Wednesday, August 31, 2016

What's Stopping You from Going Digital?

Many organizations want to go digital, but they don't feel prepared from a business change, skills and knowing what technology to leverage for early payback. The problem is that waiting is not an option because your young employees will jump ship if you aren't pursuing a believable digital transformation effort. Though we can all agree that digital will disrupt yet 75% of organizations feel mature enough to push forward with vigor. While internal culture and ability to absorb change will hold organizations back, there are some early signs of success.

The following youtube video can shed some light on the issue

I have identified some early safe bets and early high benefit areas in this research note 

I'd love to converse on your experience with digital to date, but comments are appreciated as well.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Business Drivers For Digital Transformation

Should organizations invest in Digital Transformation? Looking at the drivers should give us an answer. It's a common fear that emerging technologies are just looking to land in the business and get "forced fit"in the organization without the total cost of ownership considered. Let's flip this around and look at the issues that face business and see if there is a "real fit". Here are the top seven business trends that have surfaced as of late.


We are in a period of uncertainty. Politics, weather and rumors of wars are enough to shake everyone from a big picture perspective. This means that laws and traditional boundaries can change quickly. Competitors can pop up and dominate with a new business model enabled by technology. We certainly have shifting patterns and contexts. Digital can help with predictive analytics, simulation and cognitive assists. Organizations are can leverage digital in scenario planning successfully and there are emerging case studies to prove it.


Organizations are generally arranged by division of labor creating pools of specialty that speak in their own languages and are driven by their focused goals. This creates the need for meetings and emails flying through the organization trying to solve issues for customers, partners and other departments. On top this dis-function, new products and services are getting more features and options to manage with policies and rules. Digital can help with it's aim to follow customer journeys with processes and collaborations that are driven by customer goals. In addition digital affords better and visible work management and collaborations that can easily support change across the organizational stove pipes. Granted new digital technologies bring their own set of new complexities, but the trade off favors digital.

Increased Need for Speed:

If you snooze, you lose in today's world. This means the speed of response for making changes, creating new products and responding to operational problems is increasing at a very fast rate today. Organizations that can respond quickly with the right answer will win the day. Digital can help because it makes changes quickly because of easy change features that are aimed at low level developers and business pros. In addition, digital promotes composition over creation, but when new code is needed development environments are visually driven. Since signal and event patterns are measured in real time, digital gets to the issues quicker.

Lack of Educated & Skilled Workers:

Even if you don't believe there are enough workers to fill the void, the skill sets are certainly changing to a much higher level than in the past. This means that organizations cherished staffs might have to be augmented. Digital can help by augmenting human skills to enable a nice balanced response of a mixture of human and machine learning / cognition to solve business issues. In addition, digital can respond to the increasing costs of low skilled labor by replacing them with robots.

Transparency Needs:

The need for visibility into processes and their ability to accomplish results in a most compliant manner is only growing exponentially. Organizations are having to balance many compliance programs simultaneously. This is on top of the customer demands for progress of their outcomes. Digital gives fantastic visibility through dashboards and score cards, but through work / process management, compliance can be enforced through process audits and inline rules /constraints.

Reduced Organizational Lifespans:

It is not secret that companies are becoming extinct at a faster rates. Nobody wants to be "uberized" in months nor does an organization want it's edge marginalized slowly. Digital can help create new business models and experiment with them at the maximum, but it can help add advantage over time to stay int the game or even dominate.

Emerging Technical Opportunities: 

By definition, digital is creating a constant flow of new technologies and new technology combinations. The trick is to figure out the risk of each of these technologies and consider them in your organizations tolerance for risk.

Net; Net:

We can debate forever if business drives technology or if technology drives business. I think there is an interplay of both, but I am in the camp of solving high priority business problems with appropriate technology. The issue I wrestle with is timing, priority and getting ahead of the curve instead of chasing it. I think the case is clearly weighted heavily for Digital Transformation, so get ready to invest in digital.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Trends in Digital Transformation: Technical

Early trends in digital transformation included a mobile first for new revenue opportunities and getting to the cloud for cost reasons. While these trends still continue, the activity has gained momentum with new streams of effort. I have identified seven additional areas of digital action that are gaining momentum in the digital transformation arena we all find ourselves in at the moment.

1. Excellence in the  User Experience (UX):

Organizations now understand the importance of the user experience with the advent of  ever improving experiences with the likes of Amazon and Uber. It now starts with wrapping the of the customer journey with an enticing and effective experience.

2. Surround Legacy Portfolios for Better Leverage:

Organizations usually leveraging existing systems assets before they replace them. This puts a premium on wrapping and composition of the old with the new.

3. Analytic Lead Efforts:

Organizations want to discover what is actually happening, so data visualization of new sources of data like signals / events / patterns and process actions is accelerating. Once a base line is set, they make improvements and watch the numbers. Add cognitive assists to deal with the increasing speed of digital and now management by measurement works better in digital.

4. Process and Application Improvement:

Digital isn't free, so finding funding sources is a challenge. This puts a premium on optimizing processes and applications to wring out more money for future improvements and better profits. Process intelligence through mining is solid contributor here.

5. The Exploration of  the IoT / Software Connection:

IoT works well for contained situations like braking on car. Now IoT will broaden it's impact, the combination with software and firmware to produce innovative solutions that can combine machines, software and humans in new ways. More control can be put on the edge and only involve human intervention as needed.

