Friday, December 15, 2017

An Executive's Checklist for Digital Transformation in 2018

Center for Digital Intelligence™
"The size of competitors and the longevity of their brands, are less predictive of future success than the importance they give to data, the quality and speed of their information logistics systems, and the operational tempo of their business." ~Kevin Benedict
More data is being generated today than ever before, and in 2018 leaders should be laser focused on investing in and implementing the following digital systems/solutions:
  • Data collection
  • Big data analytics
  • AI/Machine learning
  • Automation (RPA)
  • Security
  • Real-time contextually relevant personalized experiences
There is a new sense of urgency today as businesses realize data is the blood that runs through the veins of a successful business in this digital era, and that data has a shelf life, and the value of it diminishes rapidly over time.  In an always-connected world where consumers and their needs are transient, timing is everything and a special type of data is needed - real-time data. In order to capture competitive advantages and contextual relevance before data expires, enterprises must deploy optimized information logistics systems (OILS) that deliver on the potential fast enough to exploit it.

Digital consumers are impatient and demand instant results.  IT infrastructures must be able to support real-time interactions, and this requirement will increase as mobile commerce is predicted to grow to 47% of all e-commerce by 2018.  Supporting real-time information requires not only real-time IT environments, but also digital transformation across the entire organization so the business can exploit it. In order to succeed, businesses must react to location-based and time-sensitive information while it is still contextually relevant.

Data is the lifeblood of digital commerce, and increasingly in physical stores as well where the digital and physical worlds are rapidly converging. As commerce rapidly shifts to digital, the success of products, brands and companies are increasingly dependent on data and systems that consume it in order to support the demand for more personalized digital experiences (Read Cutting Through Chaos in the Age of Mobile Me). How an organization makes sense of data, protects it, and disseminates it is a complex and challenging issue.

Data strategies and the execution of them will determine the winners of the future, and the future is now. Businesses are learning that effective data and analytics strategies are the secret to success in digital markets (Read How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards).  Information dominance is now the strategic business goal.

In addition to investments in IT, achieving real-time operational tempos in the enterprise takes rethinking business models, organizational structures, decision-making and business processes.  It requires new ways of operating and employee training.  Supporting real-time operational tempos is a daunting task many have failed to prioritize, and are suffering as a consequence.

At the risk of repeating myself, winners of a digital tomorrow will invest in the following six IT and business areas:
  1. Optimizing their information logistics systems
  2. Implementing effective sensing systems (IoT, IIoT, automated data collection systems, etc.)
  3. Utilizing automation supported by AI to gain speed, predictability and quality (think RPA)
  4. Achieving real-time business operational tempos
  5. Increasing business, leadership and cultural agility
  6. Using contextual relevance to personalize digital user interactions and experiences  
The purpose of these investments are to capture the value of data fast enough to gain competitive advantages and to deliver the best possible digital and physical experiences.  Speeds should be maximized in the following 6 areas:
  1. IT systems
  2. Business processes
  3. Decision-making
  4. Business alignment/transformation
  5. Customer alignment
  6. Cultural alignment 
IT systems that support real-time speeds will take advantage of sensors of all kinds, online interactions, wearables, mobile devices, etc., to collect data.  Sensors can be embedded chip technology that monitors physical and chemical environments and wirelessly transmits digital results, or they can be software code that monitors contextually relevant opportunities, moments and environments (CROME) by reading data inputs collected from all digital sources.  CROME triggers are “meaningful bits of data that when captured and analyzed can activate time-sensitive and relevant personalization that can be used to enhance user experiences.”

CROME triggers integrated with real-time artificial intelligence algorithms can transform the potential value of data, into kinetic value by instantaneously personalizing a user’s experience and making it contextually relevant.

Businesses that embrace digital transformation will optimize their organizational structures and business models to support the operational tempos demanded by a mobile and connected world.  By tempos we mean the pace or speed at which the organization must operate to compete successfully.  Increasingly digital users demand real-time responses.  To support real-time responses requires an enterprise to move beyond “human time” and into the realm of “digital time” (Read 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation).

