IT operations overload hinders digital transformation

IT | February 12, 2020 | Sponsored

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Digital transformation accelerates how companies do business, but it is far from an overnight ‘fix’. For the majority of organisations, the journey to digital transformation is incremental. And it is a journey which is seeing CIOs and technology leaders move beyond their traditional roles, to playing an integral part in business

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DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

Silicon Industry Post COVID – What to Look Forward To

Article | December 1, 2021

The pandemic has bought in new normalcy in various aspects of our life. Post-COVID will experience a different way of life than it was before. The silicon industry experienced a lot of trends shift from pre-COVID time to COVID time and post-COVID time. The trends and opportunities have taken a long turn to a different perspective than before. With the rapid jump in technology demand, the IT Industry, which majorly served organizations is now impacting individual lives and society as well. This article discusses the transformation that the Technology Industry has picked up during the pandemic which changes the overall future shape of the industry. Extensive Digitalization The onset of COVID saw extensive digitalization in various fields. This is predicted to be carried along and after the pandemic to a larger scale. As the COVID eased along the last few months, the Technology industry saw a boost in hiring numbers with the requirement for more freshers and experienced heads. The primary reason for this was the rapid digitalization that happened during the lockdowns. Post-COVID, the overall shift to digital methods is expected to rise with new ideas. From individuals to large-scale organizations, COVID has brought in a radical change in the use of technology. This comes with the demand for a large number of extra workers and a whole new set of projects and ideas. Interestingly, shopping trends have also shifted online due to their ease of access and frequency discounts, although this might not deprive people of physical shopping. Hype in Cybersecurity With the shift of users from real-world to complete online, hackers took advantage of the large-scale presence in online sites and forums. This resulted in the unfortunate event of a rise in hacking and cyber security breaches, ranging from individual users to organizations at all scales. These highlighted the fragility of various computer systems and pinpointed the fact that they are vulnerable if targeted against. The lockdowns catalyzed the need for cybersecurity specialists. Post-COVID and above, there is a large demand for digital security and its application among various sectors to protect user data. With a rapid rise in digitalization, the need for cybersecurity also rises due to mass user interaction and data generation. The dark web during lockdowns witnessed the greatest number of hackings and user details posted on the dark web for free. Major attacks against tech giants showed that we are never alone in the online world. Although various digital security measures have been kept in place, it is not a full-stop fix to the problem. A major application of digital security is in financial institutions like Banks. With a surge in online transactions globally, the financial security has been compromised in various parts of the globe with financial security breaches reaching dangerously high. Technology for Societal Benefits The pandemic in total showed how certain parts of our society are not as strong as we thought. Sectors such as Healthcare and Agriculture are very sensitive and require immediate attention since they offer the basic survival needs – Health and Food. Halfway through the pandemic, the rise for applying technology to real-world problems has taken a rise more than ever. “CT Scan images from hospitals” gave rise to predicting COVID infection using ML, thus assisting doctors. “COVID can spread through the exchange of physical money” gave rise to digital payment platforms and more. The onset of the virus fired the demand for solving various social problems such as Healthcare, Climate, etc. using newer technologies. Many organizations and start-ups have already prepped their base on real-world problem-solving. EdTech – Transforming Education Education has been face-to-face primarily with teacher-student interaction. The pandemic called an end to this with E-Learning platforms on demand. The fashion of EdTech is still being continued with students getting better platforms for self-learning. With the sharp demand for EdTech by schools and colleges, there have been significant developments in the education sector by bringing in technology. Despite reopening colleges and schools globally, these platforms are still in demand by the learners. EdTech has bought in an upside-down shift in the sector in comparison with the previous education system. Self-Paced learning and Peer-Reviewed works are expected to be the new trend in the sector. Education institutions often combine E-Learning platforms with online classes. Automation More Than Ever Mass unemployment is the result of organizations removing heads from their list to cope up with the losses. For a few, this was temporary, but for others, this meant a major shift from manual to automation. Manufacturing industries saw a major shift to automation technologies from manual to tackle such situations in the future. Mass firing, hiring cost, time, and money from the company in comparison with deploying automation systems. In the new era, many tasks can be automated by intelligent robot systems which proved better efficiency and lesser costs in comparison with a human. Industries often kept the idea of automation on pause since a sudden change is not feasible. The pandemic bought in a loss of employees and an uncertain future, bringing the companies to a point to decide to shift to automation. Niche Technologies is on its Way Newer technologies such as Data Science and Machine Learning have found its’ way through the pandemic. With technology getting applied to various parts of society and with large-scale expansion in digitalization, Data Science has a lot of data now available to bring out a good chance. This is predicted to increase steeply as the digitalization trend continues. With users and companies generation copious amounts of data daily, there comes the requirement of Cloud and Analytics experts to store and manage these data. Technological developments in 2020 showed that the growth of domains like Cloud and Data Science is in correlation with the rise in digitalization. Software delivery models such as SAAS have got wide attention because with the shift of people to online, there has been a significant increase in internet usage.

