Monday, August 14, 2017

Patterns, Platforms, Competitive Advantages and Automation

Any significant business process that can be documented and best practices identified - will be.  Any defined process that can be standardized - will be.  Standardized processes that can be codified and automated (through robotic software automation), will be - if the volume justifies it.  If the process is repeatable across many companies it will be offered as a shared service on a platform in a cloud.

If you agree with these technology maxims, then you are likely to agree that most existing business processes offer little competitive advantages in the long run, and the advantages of new innovations are fleeting so must be captured early.  They will eventually become part of a shared services platform followed and used by your competitors.  For example, 20 and 40 foot shipping containers offered a competitive advantage for shipping companies and ports that were early adopters, but only for a very short period of time.  After a quick few years the entire world standardized on them and the competitive advantage disappeared.

Once processes are standardized and widely adopted, they no longer serve as a competitive advantage, but only as a disadvantage for those that don't support them.  Where then are competitive advantages to be found in this digital age?  The answers are found in these four Competitive Niches: new, unique, personalized and unexplored.  These are the areas where standardized processes and platforms don't yet exist in the marketplace.

Capturing a positive ROI from Competitive Niches, however, requires a special kind of leadership and organization that is both courageous and committed to winning in the digital age.  The key is focused leadership, speed and organizational agility.  Can our leaders, staff, processes and systems move fast enough to capture Competitive Niches?  That is the question.

Can our leadership teams identify new patterns in our market, customer behaviors and sales trends before our competition?  Can they then deliver new and unique products, services and solutions personalized and contextually relevant to our customers before our competition?  Our ability to capture and realize the value in Competitive Niches is where forward thinking companies should be investing their resources today.

One of the areas I find most interesting today is the prediction that the average price of a sensors will drop to $0.38 by 2020.  They averaged $1.30 each in 2004.  Every new sensor has the opportunity to provide new data that was not available before - leading to new insights and changes in processes, services and products.  We should all be asking ourselves the question, "What data am I missing today (that a new sensor might capture) that might change the way my industry works?"

Read more from Kevin Benedict and the Center for Digital Intelligence™ here:

  1. Making the Hard Decisions in Digital Transformation
  2. The Center for Digital Intelligence Interview Series: Hitachi's Rob Tiffany on Industrial IoT Platforms
  3. Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
  4. Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
  5. Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
  6. Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
  7. Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
  8. Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
  9. 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
  10. Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  11. Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  12. Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  13. Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  14. Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  15. Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  16. How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  17. To Bot, or Not to Bot
  18. Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  19. Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  20. How Digital Leaders are Different
  21. The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  22. Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  23. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  24. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  25. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  26. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  27. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  28. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  29. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  30. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  31. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  32. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  33. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  34. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  35. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  36. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  37. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  38. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  39. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  40. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  41. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  42. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  43. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  44. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  45. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  46. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  47. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  48. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  49. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  50. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  51. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  52. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  53. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  54. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time

************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
President, 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.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Making the Hard Decisions in Digital Transformation

How can an organization with decades worth of accumulated ERP customizations and configurations, IT systems and customized software applications digitally transform fast enough to keep up with the rapidly changing behaviors of digital customers? That is a hard question most organizations are wrestling with today.  Often complex custom IT environments served a purpose in a past era, but today where IT speed and agility are required, they serve as anchors restraining an organization from moving forward and digitally transforming fast enough to compete.

Like a CEO that closes down or sells a profitable business unit because it no longer fits with where the organization is going, CTOs and CIOs must rapidly shut down or replace IT systems and processes that no longer support the reality of today, or the vision of the future based on the best information available today - not yesterday. Keeping an outdated IT system or business process for the purpose of achieving a positive return on the original investment is a strategy based on pride, not logic.

We can only make decisions and act on the best information available at a given point in time.  When the future evolves in unexpected ways, we should not hold to our outdated plans and decisions based on an interpretation of the future that was not realized.  Rather, we need to recognize that our best data about today identifies a different set of needs and strategies and then we must act.  Trying to compete and win with strategies, processes and IT systems designed for a interpretation of the future that did not happen is never going to succeed.

Philosophically, we should never punish a leadership team that acted on the best information available at a point and time.  We should only punish a leadership team that doesn't.  We need to act on new data, and reward leadership willing to do so.

