Instead of reaping one of the highest revenue growth-spurts, the hospitality industry faced the toughest-time in industry history, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
How the hospitality industry can leverage technology for a stronger resurgence in 2021
While the industry is known as an early embracer of digital disruption, many brands struggle to gain customer recognition. Surveys reveal that even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 72% of the guests were more likely to return to a hotel having tech-led services they expected. With the onset of the pandemic, these expectations have only increased.
A recent survey by Deloitte Digital Study suggests that over 60% of travelers prefer to stay at a hotel having contactless services such as keyless room entries, voice assistants, communication with the staff using phones, and contactless check-ins and check-outs.
That said, 2021 looks promising. Travel bubbles and corridors are forming, facilitating new flows and movement and consequently hope for the hospitality industry. Some players in the industry are even leveraging technology to combat the losses due to the pandemic.
Here, we discuss five cutting-edge technologies that can help the hospitality industry revive its lost glory in 2021.
Many hospitality industry players have incorporated chatbots in their websites, social media accounts, apps, and even phone systems.
Instead of calling a travel agent or visiting several websites to read reviews from travelers, users can simply ask their questions to chatbots. Chatbots can use data from users, interactions, and products to provide personalized deals and recommendations. Additionally, bots can make reservations, compare prices and products, and even request quotes to create convenience for customers.
Chatbots can be customized to understand complex questions, detect upset customers, and immediately direct them to a human agent who can answer them.
Interestingly, chatbots offer a good ROI. They reduce operational costs while enabling support agents and enhancing the overall customer experience.
With advances in technology, natural language processing, and machine learning, chatbots can be trained further to answer more inquiries and recognize more inputs.
2. Cloud and Internet of Things
Cloud-based solutions help us access anything we want remotely. Along with IoT (Internet of Things) devices, cloud-based applications can help streamline operational complexities such as assigning staff duties, coordinating housekeeping, and confirming compliance with newly enforced safety and hygiene standards.
IoT helps with the remote monitoring and management of physical things in the hotel or resort premises, such as TVs, door keys, and even thermostats. Voice-based intelligent assistants such as Siri, Google, and Alexa also help control the connected devices remotely.
Simply put, hotels can benefit tremendously if their primary services are internet-based. Technology offers guests better control over their stay and experience and enables the hotel staff to get a more detailed picture of what works and what needs to be upgraded. Enhanced tools can provide guests with a superior experience, personalized communication systems, better assistance, and hygiene standards.
3. AI-powered systems
The hospitality industry will soon see a surge in the use of Artificial Intelligence or AI-powered systems. The system can include facial recognition with mask detection and thermal camera integration to improve safety and security within the premises.
Geofencing technologies can help brands build location-awareness apps to drive real-time updates and rebuild consumer confidence related to the tourism sector’s safety. It can even allow brands to send out push notifications such as instructions, directions, special offers, or promotions to customers based on their current location or journey map. These lead to a seamless experience when combined with smart queues and touchless check-ins upon the guests’ arrival or prompt them for payment on their smartphones during the check-out.
4. Mobile payment technology
Hospitality service providers can leverage mobile technology and data derived from digital payment tools such as Amazon Pay to offer personalized in-store and online purchase experiences to their customers. Typically, mobile wallets apply near-field communication (NFC), Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), and even sound waves to communicate with the point of sales without touching it for in-store purchases. For online payments, digital wallets can autofill payment information using biometrics or fingerprints to confirm the payer’s identity for added security.
Mobile banking, QR, payment links, and applications are a few additional functionalities that brands can adopt to augment and enhance the mobile payment process.
Leveraging technology to accept mobile payments come with several benefits:
- While traditional payments can take around 30-45 seconds to complete, a contactless transaction is completed within 15 seconds.
- Mobile payment includes two-step authentication, the limited amount that can be expended per transaction, and built-in features to prevent duplicate transactions. Additionally, the mobile payment data is heavily encrypted when stored and transferred.
- Businesses can link the mobile wallet approach to loyalty programs, push notifications, special deals, and other value-added services.
- Touchless/ contactless payment allows customers to keep their hands clean and restricts their exposure to the virus.
