Saturday, 6 October 2018

Interview with Sandeep Raut, Founder & CEO - Going Digital

Sandeep Raut – Founder & CEO – Going Digital

published by Onalytica

Key Topics: Digital Transformation, Analytics
Location: Mumbai, India
Bio: Sandeep is Digital Transformation, Analytics, Big data, IoT & Mobility evangelist with over 30 years of experience in IT Consulting and delivery

HOW DID YOU GET TO BECOME AN EXPERT IN DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

I had started writing my own blog simplified analytics since 2011.  I read a lot about the digital transformation from various blogs and tweets to keep me updated. I have conducted several customer workshops on digital transformation maturity assessment, customer journey mapping & digital roadmap development.
Various publications like IDG, Onalytica, Thinkers360, Enterprise Management 360 have recognized me top 10 influencers and the thought leader in digital transformation.

WHAT AREAS OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT?

Digital Transformation vision setting, Maturity assessment, customer journey mapping & multi-year multi-wave digital roadmap development.

WHICH DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION INFLUENCERS INFLUENCE YOU?

OUTSIDE OF DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION WHO ELSE INFLUENCES YOU?

Data Science – Kirk D BorneKDnuggets
IoT – Evan Kirstel

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OFFLINE INFLUENCE

I have been a keynote speaker at various events including India Big data analytics summit and various B schools in Mumbai.

WHAT ARE GOING TO BE THE KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT 12 MONTHS?

The artificial intelligence-based digital transformation will be key. Everything we do will have some aspect of AI.

IF A BRAND WANTED TO WORK WITH YOU, WHAT ACTIVITIES WOULD YOU BE MOST INTERESTED IN COLLABORATING ON?

Whitepapers, webinars, speaking.

WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST WAY FOR A BRAND TO CONTACT YOU?

email rautsan@gmail.com or call my mobile +91-9820037894

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Ask the Expert: What are the most important elements to consider when undertaking a digital transformation?

CEO and founder of Going Digital Sandeep Raut tackles the obstacles and essentials companies must keep in mind with regard to digital transformation to Enterprise Management 360
Ask the Expert: What are the most important elements to consider when undertaking a digital transformation?
Gone are the days, when companies used to decide strategy and then execute it for the next five years as planned. 
Today company’s life on S&P 500 is just 15 years and it is further going down. Digital businesses like Uber, Airbnb did not exist before 2008 but now they are multi-billion-dollar poster children for digital disruption.
Many organizations today have realized that digital transformation is essential for their survival & success. But many of them forget that the focus of a digital transformation is not digitization or even technology, it is “THE CUSTOMER”.
Here are various aspects every business needs to consider when undertaking a digital transformation:
  • Set a clear vision: Oftentimes, companies that are successful have painted a clear picture of what they want or need to be, when they digitally “grow up.” Vision is in line with the company’s business & growth strategy.
  • Culture is a key determinant: We can change our technologies, our infrastructure, and our processes. But without addressing the human element, lasting change will not happen. Culture is the operating system of the organization. It is like air, it is there but you can’t see it.
  • Leadership support: Most of the companies C-Suite is over 50 now and are digital immigrants. They have slowly adapted to web surfing, emailing, texting and the instant world of social media. Hence it is difficult for them to drive the digital transformation. They need to set the tone by collaborating with managers on designing an organization-wide digital strategy while encouraging ongoing innovation. A dedicated Chief Digital Officer is one way to go.
  • Be customer obsessed:  With technology and customer habits changing so quickly, developing a deep and detailed view of customer behavior across all the channels is the foundation of digital success. Walk-in customer’s shoes, to identify instances where things could go wrong and address them quickly.
  • Inter-Department collaboration: It is essential that all departments work together to bridge gaps, break down data silos, and make important connections. Absolute over communication within employees is a critical aspect to be covered. Ensure that all the customer touch points communicate with each other to have a single version of customer truth.
  • Fail fast & Succeed faster – with the digital era, failure is accepted & it is seen as part and parcel of a successful digital business. Failure must be fast, and the lessons of failure learned should be even faster. It allows businesses to take a shotgun approach to digital transformation.
  • Lastly, remember Digital is a long-term commitment. Don’t cut the investments & pull back employees on billable roles in just one quarter saying it’s not working. This is the mistake most of the companies are doing. Nurture the efforts like a newborn baby as she takes over a year to walk on its own. Have the patience to see the results.

