The Journey Beyond

Kerrie Hoffman

The Introduction

A personal introduction during a business meeting or the reading of a speaker’s bio is a typical way to get to know someone in our business life. It’s fun to visualize the illustrious journey of our colleagues, leaders in companies, and famous guides and visionaries as we listen to their introductions and Bios. The stories these introductions tell are like the stories we post on social media sites including Facebook and LinkedIn. It all sounds so wonderful.

It’s completely normal to list all the highlights of the path we have taken in our formal and even informal introductions. You can easily find the highlights of my career in my LinkedIn profile. But the power of the path we’ve taken lies not in highlights, but rather in the lowlights, obstacles, and missteps.

The Journey Beyond the Highlights

I recently completed a 2-week business trip to India with my business partner. We were visiting 4 cities and many partners and potential partners of our company Get Digital Velocity. The last stop was with a technology company I have been doing advisory work with for over a year. It happened to be Women’s Week, which, at this company included daily sessions from various women leaders and industry experts. I was honored and humbled to be asked to speak.

This was an excellent opportunity to let my guard down, be vulnerable, and speak about the journey beyond the professional Bio. For me, the events which occurred prior to a new position or a promotion often included a significant low-light, obstacle, or frankly a significant misstep.

I think it’s important to note, I did not come up with the idea of sharing the journey beyond the highlights. One of the companies I worked for, Johnson & Johnson (J&J), had strong diversity initiatives and affinity groups. The J&J Women’s group would have a conference each year which included a panel where the panelist would talk about the Journey Beyond the Bio. The J&J Affinity Networks, including the Women’s Network, was a key factor in not only very favorable Diversity metrics but also strong business results and consistency in being rated a Top Place to Work.

Circling back to the recent Women’s Week event, here’s are just 3 of the lowlights I shared:

  1. A common recurring theme of being impatient and labeled overly aggressive in pushing my ideas and agenda – sometimes you must learn a lesson repeatedly before a course correction is made. As a leader who pushes a lot of change, there’s a fine line I need to make sure I don’t cross, and if I do cross, I recognize it early and adjust.
  2. Completely missing the unwritten rules and industry trends during a business unit-wide project I was leading. This led to the first time I hit a glass ceiling – and I hit it hard.
  3. Not recognizing the strength of some cultural differences during the beginning of an Expat assignment which almost took me out of a role and sent me back to the US.

What many people miss about the lowlights, obstacles and missteps of their career, is these are the catalyst for peaks in personal transformation and growth. I believe there are two triggers for personal transformation and growth: deliberately stepping outside our comfort zone and being pushed outside our comfort zone through difficult times and experiences. The most powerful trigger is often the latter.

Of the three I shared above from my career, all led to times of accelerated growth in my career, promotions once growth was achieved, and more importantly accelerating learning I could apply to contribute to business growth and outcomes.

My experience pales in comparison to great teachers and leaders in the world around us. Leaders like Tony Robbins, Oprah Winfrey, Nelson Mandela, Napoleon Hill, even Einstein and Edison. The obstacles and struggles in their lives shaped them into incredible leaders and role models.

Women in the Workplace

One of the great outcomes of the first time I hit a glass ceiling was becoming an effective mentor for women and men who don’t fit the typical Corporate mold. Prior to hitting the first glass ceiling, I believed you had to do something wrong to hit one. I really didn’t do anything wrong that first time, although there were things I could have done differently if I was more aware of the nuances of Women’s Journey in the workplace. I was determined to learn and share these nuances.

So, after I hit the first glass ceiling, I went into heavy research mode. One of the best resources recommended to me at the time by one of my mentors was a book called “Play Like a Man, Win Like a Women” by Gail Evans. The author utilizes a lot of research to scientifically explain the typical differences between men and women and the strengths women bring to the workplace. Women’s strengths in the workplace include: collaboration, team building, listening, innovation, and empathy to name a few.

Another great source of information on Women in the Workplace is the Catalyst organization (www.catalyst.org). There are strong business reasons to embrace diversity in the workplace. According to Catalyst:

“Leaders who embrace a more holistic view of diversity, equity, and inclusion can build a more innovative and collaborative workforce, which is associated with increased productivity and better business results.”1

To embrace a holistic view, it’s important to understand the unconscious bias which occurs in the workplace. Catalyst has some great resources on this topic. One unconscious bias Catalyst points out really resonates with me as I experienced it throughout my career.

In general, when a woman is promoted to senior levels, she is assumed incompetent until she proves herself, while a man is assumed competent until he screws up. I really don’t like generalizations, but I experienced this personally and observed it many times. Catalyst describes this unconscious bias as follows:

“Because some people see women as less competent than men, they may undervalue their accomplishments and overvalue their mistakes.  Research shows that feedback given to women tends to be vague and focused on communication style, while men are given specific feedback that tends to be tied to business goals and technical skills that accelerate advancement.”

The Strengthening Case for Women Leaders

We are living in one of the most amazing times in human history as we exit the Industrial Age and Enter The Next AgeTM. The speed of business is accelerating at a rapid pace and work is becoming much more distributed. As Talent pools work in teams with members located in different buildings, at home and even in different parts of the world, there is a need for technology-based collaboration tools.  More importantly, skills in collaboration, empathy and relationship building are required, the same skills at which women excel.

An exponential growth in technology is the trigger moving us into The Next AgeTM. Some of these exponential technologies include Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Cognitive Automation. These technologies combined with others are creating smart machines and even a new kind of ‘coworker’.

According to Catalyst, “while machines are getting smarter, they don’t possess the same abilities as humans to listen, empathize, and relate to other people. As more routine tasks are automated, inclusive interpersonal skills will become even more essential—companies will need leaders who can build diverse and collaborative teams that integrate and optimize both tech and human resources.”3 And talk about diverse, some of our future team members will be human and some will be automated processes and robots.

Conclusion

I leave you with these thoughts:

  • Embrace the obstacles and challenges which come your way as these are times you will grow the most. Reflect on the lowlights of your career journey and appreciate them as the true highlights.
  • Whether constructive or not, feedback is a gift. Feedback is often the first glimpse into a misstep or obstacle. Resist the initial tendency to make excuses or explain it away and find the lesson learned and opportunity to grow.
  • There has never been a better time to embrace women in the workplace and promote more women into leadership roles. Women’s skills in collaboration, listening, empathy and relationship building are required as more distributed teams and new AI co-workers become commonplace.