6. Hyper Convergence:

Convergence is already happening in the cloud with reduction of cloud specialists and the growth of cloud biospheres. This convergence will continue for infrastructure plays such as big data and integration, but it will really accelerate to include business differentiating technologies such as process / work management, analytic / cognitive intelligence, integration, the internet of things and business applications. The digital business platform, which has high levels of convergence, is beginning to emerge and will gain momentum.

7. Real Digital Identity:

Digital identity is not focused on the customer, from the customers perspective, and is deeply embedded in many places. Where it exists, it is mostly aimed at supporting a specific technology or group of related technologies. This is inside out and must change and converge. This is starting with true digital identity vendors emerging now.

Net; Net:

The speed and complexity of digital transformations is increasing as organizations are pushing digital to the edge as they see the positive results. The trends are strong and expanding as we move closer to 2020.

Additional Reading:  

Digital Maturity
Digital Business Platforms

Monday, August 15, 2016

Aragon Research is Celebrating Its' Five Year Anniversary !!!

Help us celebrate :) 

We're Turning 5!
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Friday, August 12, 2016

Free Webinar !!! Want a Better Customer Experience?

Sure customer experience is about better mobile access and clean processes, but there are other approaches that easily boosts the bottom line and gives your customer a better experience. Hear about DTM and how it can help your customer and your organization.

FREE Webinar: on August 19th at 10 PST. Listen in

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Digital Assistants: They are Here to Stay

Most folks think of a digital assistant as someone who manages their calendar appointments and completes those nasty travel and expense forms. Well think again. Digital assistants are going to be doing much more than most of us dreamed or thought about. What does this mean for business and when can we expect this to happen?

1. Better Customer Service: 

Digital assistants will be able to understand what your customer wants in context and provide needed answers quickly. In order to do that, there will have to be a very natural conversation that leverages how the digital assistant interprets your customers emotional state, at the moment, to give appropriate answers for the situation. Now this will have to be pretty seamless for customers not to detect that they are working with a digital assistant and accept the outcomes.

2. Picking the Right Process and Complete it:

At first, digital assistant will be able to call up rule based and structured processes and complete them on behalf of the customer following the policies set up by specific industries, value chains and specific organizations. Later digital assistants will be able to add cognitive capabilities to complete fuzzy and emergent processes.

3. Creating Unexpected Value:

Imagine if the customer wants to do several connected processes that span the typical functional specialties that businesses historically have had. Digital assistants could easily handle this complex kind of service without exposing the artificial boundaries with an organization. Digital assistants could also employ machine learning to suggest tweaks to the policies rules and constraints that organizations set up.

When will this be available? 

According to Aragon Research, based in Silicon Valley, it will be sooner rather than later. Aragon predicts" By the year end 2019, Digital Assistants will talk with and complete many electronic tasks for their human counterparts" Also Aragon predicts that "By year end 2020 will leverage Predictive and Cognitive Applications to deliver critical knowledge to employees and customers.

Net; Net:

More sophisticated digital assistants will emerge over the next two to three years as the demands for great customer service at a lower cost hits full stride. These digital assistants and lower level assistants, called chat bots, will become software or robotic agents for the good of many, This is a crucial trend to watch as organizations transform to digital.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Cognitive and Process; Better Together

It matters not what style of process you are working with from very structured and stable processes to emergent and case based processes, cognitive can add significant boost to the effectiveness of a process. Even if you have small snippets of process that get composed together in advance or instantly, cognitive can add significant value. I'd like to explore the value streams of cognitive and process together yielding higher thinking applied to process in this post.

Better Customer Relationships:

Customers love when you know about them and what they are trying accomplish. A cog (short for cognitive service) could be employed against customer preferences to give them a user experience online or over the phone that matches the customer. A cog could be used to listen to the customers words (written or spoken) to measure mood at the moment and match it against history for their personal tendencies (also determined by a cog). The customer service rep could be given dynamic instructions from a circumstance based cog to enhance the experience for a specific customer in a specific situation.

Better Employee Satisfaction: 

We ask our employees to be pretty specialized which pretty boring for most people. Imagine what people could do is cogs could be assisting employees to help with all kinds of tasks that would normally be out of their normal "wheel house" of activities. Most employees would appreciate learning new knowledge, skills and actions delivered just in time for the context in front of them. This makes employees more satisfied and qualified to advance to more challenging work.

Better Outcomes From Actions:

People aren't able to keep up with the speed and complexity of emerging work types without some help. With the help of cogs, process mining, machine learning and compound analytics, people and software can be supercharged to find optimal outcomes for all parties involved under many circumstances. As business becomes more complex and fast when linked with the Internet of Things(IoT), cognitive will play a bigger role. In fact innovation will likely be spurred on by cognitive opportunities.

Better Resource Leverage:

Resources can be dynamically linked with decisions or actions to find the best resource at any point in time to deliver results. In situations that are goal driven, cogs can apply intelligence to work allocation and completion. The cogs can slide the goals up or down and balance conflicting goals while leveraging optimal use of resources.

Dynamically Optimized Processes:

Processes can be cobbled together just in time to optimize multiple goals. In fact smart cogs can swarm to bid to service cases or process instances. For processes are designed to deal with emergent conditions cogs, process mining, machine learning and compound analytics could bid to serve the goals on the edge (distributed control) instead of reporting to central process control .

Net; Net:

Cognitive can be pretty powerful to serve managing work in all kinds of processes. The innovation coming out of this combination of digital technologies in pretty exciting. These two will be included in most digital business platforms offered in the market place eventually.