Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fast Tempos and Digital Transformation

What matters most is the tempo of change.” ~ John Boyd

Few businesses would argue that data collection and analytics are not important to their current and future success.  Data can provide situational awareness, enhanced customer service and more personalized experiences.  It also supports vigilance and the ability to recognize both problems and opportunities early.  The problem, however, is not many enterprises can act on the data fast enough to matter.

In most companies, organizational structures, decision-making processes, business models and business cultures aren’t nimble enough to change at a tempo fast enough to capture competitive opportunities and respond to challenges.  In today’s world of digital transformation and fast changing mobile and online consumer behaviors (see Cutting Through Chaos in the Age of Mobile Me), businesses must be as nimble as their customers, or they risk losing market share to a nimbler competitor.

The First Law of Thermodynamics states, "energy can be changed from one form to another, but it cannot be created or destroyed.”  In a business context that means if energy is being used to resist change, then it is not available for making change.  Change is difficult.  The default mode for most organizations and people is to resist change.  In order to overcome this resistance, a new reality must be created.

Companies need to transform in order to minimize resistance and reward behaviors and environments that support a fast tempo of change.  Companies that can support a fast tempo of change have a big competitive advantage, while those that can’t risk obsolescence.

The military strategist John Boyd found some fighter planes with poorer performance numbers on paper were actually better in competition because they could transition at a faster tempo.  The ability to change directions quickly trumped speed and performance.  There are lessons there for businesses.

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Analyst and World Traveler
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Analyst and World Traveler
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Role of Sensors, Real-Time BI, Big Data and Personalization in Mobile Commerce: The Report and the Video

I just completed a video that accompanies my latest research on mobile consumer behaviors, and the strategies retailers must implement.  If you design, develop or deploy customer facing apps, this content is relevant and important.


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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Analyst and World Traveler
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Human Thinking vs Technology - Digital Intrusions

In a world filled with millions of instances of hyper-stimulating digital content - thinking, learning and the development of intellectual assets suffer.  In a recent article I authored titled, It’sTime to Make Technology Disappear, I shared that technology has increasingly become a hindrance to my thinking, a distraction to thoughtful, productive work. I love technology, but it has reached the point where it has overwhelmed my senses, and I doubt I am the only one.

Thoughtful thinking, and by that I mean thinking that utilizes analysis, comparisons, judgment, creativity, planning, forecasting and imagining requires dedicated time to ponder, formulate and connect ideas and thoughts.  These activities require a mental focus void of interruptions.

I had the opportunity to manage teams of programmers for many years.  You quickly learn that quality programming requires dedicated time absent from distraction.  I read once that programmers, if interrupted, take 20 minutes to fully return to the level of mental concentration they had before interruption.  This is one of many reasons I turn off nearly all sound and visual alerts on my laptop and mobile devices.  It is hard enough focusing my own brain for long periods of time, let alone being bombarded by digital distractions. 

In our personal multi-screen lives filled with alerts, notifications, reminders, news flashes, advertisements and 24x7 communications via smartphones and social media, it is easy to lose the storyline we each want for our own lives.  Our personal storyline is our past, present and future.  It is the story we want our lives to tell.  Recognizing our past storyline, determining how we want to change, and then ensuring we are taking the necessary steps to live it, takes focused thinking and time – all things we quickly lose under the onslaught of digital glimpses and instances.

In our professional lives we often have specific and routine deliverables, plus the increasing request to help our employers innovate, create, invent and digitally transform.  Our routine deliverables and tasks often benefit greatly from technology that improves productivity (and by the way can often be done by robots), but unless we can “make technology disappear” into the background, it inhibits our human ability to think thoughtfully about important future business and digital transformation issues.  If we are to claim and protect our humanity amongst all of the digital distractions, we are going to need to figure out a way to control both our technologies and ourselves.
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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Analyst and World Traveler
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

It's Time for Technology to Disappear

In 2015, technology reached the tipping point for me, it moved from the efficient column, to the inefficient column, from a pro to a con, from a help to a hindrance. You can hear it in every complaint about how email messages are overwhelming our day, interfering with priorities, impacting our schedules, hurting our productivity and forcing more of us to take our work home at night and over the weekend.