Resources:

About the Author:

Kerrie is passionate about business transformation and getting as many companies as possible on their journey to The Next Age™. Kerrie is a #1 Bestselling Business Author and CEO of Hoffman Digital, an ecosystem of companies “Igniting the Human Experience at Work”. This includes Strategic Advisor at GAVS, Partner at Get Digital Velocity, and Digital Advisor at FocalPoint Business Coaching.

The Hands that rock the cradle, also crack the code

Gavs technologies ceo

Sumit Ganguli

It was an unguarded moment for my church-going, straight-laced handyman & landscaper, “ I am not sure if I am ready to trust a woman leader”, and finally the loss of first woman Presidential candidate in the US, that led me to ruminate about Women and Leadership and indulge in my most “ time suck” activities, google and peruse through Wikipedia.

I had known about this, but I was fascinated to reconfirm that the first programmer in the world was a woman, and daughter of the famed poet, Lord Byron, no less. The first Programmer in the World, Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace nee Byron; was born in 1815 and was the only legitimate child of the poet laureate, Lord Byron and his wife Annabella. A month after Ada was born, Byron separated from his wife and forever left England. Ada’s mother remained bitter towards Lord Byron and promoted Ada’s interest in mathematics and logic in an effort to prevent her from developing what she saw as the insanity seen in her father.

Ada grew up being trained and tutored by famous mathematicians and scientists. She established a relationship with various scientists and authors, like Charles Dickens, etc..   Ada described her approach as “poetical science”[6] and herself as an “Analyst & Metaphysician”.

As a teenager, Ada’s prodigious mathematical talents, led her to have British mathematician Charles Babbage, as her mentor. By then Babbage had become very famous and had come to be known as ‘the father of computers’. Babbage was reputed to have developed the Analytical Engine. Between 1842 and 1843, Ada translated an article on the Analytical Engine, which she supplemented with an elaborate set of notes, simply called Notes. These notes contain what many consider to be the first computer program—that is, an algorithm designed to be carried out by a machine. As a result, she is often regarded as the first computer programmer. Ada died at a very young age of 36.

As an ode to her, the mathematical program used in the Defense Industry has been named Ada. And to celebrate our first Programmer, the second Tuesday of October has been named Ada Lovelace Day. ALD celebrates the achievement of women in Science, Technology and Engineering and Math (STEM). It aims to increase the profile of women in STEM and, in doing so, create new role models who will encourage more girls into STEM careers and support women already working in STEM.

Most of us applauded Benedict Cumberbatch’s turn as Alan Turing in the movie,  Imitation Game. We got to know about the contribution, that Alan Turning and his code breaking team at the Bletchley Park, played in singularly cracking the German Enigma code and how the code helped them to proactively know when the Germans were about to attack the Allied sites and in the process could conduct preemptive strikes. In the movie, Kiera Knightly played the role of Joan Clark.  Joan was an English code-breaker at the British Intelligence wing, MI5, at Bletchley Park during the World War II. She was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1947, because of the important part she essayed in decoding the famed German Enigma code along with Alan Turing and the team.  

Joan Clark attended Cambridge University with a scholarship and there she gained a double first degree in mathematics. But the irony of it all was that she was denied a full degree, as till 1948, Cambridge only awarded degrees to men. The head of the Code-breakers group, Hugh Alexander,  described her as “one of the best in the section”, yet while promoting Joan Clark, they had initially given her a job title of a typist, as women were not allowed to be a Crypto Analyst. Clarke became deputy head of British Intelligence unit, Hut 8 in 1944.  She was paid less than the men and in the later years she believed that she was prevented from progressing further because of her gender

 In World War II the  US Army was tasked with a Herculean job to calculate the trajectories of ballistic missiles. The problem was that each equation took 30 hours to complete, and the Army needed thousands of them. So the Army, started to recruit every mathematician they could find. They placed ads in newspapers;  first in Philadelphia, then in New York City, then in far out west in places like Missouri, seeking women “computers” who could hand-compute the equations using mechanical desktop calculators. The selected applicants would be stationed at the  University of Pennsylvania in Philly. At the height of this program, the US Army employed more than 100 women calculators. One of the last women to join the team was a farm girl named Jean Jennings. To support the project, the US Army-funded an experimental project to automate the trajectory calculations. Engineers John Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly, who are often termed as the Inventors of Mainframe computers, began designing the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC as it was called.  That experimenting paid off: The 80-foot long, 8-foot tall, black metal behemoth, which contained hundreds of wires, 18,000 vacuum tubes, 40 8-foot cables, and 3000 switches, would become the first all-electric computer called ENIAC.

When the ENIAC was nearing completion in the spring of 1945, the US Army randomly selected six women, computer programmers,  out of the 100 or so workers and tasked them with programming the ENIAC. The engineers handed the women the logistical diagrams of ENIAC’s 40 panels and the women learned from there. They had no programming languages or compilers. Their job was to program ENIAC to perform the firing table equations they knew so well.

The six women—Francis “Betty” Snyder Holberton, Betty “Jean” Jennings Bartik, Kathleen McNulty Mauchly Antonelli, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum, and Frances Bilas Spence—had no documentation and no schematics to work with.

There was no language, no operating system, the women had to figure out what the computer was, how to interface with it, and then break down a complicated mathematical problem into very small steps that the ENIAC could then perform.  They physically hand-wired the machine,  using switches, cables, and digit trays to route data and program pulses. This might have been a very complicated and arduous task. The ballistic calculations went from taking 30 hours to complete by hand to taking mere seconds to complete on the ENIAC.

Unfortunately, ENIAC was not completed in time, hence could not be used during World War II. But 6 months after the end of the war, on February 14, 1946 The ENIAC was announced as a modern marvel in the US. There was praise and publicity for the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania, Eckert and Mauchly were heralded as geniuses. However, none of the key programmers, all the women were not introduced in the event. Some of the women appeared in photographs later, but everyone assumed they were just models, perfunctorily placed to embellish the photograph.

After the war, the government ran a campaign asking women to leave their jobs at the factories and the farms so returning soldiers could have their old jobs back. Most women did, leaving careers in the 1940s and 1950s and perforce were required to become homemakers. Unfortunately, none of the returning soldiers knew how to program the ENIAC.

All of these women programmers had gone to college at a time when most men in this country didn’t even go to college. So the Army strongly encouraged them to stay, and for the most part, they did, becoming the first professional programmers, the first teachers of modern programming, and the inventors of tools that paved the way for modern software.

The Army opened the ENIAC up to perform other types of non-military calculations after the war and Betty Holberton and Jean Jennings converted it to a stored-program machine. Betty went on to invent the first sort routine and help design the first commercial computers, the UNIVAC and the BINAC, alongside Jean. These were the first mainframe computers in the world.

