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.

Digital time: Time governed by computing, networking, software application and data transmission speeds. Digital time refers to the speeds at which computer systems and networks operate.  Computers can tirelessly act on algorithms and pre-determined decision trees 24x7x365 in milliseconds. The goal is to reach speeds as close to real-time as possible by optimizing each connected system, component and process that touches the data in a given business process.

Future time: Time governed by predictive analytics, algorithms, artificial intelligence and automation. Future time is faster than real-time.  It is the ability to anticipate needs, recognize patterns, take actions and deliver content even before it is requested.  By harnessing future time, we can prepare for the future in a manner that adds value to our businesses today.

Consumers today demand more real-time queries, transactions, decision-making, personalization and business process execution than are humanly possible without computer and software augmentation operating beyond the limitations of human decision-making capabilities and into the realm of artificial intelligence and robotic software automation.  Us humans, already at our limit, must augment our decision-making capabilities to handle the massive increases in the volume, speed and complexity of data.

Future time is the evolutionary nirvana for human-to-digital interactions. Businesses that can’t harvest value from the future have no possibility of competing there.

Foundation for Future Time

Systems that can collect and analyze larger quantities of data, and execute relevant actions quicker, are the basis for operating at the speed required for winning today. Digitally mature organizations have in place an optimized information logistics system (OILS) that enables data to flow unencumbered and efficiently throughout its systems of intelligence.

Think of it in biological terms. When a person has clogged arteries, it restricts and reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood through their body. In the digital age, the equivalent of oxygen-rich blood for organizations is the data running through an information logistics system, and bottlenecks that prevent the speedy movement of data are the equivalent of a digital heart attack.

What clogs or restricts data movement in an enterprise?  Here are a few examples:

• The need for a human to open a file, read it and take action.
• The need to manually inspect, monitor or collect data.
• Quarantined files delaying communications or restricting information flows.
• Batch – rather than real-time – processes.
• Dependencies on individuals’ knowledge and memory.
• Stopped work due to shifts, weekends, employee illness and vacations.
• Inability to access required data.
• Constraints on system performance.
• Non-digitized data or data that is not searchable for easy and fast reference.

An optimized information logistics system enables data to flow faster than is possible in a system dependent upon biological entities.  An optimized system must operate at the speed of digital or future time, and both require automation and artificial intelligence.

The argument for automation and AI is simple to understand.  No one wants a human manually approving our Starbuck’s mobile app transaction while a long line of impatient people wait behind them. When using a turn-by-turn GPS navigation system, drivers don’t want to be connected to a guy with a headset looking at a map. They want their transactions to be lubricated by an OILS and responding as fast as possible. They want GPS sensors connected to satellites, automatically identifying their location on a map, and an AI bot instructing them where to go, using an OILS operating in digital-time.

Simply put, the faster customers can act and get the desired results, the better.  The speed of our actions, however, are often restricted by the speed of data collection and analysis. Businesses can gain speed advantages by improving their ability to:

• Collect data
• Transmit data
• Secure data
• Normalize data
• Store data
• Analyze, report and share information and meaning
• Pair meaning with capabilities and execution

Systems of intelligence and OILS utilize predictive analytics, algorithms and AI to provide an experience that anticipates the needs of the user in an invisible way. It’s like the F-35 fighter jet with its over 8 million lines of software code running it.  It operates on sensors, computers and software just to keep it in the air. Code is required to process all the data at rates fast enough to augment the pilot’s decision-making skills.  Massive volumes of new data in commercial environments will also soon mandate augmented human decision-making that reaches into the future.

As an independent analyst, consultant, speaker and futurist, I am available for new projects and interesting opportunities.

************************************************************************
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, 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.

But while military leaders of the past were limited by human constraints of perception and location, that’s no longer the case today. With sensors, wireless networks, mobile technologies and analytics and artificial intelligence the “fog of war” can be greatly reduced.  Precise real-time data from around the globe can be instantly aggregated, analyzed and results reported. The resulting reduction of unknowns, release leaders to focus more attention and creativity on developing strategies and solving problems based on knowns.   This is an important development in history.

