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™
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.