Today the Indian IT  industry is at $ 160 B and is at 7.7 %age of the Indian GDP and employs approximately 2.5 Million direct employees and a very high percentage of them are women. Ginni Rommeti, Meg Whitman are the CEOs of IBM and HP while Sheryl Sandberg is the COO of Facebook. They along with Padmasree Warrior, ex CTO of CISCO have been able to crack the glass ceiling.    India boasts of Senior Leadership in leading IT companies like Facebook, IBM, CapGemini, HP, Intel  etc.. who happen to be women. At our company, GAVS, we are making an effort to put in policies, practices, culture that attract, retain, and nurture women leaders in IT. The IT industry can definitely be a major change agent in terms of employing a large segment of women in India and can be a transformative force for new vibrant India. We must be having our Indian Ada, Joan, Jean and Betty and they are working at ISRO, at Bangalore and Sriharikota, at the Nuclear Plants at Tarapur.

Drones – Disruption Reimagined?

Rajalakshmi M

Oil prices were in for a shock on a mid-September Monday morning, when two of Saudi Arabia’s oil production facilities were attacked by multiple drones. Around 5% of the world’s oil supply was hit and it took the US’ reserves opening news to calm the oil price jump.

But the important question is how powerful are drones? If the news that has come out is accurate, 10 drones were successful against arguably the single most important piece of infrastructure in the global oil industry, present in a country whose defence spends are only next to the US and China.

Before we conclude how drones could change the world, let us take a peek into the journey of drones.

The drone is the popular name for unarmed aerial vehicles (UAV). These remotely controlled machines can fly without any physical human intervention on board.

The first recorded use of a UAV predates the actual airplane and goes as early as 1849 serving as a balloon carrier for military purposes. The first truly successful example of non-crewed remote-controlled aircraft was the de Havilland DH82B Queen Bee, which entered service in Britain in 1935 and seems to have been the motivation for calling such aircraft ‘drones’ (stingless male bees). Over time it was powered, used as target practice, used for reconnaissance and data collection, as decoys and finally in actual combat. The other documented use of drones includes package delivery, in agriculture (spraying pesticides, insecticides), environment monitoring, aerial photography and surveillance and during search and relief operations.

The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research quoted a report saying that the global drone market is expected to increase four times by 2022 from its 2015 value and surpass a net worth of $22 billion, inclusive of both combat and non-combat drones in military. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Research points out that the overall drone market including the consumer drones will be around $100 billion by 2020, which says the non-military market will be far bigger.

The consumer drones take a lot of inspiration from radio-controlled (RC) airplanes and smartphones which has led to the exponential growth of the above-mentioned commercial drones. Let us take a look at how it has been used commercially.

In the agriculture sector, drones are being used to survey the health of the crops. Crop health can be assessed by using special multispectral cameras to take pictures. The relative intensity of colour in particular frequency bands is measured and thus identify undernourished and diseased plants. This can be done without having a manual checking of the crops which is more expensive and time-consuming. Satellite photography might also not be as economic as drones. Later, a GPS enabled tractor can do the needful and prevent chemical runoff.

The construction industry is using it for “reality capture”. Thousands of photos are captured aerially and then stitched and crunched together to make a 3D model. It is later matched with the digital model to check the deviations between the construction and the design. This helps to take corrective steps and also prevents errors. They are also being used to measure the mining stockpiles, whose manual stockpiling has been dangerous.

We can also take a look at how drones will be used by the Indian Government. The Government is trying to map the entire country with precision. It wants to use the results for marking boundaries and help future property buyers. The State Government in India used drones for search and rescue after the 2015 floods in Chennai. Drone photography seems to be already in use in the entertainment industry and weddings.

Drones could revolutionize the delivery market. Amazon has already announced its ambitious Prime Air that can deliver packages up to 5lbs within a 10-mile radius post-launch. Dominoes has also announced their drone delivery plans. But we can see how drones have helped save lives. San Francisco based Zipline took off in Rwanda in 2016. It has now become a national on-demand medical drone network that is used to deliver 150 medical products (blood and vaccines mostly), to places that are difficult to reach. Thanks to the on-time delivery of blood, maternal mortality rates are declining. This shows that in parts with difficult accessibility drones can help save precious lives.

With further advancements of AI, sensors, and cameras, usages of drones are only going to increase. But we also need to remember that the drones created panic at Newark, Gatwick and Heathrow. Flights had to be suspended. It also caused revenue loss and panic attacks. The same advancements in technology can be implemented to limit the damage of drones. Companies such as Indra with its Anti Drone system ARMS try to jam a single or swarm of drones. Radars that identify drones pass on the message to ARMS and later use infrared cameras to confirm and identify the type of drone. Sensors then sweep the radio spectrum to determine what signals the drone is using. This is followed by careful jamming that excludes all other airfield machinery.

Various countries have their own regulations. These regulations generally cover where they can be flown, ranges, heights, sizes, types, etc. Some countries also demand registration. As I write this article post the Saudi attack, governments and experts are commentating on how ready they are for facing similar attacks. We will see many countries going on a purchasing spree of anti-drone capabilities.

However, we might not see an all-out ban on drones. Once technology hits the market, there is no stopping it. With all the benefits that drones can provide, they complemented so many industries in their use cases. Truly, drones have revolutionized photography, videography, surveying, and logistics. Only time will tell whether these drones priced at thousands of dollars can challenge defence mechanisms worth millions of dollars and cause ruckus again.

Sources:

Are your Customers Delighted? Identify and Implement!

Balaji Uppili, Chief Customer Success Officer

Driving customer success

More power to Customer Success! Earlier, the term customer satisfaction resonated heavily with enterprises of all sizes. But now, it has been overpowered by customer success. Customer success has evolved dramatically over the years, transforming its need to more of a necessity. Secondary research confirms that 21% of companies consider customer success important hence, they invest time and money on the same. As a concept, customer success ensures that customers achieve their desired outcome. It is not only about retaining customers but also adding growth to the business through a conducive relationship focused on effective client management. Such a mutual relationship between a client and the vendor can be a win-win situation for both, thus driving customer success.

In an attempt to understand the value of customer success, we conversed with Balaji Uppili, Chief Customer Success Officer in GAVS Technologies. His 25 years of industry experience and expertise helped unlock a dynamic perspective on customer success.

Customer Success – the key basics!

He pointed out that customer success, although it may sound simple is way beyond just modest execution of individual expectations and aspirations. As a vendor, the primary concern is to focus on an individual or a group of individuals or even an organization to meet evolving expectations. He pointed out the challenge that most enterprises face in this environment is in identifying the precise aspiration or expectation – is it customer success or customer satisfaction? In most instances, it is misinterpreted as customer satisfaction, which is why there is a fine gap that enterprises strive to fulfill.  