Sensors extend our senses beyond our physical reach and act as our digital nerves. These new capabilities significantly impact how businesses can operate, and offer new opportunities for competitive advantages for digital leaders.

W. Edwards Deming, the father of quality improvement, once said, “The biggest problems are where people don't realize they have one in the first place.”  These “blind spots” – the unknown status of a process, schedule, delivery or available materials, for example – should be a relic of the past. Today, we have the ability to remove conjecture and work with precise data.

Many companies have yet to evolve from legacy business models based on the “unknown and imprecise” and continue to throw good money after bad by following "estimate-based" models. Many companies have yet to implement a comprehensive sensor based digital nervous system.  As a result, these organizations have yet to update their strategies and tactics to support new models of real-time precision. Ignoring today’s “revolution in precision” is unacceptable, and would be like a manufacturer ignoring the “continuous quality improvement” movement in manufacturing. Leaders must recognize both the micro and the macro-trends impacting their markets.

Deming also said, “It is not necessary to change.  Survival is not mandatory.” Taking advantage of precision is a must if surviving is in your plan. As automation increases due to advances in sensors, bandwidth, artificial intelligence, algorithms and machine learning, precision becomes not only possible, but necessary.

Read my series on competitive advantages in digital transformation:


************************************************************************
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.

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.

In his annual shareholder letter for 2017, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos identified one of their key competitive advantages: high-velocity decision-making, or the ability to act quickly on limited information to stay ahead."   In our research for this report, all participants identified the pursuit of speed as a significant motivation for digital transformation:

Speed of innovation to attract new customers
Speed and time to market with new products and services
Fast reactions to competitive and customer pressures
Fast technology adoptions

When asked about the biggest challenges their customers are facing with digital transformation, respondents again identified speed (or lack of speed) issues: legacy systems (too slow), iterative approaches (too slow), technologies evolving too fast to react (response to slow), grappling with which technologies to adopt and how to build a business strategy (too slow).

Among managers surveyed, the number one mistake identified for organizations attempting digital transformation: moving too slow.  Or as author Robert Leonard writes in the book The Principles of War for the Information Age, “If I can develop and pursue my plan to defeat you faster than you can execute your plan to defeat me, then your plan is unimportant.”

Our research reveals four important areas where speed has a profound impact:

1. Technology Performance

The speed at which technology performs – and how that impacts the business’s ability to quickly change – has major implications for future business success. This is highlighted by the fact that a majority of the executives we interviewed see their IT infrastructure as a disadvantage to their business.  In our executive interviews, we gathered the following additional insights:
  • The longer an organization is in business, the more complex the technology structure becomes, and the more difficult it is to change. 
  • Technology limitations prevent a business from changing at the speeds required to remain relevant.
  • Technology limitations even more than business strategies may determine a company’s future direction and ability to compete.
  • The size of a company’s IT challenge is directly proportional to the number of legacy systems, custom apps and integration points they have. 
2. Organizational Agility

The speed with which an organization can change directions - its agility - is critical to success in a fast changing digital world.  As one executive said, “Digital transformation requires the ability to act and react quickly as an organization.”  The lack of organizational agility has real consequences. “We miss opportunities as a result of our reluctance to change,” said another executive.

Agility doesn’t happen by accident. An agile organize must be purposefully developed to act and react with speed to changing market conditions and consumer behaviors. It requires an organization that recognizes the competitive advantages available in the gaps between leaders and laggards.  Agility requires a business model, workforce and IT infrastructure capable of responding to the requirements of the business.

