How 'Generation V' Will Change Your Business - WikiLeaks (15 pages)

2 the virtual environment demands a new strategy • 1 recommendation for crm managers • 3 see where customers fit into the meritocracy

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Publication Date: 3 January 2008/ID Number: G00153798

Page 4 of 15

© 2008 Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All Rights Reserved.

Customers' true identities will have less importance. Providers of third-party customer data, BI
and analytic tools will shift toward consumer applications, and eventually arm companies with
automated, artificial intelligence, self-learning "persona bots" to seek customers' needs and
desires.

1.2 The Virtual Environment Demands a New Strategy

The virtual environment is another lesson in the continuing history of IT. Companies opposed
many IT innovations at first, only to embrace them later, including PCs, mobile devices and
Internet access at work.

At issue is the company's desire to control the use of IT. However, as history has shown, the
"control" problem is getting worse. IT professionals don't want to be viewed as opponents of
technical progress. Many IT professionals want to be responsive to demands from leading-edge
employees, who are often young. At the same time, most IT professionals know that they're
better adept at longer-term, large-scale projects. They aren't structured to the types of innovation
occurring in Web-based activities.

1.2.1 Recommendation for CRM Managers

Set up an agility-oriented, bifurcated strategy — one that relies on top-down control and
management, the other that depends on bottom-up, free market style selection. This will help IT
organizations play to their strengths, while also affording maximum opportunity.

1.3 See Where Customers Fit Into the Meritocracy

A "meritocracy" (a term from Michael Young's book "The Rise of the Meritocracy," written in 1958)
is a system of government or organization based on demonstrated achievement,
accomplishments (merit) and talent, rather than wealth, nepotism, class privilege, cronyism or
other determinates of social power. The virtual environment will be a type of meritocracy. The
age, gender, class and income of individuals are less important online than in the real world,
where competence, motivation and effort are more prized. The opportunities for reputation,
prestige and influence are a powerful draw for masses of people to spend more time in a virtual
world.

To help IT leaders understand the meritocracy, let's see how a low-level office worker from
Secaucus, New Jersey, fits into it. The worker is perhaps shy or unpopular in his office, but he is
a revered, accomplished, 40th-level half-elf in an online role-playing game. Let's put a virtual face
with a virtual name. Figure 1 shows what his avatar might look like.

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