Welcome!

You will be redirected in 30 seconds or close now.

ColdFusion Authors: Yakov Fain, Jeremy Geelan, Maureen O'Gara, Nancy Y. Nee, Tad Anderson

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Machine Learning , Artificial Intelligence

@CloudExpo: Article

Be Digital. Utilize Cloud. Leverage #AI | @CloudExpo #DigitalTransformation

Modern business strategy best practices

Being a business leader in the established economy is not necessarily a fun job these days. Keeping the competitors at a distance while finding ways to defend the current business model against the Internet giants like Amazon, Google, Facebook etc. is a tough job. However, running a business based on digital disciplines and being prepared with the right armor is simply about doing rather than thinking about the why. As a supporting element, a modern business strategy is built upon a magic triangle that consists of three vertices delivering the necessary essentials: Be digital. Use cloud. Leverage artificial intelligence (AI). In this article, we are going to unfold this triangle.

Digital: Just do it
First, talking digitization means talking about a digital evolution and not a transformation. We are within a digitization process that has started over 40 years ago when Intel introduced its "Intel 4004" processor in series and SAP, Microsoft or Apple were founded. In the meantime, you can find PCs or Macs in each office and the use of mobile devices is continuously growing. However, even after these 40 years not every process has been digitized so far and doing things for the sake of doing things is simply wrong.

However, digitization is hassling leadership teams by letting them challenge the existing business model and reinvent oneself to confront the competition with a digitized organization. Apart from that the leadership's task is to develop a unique digital agenda they can leverage to highly interconnect with customers, partners and suppliers and therefore redefine all necessary processes, understanding them as an essential part of a digital enterprise. In doing so, it is important to put the customer tenaciously into focus of interest. Based on smart products and AI technologies, organizations are able to get a better understanding of their target groups and to spot the current needs and thus act proactively. These include the development of "data driven apps" to raise as much qualitative data as possible and to use it at the scene of event (digital touchpoint) in order to increase the digital user experience for customers as well as partners and suppliers.

The fact of the matter is that the entire supply chain must become much more agile to be ahead of competition. This is about real-time. In the best case, organizations know already one hour (or even earlier) what a customer is going to need. In other words: predictive analytics are becoming continuously more important. It is necessary to decrease set-up times for machines, to interconnect the entire supply chain and to scale with the help of the cloud. Because one simple fact reflects the digitization: markets are not predictable and thus the set-up times have to become faster.

Amazon is the prime example in the digital age. Started as a simple web shop, right now Amazon would only need an own music label to control almost 100 percent of the world's digital goods. Just take Amazon Video as an example.

  • Amazon produces own movies and series (that already won Oscars)
  • Amazon hosts their own infrastructure to run and deliver the videos (Amazon Web Services)
  • Amazon has the own platform to stream the videos (Amazon Video)
  • Amazon controls the distribution channels via apps (multi OS) and own devices (Kindle)

The prime example for the digital evolution is Vorwerk's Thermomix. Originally introduced in 1971 the kitchen appliance was continuously advanced over the last over 40 years until 2014 when the latest version TM5 hit the market. One of the important things of this model is that it incorporates digital technologies, as it allows for "guided cooking" using proprietary memory chips to provide settings and cooking instructions, and has replaced all the buttons and knobs in previous models with a touch screen. Furthermore, a mobile application allows to plan for the week (month) and communicates with the Thermomix. A new Wi-Fi module replaces the memory chips and lets the Thermomix connect to the cooking experience website Cookidoo where the Thermomix gets access to the recipes. Bottom line, Vorwerk was able to advance and even digitize a product that is over 40 years old and thus understood to align its product as part of the digital evolution.

Another good example of the digital evolution is Tesla by producing the digitized car. In my opinion the cool thing about a Tesla is not the electrical part but it being fully software-defined - so, the software-defined car. That makes it much easier for Tesla to roll out new functionalities and the same software for any physical platform that is (will be) designed.

However, in the end most importantly business leaders must understand that their business has to be digital today or how Forrester Analyst Glenn O' Donell tweeted: "There actually is no such thing as #DigitalBusiness. It's just Business. If it isn't "Digital," you are likely out of business!"

Cloud: The Essential Foundation
The cloud is one of the most important drivers of the digital evolution. Only with the use of dynamic and global scalable infrastructure, IT organizations can face the constantly changing market conditions and thus support their business strategy with a better agility. Cloud environments provide the best preconditions to facilitate the digital strategies of organizations of any size. Start-ups benefit by starting from scratch and do not have to consider a legacy IT. They can grow slowly without heavy static investments in IT resources. As part of their digital evolution established companies in particular need speed to keep up with the ever-changing market conditions. An idea is just the beginning. Most commonly the fast go-to-market fails due to technical execution because of slow deployments of IT resources or the lack of modern tools and services that support the development process.

