Brian Piccolo is the Digital Strategy and Innovation Manager at Liberty Mutual, where he works closely with Innovation, Claims, Product, and IT teams. He is responsible for evaluating new technologies, developing specifications for new products and services using those technologies, and launching new digital products and services within Personal Insurance.
Question 1: How do you define ‘digital strategy’?
“Digital strategy is becoming less about the ‘digital’ and more about the ‘strategy’ as it becomes increasingly difficult to separate an organizations strategic vision from the digital technology it produces or consumes. All aspects of a business are now touched by digital whether you are a consumer products company, a B2B service provider or a pure-play technology start-up, a company’s digital strategy has to be inextricably linked to its core business objectives. That integration across marketing, sales, service and operations is how I view and define ‘digital strategy’.”
Question 2: What are the three biggest digital trends that will define 2014?
“I think companies that figure out big data and predictive analytics have the potential to define real competitive advantage in the short term. Longer term I think these technologies could be disruptive across many industries. 2014 will be the year we see this begin to happen. The Internet of Things is another exciting trend and we are already seeing this space evolve and change pretty much on a daily basis. I think that 2014 will be the year that this industry starts to consolidate and standardize. We will continue to see connected sensors and devices permeate every facet of our lives for years to come.”
Question 3: What kind of mobile device(s) do you have, and what are your three favorite apps?
“I am admittedly a gadget junkie. I have an iPhone 5, iPad Air, iPad Mini, Samsung Galaxy S3, as well as a pair of Google Glass. My favorite apps are Twitter, Evernote, which has become an indispensable tool for me, and Google Now which continues to amaze me every day.”
Question 4: What do you think of the emergence of the Chief Digital Officer role, and how do you think it will evolve over the next three years?
“I credit Michael Troiano for sparking the internal debate that I find myself currently having on this topic. I think that the CDO is becoming an increasingly critical role for many organizations. However, we aren’t too far from the day where every C-level position across every major industry is going to require deep, Digital expertise to stay competitive. As this evolution occurs in the c-suite, I think the CDO could fall victim.”
Question 5: What advice do you have for aspiring digital professionals?
“It’s important to eat, sleep and breathe all things digital when you’re in this world. It’s equally, if not more important, to understand the business drivers of whatever industry you’re in. Sure, it’s fun to think that you can be a part of the next Twitter of WhatsApp, but those companies are the exception. As a digital professional, if you can strike a balance between your technical skills and business acumen you’ll find yourself in a much better position for long term success.”