If we as leaders see our organization losing ground to faster and more nimbler competitors, and unable to keep up with the fast changing needs of digital customers, then we need to be taking inventory of our systems and processes and replacing all that restrain us.

Our human resources must also change to succeed in evolving markets.  We must help our employees recognize how the labor market is changing, what skills will be more or less valuable, and help them make the transition.  We have a leadership obligation to our employees (not just to our shareholders) to operate a company that can compete globally.  We need to help our employees upgrade and become the valuable assets we need to compete.  Pining for a past age and business environment doesn't prepare us to compete in the future, rather it guarantees we will not participate in it.

Read more from Kevin Benedict and the Center for Digital Intelligence™ here:

  1. The Center for Digital Intelligence Interview Series: Hitachi's Rob Tiffany on Industrial IoT Platforms
  2. Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
  3. Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
  4. Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
  5. Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
  6. Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
  7. Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
  8. 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
  9. Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  10. Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  11. Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  12. Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  13. Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  14. Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  15. How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  16. To Bot, or Not to Bot
  17. Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  18. Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  19. How Digital Leaders are Different
  20. The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  21. Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  22. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  23. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  24. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  25. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  26. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  27. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  28. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  29. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  30. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  31. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  32. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  33. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  34. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  35. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  36. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  37. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  38. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  39. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  40. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  41. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  42. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  43. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  44. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  45. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  46. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  47. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  48. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  49. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  50. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  51. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  52. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  53. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time
************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
President, 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.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

The Center for Digital Intelligence Interview: IoT Platforms with Hitachi's Rob Tiffany

I had the honor of interviewing and disrupting the vacation of Hitachi's CTO for Industrial IoT, Rob Tiffany today.  In this interview we talk all about IoT platforms, big data analytics, architectures, digital twins and solution stacks for industrial IoT.  I learned a lot and hope you will too.



Read more from Kevin Benedict here:

  1. Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
  2. Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
  3. Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
  4. Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
  5. Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
  6. Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
  7. 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
  8. Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  9. Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  10. Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  11. Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  12. Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  13. Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  14. How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  15. To Bot, or Not to Bot
  16. Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  17. Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  18. How Digital Leaders are Different
  19. The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  20. Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  21. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  22. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  23. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  24. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  25. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  26. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  27. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  28. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  29. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  30. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  31. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  32. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  33. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  34. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  35. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  36. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  37. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  38. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  39. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  40. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  41. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  42. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  43. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  44. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  45. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  46. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  47. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  48. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  49. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  50. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  51. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  52. Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time
************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
President, 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.

New Rules for Start-Ups in the Age of Digital Transformation

I have had the opportunity to work for and around a good many start-ups during the course of my career.  Often the start-up founders would simply define a problem, develop a solution and launch a company.  The marketing department would then do their very best to identify the individuals in each target company that experienced the problem and had a budget to fix it.  This was always a challenging task, but it is even harder today.

Today, start-ups must not only identify a problem that needs solved, but they must compete against "digital transformation" initiatives in both the business and IT organizations that are trying to reduce complexity through the elimination of applications, customized software solutions, IT systems, multiple instances of ERPs and vendors.

The goal of many organizations today is to simplify the IT environment, and to make business processes much faster and agile.  I see many companies seeking to standardize on a handful of platforms like Salesforce.com, SAP, Adobe, Ariba, SuccessFactor, etc. Too many systems in an IT inventory, means too much complexity and the increased risk that data will be compromised, and that systems will be too expensive to maintain, secure and upgrade.  In this age of fast changing digital consumer behaviors, flexibility and simplicity equal organizational speed to keep up with their markets.

What is the answer for start-ups?  Start-up solutions must appeal to the digital transformation goals of their target customers.  It means their solution must be cloud based and automatically upgraded to stay aligned with customer's core platforms and systems.  It means offering artificial intelligence enabled robotic process automation, chatbots and machine learning that can improve predictability, simplify complexity and eliminate troublesome areas of service and performance.  It must not result in any additional layers of complexity, rather new solutions need to solve big problems, while at the same time reducing complexity, and increasing agility and the operational tempo of the business.



************************************************************************
Kevin Benedict
President, 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.