3. Leadership Decision-Making

Digital technologies (sensors, mobile devices, analytics, AI, etc.) enable data to be collected and processed in real-time, and it takes that kind of speed to support digital customer interactions, and to be competitive today.  Many leaders, however, have failed to recognize these changes and the need for digital transformation.  Executives had the following insights and comments on this matter:
  • “The pace of digital transformation took us by surprise.  The rate change happened was unimaginable to us.  The digital disruptors (software companies) have taken our competition to an entirely new level.”
  • “We got caught flat-footed.  We needed to embrace digital technologies faster.  We needed to unify our global operations and IT faster..” 
  • “We [typically] wait until a problem arises, and then find a solution.  We didn’t see digital transformation coming at this rapid rate.”
4. Customer Alignment

Along with increased competition, fast-changing customer behavior is the top motivation named by high-tech executives for engaging in digital transformation initiatives. When customers go digital, leaders must embrace a digital mindset, upgrade digital skills and talent, and enhance digital customer interactions, according to our surveyed technology professionals.

One executive we interviewed said, “Particularly for organizations with well-established IT solutions for brick-and-mortar stores - it’s quite a challenge to change to the digital needs of our customers, and to adopt new digital strategies.”

Digital consumers are changing their habits and behaviors at an extraordinary rate.  An executive we interviewed said, “Our customers’ expectations are always three or four steps ahead of us.”  Another said, “Keeping pace with our customers requires much more effort and up-to-date strategies.  We are always a few steps behind.”

Our research reveals leaders must find ways to measure and track the pace of changing consumer behaviors, and align resources and priorities to ensure they are transforming, if not at the same pace, at least at a pace ahead of competition.
___________

If you find these articles valuable, I am available to provide in-house workshops and analyst briefings.  Visit my website at the Center for Digital Intelligence.

Read more from the Center for Digital Intelligence here:

  • Culture as a Competitive Advantage in Digital Transformation
  • Digital Technologies and the Compression of both Time and Distance
  • Patterns, Platforms and Automation
  • Making the Hard Decisions in Digital Transformation
  • Center for Digital Intelligence Interviews: Hitachi's Rob Tiffany on Industrial IoT 
  • Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
  • Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
  • Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
  • Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
  • Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
  • Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
  • 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
  • Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  • Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  • Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  • Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  • Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  • To Bot, or Not to Bot
  • Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  • Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  • How Digital Leaders are Different
  • The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  • Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  • You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  • Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  • Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  • Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  • Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  • Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  • Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  • In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  • Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  • Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  • Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  • Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  • Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  • Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  • Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  • Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  • 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  • The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  • Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  • Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  • The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  • From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  • Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  • Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  • Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  • A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  • Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  • A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  • Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  • Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  • Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  • Mobile and IoT Technologies are Inside the Curve of Human Time

  • ************************************************************************
    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, 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.

    In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, change is not something to be solved; instead, change is the energy that propels organizations into perpetual motion – creating new innovations, designing new business models, identifying new threats and opportunities.  Business leaders must continuously recognize new trends, competitive forces and markets, and then retool, reprioritize, re-educate, culturally align and retrain employees to capture new opportunities profitably. They must constantly fight “normalcy bias,” which is the desire to keep things the same.  They must foster an environment that embraces change and recognizes competitive opportunities reside in every instance of change.

    Three Cultures that Block Change

    Our executive interviews revealed the extent to which company cultures can block or restrict change efforts.  One healthcare executive listed his organization's culture as his biggest challenge, ahead of resistance to re-engineering workflows and outdated technologies.  Additionally, about 20% of the surveyed technology professionals revealed cultural issues were the biggest challenges they’ve encountered with digital transformation.

    In our research, we’ve identified three different cultural types that can impact an organization’s ability to engage in digital transformation:

    Leadership Culture

    A culture of change at the leadership level is one that embraces the use of digital technologies to compete, and defines the high-level digital transformation doctrines and strategies from the very top of the organization.  If business leaders don’t convey a full understanding of how digital technologies are impacting their industries, markets and customers, and then acting upon it, they are a detriment to their organization’s future. Executive interviews for this report revealed the following insights:

    • Leaders struggle with accepting change - adjusting their mindset, and appreciating the true significance of digital transformation on their business and future.
    • Leaders often require a major failure event to wake them up to the need for decisive action and digital transformation.
    • Leaders must realize that different segments within their workforce view digital technologies in different ways, and they must be managed, educated and trained differently as a result.