5. Data Science
Restaurant chains and groups are excellent data science candidates as they generate a significant amount of data both internally and externally (social media, email, inventory, POS systems, phone calls, etc.). The pandemic is pushing restaurants and hotels to invest in systems and training their staff to make decisions based on data that would otherwise be impossible to process.
A few ways restaurants have used big data to improve their efficiency and increase sales are:
- Using ordering trends and marketing analytics, restaurants can identify their most popular and least popular dishes and how a particular location and season can impact what gets ordered. This helps them optimize their menu and make informed decisions.
- Big data allows hotels/restaurants to recognize patterns and predict factors that affect the inventory counts.
- Through transaction data, loyalty program data, and social listening, restaurants can identify what can improve customer experience and what makes them come back.
Using data to optimize the menu can impact customer retention. Using data to improve customer retention can help modify the menu.
There’s no denying that going digital is the norm today, and the hospitality industry will have to continue to adopt technology to meet the shifting customer demands.
Fingent helps build custom, mobile-first workplace platforms for the hospitality industry that can automate your workflows, reduce your staff turnover, and enable you to deliver superior customer experiences.
Looking to rebuild and reinvent your hospitality business in 2021? Talk to an expert right away.
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The Growing Application of AI in Insurance Leads to a Radical Transformation
- Why does the insurance industry require AI now?
- What are the benefits of AI in the insurance industry?
- Top 3 primary use cases for AI in the insurance industry
- Must-have AI technologies for the insurance industry
- Are you ready to ride on the wave of AI?
Digital transformation is not a business decision, it is a survival strategy. The Insurance industry is slowly recognizing that this vital truth is applicable to them as well. As insurers face several strategic and operational challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they are recognizing that technology is the only answer and solution. Armed with this knowledge, the insurance industry is undergoing a swift and tremendous transformation, driven by the burning need to improve customer experience.
Artificial Intelligence lies at the heart of these changes and is fundamental to success. AI tries to solve the age-old problems by integrating them with existing infrastructure or by replacing legacy systems. This article answers some of the pertinent questions that will assist industry leaders in making an informed decision.
Why does the insurance industry require AI now?
Unlike many other challenges that are usually contained to one geographic location, COVID-19 is impacting essentially every corner of the world. It gave the entire planet a crash course in connected living and has made massive changes. Small insurance companies are now struggling to survive the onslaught of new requests and most larger firms may need to downsize to make it through these stressful economic times. In this climate of uncertainty, AI will be one of the key factors that will help winners survive. Until recent times, the insurance industry has only used AI in minimal ways. But there are several processes that could be improved drastically using AI.
1. Marketing and sales:
AI technologies can be used to price insurance policies more relevantly and competitively. It can be used to recommend the most beneficial products to their customers. Insurers can customize the price of their products based on individual needs and lifestyles so that their customers are happy to pay only for the coverage they need. This heightens the appeal of insurance to a wider audience while attracting some newer customers.
2. Risk management:
Neural networks of AI can be used to red flag fraud patterns and minimize fraudulent claims. AI can also be used to improve actuarial models and risks that could lead to working out more profitable products.
Chatbots can be developed to understand and answer the bulk of customer queries over chat, phone calls, and email. This is especially helpful during situations like the pandemic where customers and insurers are unable to meet with each other. This can free up significant resources and time for the insurers that can be used in more profitable activities.
Read our white paper: How can your business use AI to achieve higher profits now?
What are the benefits of AI in the insurance industry?
1. Efficient process:
Currently, we are witnessing the first wave of tangible opportunities. The automation provided by AI is offering insurers reduced costing along with more efficient processes. The work dividends form the first wave of benefits. Monotonous, low-level, hazardous, and long-drawn-out tasks are taken over by machines freeing humans to do the high-level and more productive tasks. It also ensures efficiency without the margin of human error.
2. Accurately measured and priced data:
The role of underwriters is changing as AI is set to re-engineer and amplify insurance underwriting. Powered by the disruptive growth of data, AI has the potential to help underwriters analyze vast amounts of information, locate red flags, and help them make more accurate decisions. While we are not expecting to eliminate human underwriters, working alongside AI systems will ensure that all risks are accurately measured and priced.
