Friday, December 15, 2017

An Executive's 2018 Checklist for Digital Transformation

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.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Digital Expert Interviews: Futurist Frank Diana

I had the pleasure of interviewing futurist and TCS's thought leader extraordinaire Frank Diana today.  In this interview we discuss the impact of automation on jobs, the role of platforms, the accelerating pace of innovation and how ethics and purpose need to be considered.  Enjoy!



Kevin Benedict's Silicon Valley Video Series: ************************************************************************
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.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Digital Intelligence Weekly by Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict's
Center for Digital Intelligence™
In this weekly report I collect, curate and comment on interesting topics related to emerging technologies and digital trends.  Enjoy!

Question: Why is 2017 a record year for retail stores in the USA?  Answer: A record 6,700 retail stores have already closed in the USA in 2017, and as many as 8,600 will close by the end of the year. Online stores are capturing more market share, and fast fashion is overturning traditional retail business models and supply chains. [KRB Comment] This is our fault.  We like to shop online. We like access to global inventories and next day shipping.  We like to be able to conveniently return products that don’t work for us.  We like personalized product offerings.  We like recommendations. We like lower prices.  We like shopping from our couches and beds.
Source: 

Question: How do you dupe Americans out of more personal information without their knowledge and then sway an election?  Answer: Offer them a free personality test on Facebook, and then use that information to create psychographic data. Cambridge Analytica built psychological profiles of over 200 million Americans in part by using information they shared on social media.  For example, many Americans took personality quizzes spread by the firm on Facebook, which were designed to reveal how they score on measures of the so-called “big five” personality traits.  [KRB Comment] I am guilty of taking both personality tests and political leanings tests on Facebook.  I am now sure the results were ultimately combined to create a profile that could be used for nefarious purposes.  I don’t think this is what Mark Zuckerberg had in mind when he first programmed Facebook at Harvard.
Source:

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Silicon Valley Series: Security as a Service and Managing Enterprise Security, Processes and Policies

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 interview the CTO of Cybric, Mike D. Kail, and discuss Security-As-A-Service, and the challenges involved in managing the digital security of a large enterprise when there are so many wireless and mobile connected devices and objects in your IT ecosystem.  Enjoy!



Monday, November 06, 2017

Silicon Valley Series: Cultural Impact on Digital Transformation

In this Silicon Valley Series I am honored to interview a number of very smart and experienced Silicon Valley dignitaries on a variety of important business trends, technologies and strategies.  I hope you find this series of short interviews useful.

In this episode, I interview Tom Thimot, a veteran three time CEO of Silicon Valley companies, on the importance of developing the right culture in your enterprise so you can compete successfully in an age of digital transformation.  Enjoy!


Thursday, November 02, 2017

Silicon Valley Series: Customer Analytics, Personalization, Privacy and Context

In this Silicon Valley Series I was honored to interview a number of very smart and experienced Silicon Valley dignitaries on a variety of important business trends, technologies and strategies.  I hope you find this series of short interviews useful.

In this episode, I have the honor of learning from Silicon Valley veteran CMO (Chief Marketing Officer), brand and digital marketing expert, Mark Lewis (Twitter @marklewis_sf).  We discuss the latest trends and strategies in personalization, opportunities and privacy challenges.



Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Silicon Valley Series: Evolution of Cloud, Analytics, AI and Human Integration

In this Silicon Valley Series I was honored to interview a number of very smart and experienced Silicon Valley dignitaries on a variety of important business trends, technologies and strategies.  I hope you find this series of short interviews useful.

In this episode, I interview Silicon Valley veteran and three time CEO Tom Thimot on how artificial intelligence and automation are evolving from hybrid models to more trusted automation models.



Friday, October 27, 2017

Digital Intelligence Weekly by Kevin Benedict

Kevin Benedict's
Center for Digital Intelligence
In this weekly report I collect, curate and comment on subjects related to emerging technologies and digital trends.  I hope you find it useful.

Question: Where are VC's placing their money today?  Answer: Vijay Pande, a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz, says, “We’re interested in companies in the healthcare and biology space with machine learning at their core."

Question: When will Twitter finally be profitable according to GAAP rules?  Answer: The fourth quarter of 2017 according to Reuters. KRB Comment:  Google, Microsoft and Facebook all had great quarters, so it is about time for Twitter to be profitable.

Question:  How can the German e-commerce company, Otto, predict, with 90% accuracy, what they will sell in the next 30 days?  Answer: They use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze around 3 billion past transactions and 200 variables (such as past sales, searches on Otto’s site and weather information) to predict what customers will buy each week.  The AI system has proved so reliable—it predicts with 90% accuracy what will be sold within 30 days.  Source: The Economist  KRB Comment: Those numbers are truly impressive, and Otto now let's the AI system order products in advance of sales, WOW!  The list of functions that AI can do better than humans is growing quickly.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

The 12 Step Plan for Digital Transformation Speed

It took Magellan’s crew three years sailing ships to circumnavigate the earth.  Today, at hypersonic speeds of 7,680 MPH, it takes just over three hours to circumnavigate the earth.  Data on the Internet, however, travels at 670 million MPH, which means it only takes milliseconds to circumnavigate the earth.  In this age of digital businesses and digital interactions, companies must digitally transform to work effectively in a world where mass information moves at these unimaginable speeds.

