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Ben Pring, Malcolm Frank and
Paul Roehrig
My colleague and Cognizant's Co-Director of the Center for The Future of Work, Ben Pring shares in this guest post, his insights into the idea of "Code Halos" and the role they play in digital transformations and SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud).  The concept of "Code Halos" is a useful way to help us understand and develop strategies for the effective use of all kinds of enterprise data.

In my previous post I introduced the idea of “Code Halos” --  the digital fingerprint each one of us is creating with every click or swipe of our phone, tablet, laptop, Glass, Nest, FuelBand, dashboard, or other smart device, which says who we are and what makes us tick. We also noted that these “personal” Code Halos are migrating into businesses in increasingly significant ways (and not just with the digital service providers such as Pandora or Amazon). In this piece we outline a number of key areas in which we see “business” Code Halos emerging and the changing what organizations do and how they do it.

Customer Code Halos: Customer-centric Code Halos — leveraging consumer data and insights — are creating enriched customer experiences through the use of sophisticated algorithms being applied to individualized code — i.e., past usage, input given to systems such as the Amazon Betterizer, artist selections added to Pandora streams, etc. This is not just reserved for companies with a “born-digital” DNA. Disney, for example, is launching a “Magic Band” bracelet to help guide visitors through its amusement parks, manage ticketing, act as room keys, personalize the guest experience and even work as a portable bank. The Magic Band is set to transform a day at a Disney park from a one-size-fits-all experience to a highly personalized one.

Product Code Halos: Every day we see move evidence that we are moving into the era of the “Internet of things.” From mobile phones to GE aircraft engines to even personal grooming tools such as toothbrushes, more and more devices today are becoming network-aware. They all have the potential to generate rich Code Halos that interact with the halos of information from people, business processes and organizations, and generate streams of data ripe for deriving meaning. As Code Halos grow, the “software” of these products becomes far more valuable than their associated “hardware.” For example, with a smart toothbrush, the physical tool itself is a commodity, while brushing habits, dental hygiene history and health needs create a halo of information that is of premium value. In many sectors, new business processes, industry models and products are being formed at this Code Halo intersection.

Employee Code Halos: Halos are being built around individual employees – think LinkedIn – which are creating new models by which knowledge work is conducted. In fact, our employee Code Halos can be far richer and more powerful than many consumer halos, as they comprise our work histories, subject matter expertise, perspectives, work styles and experiences. Employee halos facilitate getting the right work to the right person at the right time, all contextualized within a work stream — delivering the most appropriate organizational assets to the individual. In much the same way that Amazon’s consumer Code Halos and algorithms individualize the shopping experience, employee halos and organizational algorithms individualize and transform the work experience. This is changing how companies and organizations, such as Southern California Edison and Arlington County in Virginia, collaborate to capture business opportunities.

Partner Code Halos: With new technologies and more collaborative mindsets, traditional supply chains (primarily linear and designed for physical products) are re-forming into tightly integrated systems for sharing and co-creating knowledge assets. People will still need tangible things, but companies in life sciences, banking, and insurance, healthcare and manu¬facturing are now using innovative technologies to create more efficient and effective partner ecosystems.

Enterprise Code Halos: Your company’s brand is a Code Halo. Think of all the digital interactions associated with your company or business unit. Information about products, clients, partners and employees creates or destroys value every day. Angry customers, positive media coverage, financial data and a million other infor¬mation sources create a perception of your company as real as the bricks and rebar of a manufacturing plant. Whether you manage it or not, your company is increasingly defining itself by its Code Halo. In many cases, this halo of informa¬tion has much greater clarity and authority than the efforts of your marketing department.

These five enterprise Code Halos – and the skillful management of them – are increasingly separating those companies that are forging ahead into the brave new digital world and those that are simply playing defense; trying to hang on to old outdated approaches and sustain business as usual for as long as possible, or at least until next quarter’s results.

Kevin Benedict, Head Analyst for Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud (SMAC) Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and SMAC analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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More Stories By Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict serves as the Senior Vice President, Solutions Strategy, at Regalix, a Silicon Valley based company, focused on bringing the best strategies, digital technologies, processes and people together to deliver improved customer experiences, journeys and success through the combination of intelligent solutions, analytics, automation and services. He is a popular writer, speaker and futurist, and in the past 8 years he has taught workshops for large enterprises and government agencies in 18 different countries. He has over 32 years of experience working with strategic enterprise IT solutions and business processes, and he is also a veteran executive working with both solution and services companies. He has written dozens of technology and strategy reports, over a thousand articles, interviewed hundreds of technology experts, and produced videos on the future of digital technologies and their impact on industries.