3. Claims processing made easy:
Claims processing has long been a pain-point for the insurance industry. Managing claims requires a significant manual effort right from document processing to flagging potential fraud. Restricted movement during the COID-19 pandemic makes this task especially difficult. AI can be used to automate document processing. It can scan complex forms quickly and accurately. The insurance company can cut its claims processing time from weeks to just a matter of minutes. AI can help ensure that rejection of any claim is based on solid reasons. This way, insurance companies can drive cost efficiencies by reducing the number of denials that prevent claimants from going for appeals which insurance companies may ultimately have to settle.
Top 3 primary use cases for AI in the insurance industry
The advent of AI represents a quantum leap in how insurance is bought and sold, and how customers are served. Also, it is creating opportunities for insurance companies to affix their leadership positions within the industry.
Here are five primary use cases. If beginners can use this approach to disrupt the old guard, established firms can stave off new competitors and differentiate themselves from conventional foes.
Use Case 1: Always-on customer service
Insurance companies are expected to meet the customer’s expectations themselves. Gone are the days when we companies used to delegate customer service to brokers or agents. Customers expect to reach their insurance providers through any channel-like website, email, mobile app, voice call, chat, social media, etc. It’s become mandatory for insurance providers to possess multi-channel capabilities to handle queries and attend service requests. This is where AI comes to the rescue enabling insurance firms to be on the job 24/7. Always-on, multi-channel service available through chatbots, and customized interactive tools will be your secret sauce to exemplary customer service.
Use Case 2: Automate processes that are difficult to automate
Insurance companies employ a large workforce to manually perform operational processes. Variations in products, state-specific rules, and lack of adoptions of standards across the value chain previously made it harder to automate the process. With AI, it is now possible to predict and continuously improve the process by leveraging ML thus automating the processes effectively. By combining RPA tools with cognitive technologies, insurance companies can automate processes such as customer service requests, endorsements, and claims-processing, and provide a faster turn-around time.
Use Case 3: Continually improve the value from data
Predictive models help insurance companies determine business-critical aspects such as the maximum possible loss, probability, and pricing. However, as the companies innovate products, reach out to newer customer segments, and address new risks, these predictive models quickly get outdated making it difficult to keep up with changes. AI makes it possible to provide a feedback loop for machines to learn and adapt to ever-changing insurance business needs.
Must-have AI technologies for the insurance industry
AI has become the cornerstone of digital transformation for the insurance industry. Leveraging AI technologies can help insurance companies address various issues that they may encounter. These are some must-have AI technologies in the insurance industry:
1. Image analytics
Insurance companies must carry out inspections to validate their decisions based on actual facts. This helps them spot any existing or potential risks and support their customers in risk management. This can be very time-consuming. The use of AI focuses on the reduction of inspection time and increases the surveyor’s productivity. It can be applied in property and casualty insurance to analyze the images of cars at the accident scene, determine the parameters, and assess replacement costs.
Advanced image analytics enables quick analysis of photos to determine parameters crucial from the perspective of life insurance. These parameters enable insurers to decide whether medical underwriting is required or not and provide an instant quote and formulate policies.
2. Internet of Things
IoT allows insurance companies to cross-sell to existing customers. They could offer discounted insurance to existing customers. There are several IoT backed devices that can detect and alert a customer when there is an issue within their home or commercial property. Integrating IoT with AI, insurance companies can offer a far superior service and enhance the customer experience.
3. Machine Learning in underwriting
The automated process eliminates the tedious and error-prone job of dealing with unstructured documents and extracts information from them to make business decisions. AI, ML, and Deep Learning can help in extracting such information, aligning it to common vocabulary, and making that information accessible through virtual assistants or search engines. This way underwriting now becomes an automated process that lasts just a few seconds.
4. End to end automation
AI helps insurers automate complex processes, end to end. Using RPA, you can tackle simpler and repeatable tasks. For example, the claims assessment process can be automated to enable the assessor to receive evidence through more advanced AI-based techniques.
Insurance companies receive data from brokers in a variety of formats and require many people to convert the data to a standard format. AI can map this data accurately allowing insurers to reduce inefficiencies in their processes. It can also improve data quality by detecting gaps and addressing those gaps in the incoming data.
5. Machine Learning for price sophistication
Price optimization techniques with the help of ML and GLMs help insurance companies to understand their customers, allows them to balance capacity with demand, and drive better conversion rates.
