Most CXOs are always on the hunt for the next big thing, the next product or service that will drive the business forward. Surprisingly, though, the next big thing might be right under your nose.
The NFL is in the spotlight this week with Super Bowl 50 invading the San Francisco Bay Area on Sunday, and this is expected to be the most connected Super Bowl ever—likely one of the most connected sporting events ever—since it's hosted in the technological marvel that is Levi's Stadium and the NFL has become increasingly technically savvy in recent years.
In an interview with CXOTalk, NFL CIO Michelle McKenna-Doyle previously talked about how one of the NFL's major products, fantasy football, was initially put together with a bunch of assets the company already had lying around.
McKenna-Doyle billed the NFL's fantasy football service as a reality-television-meets-community product, but she said the most interesting thing about it was that it was built using existing assets and resources. The NFL leveraged player statistics, as well as the video they have connected to those statistics, to build out a product that provides users with another way to engage more deeply with the brand. Fantasy football was already a growing trend at the time, and the NFL already "had the guts" of the product available.
"Within companies all over, there are hidden data assets and gems in every organization that haven't been monetized, and that your fans may want," McKenna-Doyle said.
Replace the word "fans" with "users" or "customers" and you have recipe for adding value to your organization with minimal investment and without a long product cycle.
As a CXO, take inventory of your own assets. Using what you already have, ask yourself how you can monetize things your customers might want but that aren't being offered to them.
The Software Engineering Institute (SEI), part of Carnegie Mellon, provides an outline for this practice, which it calls "mining existing assets." According to SEI, properly mining assets requires understanding three key issues:
- What is available
- What is needed
- How rehabilitation works.
While the SEI's guide focuses on software, it has implications for the greater business landscape. Don't focus too heavily on one type asset, such as code, and don't write off assets like documentation, as they can be reused as well.
Outside of the practice of utilizing overlooked assets, in the CXOTalk interview McKenna-Doyle shared other thoughts on issues she has faced in her tenure in the NFL. One of the most interesting was connectivity, and how the NFL leverages both LTE Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) and Wi-Fi to keep its fans connected.
Additionally, she touched on the importance of social media for brands in reaching consumers, and how "shadow IT" is something that should be embraced, not avoided.
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Conner Forrest has nothing to disclose. He doesn't hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Conner Forrest is Enterprise Editor for TechRepublic. He covers startups and enterprise technology and is passionate about the convergence of tech and culture.