Sunday, 24 July 2016

Why Open Source is gaining momentum in Digital Transformation?

Once upon a time in IT, using open source simply meant Linux instead of Windows, or maybe MySQL instead of Oracle.

Now, there is such a huge diversity of open source tools, and almost every leading digital business and tech startup is making extensive use of them. It’s been a remarkable turnaround for open source over the last 10 years, placing the trend firmly at the heart of the digital revolution.

The explosive growth of e-commerce, mobile and social media has completely altered the customer’s lifestyle and buying habits. Today, organizations are expected to engage with customers in Omni-channel environment. They need to create a customer journey. This is the driver of digital transformation.

A key differentiator for these companies is often real time interaction with the ability to try something out fast, to create a new experience in real time. They have two fundamental challenges – reducing costs and growing revenues.

There are various advantages of open source tools and platforms:
  • Costs: The less a company spends on proprietary software, the more it can dedicate to other facets of digital transformation efforts, since there is no need to pay per server, per core or per user license fees
  • Faster time to market: Less expense & time that would go with traditional, lengthy evaluations of legacy software solutions and commitment to specific technologies that may lock them in
  • Fail Fast:  Quickly test and experiment with emerging technologies without the risk & see whether it succeeds or fails and move on
  • Security advantage: the transparency of open source code means that bugs are more easily found and patched, and users can inspect the code they're using themselves, which is not so possible with commercial products
  • Community Backing: Open source software allows companies to derive benefit not only from their own IT employees, or from the employees of proprietary software vendors, but from the whole open source community
  • Customization: The flexibility provided by open source allows users to add features freely, and reformat, refactor and redevelop their platforms however they see fit

Here are some examples of open source successes:
  • MongoDB a NOSQL Big data database is used by Expedia, MetLife for customer 360 view 
  • Liferay portals are used by Santander Bank, Allianz Insurance & London borough
  • Apache Spark has emerged very quickly as a faster successor to Hadoop's MapReduce
  • LinkedIn’s developed and built Apache Kafka as the messaging backbone 
  • Drupal is used by GE, P&G and other global organizations for their websites
  • Google, Amazon, Facebook Microsoft and even Apple have made their platforms open to public.

The rapid adoption of open source technologies across organizations has provided a network-effect of reliability in scalability, affordability and adaptability. 

Not only are these traits critical to open source technology, but they are also necessary for successful digital transformations in business to bring in whole new business models and the platforms that are dominating our economy.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Digital disruption in Customer Experience

In an age of digital disruption, great customer experience has become do or die. 

Digital technologies such as Analytics, Mobile, Cloud, Gamification, Cognitive computing, Artificial Intelligence and Social media have disrupted the customer experience.

Customer satisfaction has never been a higher priority than it is today, where fierce competition for space in the market means loyalties can change for the smallest reason.

Whether a customer is visiting the store, making a purchase through a mobile app, or liking a photo on Instagram, they must be able to engage your brand in a way that is both seamless and effortless, regardless of the device or channel. Match your channels to your customers’ needs and they’ll keep coming back.

Timing is everything in this ever-changing digital world. Every customer is a digital customer.

No matter your industry, every organization must deeply consider and transform the way they handle customer service. 

Understanding customers - their behavior, frustrations and needs - will allow you to identify what unique value you can bring to them. Big data analytics enable marketers to send customer communications that are more relevant, personalized and targeted than ever before

Initially considered a gaming innovation, virtual reality is turning out to be more mainstream, and the applications for organizations and purchasers are abundant.

Here are some of the reasons customers are giving for loving top brands:
  • They are easy to do business with
  • Hyper personalization that makes me feel great
  • They are quick to resolve my queries
  • Their product are class apart and their service is super
  • Technical knowledge of their customer service staff is excellent
  • They know me well when I call 

Today it seems that we’re not far from having drones landing on our lawns! The first time you experience something like this, it feels like a revelation but later it  will feel like it’s the norm.

Today’s customer delights are tomorrow's customer expectations. Apple, Google, Disney, Starbucks, Airbnb, and Amazon are just a few companies delivering these every day. Are you?

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Digital Transformation helping Smart Cities flourish

A smart city is simply a community that harnesses digital technologies, such as Internet of Things, Big Data Analytics, Mobility, Drones & Wearables to improve the quality of life of people, optimize available resources such as electricity, roads and water in economically sustainable manner, and reduce environmental pollution. 

They are run just like businesses to with smart and user friendly services.

In smart city, IT is the major factor and the basis for providing essential services to residents. Smart Cities depend on data available to them from all the above technological advances to enhance the quality and performance of their services.

Smart Cities integrate and analyze massive amounts of data to anticipate, mitigate, and even prevent many problems. This data is leveraged, for example, to intelligently reroute traffic and reduce accidents, identify crime hot spots and target resources for crime reduction, and connect citizens at work or out on the town.

Younger people expect to have the city in their pocket — to find a cab, locate the next bus, find a nearby restaurant or event, report a pothole or broken streetlight, apply for their driver's license, or tweet to their government representatives. They want consistent, personal service via their smart device.

Here is what future smart city can give you:
  • Smart Traffic: Connected car sensors collect valuable real time data about traffic density and report it the control center, allowing to adjust traffic light sequences intelligently, as well as apply manual corrections whenever necessary.
  • Smart Parking: Integrated with municipal Buses and private car owners, to build a highly efficient parking system.
  • Smart Energy: Automatic lighting control, may vary from obvious night-time auto activation to dimming based on crowd density and weather conditions. Every home will have a smart meter to control the power usage and report in real time.
  • Smart Buildings: Facilities including power management, lighting, physical security, fire safety and IT infrastructure.
  • Smart Safety: Firefighters wearing sensors that let them know if the CO2 in a building has reached lethal levels. Grid of connected CCTV cameras to ensure public safety. Air quality sensors detect pollution peak and warns people who are subject to allergies through their smartphones.
  • Smart Charging: There are charging stations by the side of each road for electric vehicles, drivers can pay by flashing their wallet or even contact less payment.
  • Smart Advertising: Personalized digital signs for people passing by.
  • Smart Water System: IoT sensor enabled water systems which measure the flow, pressure, level and chemical content of the water to improve quality and usability
  • Smart Views: Use of augmented and virtual reality to help people indoor and outdoor navigation.
  • Smart Access: Users can open car doors or office doors by just touch of finger or even with IoT enabled sensors ensuring doors are opened when users are approaching
  • Smart Commute: Connected cars and trains giving personal entertainment based on Big data Analytics insights.
  • Smart Planet: Special lanes for bicycles for health conscious commuters helping zero carbon footprint

New York, London, Paris, Columbus Ohio, Dubai & Barcelona are the examples of smart cities around the world.

Smart Cities bring multiple rewards like better control of public spending, more engaged citizens in local development, improved performance of public transportation systems, lighter traffic and a reduced carbon footprint.

Smart Cities innovations have come a long way. All these digital technologies are future. Someday will come, to make Captain Kirk’s “Beam us up scotty” catchphrase true.


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