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.

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