Sunday, 26 August 2018

Difference between Digitization and Digital Transformation

I have seen many businesses saying they have embarked on digital transformation while in reality, they have just digitized some of their processes.

There is confusion over the two terms, Digitization & Digital Transformation.

The two terms are often used interchangeably when their actual meanings are totally different. In fact, they point to two very different ways of responding to disruptive technology.

Let me talk about Digitization: It is doing the same things, differently.

To digitize is to convert analog data into digital form. If you scan physical papers into electronic files, converted typewritten text into a digital form, switched from cassette tapes to MP3 files, or moved from old style camera film to digital photos, then you have digitized your data. It also means automation of manual processes like filling any application form by hand to entering data directly on digital media like iPad or web portal.
We now browse the internet for information, take pictures with our smartphones, and send emails from our laptops. This is digitization.
Digitization has made communication faster and easier and opened up new channels for real-time information. In the industrial sectors, digitization has involved the application of new technologies to existing business models to make them operate better. 

Digitization is doing what you have always done, but using technology to make it more efficient. The business model does not change, but operational efficiency is improved.

Now let us talk about Digital Transformation: It is transforming business activity with technology. Becoming digital is a totally different exercise from digitization.

DX is the process of changing existing business models with new digital technologies like APIs, Analytics, Mobility etc. 

It goes deeper, creating new strategies and processes which lead to a new and better way of providing value for your customers, doing things faster, easier, and smoother. E.g. moving from snail mail to real-time social media or chatbot

Businesses can use DX to expand into new markets, offer new products, and appeal to new customers. It is the process of moving to a digital business.
DX also means using the data collected from digitization for actionable insights and then changing the way we do business.
Digital transformation is not a one-time action, but a continuous process. It brings in the new business models and it will change the way business is carried out & it will go a long way in satisfying their end customer, which is the very purpose of being in the business.


Monday, 30 July 2018

Digitization in Fitness Industry

Remember as children we used to play more physical games & ground activities like football, cricket, and even some local games. As we grew we were more physical in our daily activities which had helped us to be physically fit.

But in last few years digital has changed this picture. My children are glued to iPads, smartphones most of the time. Digital technologies have brought a tremendous shift in the way we spend our daily chores. We order our foods online, we call cabs on our smartphones, no banks branch visits are required now as we do most of the financial transactions online, and in the age of Whatsapp, nobody uses the post to send a news to anyone.

This convenience and comfort have brought a sedentary lifestyle & health issues, but more people are wanting to live a healthier lifestyle without burning a hole in their wallets

The fitness industry is also adopting this digital change.

Some global fitness franchises launched an on-demand streaming service in the USA and UK that lets people access the group’s workouts online any time from a computer, tablet or smartphone.

Instead of going to the gym now, consumers work out on their own time in their own locations, but trainers and coaches can access their workout data from anywhere, providing quick feedback and tips to guide them along their fitness journey. The exercises are also available in different levels of difficulty: simple, medium and difficult.

Digital devices are more and more playing the role of a personal trainer. Anyone who wants to train just needs the right fitness app.

Freeletics Bodyweight app is more than just a training program. They have a community of over 12 million Free Athletes spread all over the globe. The app provides users with a unique social platform that allows Athletes to connect, motivate and inspire one another and achieve and share their progress and fitness goals.

An athletic apparel brand Athos has a full-body suit fitted with tracking sensors connected to an app that shows which muscles are firing and how much an exerciser is exerting himself or herself.

Another company, Focus Motion, is building products that connect with a smartwatch to automatically track motion and give real-time feedback on an exerciser's form or pace.

Equinox was the first chain to partner with Apple when it launched its Healthkit smartphone app in June 2015. The app syncs with members’ wearable technologies to track fitness data, analyze member behavior, and provide users with recommendations, tips, and content to improve their fitness routines. The digital coach in Equinox’s mobile app uses artificial intelligence to learn customers’ habits and keep them engaged.

Fitbit, Apple, Garmin, Samsung, Nike & and Adidas are among the major suppliers of digital fitness market.

Fitbit tells you you've completed 80% of your daily 15,000 steps goal. So you walk around the house and make an excuse to go to the shop to achieve your goal.

The Nike came out with Fuelband, a fitness-oriented tech device which helped consumers to set fitness goals, monitor their progression, and compare themselves to others, all with integration into Nike+ online community and phone application.