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AI TECH

Make Sure You Have the Hard Skills for the World of AI Marketing?

Article | November 25, 2021

There seems to be no end in sight for the demand for Marketing to amp up its use of analytics. Studies conducted by Gartner and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business show companies continue to allocate a significant portion of the marketing budget to analytics despite many organizations being unable to effectively use analytics to improve company performance. Gaining insights from data starts with knowing what questions you need answered and what data you need to answer the question . Study after study reveals that marketers are overwhelmed by data and continue to struggle to convert data into actionable insights. It’s no surprise that organizations are embracing artificial intelligence (AI) as a means to understand the vast amounts of data being generated. The term AI refers to the application of computer systems to perform tasks normally requiring human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages. It encompasses a vast range of technologies such as advanced analytics, machine learning, and robotic process automation. It is nearly impossible for human beings to consume and make sense of the enormous amounts of data being produced on a daily basis. AI and machine learning make it possible to efficiently analyze this vast trove of data to identify patterns to support better decision making. For example, a McKinsey Global Institute analysis found that when AI combines demographic and past transaction data with information gleaned from social media monitoring, the resulting personalized product recommendations can lead to a doubling of the sales conversion rate. Being able to make faster and better decisions is a competitive advantage. Hence the sense of urgency to embrace AI, further fueled by studies such as the one by Adobe and Econsultancy, which found that top-performing companies are more than twice as likely to be using AI for Marketing. Success with AI depends on the quality of your data -- see our previous article on the four steps to take before trying to apply AI to your data. The Skills You Need to Put Your Data to Work There’s been a great deal written on the value of the soft skills marketers bring to the table, and these are crucial. However, I tend to agree with Colin Lewis that today’s world still prizes and rewards hard skills. Marketers who have the critical hard skills as well as some soft skills will excel in the world of AI Marketing. Take a moment to assess your proficiency in each of the following skills needed in a marketing world powered by AI. 1. Business acumen. Business acumen is a key factor in achieving credibility. In the insightful words of author Rebecca Solnit, “Credibility is a basic survival tool.” Check out our previous post for four ways to cultivate your business acumen. It’s one thing to answer a question with AI, but it’s another to know which question to ask. Knowing which questions to ask starts with having a solid handle on your business, the market, customers, and competitors. Start by reading analyst reports, joining a professional association, attending relevant conferences that have both subject matter experts and the opportunity to network with peers, and make it a point to connect and talk with customers. 2. Data literacy. AI is excellent at identifying patterns that rely on quality data. Marketers still need to identify which data sets to apply and how to use the patterns to move the business forward. Here’s a starting point: check out the certificate through the Data Literacy Project. 3. Analytics fluency. Any data AI delivers needs to be translated by a human. Marketers need to understand analytics and have the skills to interpret the outputs. Digitaldefynd says these are the 10 best marketing analytics courses and certifications. Whether we like it or not, as marketers we need to embrace AI and keep pace with the changing skill set required to be relevant in an AI-powered world of Marketing. Check in with and bring your hard skills up to speed in order to use AI to your greatest advantage.