It's not just IT systems that are impacted by the volume and speed of information.  The creators of business processes that were designed and developed in an analog area, simply never envisioned a business environment that would require these operational tempos.  Analog business processes were designed to have humans involved.  These dependencies were designed to slow down the process to ensure accuracy, compliance and accountability.  Today, however, operating at the slow speeds of an analog, human dependent business process, will doom your company.  Analog business processes must be quickly automated via robotic process automation using artificial intelligence and machine learning to effectively interact with impatient digital customers and B2B partners.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Artificial Intelligence, Combined Actions and Digital Strategies

Fingerspitzengefühl: A German word used to describe the ability to maintain attention to detail in an ever-changing operational and tactical environment by maintaining real-time situational awareness. The term is synonymous with the English expression of "keeping one's finger on the pulse".  The problem with fingerspitzengefühl traditionally, in addition to pronouncing it, has been it is hard for an individual to scale up. Today that is changing.  In a world of sensors, AI and mobile devices, having real-time situational awareness is far easier than ever before.  In fact, today the challenge is not how to do it, but what to do with the massive volume of data that can be provided.



Friday, September 15, 2017

Competition, Artificial Intelligence and Balloons

W. Edward Deming taught that quality is achieved by measuring as much as possible and reducing variations, and reducing variation is achieved by improving the system, not just pieces.  Japan widely adopted Deming's philosophies in the 1950s and became the 2nd biggest economy in the world.  Quality improvement didn't decrease jobs in Japan, it increased jobs.

AI now has the ability to expand and codify Deming's philosophies - to take them to the next level. AI can improve and standardize decision making based on logic, rather than the fear of missing objectives, bonuses or losing one's job.  It can continuously monitor for quality against specifications by analyzing streams of real-time data coming from embedded sensors connected to the IIoT, IoT and IoA (internet of agriculture). This means companies that are aggressive early adopters of these digital technologies will have more knowledge, higher quality and significant competitive advantages, which means more demand for their products, sales, customer service, manufacturing, distribution, etc.  It also means aggressive adopters will likely generate more jobs.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

What Artificial Intelligence Can Teach Us

Most of us understand that artificial intelligence (AI) offers opportunities for productivity improvements in the form of speed, automation, standardized actions and responses, plus the opportunity for continuous improvements via machine learning. These opportunities are enabled by data inputs that are analyzed and processed through AI algorithms that execute a desired decision and action. For all of the great capabilities and benefits that AI can provide, there is also a potential dark side. AI solutions can easily codify our prejudices, bias, gender stereotypes and promote injustices intentionally or unintentionally. This threat, as real and serious as it is, can also be seen as an opportunity to evaluate who we are, what we want the future to look like, and then codify a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The 7 Imperatives for Thriving During Digital Transformation

Center for Digital Intelligence
These days it's not hard to identify the challenges organizations are facing during today's rapid business and digital transformation.  What's more difficult is knowing how to succeed.  The following recommendations are the result of our analysis after interviewing 37 executives and over 80 high tech professionals involved in digital technologies.
  1. Develop and monitor your own digital mindset and that of your organization's: Understand the need to continuously upgrade and update your own thinking, as well as your organization’s.  Accept that digital technologies and a connected world are here to stay, and that the path to business success resides in them. Understand digital technologies and their capabilities, and rethink every aspect of your business, and business strategy, with a digital mindset.
  2. Recognize the role culture plays in being successful in three key areas: your leadership, institutional and customer culture.  Purposely develop a digital culture that accepts and embraces the rapid pace of change that comes with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Analyst Kevin Benedict Interviews OSIsoft's Sam Lakkundi on Industrial IoT Platforms


What makes an Industrial Internet of Things platform different from any other IoT platform?  How is real-time data treated differently from data that can be archived and analyzed later?  What role does AI play in IIoT?  All these questions and more are covered in this interview with OSIsoft's Sam Lakkundi.  Enjoy!



Read more articles and watch more interviews at C4DIGI.com.