Humans are biological entities that operate at a pace governed by the sun, moon, and the physical requirements that keep our carbon-based bodies alive.  These requirements and mental limitations make scaling humans beyond these time-cycles impossible without augmentation.  Augmentation takes the form of robotic process automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning and algorithms.  These types of augmentation technologies have the advantage of being able to work 24x7x365, and don’t as yet ask for holidays off.

Once an organization is capable of supporting real-time business tempos, and can support the personalized interactions digital users demand, the challenge becomes business agility.

Agility is the speed at which a business can recognize, analyze, react and profit from rapidly changing consumer demands in a hyper-competitive market. Businesses that can accurately understand customer demand and their competition, and then respond faster, will soon dominate those, which are slower.  The military strategist John Boyd called these competitive advantages, “getting inside of your competitor’s decision and response curves.”  This means your actions and responses are occurring at a pace that surpasses your competitions’ ability to understand and react.

Businesses must recognize the demand for real-time operational tempos is only going to increase and this requires strategy, action and a budget. One of my rules based upon experience is the following, “As the number of digital consumers and interactions increase, so also will the need for more speed, digital transformation and automation.”  They go hand in glove together.  Delaying a response, or denying the need for these requirements are not winning options.

Sub-optimal information logistics systems, and the glacial operational tempos of yesteryear will not succeed in today’s or tomorrow’s world, and company valuations have already begun to reflect this.  One-third of investors and equity analysts surveyed believe that good data and analytics strategies are rewarding companies with higher valuations.  Gartner’s Douglas Laney has even coined the phrase infonomics to describe how information, as a new asset class, can be measured to estimate its impact on company valuations.

To succeed in the digital future, leaders must implement innovative data strategies and information logistics systems capable of winning in a real-time world where contextually relevant, instant and personalized experiences are required.   They must develop company cultures where change is viewed as an opportunity.  They must digitally transform their businesses to operate at real-time tempos and move beyond “human-time” limitations to algorithm and automation supported “digital-time.”  They must understand that rapidly changing digital consumer behaviors mandate companies operate in a more agile manner capable of rapid responses to new opportunities and competitive threats.

Read more from the Center for Digital Intelligence here.

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Kevin Benedict
Principal Analyst | Consultant | Digital Technologies and Strategies - Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Silicon Valley Series: Digital Precision with IIoT, Analytics, AI and Digital Transformation

In this Silicon Valley Series I have the privilege of interviewing very smart and experienced Silicon Valley veterans on a variety of important business trends, technologies and strategies.  I hope you find this series of short interviews interesting.

In this episode, experienced Silicon Valley CEO Tom Thimot and I discuss the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and digital transformation, and how it all plays a role in operating a more precise business that leads to competitive advantages.


Monday, December 04, 2017

Digital Expert Series: Digging into IIoT with AMI Global's Expert Terrence O'Leary

In this episode of the Digital Expert Series, we dig deep into the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) with AMI Global's expert Terrence O'Leary.  We learn about all the various components in the IIoT ecosystem including sensors, analytics, security, AI, machine learning, and the competitive advantages available and the strategies employed.


Read more from the Center for Digital Intelligence™ here:

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Do Robots have Karma?

This month, an AI (artificial intelligence) system passed a medical exam in China for the first time.  I wonder how its bedside manner will be?  In addition, Saudi Arabia granted citizenship to a robot named Sophia.  I wonder if the robot will be granted the rights of males, or females?  With all these rapid advancements, I think it is time we explore the spiritual life of robots.