For those who still prefer to visit the gym have been helped by wearable technologies, which give real-time feedback on the workouts. From shirts to shoes, wearable technology is now embedded in several types of fitness apparel. Profiles for runs or cycle rides are recorded using the GPS function. The data for distance, speed, duration, calories burnt off and heart rate is captured to support the design of personalized training programs 

Modern-day gyms are now equipped with workouts that are digitized for their clients to get more out of their exercise equipment. Going digital enables the user to choose the level of difficulty of their workout just by pushing some buttons.

Today sensors are inserted into pieces of clothing like socks, shorts, leggings, sports bra, etc. These are designed to improve the efficacy of wearable trackers, making them highly discreet and increasingly accurate. The algorithms are mimicking a personal coach, tracking activity and technique while simultaneously picking up clues to predict the possibility of injury.

Holofit uses the virtual reality technology that transports its users from boring reality in a fitness center or hotel gym to real-life destinations, sports events or imaginative worlds. Users get to work out in space or underwater, in the Grand Canyon or in the historic recreation of Babylon, making progress while forgetting they are working out at all.  They have also added the gamification and sports competition through its SportPlay application so you can take part in competitions like Tour de France.

Social media platforms like Facebook and photo/video sharing platforms like Instagram are making a trend of posting your fitness efforts and encourage your friends and families to participate.

There is also a growing trend of companies offering workplace wellness technologies and programs that are helping achieve better productivity and reduced attrition.

Further, this smart data is being used by the Insurance industry for wellness and prevention of disease.

The fitness industry has come a long way with digital.



Thursday, 12 July 2018

How to address the reluctance for Digital Transformation?

Digital Transformation is in full swing now and adopted by almost all the industries to improve the customer experience. But not everyone is sailing smooth. In fact, a majority of Digital Transformation initiatives face resistance to change and remain in the status quo.

Change is rarely comfortable, for the majority of organizations & employees. It is a normal attitude that when things are going well, why change? Like with any transformation, the lack of interest for change or the fear of consequences puts breaks on the changes you want to bring about.

Status quo comes from various different levels

·      Organization Leadership: Even at senior level, leaders feel why an external consultant coming into the organization and teaching us what to do, how to communicate with the customer or which business models to choose from. Hence leaders are reluctant to adopt digital open heartedly.
·      Cultural change: The unwillingness of senior managers to accept cultural change.
·      Line Managers of IT Department: Most of the time, IT managers are focused on keeping the lights on and maintaining legacy infrastructure and systems. Digital brings in new demands from business and their priorities are different when it comes to new initiatives.
·      Individual Employee: Many big companies have veterans in their organizations serving more than 15-20 years in the same company. They resist the change of anything new coming their way. Benefits of digital transformation for individual employees and teams are often not so clear - and uncertainty surrounding the future often results in fear to adopt digital
·      Too much is changing, too fast, hence it is hard to keep up

Let us see how to address these status quo scenarios.

·      Ask senior most leader or CEO to drive the change for Digital with full support from the board.  Leaders need to present a clear and compelling vision of what success will look like
·      Let business owners take the call and IT be just an enablement instead of driving the initiatives.
·      Get all your staff involved in digital. Convince the employees that Digital is for their own betterment & help them do their job better
·      Create an enterprise social network to evangelize digital across the organization
·      IT can help build their competencies and capabilities.
·      360 degrees communication: Communicate project success and celebrate them which increases transparency, motivates team members & employees to get a sense of the journey and progress on it, as key milestones are attained.
·      With top management’s support for further projects other passive stakeholders are attracted to adopt the change. Senior executives to communicate with employees across all levels of the organization
·      The organization has to decide which new tools are the most appropriate and efficient to acquire and use to avoid changing everything at once

Digital Transformation brings in the new business models and it will change the way business is carried out.

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

How Digital Technologies are booming the Real Estate

Digital disruptions are impacting all the industries and pushing organizations to change or die. 

The residential real estate industry was built upon personal relations and contacts. Knowing the trustworthy estate agent personally, was more comfortable for buyers to make investments.

Today the scenario is changing. Several online estate agencies have been set up, which allow owners to buy and sell properties digitally.

At every step in the process of finding, visiting and buying a home, property managers are now focused on enhancing the customer experience with help of digital technologies.

Digital technologies are used for real estate portals, to find a trusted agent, view potential properties and invest as required.

Some property managers allow their agents to shoot, edit and upload video footage of their properties using their mobile devices. This resulted in the increase in reach and quick selling.

Digitization can help you increase your reach from a bunch of agents and investors to thousands of individuals who have interests in purchase and sale of Real Estate.