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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.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Time Continuums as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation

We humans have a finite speed at which we think, analyze and make decisions that is largely determined by biology, chemistry and physics.  These limitations were not a problem when business was conducted largely by face-to-face interactions with other humans.  Today, however, in the digital age, businesses must operate in “digital” and ultimately in “future” time. Here’s a closer look at these different time continuums:

Human time: Time governed by our biological and mental limitations as humans. We can only focus on a small set of data before our minds are overwhelmed.  When important decisions must be made, our brains need time, significant time, to weigh all the variables, pros and cons and possible outcomes in order to arrive at a good decision.  In times of high stress when making fast decisions is required, many of us don’t perform at our peak.  In addition, weak humans that we are, we need sleep.  We are not always available; we require daily downtime in order to function.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Precision as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation

Throughout history military leaders have suffered through the "fog of war," where they desperately sought answers to six key questions:

• Where are my enemies?
• Where are my friends?
• Where are my forces?
• Where are my materials and supplies?
• What capabilities are available now and at what location?
• What are the environmental conditions?

These “unknowns” impacted the strategies and tactics military leaders employed. Their time and energy as leaders were heavily focused on defending themselves against these unknowns.

Speed as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation

The concept of speed as an advantage is not new. Over the course of 700 years, the Romans built and maintained a system of roads extending over 55,000 miles to enable speedy communications and the quick movement of troops across the vast expanse of the empire.

What’s different today is that digital technologies have warped our perception of time. As an example, a person might say they live five minutes from town, but that can have widely different meanings based on whether they were referring to walking or driving a car.  Digital technologies compress our perception of time and space while expanding our expectations of what can be accomplished in a given time. We expect to complete the equivalent of one hour of shopping in a supermarket in one minute online.  These changes significantly impact the way businesses must operate in a digital era to compete and remain relevant.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Culture as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation

The human work of solving problems, facing challenges and overcoming obstacles tends to share a common goal: creating stable, secure and predictable environments. The tendency for most humans is that once we solve a challenge, we want to be done with it.  That propensity, however, does not fit with today’s reality of perpetual change. 

In the digital business world, organizations have no choice but to operate in an unclear, uncertain and continuously shifting environment that requires a new mindset and approach to formulating business strategies.  Digital winners recognize that change is part of the game, and that they need to develop ways to exploit continuous ambiguity.   In fact, in our surveys of high-tech professionals, when we asked how long they thought digital transformation initiatives would last, about one-third of the surveyed technology professionals answered “forever” – and as we all know, forever is a long, long time.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Digital Technologies and the Compression of Time and Distance

Professor Paul Virilio, a philosopher of speed, urbanist and cultural theorist, wrote at length about the impact of speed on society.  He wrote that speed compresses both time and distance. Where once it took a letter 6 months to get to the other side of the world, an email can now arrive in seconds.  Today's near real-time communications has changed how nations are governed, markets operate and commerce is conducted.  The distance and time involved in communications has been compressed into seconds.

Commanders of Roman armies could once estimate the day and time of battle based upon their soldiers ability to march 20 miles per day on purpose built stone roads.  Today, however, a ballistic missile can be launched and reach the other side of the earth in minutes.   As a result, nations and their military commanders must now prepare to make critical decisions in mere seconds rather than taking days, weeks or months to deliberate.  That's a big deal.  In the past, an army could retreat and give up distance for time.  In the example of the roman army, an opponent could retreat and separate themselves by 100 miles to give them the security of 5 days of time.  Today 100 miles means only a matter of seconds.  The distance and time of military conflicts today has been compressed to milliseconds.

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.

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.

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
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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.



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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.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Digital Transformation and Leadership Development

I have read several articles recently about projects designed to teach digital systems to think more like humans.  For example one article was about teaching chatbot systems to communicate empathy to humans.  It seems ironic that we are developing digital systems to think more like humans, while at the same time much of my work is focused on teaching humans how to think more like and about digital systems and their capabilities.  Let me explain.

Competitive battles in most industries today are increasingly centered on digital technologies and digital strategies, and as a result, it benefits leaders to have a deep understanding of how digital systems work, and how the impact of new digital innovations will change the behaviors of customers, competitors and partners.

A few of the areas that I think leaders should really understand are:

  • Simple programming concepts and computer logic
  • Small World, social networks and swarming theories
  • Industry and technology data exchange standards
  • Platforms, Cloud computing, Containers and System thinking
  • Internet and network architecture and design
  • Big Data and real-time analytics
  • GPS, GIS and Mapping
  • Mobile and wireless technologies
  • Sensors, embedded wireless devices and IoT
  • Data and device security and authentication
  • Databases and data lifecycle management
  • Online catalogs, shopping carts and digital payments
  • Digital marketing, personalization and contextual relevance
  • Digital content and delivery: websites, blogs, videos, podcasts, social media (e.g. Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
  • Robotics, automation, AI and machine learning
  • Virtual and augmented reality

There are many more items that could be added to this short list, but I hope you get the idea.  If we can agree that digital technologies are fundamental to our future success, then we must understand them, or at least their capabilities.

To read more about how digital transformation is impacting strategies read this article 15 Rules for Winning During the Age of Digital Transformation.
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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.