    Institutional Culture

    A company may have insightful leaders, but if the organization does not follow, even the best leadership efforts will be ineffectual.  Here is a few insights from executives that we surveyed:
    • Digital transformation means it’s not only the IT infrastructure that must change, but all segments of the business.
    • Digital transformation and organizational agility must be embedded deep in the culture of an organization.
    • Without continuous education and engagement the workforce will resist change. 

    Customer Culture

    It’s critical for businesses to understand the culture, practices and fast changing behaviors of their customers and align with them quickly enough to matter.  Among the surveyed technology professionals, 65% reported the prime motivation to engage in digital transformation was fast-changing consumer behaviors.  Further, the executives we interviewed repeatedly credited customer requirements and demands as a top motivation for digital transformation:
    • Customers’ are adopting digital technologies and changing their online behaviors faster than many companies can change their business processes and models to compete.
    • Customer demands are interrupting organizational priorities, budgets, strategies, investments and plans.
    • Digital transformation is unevenly distributed and some customer and industry segments are far ahead of others, which creates opportunities and competitive advantages for fast movers.

    Our research revealed a need to purposefully monitor and develop our digital mindsets. Accept that digital technologies and a connected world are here to stay, and that the path to business success resides in and through them. Understand digital technologies and their capabilities, and rethink every aspect of our business with a digital mindset.  Recognize we don't control our digital customers and we cannot dictate their behaviors.  Our role is to observe, support and align with them faster than our competition.

    Our research revealed a need to purposefully monitor and develop our digital mindsets. Accept that digital technologies and a connected world are here to stay, and that the path to business success resides in and through them. Understand digital technologies and their capabilities, and rethink every aspect of our business with a digital mindset.  Recognize we don't control our digital customers and we cannot dictate their behaviors.  Our role is to observe, support and align with them faster than our competition.

    Our organization's culture plays a big role in our ability to compete in the digital age.  Our leadership, institutional and customer cultures all have an impact.  It's important to purposely develop a digital culture built to support the continuous and rapid changes that comes with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

    If you find these articles valuable, I am available to provide in-house workshops and analyst briefings.  Visit my website at the Center for Digital Intelligence.

    Read more from the Center for Digital Intelligence here:

  • Digital Technologies and the Compression of both Time and Distance
  • Patterns, Platforms and Automation
  • Making the Hard Decisions in Digital Transformation
  • The Center for Digital Intelligence Interview Series: Hitachi's Rob Tiffany on Industrial IoT Platforms
  • Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
  • Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
  • Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
  • Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
  • Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
  • Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
  • 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
  • Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
  • Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
  • Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
  • Digital Thinking and Beyond!
  • Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
  • To Bot, or Not to Bot
  • Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
  • Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
  • How Digital Leaders are Different
  • The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
  • Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
  • You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
  • Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
  • Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  • Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
  • Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
  • Technology Must Disappear in 2017
  • Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
  • In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
  • Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
  • Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
  • Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
  • Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
  • Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
  • Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
  • Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
  • Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
  • 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
  • The End Goal of Digital Transformation
  • Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
  • Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
  • The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
  • From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
  • Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
  • Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
  • Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
  • A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
  • Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
  • Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
  • Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
  • Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
  • Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
  • 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 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.

    The ability to send digitized products and services (digital media) to a person on the other side of the world, and have it arrive in the pocket of the intended recipient instantly is still hard to comprehend! It is the culmination of decades worth of work by scientists, researchers, international standards bodies, governments and entrepreneurs to create something out of nothing.  To harness the rules of physics to deliver a digital package around the world.  The capability of delivering digital products and services around the world instantly compresses times and distances in global commerce.

    The ability to launch a ballistic missile and hit an exact location on the other side of the world is the result of one of the greatest invasions of privacy ever known to man, but seldom discussed.  The United States and friends launched into orbit a satellite constellation of 24 + satellites positioned in six earth-centered orbital planes.  Working together, they defined times, measurements and coordinates to identify the exact (within millimeters) location of every place on the earth, including points of interest in both friendly and unfriendly nations.   The result was a digital representation of the earth. This digital twin is now being overlaid with massive volumes of additional data from all kinds of different sources daily.  The earth, once a sphere of uncharted and unexplored mystery that took Captain James Cook's men three years to circumnavigate, is quickly being documented and understood.  Using a digital twin, Google Earth can now spin you to the exact location of any GPS coordinate on earth in seconds. Geographic time and distance is quickly being compressed.

