Individual research project
Select a digital product or service of interest to you, or a “conventional” product or service making effective use of digital innovation as part of its business model. You may use the same product or service that you selected for assignment 1, or select a different one. Analyse the product or service using four of the following general perspectives.
1. Implications of this product or service for requirements for education in the future
2. Implications of this product or service for jobs and work in the future
3. Strengths and weaknesses of social media as a sales, service and marketing channel for this product or service
4. Opportunities and risks from the organisational perspective on the use of data analytics on customer data
5. Opportunities and risks from the organisational perspective on the government use of surveillance technologies such as deep packet inspection
6. The degree to which this product or service is appropriate for digital customer service self-service, co-production, or a mix.
7. The actual or potential use of the resources of the crowd for funding, idea generation, or any other function usually carried out by the organisation
8. Opportunities and risks from the use and deployment of cloud computing technologies with this product or service
9. Question relevant to the course and your innovation not already included here. If you select this, please discuss with your tutor first.
The report should take the following form:
The following section introduces each deliverable, provides a short example, and some comments and hints
Description of this section
Briefly introduce the product or service you have selected from the market and organisational (not the consumer) perspective – e.g. how long has it been in the market, what market share does it have, how fast is it growing?
No example provided for this section
This section will contain four more or less independent short essays, one for each of the four perspectives you have selected. Start each section with a header showing the question number you have selected, your framing question, and the key reference (or references) you have selected (an example is provided below).
These short essays require you to “frame” your argument. Recall that framing open problems was one of the transferable skills identified by Brynjolffson and McAfee (2012) as being in persistent demand. The questions are quite general. Restate the question, making it more specific to your selected innovation. For example, some innovations may already use (say) crowd-sourcing, in which case you can analyse how successful this has been. Others may not, but you may feel there is a lot of potential, so you can explain why.
These short essays require you to apply existing knowledge and theory to a problem. You must select one or two key sources (these can be materials used in the course or ones you find yourself).
Imagine your innovation is (say) AirBnB. You will have four sections like this:
Question number: 1. Implications of this product or service for requirements for education in the future
Frame: Does the current education system prepare people with the knowledge and skills required to be micropreneurs in “sharing economy” ecosystems like AirBnB?
Followed by your paragraph…in this case, you might argue, for example, that you need broad business and technology skills and transferable to maximise your revenues as a micropreneur providing services to AirBnB, and that students leaving school should understand basics of data analytics, balance sheets and small business law, as many more are likely to be self- employed than in past decades. Self-employment within ecosystems like AirBnB is very competitive (include some facts and figures about revenues earned by accommodation providers), so students need modern, technology-oriented small business management skills to make sure they can operate profitably…and so on…
Overall, based on your evidence and arguments, develop some recommendations:
- to the organisation with regard to your selected innovation
- to policy-makers based on issues that have arisen from your analysis
You should have a minimum of five and a maximum of 15 recommendations (in total).
Recommendations to policy-makers
1. Education should prepare students equally for a future life as a micropreneur in the sharing economy as an employee in a conventional business, as this sector of the employment market is rising rapidly. Specifically, students leaving school should understand basics of data analytics, balance sheets and small business law
1. Use visio, powerpoint or other graphics package to make an A3-size poster that summarises your key findings for this assignment.
2. I have given a rough example of a layout (attached: Poster example.pptx). This is not intended to be an exercise if graphic design – but it is intended to show the key points of your work in a clear and impactful manner!