It is a myth that customer success is a simple delivery of a Statement of Work (SOW). Rather the reality is, delivering customer success will automatically ensure delivery of the SOW as it is a superset of identifying and fulfilling an expectation. It, however, cannot be perceived the other way around. The success mantra for a leader is to get the demarcation right between customer success and customer satisfaction.

The ‘What’ and ‘How’ of Challenges

The key aspect of customer success is not only ensuring the best return on investment but to understand the customer requirement in a precise manner. The requirement must be in sync with the profile and positioning of the customer – a key attribute to ensure customer success. This entire process is a challenging task as expectations keep evolving.

Balaji didn’t forget to mention that to a great extent customer success depends upon emotional quotient. Hence, the focus should be on ‘how’ to transform an emotion into something tangible that is measurable. This will enable the entire team to participate in the journey of success. He elaborated further that customer success is a cohesive success of the entire team rather than an outcome of an individual.

The measurement scale of customer success

First of all, Balaji acknowledged the importance of real-time information from the customer himself to understand if the delivery met expectations.

Secondly, he highlighted the point that understanding the behavior of individuals that can influence customer success.

Magic Mantra

In order to achieve customer success, one needs to add quantifiable measures and follow three basic steps. First, it is absolutely imperative to understand the facets of basic customer success, after which one needs to figure out tangible ways of attaining that success and lastly execute the same in an efficient manner. Such a cohesive approach to tend to customer expectations in all probability lead to attaining customer success. Balaji stressed on the fact that ‘customer success’ is the driving force and lifeline of GAVS’ existence. GAVS has a platform to enable and drive measurable outcomes and ensure critical governance to customer success. He further said, “We call our organization a customer-success organization instead of just being delivery-driven. We have achieved this transformation over the years with great grit and an evolving mindset”.

How unique is GAVS’ approach to Customer Success?

GAVS stands strong in its approach to delight customers. To build a strong ecosystem that drives customer success, GAVS has a customer success management platform, wherein the entire process is templatized. Every facet of customer success at GAVS, whether it is baselining, capturing, to measuring and delivering success, follows an in-house standardized template. Weaving its sub aspects together into a single string ensures effective customer success management.

Healthcare benefiting from automation

What would someone decipher by the term ‘automation in healthcare’? Does it appear to you as robots operating human limbs or machines empathizing with patients? Well, not exactly! Automation in the healthcare sector focusses on improving the overall service that patients deserve since healthcare is a basic right and should not be mistaken as a privilege.

Healthcare industry – How is the transition shaping up?

The healthcare industry has made a massive shift; from the paper-based method of maintaining records to compiling digital records and practicing online information sharing. This industry, in particular, is critical and cannot afford even an iota of downtime. The medical practitioners must have consistent access to medical records and information of patients. Thus, the IT team needs to ensure a smooth functioning of the machines. In this regard, automation is truly an amazing solution that assists in enhancing the capabilities of data centers and ensured seamless operation. It also provides constant monitoring and real-time alerts, further preventing life-threatening system downtimes.

Automation in Healthcare: Still a mile apart

Currently, the two key focus areas of the healthcare industry include cost reduction and efficiency boosting. Highlighting trends, it is worthwhile to mention that the Japanese Lean approach has been adopted by the healthcare industry with basic focus on waste reduction and improvement of performance and efficiency through automation of manual tasks. Now, automation is reduction of human intervention by increasing dependence on artificial intelligence (AI). Infact, automation has engulfed our daily lives with ATMs, self-checkout in stores and auto-park assistance in connected vehicles etc. However, automation in the healthcare sector is comparatively a new concept, yet to be explored in entirety!

Need for automation is a priority

Population explosion has directly impacted the growth in ageing population. With age, people require greater medical attention and care. This increases the demand for healthcare professionals and care givers and in order to meet that growing demand, automation is the best possible solution. The rise in demand for healthcare solutions has been addressed by healthcare organizations by hiring more care givers. However,  secondary research reveals that the nursing shortage in the US is predicted to increase and the current number will come down to 260,000 registered nurses by 2025, thus indicating a steep fall in the volume of care givers. This shortage can be aptly handled by adoption of technology, further maximizing efficiency with minimal human resources. Although this may look like an ideal scenario, yet it is a massive challenge to motivate employees to imbibe technological changes and embrace the evolving landscape.

The acceptance of automation in healthcare industry transformed the concept of medical care and facility. According to Institute for Health Technology Transformation, “Automation makes population health management feasible, scalable and sustainable.” Similar to other sectors, initially automation was considered a negative aspect even in the healthcare sector. Pharmacists and medical professionals feared unemployment with the onset of automation and robotics. The thought here is not to replace a doctor by a robot, rather blend automation with the workflow of a medical professional to enhance efficiency and productivity of the medical attention procedure.

Engaging patients for an effective care

Medical care flourished and improved through empowering patients with gadgets and apps, that can engage and initiate awareness to participate in the healthcare process. For example, automated health monitoring reminders can create a great impact on the patient’s health, creating consciousness.

Garnering benefits of automation in healthcare

Introduction of automation in the healthcare sector has revolutionized the concept of medical facility and care. It has evolved from complete dependence on humans to sophisticated merger of both, humans and machines. The following are the advantages of leveraging automation in the healthcare domain.

  • Saving considerable time

Automation of manual tasks saves time. This, however, does not indicate firing of employees, rather, it focuses on elevating employee efficiency and support to successfully manage higher-functioning roles. Costly and repetitive individual tasks and complex workflows are usually time-consuming and can easily be automated.

  • Connecting medical facilities

Automation ensures end to end processing of customer information and reports for easy access and creation of a synergy between all healthcare activities conducted by the care center. A patient ideally is not well-versed with the series of medical services and fail to understand the correlation of one with the other. Here, automation helps to create that connect, extending a level of comfort to patients.

  • Enhancing quality and reliability

Automation in healthcare can improve quality and consistency to a great extent since, it reduces the chance of human error and fatigue. Thus, patients can expect consistency in care and service.

  • Data storage and access

As per market research, automation eases the process of storing medical data and order entries. This is useful during emergencies when doctors need quick access of patient’s reports and medical history, acting promptly to save a life.

  • Supporting system for decision-making

Automation ensured data-driven insight on patient’s health conditions. This impacted the decision making and choose the correct course of treatment which is reliable and efficient. Also, this enhanced decision-making capabilities of medical professionals, reduced deaths, minimized surgery complications and brought down medical expenses. Hence, the doctors have started relying on automation to support complex clinical decisions.  