Digital has come into real estate as well:

·      In searching the properties – Buyers can go online on MagicBricks.com, 99Acres.com to rent or check out the property before buying.

·      Virtual tours of the property – commonfloor.com gives you live-in tours saying see your next home from every angle. This reduces time and expense for owners and creates convenience for the buyers.
·      All the Frequently asked questions about the proposed project can be answered in a direct chat with use of emerging technologies like chatbot powered with artificial intelligence
·      Old fashioned hardcopy of blueprints are now replaced by Building Information Modeling (BIM) which uses 3-D computer modeling. This helps architects and contractors to collaborate more easily and make on-the-fly alterations to existing designs. Maintenance becomes very easy as the BIM model contains all construction data in a single plan.
·      With Social media presence, buyers can get multiple reviews and comments on the properties and even ask the agents to take them on a video tour of the property through WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype etc.

From the buying or selling when we come to occupied properties, digital technologies are used for the betterment of occupants.
·      Smart Buildings: Facilities including power management, lighting, physical security, fire safety and IT infrastructure.
·      Smart Energy: Automatic lighting control, may vary from obvious night-time auto-activation to dimming based on crowd density and weather conditions. Nest offers a number of innovations like motion detectors to adjust the heat settings when the family has left for the office or schools.
·      Smart Meters - Every home will have a smart meter to control the power usage and report in real time.
·      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 Access: Users can open home doors or office doors by just touch of a finger or even with IoT enabled sensors ensuring garage doors are opened when users are approaching


From living rooms to the yard, we are embracing the digital technologies which are helping the booming real estate industry.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Digital Transformation in Recruitment

A few years ago, the impact of digitization was only established in top industries like Banking, Insurance, and Retail. Now times have changed – the recruitment industry is also adopting digital transformation.

Everyone is a candidate at some point in their journey. Whether you are an employer or a candidate searching for a job, the digital transformation is helping the recruitment industry to implement smarter hiring strategies.

Recruiters are the brand ambassadors of a company as they are the first people with whom a candidate interacts. But getting the right people with the right skills, at the right price, has been a long-running headache for recruitment teams.

It’s a competitive marketplace for talent, with demand for skilled labor far exceeding the supply of qualified candidates actively looking.  This makes it more important need for recruiters, to master new digital techniques to find, reach and engage right skilled potential candidates.

Candidates seeking jobs in the market are also now tech-savvy and expect fast and easy application processes and communication. Their behaviors and preferences are changing. Power has transferred from recruiter to candidate.

There are multiple ways digital can help:

Assess the digital footprint of the candidate: Recruiters can use this data to get important insights into the skills of potential candidates. Correlations between social media profiles can reveal important aspects such as interests and hobbies, as well as an overview of the candidate’s personality. How suitable is the candidate to an organization’s culture can be assessed based on her/his social media sharing habits on subjects like gender, age, race, and politics.

Online language/skill assessment:  It is one of the easiest ways for companies to filter through the pool of candidates efficiently. Recruiters can ensure the quality of their hires via psychometric and other tests.

Online job portals:  Monster, Glassdoor, Indeed, Naukri and TimesJobs have helped in reaching out to candidates across different geographies and industries. They have also helped in building good candidate pipelines for recruiters. LinkedIn has started this revolution long back and has the credibility of companies as well as candidates equally.

Advantages of Digital Transformation in Recruitment:
·      Your website messaging can be targeted to different candidate personas
·      Candidates can easily engage with your company on social and mobile
·      Helps create the company brand in the digital world
·      Machine learning is helping is processing piles of applicants to find the right candidate
·      The organization can nurture candidates over time by relevant job alerts, talent campaigns
·      Social media presence generate the better response from talents to the brand
·      Digitization helps in ease of entire recruitment process and in turn happy candidates
·      Job seekers get an inside view of a company through a site like Glassdoor, which includes information on compensation, organizational culture, career progression, learning opportunities, etc.
·      Through the use of Big Data, learning companies can find suitable candidates, cut recruitment time and costs
·      Consolidated database of CVs becomes a powerful mining tool and cost saver


Digital is helping to convert the chaos of recruiting into “Smart Recruiting”.

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Brand building with Digital Technologies

Which famous business brands do you use daily & give you happy moments? Top names come to our mind are Apple, Disney, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Cadburys which are occupying most part of our lives.

Company’s brand is the summation of all the experiences and interactions business has with their customers. In the digital era, there will be even more brands to choose from. Perceptions of the brand are based on the simple user experiences. and to stay relevant, it needs to be managed very effectively.

