Thursday, July 28, 2016

IoT Will Rely Heavily on Cognitive Support

The IoT alone shows great promise for simple signal sense and respond situations. IoT evens shows more promise when combined with fixed logic, either in a chip or circuit board. Combine it with dynamic software that can late bind conditional responses and the world for IoT grows exponentially. Now let's add speed, complexity and dynamic relationships. This is when IoT will need an even bigger assist to manage it optimally. IoT will generate enough big data to sort through that it will become mind and software boggling. Enter Cognitive support to extend the reach and influence of IoT. Let's dig into this gold mine for just a few nuggets.

IoT and Speed that Kills:

IoT works at speeds that are in the nano-second range thus leaving humans in the dust with response times. The obvious answer is to add firmware or software that can deal with speed. Unfortunately responses have to be governed by constraints and sometimes human intervention even if on exception, This puts limits on agility because the firmware and software can't change around changing contexts at warp speed. People can't deal with this either though they have the rationale to understand new contexts, constraints and trends.

IoT and Machine /Deep Learning:

Machine learning can help IoT by taking the new learning situations mined out of the big data generated by IoT and emerging situations to expand conditions and responses emerging from the real world. This takes time to teach and supervise deep learning technology to be effective. While learning and supervision intense in the beginning, incremental learning can be added quickly to leverage IoT in context.

IoT and Cognitive Computing:

With cognitive computing learning can be a great assist for the IoT in that cognitive can adapt at the speed of the IoT. Cognitive can understand the nuances of human language, process questions or patterns similar to the way people think and quickly mine vast amounts of data generated by the IoT. Most importantly, cognitive computing can learn from each interaction on it's own by-passing intense training by humans.

Net; Net:

IoT and Cognitive need each other in a good way. Combine cognitive computing and compound analytics with IoT and the reach of digital becomes mind boggling.

Additional Reading:


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Introducing Digital Transformation Boot Camps

Going Digital is a hot topic these days and many folks at the "C" level are pondering where to start. There is a common fear that an "up start" in or bordering your industry will come in and disrupt your business. While that might not be likely in your industry, every organization is looking to have better customer engagement while becoming more operationally effective. Getting your hands around Digital is key for organizations going forward, so why not start today by understanding:

  • How can you convince your organization to go fully digital?
  • How do you align going digital with business outcomes?
  • Who should be leading your Digital Transformation efforts?
  • How can you improve your customer experience by going digital? Your selling process? Your marketing strategy?

To learn more, please watch the introduction video on this page 
To see the press announcement click here
To read more about digital transformation in general click here 

Net; Net:

Digital is too important not to invest in getting a great "jump start" I look forward to many a workshop with folks to help start or guide an existing effort. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Leading Digital Transformation Efforts

There is no one simple answer to "Who should lead Digital Efforts?" I would like to dive into this question a bit in this short space to get the discussion going for those who have not dealt with this issue or for organizations looking to make a mid-course correction. Since only 10 - 15% of organizations would say that they are "digital" today and only 5% would say their customer experience is seamless and compelling, I think it's safe to say that this is still fertile ground to plant with digital leadership.  Let's explore the advantages of each typical role for leading digital efforts.

CEO (Chief Executive Officer):

With the CEO in charge things could get done quicker because of the span of influence and the desire to get all of the stove pipe business functions working together on behalf of the customers, stockholders, employees, partners and other parties. While this top down approach is great, the CEO is spread too thin to usually get this done unless it is a green field (new) company.

CIO (Chief Information Officer):

Since digital implies applying new and emerging technologies, who is better at dealing with technical issues? This might seem like the easy answer, but we have grown utility type CIOs over the past decade that are aimed at keeping the lights on and the costs low. This actually could be risky because the IT folks tend to slow things down, sorry to say. However, if you have a fresh visionary CIO with drive, this is a good place to start the proposals and govern forward.

CDO (Chief Digital Officer):

The CDO is a person who looks at the volatile and emerging digital space and helps guide an organization to apply the right technology to the right issues while softly guiding people change and legacy leverage. Since this is a full time endeavor, the focus is sharp. The issue come around working with the other leaders in a wise way to help them understand and implement change.

CMO (Chief Marketing Officer):

The marketing executive should be closest to the customer and since excellent customer engagement is the goal, this is a logical place to start. The CMO can easily take an "outside in: view of your organization, but the knowledge of how to apply technology successfully can be a real challenge

CSO (Chief Sales Officer):

Since digital is aimed at raising more revenue, a case can be made for have sales lead the digital effort. Since selling can have a short term mentality and typically does not know the technology either, the person has to be just the right one to balance the tug for immediate revenue.

COO (Chief Operating Officer):

Quite often the behavior an organizations' processes represent the organization to the outside world, a case can be made for the COO, who is aimed at effective and efficient operations. Since much of the funding for digital is likely to come from efficiency savings, a case can be made for this role.

Department Head: 

A visionary department head, who has fire in the belly, is often a good way to "sand box" initial digital efforts without the risk of large scale impact. Since the department head is not usually at the "C suite" level the effort becomes more difficult, but an up and coming "C" level person would be able to get it done. After a success, this person could rise to lead other digital efforts.

Net; Net:

Picking the right digital leader for the times is important and might change over the long scale of a digital journey. The key is setting up good governance and good measurements on expected outcomes. A separate governance body within the organization with the CEO at the head works well.