Code Halo and co-creation enable extensive leverage for established companies

Code Halo and co-creation enable extensive leverage for established companies

Swaminathan Kannan

Swaminathan Kannan,

Last week, Cognizant’s Euan Davis delivered a speech to about 200 Swedish CIOs and IT decision-makers at the Radar Ecosystems event entitled "Integrate 2 Innovate" in Stockholm. Davis manages Cognizant’s Future of Work think tank. We interviewed Davis regarding ways in which Nordic companies and organizations can benefit from co-creation processes in light of increasing volumes of digital data associated with a skyrocketing human population, many spheres of life machines, and other gadgets.

Cognizant calls these data “clouds of code” and this information “Code Halo”. Can you explain what you mean?

"Code Halo is digital information that organizations use to develop new services and offerings and to create value. Because it’s in the digital domain, it’s practical when it comes to sharing information and collaborating across company boundaries, such as with partners, suppliers, customers, and even competitors. That’s why the co-creation concept is so important. You co-create with your customers, suppliers, employees, and competitors. Going forward, co-creation will put companies on the cutting edge and make them more successful. "

What types of companies have advanced the most when it comes to working with Code Halo?

"Young companies that challenge old companies’ business models. Take Netflix, for example, which challenges linear TV, and Swedish-based Spotify, which challenges the traditional music industry. These operations have advanced because they use data to drive their businesses forward. I think that traditional companies can gain enormous leverage in working with Code Halo, because they already have a customer base. And if they can overcome data management and usage challenges, then then they can implement Code Halo to develop new services and products that meet customers’ needs."

Can you give some examples?

"Lego is a good example in the Nordics. The company co-creates and uses data when designing its products. Lego invites its users to suggest new products and services. Concepts that get the most votes from Lego’s customers are then realized, and a portion of the proceeds are paid to the person who proposed the concept. Procter & Gamble (P&G) works similarly with its partners and suppliers. P&G has a co-creation channel to help it rapidly develop new products with its suppliers. The U.S. Armed Forces is another good example; they used crowdsourcing to quickly develop a troop transport vehicle for use in Afghanistan. They made it much faster and cheaper via a digital platform (virtual workroom) on which everyone could contribute to the design—much faster than implementing a normal linear process."

The structures? What do they look like?

"The next generation of IT managers will need to do three things: communicate, collaborate, and co-create. Now it’s relatively easy for organizations to develop ways to communicate and collaborate with employees, clients, partners, suppliers, and in some instances, with competitors. Naturally, stakeholders must consider ways in which data and information can generate new business and customer value. They need to find out who (internally and externally) can contribute the necessary pieces of the puzzle. Obviously, it also requires courageous leadership to get this in place. You can’t run an organization like a symphony orchestra, where the conductor decides everything. It must be more like a jazz band, with various soloists who play well in groups."

How are Swedish and other Nordic companies positioned for working like this?

"As I mentioned, Lego is one example. Generally, conditions are very favorable in the Nordics for working with Code Halos. You northerners have always been quick to embrace new technologies, and you have one of the world's best Internet penetrations—as well as more smartphones per capita than in almost all other countries. And data are set to explode. As we approach what many people call the Internet of Things, the world will have nearly 35,000 exabytes of data stored, compared with the 54.5 exabytes that were stored in 2010. Nordic users will create a lot of this information, and your businesses will consequently be able to use it to create new value and thus compete in a good way."

What industry demonstrates the most potential?

"Banks have enormous potential. Their customers—especially young customers—want nothing better than to help develop new services and offerings with their banks. How do I know this? Well, we ran a survey called “You are the Future of Banking” in Sweden, and it was startling to see just how eager younger customers are when it comes to co-creating with their banks to design the types of services they want. I’m surprised that more banks haven’t decided to launch innovation competitions (or a co-creation channel) with this attractive consumer group."

Click here to find out more about Cognizant’s Code Halo solution