, The Christian Science Monitor. Surveys show that most people now turn to the internet to access news. In this case, in five or ten years to come, most newspapers will have gone out of business or closed down their print version of the paper to produce e-paper.
Examples of companies using technology to help them innovate and develop new products and services include IBM, Liberty Property Trust, Dell and Comcast .IBM Company has software known as Lotus Connections, which offers five web services. The services include communication, enterprise profiles, social book marking, blogs and activities. Liberty Property Trust uses J.D. Edwards 5 solutions to predict the future market and to create good customer relationships. Comcast and Dell use twitter to assess what consumers think about their products. Trends by most companies include the use of social networks such as twitter and blogs to market their products and assess what the public thinks of the company.
A shared service model such as a shared service center can be used to improve the approach of shared services. This center would provide online consolidation for the various businesses sharing the service. It could also enable the expansion of the shared services, by collaborating with other global businesses with ease of communication and operation. The center provides a platform where members can find information, as well as customers, who want to learn more about the companies.
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