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Digital Transformation is beyond technology; it’s a culture change

Digital transformation is a buzzword that has taken the world by storm. Is it just about technology or there’s more to digital transformation?

It is a fast moving world, and technology is evolving each day with a rapid pace. The new age customer likes speed, innovation and convenience. That’s where enterprises began to realize the need to reinvent their business models and transform digitally. While most industry leaders are already en route digital transformation, several enterprises worldwide are gradually stepping up.

But what does it take to make this buzzword a business reality? How long does digital transformation really take? From a broad perspective, digital transformation is mostly about bringing in new technology and digitizing business processes. However, if you dig in deeper and take a closer look, there’s a lot more to it than just technology implementation. Digital Transformation is a culture; an ongoing, long-term process. It touches all aspects of an organization, including its various departments, its people, processes and policies.

Digital transformation is beyond digitization; it calls for a change in organizational culture. As a CIO, you must understand that there are several layers to digital transformation hidden beneath technology implementation. Here are 4 critical aspects to an enterprise-wide digital transformation apart from implementing technology innovations.

Change Management

Even the smallest of organizational changes are faced by employee resistance; and we’re talking of digital transformation here. Before you set on a journey to transforming your business digitally, it is important to ensure that your people are comfortable with the new change. There are three key stages to an effective change management in an organization.

Awareness – Educate your people about digital transformation, and the value it holds for the organization and them.
Assurance – Build confidence in your workforce that digital transformation is for good and it will make work easier for them.
Assistance – Support them throughout the transition phase. Be a mentor, be a guide.

Training and Development

Implementing innovative technology and latest applications is a great initiative, but it’s of no good if your people are not competent with it. As a CIO, it is an implied responsibility that you must train your workforce with the new technology coming in.

Conduct Learning & Development programs that equip them with the upcoming business processes and develop their skills to keep up with the change. It will not only prepare them for the upcoming digital transformation, but will also enhance their productivities. Additionally, it will help you retain valuable employees, and drive digital transformation smoothly.

Enterprise-wide Digitization

True digital transformation is when your entire organization is influenced digitally, including your front end activities, back end processes, day-to-day operations and complex business critical activities. It could be as simple as implementing and AI-enabled bot on your company website or as complex as automating your enterprise’s risk management practices.

Digital transformation is not an instant process. It takes months, even years for an enterprise to fully transform digitally. It is a continuous process that fetches long-term benefits for an enterprise. The best strategy to carry out an enterprise-wide digital transformation is to focus on one department (or process) at a time, and integrate them together over time.

Risk Assessment and Plan of Action

Digital transformation leads to massive business change. However, it carries a set of challenges and risks that need to be addressed cautiously. It involves huge investments and business efforts to implement or migrate to new technology. For successful digital transformation, it is critical that you deploy the right technology in the right department and choose the right implementation partner.

Before you start with the implementation, revisit the areas of risk and come up with a plan of action to cope up with the risks. It could be internal risks, such as lack of IT resources to carry out the project, or external factors like stringent governance regulations. A strategic risk assessment can help you manage any risks that come along and implement digitization successfully in your enterprise.

The whole idea behind digital transformation is to help businesses grow and stand out in the cut-throat competition. Successful digital transformation is digitization runs across your entire organization and your people, processes and policies are in sync with the digital revolution.

Prakash Balebail is the founder and CEO of Estuate. He comes with over two decades of experience in driving digital transformation across industries and strong expertise in disruptive technologies like AI, Automation, IoT and Machine Learning.


[Infographics] – Why Mobility?

Today mobile phones can do much more than making calls. There’s been a massive evolution in mobile technology. With an app for almost everything, mobile phones are an indispensable part of our daily lives. We’re in the era of handheld devices and chances are you are reading this infographic on your mobile too. Here are 5 ways mobility is impacting businesses.

The Facebook-Cambridge Analytica Scandal: What you need to know

The Cambridge Analytica scandal has caused a worldwide debate. Here’s all you need to know about it and more.

You thought Facebook was safe? Well, we all thought so until the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal shook up social media and global politics like never before.

What is this scandal all about? Should you, as an entrepreneur be more concerned about data security at your enterprise now? This article gives you the inside story of what exactly happened and what you must learn from the Cambridge Analytica data scandal.

Cambridge Analytica is a London based data analytics and political consulting firm incorporated in 2013. It helps political parties with data mining and elections strategies. It all started in 2014 when Aleksandr Kogan, a researcher developed a personality quiz app on Facebook. As much as 270,000 Facebook users installed the app and took Kogan’s quiz. Little did they know that the developers were able to access their personal data through the app. That’s not all; they could access personal information of their “Facebook friends” as well (without their permission).

All this personal information, which should have ideally been deleted, was being saved in a private database and sold to Cambridge Analytica. Allegedly, personal data of about 50 million Facebook users was hacked in this manner. Cambridge Analytica used this information to create about 30 million psychographic profiles to influence elections. The company has worked on elections all over the world, including the Bihar Assembly Elections in India in 2010. It is also said to have a major role in influencing the recent US Presidential Elections.