6. Connected claims processing
Advanced algorithms can help insurance claims to be automated which allows insurers to attain high levels of accuracy and efficiency. Data-capture technologies can replace manual methods. Evaluation of the validity of a claim is also made much simpler.
Are you ready to ride on the wave of AI?
Rapid advances in AI will lead to disruptive changes in the insurance industry. The winners in AI-based insurance will be those who harness the power of new technologies. Most importantly those companies who do not view disruptive technologies as a threat to their current business will thrive in the insurance industry. Get started on making sure you are one of them! Contact us to adopt the power of AI into your insurance business.
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Top Digital Alternatives to Go Paperless and Survive the Recession!
- Document Management Software
- Electronic Invoicing System
- Digital Signature
- Remote Work Collaboration Software
- Virtual Hiring and On-boarding
- Workflow Automation
- Mobile Payments
- Choosing the Best Way to Implement Paperless Initiatives
Running a manual, paper-based organization in the digital age is inefficient and costly. It escalates the total cost of operations and carries a higher risk of errors. Paperless solutions offer process automation that saves valuable time by streamlining operations, releasing useful resources, and improving business efficiency.
A paperless structure can help businesses keep their data more safe and secure. Digital alternatives like a Document Management System store and search your digital documents quickly and securely. Workflow automation helps improve the efficiency of document processing through automatic document routing. Digital signature policies help you significantly increase your document turnaround time. You can store, edit, and manage digital documents from anywhere in the world.
Digital Transformation is leading the way to a paperless future. If you want to empower your business with digital alternatives, you have to adopt the right digital transformation solutions. At Fingent, we provide digital transformation services to businesses around the globe. Simply enhance your business operations productivity by going paperless. It’s the right time to embrace digital alternatives to stay productive and competitive.
In this blog, we discuss at length, the various paperless initiatives that can make your business recession-proof and other benefits of going paperless.
Document Management Software
The pandemic has brought about lasting changes in customer and business behavior. While weathering the storms of recession, you need to have a robust document management software.
A document management system surpasses a digitized record room. A contemporary document management system will help you find records and documents in a few clicks that would have otherwise taken days to dig out. You can also access documents and records in their business context. All changes are carefully logged. Versioning ensures that a new document version is automatically created and stored. That way no one accidentally overwrites content. When one team member works on a document, she can leave comments for her colleagues making teamwork much smoother.
Post-its, slips of paper, and verbal agreements are things of the past. Document management software supports your daily work. All processing steps of your documents like invoices, purchase orders, etc. are seamlessly recorded, making them audit-proof and compliant with regulations. It’s high time that you bid adieu to those dusty file cabinets in your office.
Read more: Features of a Document Management System
Electronic Invoicing System
Electronic documentation is the need of the hour. A typical paper invoicing process involves multiple steps. Assembling data from spreadsheets or ERP systems to delivering the invoice to your customer and getting paid eventually takes a long time. You can get rid of most of these steps with e-invoicing services, as it connects your billing and the recipient’s invoice processing system.
Rather than connecting to the receiver’s web-based servers for sending the invoice, you can use service providers that are connected. This allows both you and the receiver to use your preferred service providers and send your invoices to any recipient without any additional hassle. Thus, the e-invoice travels from your computer to the receiver’s invoice processing system through servers instantly. The recipient can pay the amount with the click of a button, without having to resort to any paperwork. This saves you both manual work, lowers invoicing costs, and speeds up your cash flow.
Once you improve your business processes and adopt digital alternatives like document management systems and e-invoicing, you’ll need to ensure that the documents you send or receive are authentic and have not been tampered with. This is where digital signatures come in handy.
A digital signature is an advanced and secure type of signature that authenticates all electronic documents like spreadsheets, emails, pdf files, and text files. A digital signature is unique to every signer. It uses a mathematical algorithm that creates a digital fingerprint to electronically sign the document, thus validating the signer. You can purchase a digital signature from a trusted certificate authority only after submitting your ID documents. So, a person receiving a digitally signed document can easily find out who has signed it.
The digital signature and the document are encrypted and secured with a seal that makes tampering conspicuous. The recipient cannot open the document unless he receives the public key from the owner. These features make digital signature ideal for e-commerce, software distribution, and other businesses that are prone to document tampering.
