Sunday 31 December 2017

How to develop the Vision for Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation is now a number one priority for many businesses. Over the past two years, businesses have put increased focus on digitally transforming their brands from the inside out.

It is an ongoing process of change based on the market and needs of the customers. To deliver this change successfully, there is a need to establish a clear vision with objectives & expected outcomes.

Simply put vision is a picture of how the organization will look like after stipulated time.

Importance of Vision:

·      Provides the big picture and clearly describes what your organization will be like in several years
·      Clarifies the right direction of change to ensure that everyone is moving forward
·      Inspires everyone to take action in set direction
·      Synchronizes the action of different people. It provides self-sufficiency to individuals and teams while reducing conflicts.

There are some do’s & don’ts for setting up a vision:

·      Develop a Vision that is in line with company growth strategy.
·      Connect with partners who support your vision, not only third-party technology vendors but your own customers and employees
·      It should create the sense of urgency
·      Link vision to specific goals in future
·      Describe how the company will actually change
·      How will you engage differently with customers?

·      It remains only as floor branding and marketing
·      Restricting the employees with set vision & its boundaries
·      Vision is way too complicated, vague and lacking actionable initiatives
·      Poor communication of the vision beyond the involved few stakeholders
·      Setup the vision before analyzing current systems and operations

Vision brings in the cultural change that is required for Digital Transformation. People are extremely important in this roller-coaster ride. 

When the digital vision is not clear, that affects the speed of adoption of both senior management and middle management. People will not act just because technology is ready. 

Some successful vision statements, which helped companies in their digital transformation:

Google - To provide access to the world’s information in one click

Amazon - To be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online

Walmart - To be the best retailer in the hearts and minds of consumers and employees

GE - To become the world’s premier digital industrial company, transforming industry with software-defined machines and solutions that are connected, responsive and predictive

Ikea – To create a better everyday life for the many people

Southwest Airlines - To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline

A top-down vision is a cornerstone & catalyst for digital transformation. These and many companies have created great vision statements to survive in this digital age.

Sunday 24 December 2017

How Digital is changing the workplace?

Remember the early 90s, when the mobile phones were not there. The only way to communicate to an out of office employee was landline phone or personal message via a colleague. Today there is no distinction between professional and personal lives as we are always connected.

In the age of Uber, Netflix and Airbnb disrupting traditional industries like Taxis, Video, and Travel; it is a required for organizations that their internal work environment also has a digital disruption.

The workplace is changing at an extraordinary rate. Employees have embraced the latest mobile devices and digital technologies at home. They now expect and demand the same in the office. As the latest digital natives join the workforce, having these kinds of tools and applications in place is more important than ever.

Improving customer service is the end goal of a digital workplace but the first step is to bolster the employee experience. Organizations are creating digital workplace by integrating e-mails, instant messaging, social media tools, and internal applications.

From Baby Boomers to Gen Z, today’s workplace contains a mixture of generations. Everyone has grown up with very different environment, technological and cultural experiences but still, all face similar challenges at work such as information overload, and daily changing technology. 

Employees want to be connected across devices and with their colleagues and processes during their workdays

With digital enablement, IT service departments are most benefited with services like virtual desktops, software upgrades, remote support are possible.

As a digital workplace, many organizations are moving from a physical office or cubicle to a more flexible, open workplace that leverages digital technologies like social, mobile, analytics and cloud computing to create a digital workplace that senses and responds to the information needs of employees – anytime, anywhere, and on any device.

By adopting digital workplace, an organization gets diverse benefits:

·      Increased employee productivity – with direct communication via digital channels with partners, colleagues, and customers
·      Increased employee retention – due to increased engagement the retention has gone up. Many companies qualify for best place to work
·      Increased talent attraction – the flexibility coming from digital, helps attracts the best talent, who would like to be free from 9 to 6 physical cubes and give their best creativity to organizations
·      Increased satisfaction – this is a no-brainer, as employees get to enjoy full internet connectivity and communication, they are happy at work and off work
·      Increased compliance and governance – with remote connectivity, today IT governance is easy, no need for physical presence of help desk

The potential benefits of digitally enabling both staffs and the business mean that organizations will go a long way in satisfying their end customer, which is the very purpose of being in the business.

Sunday 17 December 2017

How Mining Industry is adopting Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation is sweeping each industry around us. Those who embrace it and adopt the change will have multitudes of benefits.

The mining industry is by far still a very labor-intensive and costly affair. However, slowly they have started utilizing the digital technologies to reduce the costs, ensure workers safety and change the way they work.

The industry is facing increasing cost pressures. Digital transformation is likely to be on the agenda for miners. Digital technology can help literally at every stage of the mining process, from exploration, extraction, transportation to the processing of the ore and shipment.

In open-pit mines, self-driving trucks could be controlled by operations center miles away, reduce human cost as there are no frequent breaks, improve safety and increase efficiency as no human intervention is required on the site. GPS enabled systems will help supervisors to know where the trucks are and optimize their routes for optimal utilization.

Sensors on remote deep-sea oil wells cause warning signs to flash at the central control center when problems arise. 