Quite obviously, this massive scam has affected the social media giant too. Soon after the news was out, the hashtag #DeleteFacebook went viral on social media, impelling people to quit Facebook. The company’s shares immediately tumbled in the stock market, and accounted for a loss of $35 Billion in a single day.

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg wrote on his account, “We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.” He also addressed the media expressing his apologies on the matter and assured that the Facebook team is investigating all applications that use personal user data and auditing suspicious activities more closely.

Cybersecurity incidents affect an enterprise adversely in multiple ways. They lead to legal implications, cause loss of reputation and create financial dents too. But does it affect you? When a data breach as big as that can occur at Facebook, it can affect any business any time. Enterprises collect heaps of information from a variety of devices on a daily basis. The more information you collect, the more accountable you are to protect it and avoid any kind of misuse.

This incident has increased the need for IT security across the globe. It’s time to learn a lesson from the Cambridge Analytica scandal and review your Information Security programs for better. To prevent cybersecurity incidents at your enterprise, you need more than just a data security program. You need to educate your employees about the importance of business data, instill best practices around data privacy and monitor your IT operations more diligently; and continue this throughout the information lifecycle.

Why Automation? 5 Reasons to Automate your Business Processes

Business Automation could sound overwhelming, but it offers scalable benefits to modern enterprise. Here are 5 reasons why you should consider automating your business.

In the business world, there is always scope for improvement. Enterprises are constantly looking for ways to improve performance levels and gain an edge over the competition.

Many businesses worldwide are adopting process automation as a key strategy to stay ahead in the run. When we talk about automation, it usually gives a picture of robots and machines replacing human resources in an organization. Many small enterprises also think that automation is only for big enterprises, since it is an expensive affair.

These are all just myths. The truth is; automation simplifies human activities and it actually reduces operational costs in the long run. Also, a business of any size and nature can automate its processes and improve performance significantly. If you’re still not convinced, here are five key benefits of automating your business processes.

1. Cost Effectiveness
Far-sighted entrepreneurs consider automation as a strategic investment rather than expenditure. Once the initial implementation costs are covered, business process automation proves to be a worthy investment. Automating redundant activities reduces the need for extensive labor, minimizes paperwork expenses, overhauling and maintenance costs.

2. Time Saving
Business process automation is all about simplifying day-to-day recurring activities by letting machines and software do them for you. For instance, humans spend hours together testing application performance and generating reports. By introducing automated testing, test cases can be executed within minutes, saving massive time and efforts. Automation leads to faster processing of voluminous tasks and reduced turnaround timelines.

3. Enhanced Workflow Efficiencies
A reduction in enterprise costs and the time involved in executing operational activities leads to improved workflow efficiencies. As automation takes care of recurring and monotonous tasks, employees can focus their attention towards core business processes and revenue generating activities. Automating business processes allows enterprises to achieve more results with fewer efforts.

4. Accuracy and Consistency in Operations
A huge drawback associated with manual processing is the possibility of errors. Humans tend to make errors; especially when there are huge volumes involved. Manual processing is also inconsistent, as there are chances of missing some steps. Automation eliminates the chances of errors, leading to enhanced accuracy. It also follows a standard operating procedure, ensuring consistency in performing tasks.

5. Reduced Employee Turnover
In contrast to the myth related to automation; many enterprises have experienced a reduction in employee turnover since the introduction of automation. Executing recurring activities on a daily basis gets mundane and monotonous for employees. Automation solves this problem and allows people to take up more challenging and rewarding activities, leading to employee satisfaction. Satisfied employees tend to perform better and stay with organizations for longer times.

Enterprises worldwide are adopting automation solutions across various departments to streamline business operations. Some of the key areas where automation software and tools are being used widely are customer support, marketing, social media engagement, administrative activities, sales and analytics. Regardless of the size or nature of your business, introducing automation can prove to be a winning strategy and transform your business significantly.

How is analytics reforming healthcare?

Big data and analytics are playing a strong role in revolutionizing healthcare services. Check out how analytics is impacting the healthcare industry.

In today’s digital world, data drives industries. Enterprises are rapidly becoming data-intensive with information coming from various sources and in various forms. Analytics helps in leveraging this big data to strategize and improve performance.

There’s been a huge shift in the way industries operate with the use of analytics in decision making. Healthcare is one such area where analytics plays a major role in driving operations and delivering services.

Healthcare analytics focuses on understanding clinical and pharmaceutical data in a logical and profitable manner to allow healthcare entrepreneurs make sustainable decisions. Here are five ways in which healthcare analytics is improving the way healthcare is provided worldwide.

Accurate Diagnosis
Getting the right diagnosis is a key aspect to providing quality healthcare. Analytics has increased the accuracy of medical diagnosis. With the help of advanced analytics and algorithms, a patient’s medical condition can be diagnosed more accurately than before. For example, by combining Genomics (the study of genes) and analytics, it is now much easier to determine which gene in a patient’s body is responsible for a rare medical condition.