In 2016, technology needs to disappear into the background, while productivity and purpose should be the siren's call. We have approximately 700,000 hours between our birth and our death. About 350,000 of those hours are spent in our careers. How many of those hours do we want to waste on poor technology experiences? I propose the following technologies must disappear, and by disappear I mean fade into the background:
  1. We shouldn’t have to read through hundreds of useless email messages to find the three necessary to complete our job. Communications need to change and email must disappear behind a veil of utility and productivity.
  2. We shouldn’t have to check dozens of different locations, apps and websites to communicate with our work colleagues and friends. All of these various collaboration and communication platforms need to disappear into a consolidated and efficient aggregated solution like Slack.
  3. Communication technologies should disappear into the background, and the quality and utility of the message improved by technologies.
  4. Email and meeting driven schedules must disappear, in favor of schedules that honor purpose and deliverables. This may mean prioritizing thinking time and mental productivity. Scientists agree that the creative parts of our minds work better at different times of the day. Those times need to be reserved, blocked and honored on schedules, to optimize their utility.
  5. The requirement to develop, store and retrieve dozens of different passwords and user names must disappear. The ability to accurately authenticate a user must become more efficient and secure.
  6. Trivial messages and alerts from hundreds of different sources arriving 24 hours a day must disappear. Trivial messages and an urge to immediately respond must not be allowed to negatively impact our thinking, creating, planning, sleeping, loving, relationship building, driving and the handling of dangerous equipment.
  7. On-premise IT solutions, hardware and apps that serve to distract from the business, and offer no additional business value, competitive advantages or market agility must disappear into the cloud.
  8. The 200+ mobile applications on my iPhone must disappear into an artificial intelligence engine (think advanced Siri) that will access their functionality and assist me even before I ask.
  9. Mobile applications that are not personalized, and are not contextually relevant should disappear. I don’t care what you sell, if I am not interested, or it is not relevant to me, I don't want to see it.
  10. The routine process work I do on my computer must go away. Intelligent process automation should be pushed down to individuals. An AMX mobile app should process my expenses without me. It should only alert me to exceptions, not the routine.
  11. Everyone agrees that ideas, creativity and innovation are critical to the success of businesses, but technologies today are more often a hindrance than help in these efforts. Technologies and the use of technologies that hinder creativity and innovation must disappear.
In the lifecycle of technologies, there is a time when users are enthralled and distracted by the technology itself, we are there today, but these times must quickly pass and the technology must disappear into the background. In the year 2016, it should be all about making 2015’s technology disappear.  

The challenge with making technology disappear, is it is hard, time consuming and expensive.  Adding a layer of artificial intelligence, that can analyze data, understand context and personalize an experience is complex and hard, but that is how technology disappears.
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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Analyst and World Traveler
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
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Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

Time, Speed and Space - Mobile vs. Static Apps

Most of today’s technology was designed and developed for static, stationary environments.  Even today, in a mobile world, mobile apps are most often developed based on assumed static endpoints.  Why is that a problem?  We are rarely static people.

Let’s consider two people in a vehicle.  The driver, assuming they use their smartphone only when safely parked, searches for places, locations and directions based on a static starting point.  However, if the person searching for places, locations and directions is a passenger in a moving car, a different set of information is appropriate.  One based on movement, speed, direction, intersections, changing distances, etc.  How should those variables change the way mobile apps are designed?

If you want to meet up with friends or family members who are travelling, in transit, or commuting, today’s mobile apps require you to select a stationary physical address in order to provide a map and direction.  Mobile apps designed with static assumptions are not going to help you coordinate an intersection point based on time, space and speed.  What if you want to meet as soon as possible to exchange children after a soccer game?  Today’s apps are not going to help.

What if you want to meet up with a mobile business?  Someone who sells handmade jewelry or crafts at different locations everyday?  Wouldn’t it be useful to search and find a real-time and accurate address, rather than a static, out of date, physical address?

If you are working outdoors, or in a hardhat industry, you will often need to coordinate with contractors and subcontractors bringing specialized equipment and materials to a jobsite.  Often these moving parts must all come together at once in order to complete a project.  Wouldn’t it be useful if your project management software were using real-time dynamic information (GPS, IoT sensors, mobile apps, etc.) that utilized real-world times, space and speeds to update schedules dynamically?

Calendars apps assume static locations and times, but is that how the real world works?  What if we assumed constant motion, changing variables, obstacles and dynamic schedules?  You know, like in the real world.  How would your mobile calendar apps behave differently?

A transformation in thinking and design needs to take place, one based on the real world, rather than on static models.
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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Analyst and World Traveler
View my profile on LinkedIn
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin'sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies

***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.