In underground dangerous extraction zones like coalmines & chemical ore mines, remote-controlled equipment can reduce human factor involvement.  With data visualization, miners can create heat maps or 3d maps of the entire mine.

This heavy earthmoving machinery is very costly and any downtime affects the bottom line. Data collection and analysis allows understanding the health of the equipment and usage, which further helps in predictive maintenance, improving equipment reliability and reducing unplanned downtime.

With wearables, site employee’s safety is tracked from the central operation. IoT connected sensors detect dangerous levels of hazardous gas and give miners time to evacuate.

Rio Tinto is one of the companies introducing autonomous trucks and drilling rigs to its iron-ore operations in Western Australia.

Barrick Gold has deployed several such digital technologies including handheld tablets to help engineers monitor job orders in its Nevada gold mine.

Within the mining and metals industry, digitalization will be a force that changes the nature of companies and their interaction with employees, communities, government and the environment at every step of the value chain.

From mineral exploration and valuation, through mining, ore processing, and metals production, to downstream sales and distribution, digitization is helping workers make better, faster & safer decisions.

Sunday 10 December 2017

How to conduct a Digital Transformation Workshop?

Digital disruption is really fast. 

The change it brings is sweeping the business landscape at such a furious pace that old ways of thinking are not relevant today.

Organizations are under tremendous pressure to improve the way they leverage data to make the right decisions and improve services for your customers

At the heart of every business is its customer. The very purpose of the business is to get a customer and keep it for a lifetime. Yet how many businesses truly align their entire organization around the customer and the customer’s experience with their business?

We all know the industry examples of AirBnB disrupting hotels, Uber disrupting taxis, Netflix in the media and the list goes on.

So how do you achieve this great level of digital transformation?

Well, the best way is to call all business and IT stakeholders and conduct a workshop to ascertain where you stand as of now and then decide where you want to go.

Here is how you should conduct the workshop:
·      Assess the digital maturity of your organization and study the competition is going right to find out where you are today
·      Educate the C suites and senior management on digital concepts & cross-industry opportunities to see where you want to be
·      Elaborate with examples how leaders and competitors are using digital to advance themselves
·      Understand the customer journey with all the customer touch points of your business, their needs
·      Brainstorm & Identify the opportunities to fill the gaps with digital technologies
·      Design a simple Framework on where to start and what to do next
·      Discuss the examples of similar industry customer’s Digital Business Transformation and how they began their process
·      Formulate a full-fledged digital strategy that covers all aspects of innovation
·      Prioritize the solutions based on quick wins, impact on the business, investments required and risk associated with them
·      Assign the accountability of who will execute the plan
·      Put a governance in place for right KPI measurements

Here are major takeaways from the digital workshop:
·      Opportunities to increase the productivity by enterprise-wide data sharing and collaboration
·      Ways to deliver operational efficiencies with real-time data analytics
·      How to innovate and grow with advanced analytics to uncover new markets
·      Surefire ways to provide exceptional customer experience

If you do this right with proper metrics to track, the digital transformation of your organization will be smooth. 

Sunday 3 December 2017

Impact of Digital disruption on Education sector

As Charles Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”.

The commercial industry is radically changed by the application of digital technologies like the Internet of Things, Big Data, Analytics, Blockchain, Microservices, and Cloud. Digital disruption means that companies can no longer be complacent. They can either seize the opportunity - like game-changers Netflix or Instagram - or see their business disappear - like Kodak or Blockbuster.

The education sector, capitalizing on innovative platforms and solutions that keep streaming into the market, is catching up on this disruption.

Today Universities are facing various challenges:
·      Heightened expectations from students – unrestricted 24 hours access to information
·      Anytime, anyplace, anywhere learning access on smartphones, tablets
·      Real-time performance assessments
·      Increase in students dropping out after the first year

As we as consumers are demanding more digital and personalized experience from service providers, students are demanding advancements in technology in campus and classrooms.  These millennials spend more than 24 hours, yes almost, in a day on their smartphones.

Today with digital, distant learning platforms have changed. Virtual learning environments have surfaced. Massive online open courses (MOOCs) are allowing students to take the courses as they want and at their pace.

Over the last decade, eLearning had picked up very much. However, it could not deliver the hands-on experience, which is now possible with VR technology. Technicians can actually learn real-life examples and do their bit to solve the problems on the shop floor. Medical students can actually perform surgeries allowing them to make mistakes without any impact on actual patients.

Khan Academy,, Udemy, Coursera are doing well in distant learning.

No longer, do students necessarily have to be in the classroom; instead, they can watch video streams of lectures whenever and wherever they happen to be. The platforms enable them to interact with other students and instructors, download extra materials, and upload completed assignments, and more. By recording the lecturer he or she does not have to redeliver that talk and his or her time can be better used doing something else.

Big Data Analytics will play a big role in education by analyzing data from attendance, grades, test scores, and social connections and use it for further insights. With online assessments now, schools and colleges can understand how students have learned throughout the semester than at the end of the exam.

The education sector has to be responsive to this digital disruption. Digital technologies will empower students to learn in their own way - investigating and solving real-world problems, rather than ingesting and rehearsing the same material.
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