  • Enhancing customer support

Automation empowered patients with self-service options and customer support for seamless self-service. This optimized the process with innovative technology and improved the course of patient care.

  • Improving understanding of patients  

Patients are unaware of the medical processes and its complexity hence, automation connected the medical team with the patients efficiently, helping them to understand the entire process of medical attention. It reduced the time and effort wasted in bridging the gap between a doctor and the patient.

  • Monitoring critical patients

The healthcare sector also implemented automation in post-operative care and Intensive Care Unit (ICU). This ensured automation of the patient’s lifecycle increasing visibility of the treatments given and its consequent result.

  • Managing outcome

For any industry to operate seamlessly, outcomes should be predictable. This is so true for the healthcare industry as well. It is convenient for patients to follow a standardized care path through automation due to its monitoring advantages.

  • Reducing wait-time for medical attention

Automation of healthcare tools can handle larger patient population with efficiency and satisfaction. This also enhanced the patient’s experience of the medical facility.

  • Changing the payment structure

The concept of health insurance has improved due to automation. Treatment was made possible without making any advance payment. This is a revolution in the field of medical attention.

  • Merging of technology

The forte of automation is its ability to integrate old legacy systems with the new evolving technology. The hospitals in United States of America maintains an integrated patient management system that contains reports, information and details of all patients. This combination improved the efficiency of the healthcare sector massively.

  • Ensuring security and compliance

The healthcare industry deals with sensitive information about patients, which is why, the data is critical and requires protection from hackers. Automation, here, plays an important role in safeguarding the data through stringent security regulations.

All the above are constructive steps towards improving the healthcare sector through adoption of automation technology.

Areas to Automate

Healthcare and automation in developing countries

Investments in the healthcare industry will not yield any direct and immediate gain. However, both Government and private investments in this sector will strengthen the automation that will ensure both, qualitative and economic advantages. Infact, the healthcare sectors in developing nations need a thrust of automation to meet the global standard of medicine and healthcare.

Hospitals and automation: Real-life scenario

Secondary market research on hospitals in Texas US, that adopted and implemented automation, showcased exemplary results. Patients treated in those hospitals had lower death rates, very few complications and manageable treatment cost. Government initiatives made it simple for the hospitals to adopt the automation technologies such as electronic medical records, computerized order entry systems and clinical decision support systems. This on one hand, reduced waste of manpower and time while on the other hand, improved its service quality. Automation of the hospital’s clinical information is categorized into four segments viz. medical notes, test results, order entry and decision support.

Healthcare reformed with GAVS

A need to improve patient care has led to the coalesce of technology and healthcare industry. In an attempt to do so, the industry eagerly embraced cloud computing, data analytics and security. GAVS Technologies is one such prominent company which empowered the healthcare sector with technology-led solutions and SMART delivery. Infact, GAVS successfully enabled many hospitals and healthcare centers to improve the quality of care offered to the patients.

GAVS revolutionized the healthcare sector with strategic and cost-effective healthcare technology solutions that blend conventional clinical approach with modern technologies. Needless to say, the world is witnessing a transformed healthcare facility through automation.

AIOps – the answer to your IT’s complexities

Balaji Uppili, Chief Customer Success Officer, GAVS

With the increasing efficiency and sophistication of our IT systems, their complexity opens up a constant slew of challenges for IT Ops departments, and Artificial Intelligence for IT Operations (AIOps) today has emerged as the answer to manage such complexities.

AIOps combines the power of Big Data and Machine Learning and automation, and offers process automation independent of manual resources.  What makes AIOps a winner is its functionality of combining data driven insights from various systems and operational tools that brings significant improvements and probably the best solution for now and future along with cost efficiency.

Driving data through Analytics for meaningful, actionable insights and the subsequent optimization and transformation using Machine Learning that helps in informed decisions and enables IT Ops resources to spend more of their time in quality tasks to support business goals rather than fighting the day to day blips and glitches.

With GAVS’ GAVel picking so much attention, we thought this is the best time to bring you some insights from our Leadership.

 

In conversation with Balaji Uppili, Chief Customer Success Officer, at GAVS;

  • Why do you think AIOps is picking up pace suddenly when these issues have been existing in the industry for the past many years?

Balaji: AIOps is really picking up because the day to day operations are becoming more complex and the amount of operational issues are increasing by the day. Also, AIOps is no longer being used as operational tool but more strategic. This creates bandwidth from an operational standpoint and also in the cost aspects as well. This also provides lot more predictability and proactive approach.

  • What do you think is the next phase of AIOps?

Balaji: The various dimensions of Machine Learning like Reinforced Learning, Reinforced deep learning would definitely take off. A good interface with a virtual assistant / conversational assistant is the future.

  • Is AI truly helping infra team to be ahead of the curve or is it just a hype?

Balaji: It is not a hype at all. There is also no other alternative to it as well. AI is now the key expectation for running efficient and seamless operations.

  • How do you quantify the ROI to CIOs when they invest in these products?

Balaji: The quantification happens from reduction in license costs for various tools being deployed and also optimization due to automation and shift left from a process optimization stand point. These will have direct reduction in operational costs both asset and resources (labor included).

  • What makes GAVel the biggest differentiator in the market?

Balaji: Its ability to reduce noise in the operations (eliminate unwanted data points and also eliminate spikes due to seasonality in operations) world in an enterprise clubbed with its predictability capability (provide approaches to learn from past historical data and arrive at models for the future) which can help the CIO be ahead of the operations both from end user experience and costs.

  • How do you claim to have embraced AI in GAVel?

Balaji: The various algorithms are very AI driven. The self learning from both historical data and current environment and context and using that to predict the future is all in the platform.

  • What is the success rate your customer’s have seen, by adopting GAVel?

Balaji: As regards to automation, customers have seen at least 30%+ automation of operations and processes over  12 months and some even 50%+. With regards to noise reduction and correlations about 70%+(avoiding duplicates and eliminating seasonalities)  and predictions in some cases with about 80%+ probability.

  • How do you think an organization should evaluate the right AIOps platform. What parameters should they consider?

Balaji: The theme of our platform at GAVS’ is “Zero Incident”. How can we get all enterprises to a zero incident state? If that theme is applied then each and every aspect  of the operation is evaluated towards a zero incident journey and this will automatically result in massive cost savings and significant increase in end user experience.

  • By implementing AIOps platform, are organizations creating unemployment?