    Distance and time no longer insulates friends from enemies, or one global business competitor from another.  Like it or not, we are all competing in the digital world.  If I search on fly fishing gear, I can view content and buy products from e-commerce sites all around the world.  There is no going back to an isolated, insulated economy.

    Compressed times and distances also mean businesses must operate at an operational tempo that surpasses human capabilities.  To support real-time digital interactions, organizations will increasingly need to compete with and depend on robotic process automation and artificial intelligence to deliver contextually relevant and personalized digital experiences, make decisions and deliver exceptional customer service at the speeds required by digital consumers.

    Increasingly, in a world of compressed times and distances, humans will be the inventors, designers and managers of digital systems and processes, rather than the operators.  Operations will be measured in milliseconds, an inhumane speed where only the machines can deliver.  We will each need digital proxies of ourselves able to work and compete 24x7x365 in digital time and at digital speeds.

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

    1. Patterns, Platforms and Automation
    2. Making the Hard Decisions in Digital Transformation
    3. The Center for Digital Intelligence Interview Series: Hitachi's Rob Tiffany on Industrial IoT Platforms
    4. Digital Transformation and the New Rules for Start-Ups
    5. Digital Transformation and Leadership Development
    6. Digital Transformation and Competitive Decision-Making
    7. Combinatorial Nature of Digital Technologies and Legos
    8. Digital Transformation from 40,000 feet
    9. Winning in Chaos - Digital Leaders
    10. 13 Recommended Actions for Digital Transformation in Retail
    11. Mistakes in Retail Digital Transformation
    12. Winning Strategies for the Fourth Industrial Revolution
    13. Digital Transformation - Mindset Differences
    14. Analyzing Retail Through Digital Lenses
    15. Digital Thinking and Beyond!
    16. Measuring the Pace of Change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
    17. How Digital Thinking Separates Retail Leaders from Laggards
    18. To Bot, or Not to Bot
    19. Oils, Bots, AI and Clogged Arteries
    20. Artificial Intelligence Out of Doors in the Kingdom of Robots
    21. How Digital Leaders are Different
    22. The Three Tsunamis of Digital Transformation - Be Prepared!
    23. Bots, AI and the Next 40 Months
    24. You Only Have 40 Months to Digitally Transform
    25. Digital Technologies and the Greater Good
    26. Video Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
    27. Report: 40 Months of Hyper-Digital Transformation
    28. Virtual Moves to Real in with Sensors and Digital Transformation
    29. Technology Must Disappear in 2017
    30. Merging Humans with AI and Machine Learning Systems
    31. In Defense of the Human Experience in a Digital World
    32. Profits that Kill in the Age of Digital Transformation
    33. Competing in Future Time and Digital Transformation
    34. Digital Hope and Redemption in the Digital Age
    35. Digital Transformation and the Role of Faster
    36. Digital Transformation and the Law of Thermodynamics
    37. Jettison the Heavy Baggage and Digitally Transform
    38. Digital Transformation - The Dark Side
    39. Business is Not as Usual in Digital Transformation
    40. 15 Rules for Winning in Digital Transformation
    41. The End Goal of Digital Transformation
    42. Digital Transformation and the Ignorance Penalty
    43. Surviving the Three Ages of Digital Transformation
    44. The Advantages of an Advantage in Digital Transformation
    45. From Digital to Hyper-Transformation
    46. Believers, Non-Believers and Digital Transformation
    47. Forces Driving the Digital Transformation Era
    48. Digital Transformation Requires Agility and Energy Measurement
    49. A Doctrine for Digital Transformation is Required
    50. Digital Transformation and Its Role in Mobility and Competition
    51. Digital Transformation - A Revolution in Precision Through IoT, Analytics and Mobility
    52. Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility
    53. Ambiguity and Digital Transformation
    54. Digital Transformation and Mobility - Macro-Forces and Timing
    55. 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
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    ***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.