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AI TECH

There is more room to grow: Drivers and Barriers of AI Adoption

Article | November 24, 2021

So far AI is being used in virtually every sector. Still, its full potential has not been realised. Like in all sectors, AI technologies are permeating financial services around the world. It seems that following the premise: “maximizing the benefits while minimizing the risks” is not that simple. Though, banks have continually adapted the latest technology innovations to redefine themselves as the AI-first institutions, there is a long way to go. And it is usually the case that many banks are struggling to move from experimentation around select use cases to scaling AI technologies across the organization. Then, why is this so? Is there a “recipe” for adopting AI technologies as the foundation for new value propositions? This article portrays the driving forces and challenges to guide bank leaders discover an insight to creatively meet increasing demands for scalability, flexibility and speed that today characterise digital-native companies. In order to address this core issue, first of all, we will categorise and describe the main “drivers” into three big headings: re-imagining engagement, facilitating cost-efficiency and de-risking risk management. Drivers • Re-imaging engagement: “anticipation, personalisation and differentiation” As digitalisation is advancing in the financial ecosystem, customers are “raising the bar” developing higher expectations in the demand of performance, personalisation, quality and services. Giving customers a more integrated banking experience across business applications is key. By aggregating data from separate sources, banks will be in a better position to proactively offer personalised products to suit customers’ needs as and when required, also adjusting to the customer’s life stages and, in that way, easy the journey within and beyond bank channels. Understanding their customers’ behaviour, preferences and product needs banks will raise their competitiveness. Banks will require a clear strategy, that is, to adopt a design-thinking lens as they build experiences within and beyond the bank’s platform. • Digitalization and virtual banks: Facilitating cost-efficiency In an ever-changing market competition, it is crucial for banks to adopt a more economical and lower risk approach that will enhance their cost efficiency and overall profitability. An intelligent infrastructure might be the answer: cloud-based platforms allow for the higher scalability while reducing costs for IT maintenance, which -in turn- enables self-serve models for development teams, which means rapid innovation cycles by providing managed services. • De-risking Risk management In a complex and fast-moving environment, banks need to adopt a new approach towards risk management. Build AI models that are consistent with the company’s values and risk appetite might be challenging but also an “enabler”. Early solution-ideation process to understand the potential risks and the controls to mitigate them reduce costly delays by embedding risk identification and assessment. Of course, in practice it means creating a detailed control framework that sufficiently covers all these different risks, which is a granular exercise. Barriers Identifying and addressing barriers to the deployment and scalability to become the AI-first will be critical. We will focus only in four threats but there are many more. • The black -box threat: lack of explainability and poor human judgment Explainable AI: Turning a “black box” into a “clear box”. The importance of explainability as a concept has been reflected in legal and ethical guidelines for data and ML. Articles 13-15 of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) require that data subjects have access to “meaningful information about the logic involved, as well as the significance and the envisaged consequences of such processing for the data subject.” Banks should ensure an appropriate level of explainability of AI models to all relevant parties. Validation and explanation of how the AI arrives at its recommendations or decisions as soon as possible is a must. Still, for financial institutions and the banking system major challenges are precisely when it comes to validating the fairness and accuracy of their AI models. • Lack of resources translated in “talent gap” Recruiting talent is not an easy journey. Some banks have chosen to outsource or develop other collaborative models to address the talent gap. Others opted for hiring inexperienced individuals and train them, which, in the end, turns to be risky and time consuming. Partnerships are the most common approach, which involves external consultants, innovation hubs, incubators and academic institutions. A suitable solution that brings other concerns: proprietary vs. open-source algorithms, cost of maintenance and intellectual property rights. • Data availability and quality Financial institutions have a lot to gain from overcoming their information readiness challenges. By creating a complete view across their structured and unstructured data, institutions will be able to analyse, understand and manage their digital ecosystem more efficiently. Achieving this comprehensive view across all their data is the first step. Only then will financial institutions be able to apply advanced AI-powered analytics across their data to extract real-time insights and increase automation to drive operational efficiencies, maximise revenue and create a more personalised customer experience. • Regulatory framework: Data privacy and protection requirements. When deciding on automation, everything is subject to regulation. Compliance is a must. Banks are subject to meet regulatory requirements when gathering customer data, classification of customer segments and risk profiling (see EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) May 2018). It is crucial to ensure that proper safeguards are in place for the AI model to make objective recommendations. In addition to privacy, there are ethical concerns to protect individuals’ freedoms and rights in terms of choices. The ‘Ethics Guidelines for Trustworthy AI’ (2019) note that AI should be lawful, ethical and robust. In the end, ensuring adoption of AI technologies to become an AI-first institution is no longer a choice, but a strategic imperative.

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FUTURE TECH

Why Use of Technology in Businesses is Important?