Today’s digital consumers do not have the brand affinity. They switch from app to app and from brand to brand when it is convenient. They have endless options at the click of a button, which makes it easy to switch when they are unsatisfied with a brand.

Customers want quick, easy access to information across channels without needing to enter conversations with product sellers before they are ready. At the same time, they also expect businesses to personalize their experiences with the first interaction and to be available the moment they are ready to learn more or buy.

As a result, many brands struggle to keep a competitive advantage. They have to re-think their strategies for attracting and retaining customers.  More than ever before, brands are turning to the power of digital technologies like Analytics in an effort to attract, engage and retain customers.

For CMOs it is important to bring the power of human relationships back into the entire brand experience that will create more lasting loyalty. They need to look beyond optimizing lead generation to nurturing relationships throughout the entire customer lifecycle, from creating awareness through acquisition, service, and recommendation

The success of digital transformation depends on the CMO-CIO partnership. Today CMOs need the support of the CIO to connect internal systems that translate into customer experience and brand performance.

It is extremely important to leverage digital technologies and bring your brand to the minds of prospects and deliver seamless and meaningful experiences for current customers is extremely important.

Brands need to embrace mobile-first as a strategy not only for customers but also for staff and partners. Consumers use mobile as a key tool for research, so having relevant and the easy-to-access information is essential. Several brands are using emerging technologies like chatbots, AR/VR to make customer experience a memorable one.

We know the top global brands like Amazon, Apple, Samsung, Coca-Cola, Disney, Nike & BMW for the experience they give when we interact with them.
  • Ikea uses an Augmented Reality app that works like a virtual interior designer and allows customers to visualize 3D versions of its furniture in their homes.
  • Zappos created a brand by focusing on what customer wants and is considered the gold standard for online customer care.
  • Louis Vuitton was one of the first luxury brands to develop an active presence on Snapchat.
  • Gucci & Burberry have exploited digital to reach their customers wherever they are.
  • L’OrĂ©al’s ‘Makeup Genius’ app allows women to virtually try on its cosmetics products using augmented reality technology.
  • Dollar shave club knows how to grab the attention of their target audience with digital technologies.
  • Airbnb created their brand by digital marketing using user-generated photos and videos.
The ultimate aim of any digital transformation initiative should always be the strengthening of your company’s brand identity.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

How HR Analytics play in Digital Age

Today every company is acting on the digital transformation or at least talking about digital transformation. While it is important to drive it by analyzing customer behavior, it is extremely important to understand who from your organization is acting upon it – your employees.

Hence knowing your employees first and then go to explore the outer world of customers, is the best strategy for digital transformation.

HR plays an important role in knowing the employees. As the volume of data available to HR has increased exponentially over the few years. The data on recruitment, onboarding, employee personal data, their training, performance and attrition data can give tremendous insights to an organization.

HR analytics is focused on making the most of the vast amounts of HR data, organizations have gathered as mentioned above.

Collecting employee sentiments, while they are in office is a good way of improving their life. Happy employees go an extra mile to make your customers happy.

Sentiment analytics can be done for all the touch points:
·      How do employees commute to the workplace – office transport or their own
·      How do they find the parking – nearby or hectic to reach to office
·      How are they welcomed in the office – good fresh smell or closed stuffed environment
·      How is hygiene maintained in the office premises
·      How is the canteen facility, food options, quality of food
·      How the official communication flows through employees, what transparency is maintained
·      How is performance measured and rewarded
·      What is the feedback on the onboarding process
·      Emotions due to promotions or rewards
·      What are the main reasons for attrition

These data points can help HR a lot in improving the 8-12 hours employees spend in the office.

Descriptive analytics help analyze the current scenario for HR:
·      Who is performing well and who may need some additional training or support in order to raise their game
·      Where your best employees come from
·      What recruitment channels are most effective
·      Which projects are delivering on time and what are their project pyramids
·      Which band employees are leaving frequently

Further predictive analytics can be used in several ways:
·      Which candidates are likely to join your organization
·      Which new hires will become your highest performers in two years
·      Which employees are likely to churn and join other organizations
·      Which band or grade employees will leave early
·      Which skills will be in most demand next quarter and later
·      How many billable employees needed to achieve the revenue targets


HR analytics open new ways to recruit, train, and engage employees. Benefits include a streamlined hiring process, better-prepared & unbiased recruitment managers, reduced attrition and higher customer satisfaction.

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