Guy Cranswick

Guy Cranswick

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Conclusion: The fractious and partisan dispute over Australia’s broadband is not educational, but it is informative, particularly for those IT executives developing a business case. Indeed, the entire public debate over broadband is dressed as a business case; that is, broadband offers a vital channel to future productivity. Or does it?

Perspective and context are required to understand what productivity gains technology can deliver. In the arguments over broadband, facts are disputed; the interpretation of tables and the consequences of policies all muddle perspective. Therefore, to understand the situation, and be able to make decisions, it’s necessary to return to the basic facts and then examine how the data is compiled, so that the logic of a business case is based on unbiased material.


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Conclusion: Convergence has been an idea on the horizon for so long that it barely stirs much interest. Even so, various moves and technological changes, have brought convergence front and centre again, and with it new opportunities for organisations.

Once technological difficulties precluded the implementation of services through convergent media networks but now that challenge is no longer a problem. Various types of handsets and choices of networks for reliability and speed mean it is possible to deliver data and media services at economically affordable prices.

The outstanding issues remain the evolution of business models and applications to markets. IT executives can and should be involved in and promoting the growing potential of convergence to their organisation.


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Conclusion: In the IBRS Trends forecast for 2007, we stated that governments would adopt a new approach to e-government, “moving it from being simply a ‘publishing medium’ to it becoming a true extension of its service arm.”

The purpose of this paper is to examine where the new approaches are taking form as they evolve over 2007. Governments consider their policy options and how they will be delivered well in advance which means that while developments may be emerging, not all will be apparent to users by December 2007.

In the last twelve months Australian and New Zealand governments have been expounding their revised strategies and taking action to fulfil their policy vision. In IBRS’s view governments could adopt a number of basic processes. These processes should be integrated in the implementation of the plans so as to achieve the objectives.


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Conclusion: Tesco’s move to sell its own brand of software has been perceived as a direct threat to Microsoft, but the UK retailing giant signals several broader effects for IT vendors and suppliers, for users, and an opportunity for other companies.

As the world’s fourth largest retailer, Tesco’s market share influences markets and by selling its branded software, it may, over the next two to three years, be a catalyst for change in the consumer software industry.


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Conclusion: It has been five or more years since many organisations built their current websites and increasingly many of them are examining ways to improve the design and content. While planning for the future is sensible it is apparent that many legacy issues remain. These legacies are evident in the available technology being used and, probably more importantly, in the planning and thinking of the site’s next phase of development.

How the web is developing and its overlap with other digital media are significant factors in a web strategy and its execution through to a content management strategy. Organisations should recognise and adapt to user behaviour if they want their next generation websites to be effective.


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Conclusion: Distribution is an essential part of doing business and for some industries; media especially, its products can only be accessed through a complex distribution network, mostly through retail outlets. Underpinning that distribution network is an economic basis which appears to be changing. The change in that base will increasingly affect the mode of business.

Not all organisations face identical commercial changes to their distribution networks but where once brands, and media in particular, developed their online properties on the heritage of the traditional brand; now, Web properties have a brighter future than the heritage brand. That change in fortune may be explained and attributed to electronic distribution, not declining fortunes to the brand itself; but simply its access to the market

Organisations can deal with, and manage change, by being ready and planning ahead; by anticipating that distribution is a business function that will be modified according to competitive forces and market conditions.


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Three months ago two Google researchers unveiled a project which has wide implications but attracted little attention. They proposed using ambient-audio identification technology to capture TV sound with a laptop PC to identify the TV programme that is the source of the sound and to use that information to produce personalised Internet content to the PC. This technological turnkey is called Mass Personalisation by the researchers because it brings TV and the Web together, harnessing large audiences but which are informed over the Web as individuals.


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Conclusion: Watching and interpreting Google has become a strategic game; and whether its various plays may lead to gladiatorial combat with another or several large corporations. For most users of IT products and services, consumers and organisations, the alliances and struggles between Google and its competitors are either mysterious or irrelevant. Yet, the rise and rise of Google in so many sectors of the IT industry will present both users and vendors with challenges that are only just emerging.