Article | November 20, 2021

Whether it is R&D, payroll management, human resource management, accounts, or finance, technology has considerable benefits for your organization. Whether you run a small, mid-size, or big business, technology is your leading source of knowledge that offers both intangible and tangible advantages to make money and meet customer needs. Today’s society is already experiencing a total integration of the internet, mobile devices, smart appliances, etc. The current business world is not the same as the last 100 years (that didn’t change much despite the industrial revolution). Now the rate at which technology is adapting, expanding, developing, and mutating, every business will face its effects, whether it's ready for it or not. The advantages of technology in business are infinite. Its role in organizations is already spreading its wings and will continue to grow in the future. Apart from the operations and employees, companies owe their success to how they utilize modern-day technology. “Think of digital transformation less as a technology project to be finished than as a state of perpetual agility, always ready to evolve for whatever customers want next, and you’ll be pointed down the right path.” Amit Zavery, VP and Head of Platform, Google Cloud The use of technology in business can no longer be devalued as it's the need of the hour. Just like the last couple of decades, technology for business in 2022 will keep enabling businesses to work more effectively, accurately, and productively in many ways. Whether contacting their customers to review the services or conducting meetings with remote employees, technology will continue providing the best solutions to overcome challenges and meet goals. For this reason, businesses should not just utilize technology to automate processes. Instead, they should view technology as a tool that uncovers new ways of running a business. But what technologies are we talking about? And, how can organizations benefit from them? Keep reading to explore! Effective Use of Technology in Business for Growth Around a decade ago, businesses had the following challenges (and they were severe!): No availability of voice searches or Internet of Things (IoT) No centralized work communications No new marketing platforms (like social media) No availability of high-speed internet Situations are (fortunately) different today. The use of technology in business has transformed operations; the pace of this transformation has been excellent. The following uses of technology in business can change how your organization operates and ultimately result in more efficiency, profits, and growth. Use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) Apart from being a mainstream thing of our day-to-day life, AI is reshaping the landscape of the consumer market and businesses of all sizes. From security, CRM, finances, and accounting to buyers tracking, inventory management, and predictive analysis, AI can handle everything and eventually offer a competitive edge to your business. Many businesses around the world have already implemented AI into their operations. It is pushing those companies in the correct direction while offering their customers the best user experience. For example, Spotify uses AI to recommend music to its users. Uber uses it for route optimization, fraud detection, pairing riders and drivers, risk evaluations, and several other parts of its app. Use of Robotic Process Automation (RPA) RPA is being increasingly utilized to carry out time-taking tasks. It can replace employees in manual and repetitive tasks and is thus perfect for industries where such actions are identifiable. For example, many retail businesses use RPA software for customer support management, business & sales analytics, product categorization, store planning, payment processing, and more. Companies that deal in construction use it for estimate generation, contract generation, resource allocation between construction sites, construction site cost monitoring, etc. Even telecom companies use RPA to simplify customers’ document verification, increase First Call Resolution (FCR) rate, optimize customer onboarding, and boost SIM card allotment processes. Use of Technology for More Knowledge In 2022, technology will continue serving as a right hand and source of knowledge for businesses. Technology and knowledge are directly proportional to each other as technology allows producing better decisions, making accurate predictions, and innovating based on the knowledge it generates. Knowledge, undoubtedly, is one of the biggest benefits of information technology in business. With the right blend of technology and knowledge, companies can effectively make the most of databases, querying & reporting, search engines, CRM, and whatnot. “CIOs and CISOs have such a unique opportunity right now in driving the enterprise forward. Be that through shaping corporate culture or guiding the company through their digital journey, technology leaders have a strong upper hand . . . it’s a great time for the enterprise but it’s also a great time for technology leaders to position themselves for space in the boardroom. This is a career-defining moment.” Hunter Muller, President & CEO, HMG Strategy Frequently Asked Questions How does technology help businesses? The use of technology in business can offer many advantages. Here are the top five of them: Improved data security and customer experience Better communication means Time and cost-efficiency Enhanced business agility Increased streams of revenue What technologies will dominate the future? As a business, you need to keep your finger on the pulse of emerging technologies because the use of technology in business is your ultimate way to achieve the desired growth, efficiency, and profits. The following are the technologies that will dominate in 2022 and beyond: Internet of Things (IoT) 5G Blockchain Artificial Intelligence (AI) Customized & Intelligent Management Systems Automation Why should SMBs (small & medium size businesses) use technology? Technology has the power to transform all SMB operations. In any industry, technological advancement can impact aspects of small businesses such as internet capabilities, computers, web-based applications, online storage, etc. With the right adoption of technology into the environment, entrepreneurs and SMB employees can enjoy the following benefits: Improved collaboration and data sharing Instant connection with consumers Efficient employee training Flexible work environments Improved online visibility { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How does technology help businesses?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The use of technology in business can offer many advantages. 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Vidyo

Vidyo makes it easy to embed the most beautiful, resilient and immersive multiparty video chat into any application, on any connected device. In healthcare, banking, IoT, customer engagement, enterprise collaboration, government, field services and more, video chat is revolutionizing - while simplifying - how we communicate.

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