Balaji: This is a wrong myth and assumption. If we don’t automate and don’t become a responsive and agile enterprise, then the businesses won’t run. The future is all about AIOps and beyond and hence adoption of these concepts by the teams is critical. This will help the teams to reskill themselves to working on automation, data science and related areas and thereby enhance their own value both within the organization they serve and outside as well. The AIOps platforms are evolving to make you better and hence a change management and re-hash of the workforce goes with it.

  • How do you make sure GAVel is always ahead of the curve in the AIOps space?

Balaji: Our internal research and marketing team plays a huge role in keeping us ahead. In addition, our partnership with Microsoft, Gartner, Everest and more importantly with IIT Madras, does help us to be ahead of the curve.

GAVel is now at your fingertips…Deploy and get insights in 60 minutes, try it for free…

Digital Transformation Trends in Healthcare

The first phase of Digital transformation (DX 1.0) involved identifying new technologies, trends, drivers and processes that pushed organizations out of their status quo and helped grow their business.

Digital transformation (DX2.0) involved in organizations addressing the new challenges and opportunities that the 2.0 version presented. The trends, drivers and technologies that drove the first iteration evolved, forcing organizations to adapt to these new tools and upgrade themselves to stay in the race.

The premise of this 2nd wave in healthcare industry is to move towards a patient-centric approach rather than just treating the condition. Providing more value in terms of patient care over volume. The best example is the CES that happened in January 2019, that provided a platform for healthcare companies, experts to project the future of digital transformation in healthcare.

CES 2019 – A Showcase for Digital Transformation

The annual CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2019 January edition was an eclectic mix of technologies, innovations and interactive sessions that showcased the capabilities and futuristic innovations in the Healthcare, ICT, Sports and of course Electronics domain. It was all about digital transformation using Smart IT, AI, IoT and 5G technologies that connects everything.

As part of the knowledge sharing initiative, the Healthcare summit spanning 6 days from Jan 6 to Jan 11 was an opener for all the health tech companies to arm patients and consumers with information. It was a platform for medical personnel to take healthcare to the next level.

Of interest is the healthcare revolution happening in the wearable tech and IoT, Health apps, patient engagement through technology and AI in healthcare. Broadly driving this transformation is the relatively stable economic growth, increased transparency, affordable medical plans, and government policies cutting the red tape.

DX2.0 is an opportunity for retail in the healthcare sector to leverage technologies like AI, machine learning, IoT, Blockchain, advanced performance and analytics for wearables, and healthcare apps. Digital health is allowing more evidence-based discoveries and providing new treatment options.

Healthcare Trends dominating Digital Transformation

As digital health grows at an increasing pace, the legacy network and IT architecture need to keep pace with it. The innovative solutions for making healthcare affordable, diagnosing, treatment, and its advancements need a supportive environment from CXOs, governments and revolutionary leaders.

Here are the top areas where healthcare digital transformation is occurring:

Artificial Intelligence

It’s changing the modern healthcare outlook. A combination of varied technologies like machine learning and natural language processing helps unlock relevant patient medical data to improve patient decision making process.

Some practical applications of AI include:

  • Voice assistants: HIPAA-compliant voice and chatbot applications will allow clinicians and care givers to focus on more healthcare related tasks instead of non-core routine activities like scheduling etc. Leading companies like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft are focusing on developing VAs for healthcare use cases like elderly care, pain management etc.
  • AI driven research: Through its fast data processing capability, it can help in identifying patterns and paths in the vast amount generated by both individuals and institutions thus aid in research. AI can help in identifying clinical trial subjects and studies that help in advancing medical research in a precise manner.

Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)

The number of medical devices that control/monitor the health status of the individuals daily is increasing to help detect any abnormalities the moment they occur. The data compiled by these devices will help the mHealth technologies to provide actionable insights, promote preventive care, value-based and patient centric care leading to an enhanced patient satisfaction.

IoMT is not limited to wearables. The future of medical supply chain management using RFIDs for tagging and packaging of medicines to ensure quality by the manufacturers and making the system more transparent and efficient.

Telemedicine

Patients can’t afford delays in scheduling doctor’s appointments for treatment. Telemedicine offers a viable solution to this problem by offering them remote consultations through the effective use of video conferencing, wearable devices and easy availability of smartphones. This not only saves time and resources but makes healthcare delivery more effective and productive.

Big Data & Predictive Analytics

Medical data produced at both individual and organizational level have valuable insights regarding the patient healthcare. The convergence of big data, cloud computing, IoT and analytics tools can process this huge volume of data within a short duration, which is impossible for humans.

These can be effectively used to predict potential spread of diseases in real time, lower the risk estimates in treatment plans, better precision medicine and research through improved patient profiling.

Artificial and Virtual Reality (AR/VR)

Medical education and surgical training are the immediate applications of AR/VR. Improved body imaging, visualization and mapping using sensors allows patients have precise diagnosis and helps in minimal invasive medical procedures and surgeries. This results in better doctor patient relationship, less stress and an enhanced patient experience. Pain management and physical therapy are other areas where research is being focused on.

Bio-printing

Using AI, 3D printing technologies, VR technologies, bio printing of various body parts like legs, arms, ears help the physically challenged patients lead a normal life style.

All these need a complete overhaul in the business models of healthcare industry with the focus on identifying gaps in the digital transformation process and propose a plan of action for all the stakeholders involved. This allows them to set realistic expectations from the professionals.

To get business leaders to be proactive about digital transformation in healthcare, they need a big push with tangible examples from other companies that experimented with DX2.0. Only then will they come aboard with this concept and support this change wholeheartedly. Having a clear-cut vision of the digital transformation in the healthcare domain by the leaders will make this endeavor be a success.

What chatbots will do for your enterprise?

Gen X, Y or any other fancy term describing the current demographics is tuned to using voice, text and natural language to complete their work. That’s why a new generation of enterprise chatbots is needed at work.

Read over the textbook definition of a chatbot and you’ll understand it’s a computer program designed to hold conversations with humans over the internet. They can understand written and spoken text and interpret its meaning as well. The bot can then look up relevant information and deliver it to the user.

While chatbots reduces time and efforts, it’s not easy to create a chatbot that customers will trust. Businesses will have to consider the overall

  • Security
  • Team complexity
  • Brand image
  • Scalability/availability
  • Identity and access management
  • Other parameters to fully integrate chatbots in their organizational structure

If correctly implemented enterprise chatbots can perform pre-defined roles and tasks to improve the business processes and activities.