Cloud infrastructure and platforms empower IT organizations to deliver agility and thus support the business to enhance innovation capabilities. This includes:

  • Access to state-of-the-art technologies and higher-level services to develop new digital products and services
  • Affordable test and development of PoCs
  • Improvement of customer experience by developing new customer facing solutions to enhance the customer engagement
  • Closer integration of the entire process and supply chains within the organization as well as with partners and suppliers
  • Acceleration of release cycles (continuous development and deployment)

Another important fact: Organizations cannot just focus on their home market anymore. Driven by globalization that hits its climax with the digitization of our society, scalability also needs to be considered from a global angle. The cloud enables elastic infrastructure operations and supports global expansion in an easy way by:

  • Flexible access to IT resources without limits
  • On demand usage of the infrastructure
  • Overcome technical challenges like avoiding high latency
  • Fulfill legal requirements in the corresponding target market
  • Worldwide customer reachability

As part of digital strategies, the cloud is becoming more and more important. It serves as the ideal foundation for a straightforward access to IT resources and empowers every organization to act in an agile way. As a technological foundation, it serves as a means to an end and enables the access to ongoing innovation such as AI-related services.

AI-Driven: The Future of any Digital Business
Imagine when anything that is a process can and will be run by an AI. Because, with AI anything that is a process in your company can be automated. This is an important fact on your journey to new business models since an AI-operated business empowers you to use your financial resources and talent much more effectively. AI is the next logical step after the cloud and benefits from its success. The cloud is the enabler from a technological perspective. AI is about the business value and thus leads to smarter and more intelligent applications. Based on a sophisticated data analysis, AI applications that run in the background help to refine the customer approach and tailor products even better to the current needs.

But AI also helps to run IT environments more efficiently. Such as an AI-defined Infrastructure that utilizes the company's existing knowledge executing it automatically and independently and thus operates an infrastructure environment after a training sessions on its own. One use case is the autonomous operation of an AI-powered IT management system that helps to avoid service disruptions of public cloud providers. Bottom line, AI respective an AI-defined Infrastructure makes the operations of a cloud environment even more intelligent and hereby efficient.

As part of a digital strategy, AI empowers enterprises to improve its operations with:

  • A better understanding of customers based on past interactions and behaviors.
  • A fancy experience of changing the customer interaction from keyboard entry to speech control.
  • Deeper engagement with smart virtual assistance enhancing the customer experience.
  • Customized products and service offerings aligned with customer needs.
  • Predictive by analyzing data, interactions and behavior from the past and in real-time.
  • Conversational with smart personal assistants and bots.
  • Augmentation of existing and new products, services, applications and processes.

However, the potential of AI is not just simply to optimize existing processes. In the next 5 to 10 years AI will become the game changer! It will accelerate innovation and lead to new business models. Today, AI applications already have the necessary maturity to increase the efficiency of single processes. However, one should not only see AI from an operational (increase efficiency) perspective but also from a strategic angle in order to leverage the technological capabilities for new applications and use cases. And thus, create real values for customers, partners as well as for the own employees.

Digital Discipline
Digital technologies such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing or internet of things (IoT) are the foundation for innovation and new business models that will change common rules and thus lead to ongoing disruptions within and across industries. In doing so, enhancing the customer experience by addressing their needs is crucial and thus constantly raises the customer expectations. Amazon, Google, Netflix, Uber or Airbnb are just some examples.

And the next disruptors are right on your doorstep. The autonomous car will become a reality - the technological perspective is not the issue but we have to see how everything will be handled from an ethical side. This progress will have a direct impact on the retail, hotel and logistics industry. Just think about a network of self-driving cars that autonomously deliver goods to the customer. And then think about one of these self-driving cars being your private car that you can lend to this delivery network when you are at the office - and you getting a share of the revenue. Or think about an autonomous car/ bus that functions as a hotel room as well - like an "Airbnb Mobile".

Bottom line, it doesn't matter in which industry you are working right now. You should be at eye level with the common technologies and trends, even if you do not feel any impact at the moment. This includes to understand and check what a certain technology can do for your current business model or if it could become a threat that influences your company in a negative way.

More Stories By Rene Buest

Rene Buest is Director of Market Research & Technology Evangelism at Arago. Prior to that he was Senior Analyst and Cloud Practice Lead at Crisp Research, Principal Analyst at New Age Disruption and member of the worldwide Gigaom Research Analyst Network. At this time he was considered a top cloud computing analyst in Germany and one of the worldwide top analysts in this area. In addition, he was one of the world’s top cloud computing influencers and belongs to the top 100 cloud computing experts on Twitter and Google+. Since the mid-90s he is focused on the strategic use of information technology in businesses and the IT impact on our society as well as disruptive technologies.

Rene Buest is the author of numerous professional technology articles. He regularly writes for well-known IT publications like Computerwoche, CIO Magazin, LANline as well as Silicon.de and is cited in German and international media – including New York Times, Forbes Magazin, Handelsblatt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Wirtschaftswoche, Computerwoche, CIO, Manager Magazin and Harvard Business Manager. Furthermore he is speaker and participant of experts rounds. He is founder of CloudUser.de and writes about cloud computing, IT infrastructure, technologies, management and strategies. He holds a diploma in computer engineering from the Hochschule Bremen (Dipl.-Informatiker (FH)) as well as a M.Sc. in IT-Management and Information Systems from the FHDW Paderborn.

@ThingsExpo Stories
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...