Much as most consumers enjoy using a dominant search engine, few people would like to be restricted to just one service in other areas of work. The probability of Google dominating all the other information service delivery sectors such as news or TV media is remote. But it is conceivable that it may invade sectors in which it is not present today. Rather than attempt to understand what Google is doing it is timely for organisations to assess how they might deal with that situation.


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Conclusion: Good enough, like the expression ‘common sense’, is tacitly understood but lacks precision, so it is relatively facile to criticise products and organisations for failing to deliver a gold standard. But it may be mistaken. The perception, or attitude, about a perfect product is simplistic. Price and value are important factors in how products and services are created and delivered, not an idealised ambition.

Rather than pursue an ideal, managers should make efficient and effective use of the real skills, resources, investments, available to them to provide competitive services in the marketplace. To do so requires good understanding of one’s own organisation and the market in which it operates.


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Conclusion: In the mid-nineties online marketing and e-commerce pioneer, Dave Carlick would often say that the Internet offered “a new bargain between consumers and marketers”. He meant that information was more readily accessible and that made prices easier to compare. Being able to obtain more information about goods and prices is one of the benefits of the Web to consumers.

In a channel environment where mainstream media is strong in securing audience reach, the Web seems to offer no additional advantages. Yet, coverage of an audience market is one part of the communications effort; something a stalwart of mass media, the chairman of Australia’s second largest media-buying company, affirmed recently.1

Whether used commercially, or in transacting ideas, the art of persuasion is critical for success. But it’s here that Dave Carlick’s observation is acute because, in part, information can be compared easily. The editorial control is solely with the publisher; the cost of distributing the message is miniscule; and further contact and action may be initiated.


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Conclusion: The technology adoption cycle and its cousin, the hype cycle, are familiar concepts. While the theory is instructive, there are acknowledged gaps in its explanatory power, and consequently in practical application, although many organisations and vendors implicitly subscribe to the general thrust of the concept.

The steady stream of new technology – including innovations and upgrades - means potential buyers are evaluating products almost continuously; whether as consumers or for businesses. From both sides of the equation, can buyers and sellers make a better bargain with the idea of the adoption cycle? Could buyers be better informed and rational or is there a portion of emotion involved in buying technology? And how does a business adapt the technology adoption cycle to be successful?


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Conclusion: Networking has been a vital element of the Internet, and in organisations it has been formalised on the Web through sites such as Ryze or MySpace. Much of it involves business and technology professionals, and even people with specific political interests. Networks support and stimulate each member, and if harnessed with an agenda, even one as normal as bulk-buying discounts, they can exercise considerable influence.

Networking cannot fulfil all the communications and commercial demands of an organisation; however organisations could be using online networking to their advantage if it fits in with their communication aims.

Networking can be utilised by organisations in two ways:

  1. To generate new contacts or leads

  2. To gain a better understanding of a group or target market.

Initiatives in this area should be tested where possible on sites and through online networks. Adding networking as part of their Web communications can offer organisations a valuable means of working with customers and users and is a means of learning what users and consumers think.


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Marketing is a sometimes crude means of meeting new people and businesses must invest in it, or they wither. For instance there are many brands that have loyal customers, who have used the brand for up to 40 years; but customers don’t live for ever, and the brands inevitably suffer declining sales.


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Conclusion: Marketing can seem the very opposite of IT: lots of look and feel and rather intangible when compared with systems that must deliver on time. Yet IT can inject ideas and methods into marketing across an organisation, and an organisation that harnesses the expertise of its distinct and specialised divisions can realise positive results.

The product of greater cooperation may be several and various in the role of marketing. IT specialists may offer knowledge and expertise with practical effect for marketing strategies. Many marketing solutions involve technology solutions, and coupled with a thorough understanding of processes and the implementation of technologies, an IT manager can play an influential role to a marketing team.


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