Shortlisting the right chatbot

Automating repetitive and mundane work will increase the productivity, creativity, and efficiency of the organization. Evolution of chatbots will create more business opportunities for enterprises and new companies. Both SMBs and enterprises can improve their customer satisfaction with customized chatbots that help in offloading employee workload or support the various teams in the organization.

Enterprises first need to identify the type of chatbots needed for their organization to kick start their digital transformation. Depending on their requirements, there are two types of chatbots.

  • Standalone applications
  • Built within the messengers

Usually chatbots associated with messengers have an edge over standalone apps. They can be downloaded and used instantly. They are even easy to build and upgrade, faster compared to apps and websites and also cost effective. You also don’t have to worry about memory space.

AI based or machine learning chatbots learn over time from past questions and answers, and evolve their response accordingly.

What’s in it for enterprises?

 There are some universal benefits that businesses in any industry or vertical can benefit from.

Streamlining your IT processes

A variety of business processes across your departments can be streamlined using chatbots. Your employees’ mundane, repetitive but essential tasks can be taken up by the chatbots, giving more time for revenue generating activities. For instance, they can be tasked with follow ups with clients or answering the FAQs by customers.

Act as personal assistants

Chatbots are a great help for the time constrained employees to manage, schedule, or cancel their meetings, setting alarms and other tasks. Context sensitive digital assistants help in organizing their daily routine by understanding the context, behaviors and patterns and suggesting recommendations.

24/7 customer support

Customer expectation is high with them demanding instant and quick resolution for their concerns and problems. Enterprise chatbot solutions offer a cost effective 24/7 customer services for you. Advancements in AI, machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) can allow them to understand the context, usage of slangs, and human conversation to a large extent. On a cautionary note, chatbots should easily handover the conversation to humans to avoid any unnecessary customer conflicts.

Generate business insights

The data deluge faced by the enterprises is costing them through lost insights and business opportunities. Vast data generated across the organization by employees, customers and business processes cannot be completely analyzed, and it leaves data gaps. Leveraging chatbots for processing and analyzing the stored data can result in identifying potential problem areas and take preemptive actions to mitigate the risks.

Reduce Opex & Capex costs

Enterprise chatbots are one-time investments, where you pay only for the chatbot, train it and its forever yours. No monthly payrolls, or sick leaves. You have a 24/7 virtual employee managing your routine and repetitive tasks.

Increase efficiency and productivity

The end result of all the above points is increased productivity. By training your employees about the services and products, a chatbot solution helps your employees to tackle the generic queries from customers. Thus, ending the time-consuming customer facing tasks and helping in the sales funnel.

In conclusion, chatbots are changing the working dynamics of enterprises. The best way to ensure a satisfied customer experience is to build bots that act without being supervised and offer the best solutions to their problems. With new advancements like AI, NLP and Machine Learning, it’s safe to say that chatbots are the future of enterprises.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer Engagements with Chatbots

Jayashree

So, you’re working from home, and are unable to log into your organization’s secure channel. What do you usually do? Raise a ticket with the service desk with the highest possible priority and hope that it’s resolved quickly or head straight to office if the task can’t wait. What if you could text someone who can help you, through WhatsApp or Facebook messenger.  What if I say that you can reach out to that person any time of day or night, even during Christmas, and they will respond immediately when you do. They’ll try and identify the problem and help you resolve it or let you know if the problem cannot be solved by you, informs an engineer on your behalf and gives you an ETA. Now, that would be cool, won’t it? That’s a help desk bot for you.

The right chatbots are as knowledgeable as humans in their area, but without the challenges that come with humans. At the age where the service is expected at the same standard every single time, organizations could find an easy but exciting solution in bots. With bots meeting the standard of service every time, organizations and their staff can concentrate on adding new services or adding new features to their existing services in line with the requirements of the clients, instead of trying to streamline service delivery.

Chatbots in ITSM will mean, more time for your service desk engineers to deal with complex problems that require human intercession. It’ll mean less stress for your employees and they can scale themselves up to higher levels of support activities. ITSM chatbots mean effort and money saved, even while improving customer experience and satisfaction.

Bots can also help you to help your customers, should they face any issues with your products/services, or an engaging way to access your FAQ section. Today, more people are using messenger apps and social media than ever, therefore it’s important for organizations to be part of them. It makes sense to establish customer touch points in mediums that the customers engage with the most with. I’d even go as far to say that it might be good idea to have a roadmap for use of AI in your organizations. I

You have an impressive portfolio of products and a well-organized website to support and showcase them. When potential customers access your site, and are interested in your offerings. Would you prefer them to fill out the same old forms that’ve been used since the dawn of dynamic sites or would you have them chat with a witty bot, who can give them instant information, setting you apart from your competitors. The bot would also be a part of your brand, would portray your firm as futuristic and innovative, and rightly so. The world has never been more convinced about the substantiality of the role of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in shaping the future. So, it is a great time to invest in them.

Also, don’t get intimidated by the idea of super-human, hyper-intelligent bot. Your bot doesn’t have to be all powerful. It doesn’t have to be an Alexa. It might even be dedicated to a single utility. Like say, a shop assistant bot on a website. Deciding what your bot will do or what problem it’ll address is key. Once you’ve done that, it’ll be easier to decide whether you should use an existing development platform or you’re better off taking help from a bunch of friends and starting from scratch. Choosing the right medium or publishing platform is also important, as this can have a substantial impact on how popular your bot can get and how well you can reach your target users.  For example, if you want to develop an entertainment chatbot, targeted at teens, you could publish your bot on facebook’s messenger and use a dev platform like ChatFuel.  For a more serious bot, say a personal assistant,  maybe you should use LUIS and microsoft’s bot framework on Skype. Again, the principle functionality of the bot and the problem it addresses will help you decide on the medium as well.

Well thought out use-cases will improve the chances of you developing a winner, instead of a whiner who annoys users with frequent notifications, or simply a non-interesting bot.

If you’re with a company that has a sizeable infrastructure system(s) in place, then consider ITSM chatbots for your own staff. If your company sells products or services, consider getting a chatbot embedded on your website, (especially, if you’re B2B), on popular messengers (if you’re B2C), and on social media (B2B and B2C).

With the emphasis customers place on ease of communication and availability of support. Why not extend them this courtesy right from the first communication, even before they become your customers?

For executives, who think a chatbot might be something their organization can benefit from, but are wary about the investments and the time, a chatbot could be a lot more affordable than you would’ve imagined, especially if they’re built on bot building platform. You might be able to develop a beta within a few months with just a couple of your own developers.

If your needs are unique and complex, or if you have a long-term vision for your bot, then developing one from scratch maybe a good option. You can also buy one off the rack and customize it or get one built just for you, you can hire a team online, or talk to your IT partner. So, developing a chatbot is not all that expensive, especially considering the potential benefits.