Up until recently, programmers coded and configured algorithms, AI, automation and machine learning system and took personal responsibility for all the code.  Today, however, AI has escaped the confines of human oversight and has been empowered and employed to self-program, self-optimize, self-test, self-configure and self-learn.  David Gunning writes, "Continued advances [in AI] promise to produce autonomous systems that will perceive, learn, decide, and act on their own."  That's a problem, not only with me, but with Karma.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Silicon Valley Series: Security, Automation and Managing IT

In this Silicon Valley Series I have the privilege of interviewing very smart and experienced Silicon Valley veterans on a variety of important business trends, technologies and strategies.  I hope you find this series of short interviews interesting.

In this episode, I talk with Cybric CTO and security expert Mike Kail, and Tom Thimot, veteran Silicon Valley CEO, about the challenges of securing data and applications across global enterprises, and hear their best advice and recommendations.

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Kevin Benedict
Principal Analyst, Digital Strategist - Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Digital Intelligence
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Mobile Expert Interviews: The Convergence of Enterprise Mobility and IoT

In this episode of Mobile Expert Interviews, I have the pleasure of interviewing three veteran enterprise mobility, field service, IoT and UI experts from TotalMobile in Belfast and the England.  We cover the the subjects of how IoT and enterprise mobility are converging, the role of AI, and how all of these developments are speeding up the delivery of products and services.  We also explore current and future developments in both healthcare and field services.  Enjoy!



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Kevin Benedict
Principal Analyst, Digital Strategist - the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Digital Expert Interviews: Intelligent Automation Expert Alex Veytsman

Intelligent Automation is one of the most exciting and fast growing areas in high tech today.  Everyday we read, watch and listen about more robots, artificial intelligence, sensors and other innovations.  In today's interview with Wipro's Intelligent Automation expert Alex Veytsman, we get to the bottom of the hype and ask the expert what companies are really doing with intelligent automation.  Enjoy!



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Kevin Benedict
Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Technologies
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Silicon Valley Series: The Power of Algorithms

In this Silicon Valley Series I have the privilege of interviewing very smart and experienced Silicon Valley veterans on a variety of important business trends, technologies and strategies.  I hope you find this series of short interviews interesting.

In this episode, filmed in front of the Bay bridge in San Francisco, veteran Silicon Valley CEO Tom Thimot and I discuss how digitizing physical objects, adding real-time sensor data, analytics, AI and algorithms offers incredible amounts of new value.


Kevin Benedict's Video Series:The Power of Algorithms
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Kevin Benedict
Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Technologies
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Rethinking Education in the Digital Age

Center for Digital Intelligence™
Have you considered how the traditional textbook author/publisher, teacher, student and parent relationship should change as a result of digital transformation?  In this article let's explore how this traditional process can be greatly enhanced with digital technologies.  Traditionally a physical textbook is published in one format for all students.  Sometimes, at a great expense, they can be translated to another language.  There are several challenges with that.  Not all students learn in the same manner or language, physical textbooks can only use images and texts on paper, and today's students are more accustomed to accessing, reading, watching and listening to content in a digital format on smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Digital formats, however, can be integrated with all kinds of digital media.  The devices or hardware that reads digital formats (smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc.) also mostly support GPS and mapping.  With GPS sensors, authors can integrate location data from Google Field Trips, to make their textbooks location-aware and more contextually relevant to the reader.  For example a student could be reading about Lewis and Clark's explorations, and their digital textbook could automatically show them nearby locations, photos, video clips, notes, podcasts, etc., related to that journey.  In addition, virtual reality and augmented reality applications could then be created to bring historic events to life.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Silicon Valley Series: Using Data the Google Way with Kevin Benedict & Tom Thimot

In this Silicon Valley Series I have the privilege of interviewing very smart and experienced Silicon Valley veterans on a variety of important business trends, technologies and strategies.  I hope you find this series of short interviews interesting.

In this episode I am joined by my friend and veteran Silicon Valley CEO Tom Thimot.  We dig into the lessons Google has taught all of us on the value of data, and how data can be used as a competitive advantage.  Enjoy!


Kevin Benedict's Video Series:
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Kevin Benedict
Principal Analyst, Futurist, the Center for Digital Intelligence™
Website C4DIGI.com
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin's YouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Technologies
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.