Preventive Medicine
Analytics also helps physicians and medical professionals predict the occurrence of diseases beforehand based on several factors. These include environmental factors, disease agents and lifestyle choices. For instance, by analyzing the disease trends and connected Electronic Health Records (EHR), the presence of a flu or virus can be predicted and medications for the same can be provided before it affects the masses. This is especially helpful in preventing epidemics and improving public health.

Personalized Treatment
Personalized medicine or precision medicine is the practice of developing tailored treatment methods and drugs. Personalized treatment enables hospitals to offer patient-specific treatments and fight rare diseases. Analytics helps determine the root causes of diseases and helps in producing personalized medicines for them. As of 2017, the global market for personalized medicine was estimated to be worth some $1.58 billion, forecasting a growth up to nearly $2.8 billion by 2022.

Improved Patient Experience
It is critical for healthcare organizations to offer quality healthcare throughout the patient cycle. Several healthcare enterprises are now using analytics to understand patient progress, monitor health status and offer proactive care. Doctors are also offering wearable devices to ensure that the health of their patients can be monitored even after they’ve been sent home. This eventually leads to better patient experience and improved brand image.

Clinical Data Security
Today’s healthcare industry is driven by data. Every day, heaps of clinical data is collected by healthcare organizations. A lot of this data is sensitive in nature, such as patient medical history, confidential details etc. This data needs to be protected to avoid security incidents and comply with healthcare regulations. Analytics helps identify the loopholes in clinical data management and take measures to secure such sensitive clinical data.

This is the era of massive digital transformation. Analytics is impacting the healthcare industry in the most progressive way. From clinical analytics to predictive analytics and wearable technology, the healthcare industry has come a long way in offering quality and value-based services. The healthcare analytics market is expected to reach USD 24.55 Billion by 2021. In the coming years, analytics will be at the forefront of healthcare, substantially improving global health and wellness.


Impacts of mobility on the business world

Mobile technology is a growing business trend. Here are 5 reasons why you must consider adopting mobility in your enterprise.

Mobile phones are an integral part of our daily lives. A research conducted by British psychologists states that an average adult spends roughly 5 hours in a day using his phone.

Thanks to smartphones that come with numerous apps that make life simpler as well as entertaining. From online shopping to food delivery, web maps to mobile banking, and social media to self-healthcare apps, there’s an app for almost everything today.

As much as 269 billion mobile apps were downloaded in 2017. This rapid growth in the mobility sector is inspiring all businesses to embrace mobile technology in some form or the other. In this article, we have listed out the top 5 reasons why all businesses need to enter the world of mobility.

Greater accessibility
This is the era of hand-held devices. As of February 2017, mobile devices accounted for 49.74 percent of internet usage worldwide. Mobility is reshaping the way businesses reach out to customers. Increased mobile data usage is pushing enterprises to think ‘Mobile First’. Mobility ensures that your customers can access your products and services anytime from anywhere. It also enables you as a business to attract potential customers and engage existing customers effectively through interactive apps and mobile responsive sites.

Improved customer service
In a world where customer is the king, businesses are constantly on their toes to offer better customer service and enhance customer relations. Mobility is hugely impacting customer experience in multiple ways. It enables you to offer a personalized shopping experience based on customer purchase histories and preferences. It also facilitates faster and easier troubleshooting with 24X7 customer support. Mobility is turning out to be the foundation of excellent customer engagement.

Renewed marketing strategies
Gone are the days when marketers used to shoot email campaigns to customers only to get spammed later. Mobility is changing the role of marketing. While 65 percent of email is spam, less than 10 percent of SMS is. Traditional marketing methods are being reformed and mobile technology is being used more and more to capture markets and promote products and services. Marketers are using SMS marketing, mobile advertising and social media marketing, changing overall marketing strategies based on target markets.

Enhanced internal communication
In addition to using mobile technology to engage customers and increase sales, businesses are also developing applications and web portals to facilitate internal business communication. It is a great way to establish a strong network across the enterprise. Today, about 60% employees use apps for work-related activities. Whether it’s sharing important business information, or keeping them engaged and ensuring business goals are effectively met, enterprise mobility is now a critical component to improving internal business communications.

Better branding
Mobile technology and mobility tools expose your business to millions of potential customers, leading to improved brand awareness. The more your customers know about you, the more they’re likely to do business with you. The customer always wants more. Having a mobile responsive site, a round-the-clock support mechanism, a well-performing app, are all ways to improve your business brand and get an edge over competitors.

The concept of mobility is exciting because it is technology made portable. In a world where the customer is time-poor, businesses have to go that extra mile to offer convenience. Mobility delivers convenience, flexibility and speed, which is why customers are embracing it in all ways. Have you already entered the world of mobility to improve your business?