About the Author:

Jayashree is a presales consultant at GAVS Technologies and works on cutting edge technology solutions & proposals. A management post graduate, Jay is a toastmaster, a rookie blogger and a Potterhead who also appreciates Jane Austen.

A Bold Approach to Leadership in the Digital Age

Kerrie Hoffman

To thrive in the Digital world, companies need to reinvent themselves on a regular basis.  Reinvention in the Digital age requires 2 things: a belief that Digital transformation is within reach, and the ability to change points of view on what was previously known as fact.  Neither of these are truly accomplished without strong leaders with a bold approach!

But first, what the heck is the Digital Age and Digital Transformation?  Let’s get grounded in some history.  The age just prior to the 18th century was the Agricultural Age.  It was the period when mostly agrarian, rural societies became industrial and urban [1] – hence the Term the Industrial Revolution beginning somewhere between the 18th and 19th century.  The Industrial Revolution is often characterized by the development of the iron and textile industries, the steam engine and the computer [2] .  Many believe we are in the midst of moving to the next age, we just don’t know what to call it yet!  I’m sure at the turn of the Agricultural Age people didn’t instantly call it the Industrial Revolution.  This new age has been called the Digital Age, the Cognitive Age and the Age of Accelerations.  Some call it the 4th Industrial Revolution.  Since the breadth and depth of the current technology landscape is changing entire systems of production, management, and governance [3], I believe we are moving out of the Industrial Revolution.  All debating aside – this time what we are in is characterized by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres [4].  Advancements in computer power will soon reach beyond Moores law as we start to see quantum computing become a reality.  Still hard to get your head around?  Suffice it to say, the exponential changes in technology are creating an accelerated business pace that require companies to reinvent themselves regularly in order to remain relevant.   Hence the need for a bold approach to leadership.

Let’s break down a bold approach to leadership into three components:

  1. Having a Bold Vision for the future
  2. Achieving an Exponential Pace
  3. Delivering through Strong Execution 
  1. Bold Vision

One of the primary roles of a Leader is to set the vision for the future.  To thrive in a digital world, that vision needs to be BOLD, very BOLD.  At the same time, the vision must be believable.  After all, everyone involved must believe that digital transformation is within reach.  This requires the Leader to move beyond the typical role of setting the vision, to also being an Evangelist for the vision.  An evangelist in the digital age keeps up with the latest technology (even if not in charge of IT or digital products), interacts with experts, and finds real examples of where at least components of their vision have been realized in the market.  The role of the evangelist also involves, educating leadership, peers, staff and partners on the details, and convincing others to follow.  A customer ‘in’ approach is key, with deep knowledge of the customer and what customer problems need to be solved.  This is very different from a product and services ‘out to the customer’ approach.

  1. Exponential Pace

Thomas L. Friedman is well known for writing the book ‘The World is Flat’.  Mr. Friedman also wrote the book ‘THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE – An optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations’.  In chapter two he introduces Astro Teller’s Graph showing technology reaching an exponential pace and human adoption falling behind [5] .

The bold approach to leadership jumps right into the gap, providing ways to learn faster and govern smarter.  To achieve an exponential pace without burning everyone out, it’s essential to change points of view on things that were previously know as fact.  For example, with a traditionally architected business system like many ERPs, end to end process standardization was essential to an efficient and cost-effective implementation and lifecycle.  With modernly architected platforms using microservices, the steps in a process can be standardized with end to end process variability using standardized components.  This is essential given the pace at which business models need to be adjusted and requirements change.  Reaching an exponential pace also requires adoption of current technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain to name a few.  Implementation is not done individually, but rather through partners with solid Application Platform Ecosystems (APE) [6] .  And yes, everything really can move to the cloud, which is an article in and of itself.

  1. Strong Execution

Strong execution has always been a requirement for success.  Strong execution in the digital age requires the adoption of process accelerators.  For example, companies, regardless of how large, will never have all the talent they need to thrive in a digital world.  The adoption of process accelerators such as Crowd Sourcing, Crowd Funding, and Open Source Platforms can fill the talent gap.  It’s also critical to make sure the company is working on the right products and services.  Establishing process accelerators around Customer Centricity to move to a Customer ‘in’ approach are essential.  Other process accelerators to adopt include: Micro-Tasking/Micro-Services, the Sharing Economy, Agile Methodology, and Business Accelerators (commonly used for start-ups and useful for innovation projects).

Sample Bold Vision

In closing, let’s look at a sample Bold Vision.  Not the inspirational one sentence type of vision, but a vision in the form of an outline of a digital transformation strategy meant to be executed in 18 months.  A strategy that moves all business process changes and new business models to the cloud, runs all projects in an agile methodology, and delivers technology enablement at or faster than the speed of business:

  • Customer Focused Transformation – flip to an ‘outside in’ approach, starting with the customer and resulting in transformed products and services
  • Commitment to Deliver
    • Spend Less – through a digital architecture, execution excellence and exiting the past
    • Deliver More – through customer focused teams, best talent and digital data
    • Finish Faster – through speed to value, external partner collaboration, and agile delivery and operations
  • Deliver a modern business technology architecture

Do you believe this vision is possible in 18 months in a large complex company?  Hint – this is not a hypothetical vision.  It’s a vision from 2015, executed by the 3rd quarter of 2016 in a very large, complex business unit. 

A bold approach to leadership in the Digital Age requires: a Bold Vision for the future, achieving an Exponential Pace, and delivering through Strong Execution.

References

[1] “Industrial Revolution”History Channel

[2] Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Industrial_Revolution

[3] [4] Schwab, Klaus (January 11, 2016). The Fourth Industrial Revolution. World Economic Forum. ISBN 1944835008.

[5] Book by Thomas L. Friedman ‘THANK YOU FOR BEING LATE – An optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations’

[6] Application Platform Ecosystems (APE) from the Book by Jedidiah Yueh ‘DISRUPT OR DIE – What the World Needs to Learn from Silicon Valley to Survive the Digital Era

About the Author

Kerrie Hoffman is a Certified Business Coach, Digital Advisor and Speaker. She is currently the owner of FocalPoint Business Coaching, a Hoffman Advantage LLC Company.

Kerrie specializes in business growth and digital transformation. She has experience in multiple Industries where she’s worked a variety of roles including CIO, operations, supply chain and sales. She was previously with Aurora Health Care, Johnson & Johnson and Johnson Controls. She was CIO of a Business Unit at Johnson Controls.