Digital signatures reduce the steps involved in signing a document and help replace the traditional paper-based approval process with a faster and cheaper digital process. You not only move towards a paperless office but also reduce costs involving printing, shipping, delivery, filing, archiving, and so on. Digital signatures help improve workflow efficiency as document tracking and organizing become much easier.
Read more: Going paperless – Machine Learning To Accelerate Paperless Offices
Remote Work Collaboration Software
Today, working remotely is no longer an office perk but a new normal. With businesses grappling with an economic downturn and ongoing lockdown restrictions, remote work can help reduce expenses and keep up the morale of your team.
While adhering to the rules of social distancing, you may have to allocate some or all of our staff to remote work. This situation has further highlighted the need for remote work collaboration software. These solutions help you to automate business processes and save costs in paper, office space. However, without the right set of remote work collaboration tools and communication platforms, a company would be dealing with a staff that is adrift.
Today you have a wide variety of tools that keep an office running even while on-the-go. Mobile app versions of these tools enable collaboration anywhere and everywhere.
1. Video Conferencing
Web conferencing tools have gained prominence around the world as face-to-face communications keep everyone in the loop and foster better visualizations of new projects and ideas. A short video call can solve issues that would have taken endless emails or phone calls to sort out. Video conferencing software like InfinCE, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Remo Conference, and MeetFox provide solid video quality and inbuilt interfaces that facilitate video calling and screen sharing.
2. CRM Software
When you have a teleworking team that handles clients all over the world, you need a CRM software to reduce the gap. The right CRM will help your team to connect as though they were sitting next to each other in an office even when they are actually in different countries. A CRM software gives you a 360-degree view of your customers in a single page. When all your customer data is aggregated, you gain a better understanding of customer behavior helping you make informed decisions. Today, most CRM software have built-in analytics tools that help your sales team analyze their performance while on the go, thus enabling them to better focus on their targets. Odoo, Microsoft Dynamics, Zoho, Salesforce, Hubspot, etc. are some of the best CRM software available out there.
3. Team collaboration tools
A common problem that managers face with remote teams is not knowing what their team members are working on. This can be easily sorted with online team collaboration tools. These tools help streamline your team’s communication by providing a consistent and common digital space for your team to collaborate. They can share project updates, files, and comments within the company to create an efficient and cataloged communication channel. Integrated features such as instant messaging, video conferencing, and task management make workplace collaboration effortless.
4. File Management
An efficient file management tool is unavoidable for organizations aiming to go paperless. A scalable document management system is essential to automate and streamline workflows. Besides storing and sharing documents, a file management system with features that help secure data, track changes, maintain audit trails, and map workflows can improve the performance of your organization. Since document handling is key to many business processes, your document management system needs to integrate with other business apps. So, before making the choice, you should find out what pre-built integrations or APIs the file management system has to offer.
Virtual Hiring and On-boarding
Traditionally, hiring and onboarding have been manual processes. Automating these processes can promote employee engagement and retention. This, in turn, brings in business value by reducing HR man-hours through employee retention and cost savings. A comprehensive and recession-proof onboarding process requires digitization, automation, and personalization. These three steps bring various business processes together, streamline them, and create a seamless onboarding experience for your new hires. This further reduces the cost of hiring and time-to-hire.
Collecting digital feedback and reviewing video interviews help in tackling prejudices if any. Virtual recruitment drives can centralize the entire process by involving many interviewers from within the organization. This instills consistency in managing candidate RSVP, sending reminders, and establishing prompt communication channels.
Though switching to the process of virtual hiring and onboarding is challenging, the right tools and training can ensure successful execution. Organizations must refine their recruitment and onboarding processes by employing remote tools, recording the processes accurately, and training their staff on best practices. While the lack of face-to-face interaction with candidates may bother your team, appropriate training and adaptation will help you improve efficiency.
Read more: Digitalization of Business – Why Digitalization is Inevitable for Businesses
This technology is used to replace paper-based and manual processes with a single platform that combines business processes thus eliminating errors. Workflow automation helps to transform legacy processes that require a lot of paperwork into digitally automated tasks. Most organizations grapple with digital transformation since communications via whiteboards, post-its, and spreadsheets control their task management. These tools hinder smooth collaboration and visibility as they rely on human intervention. Workflow automation reduces this reliance on human intervention by ensuring communication within the platform and maintaining a record of all relevant data. Later, anyone with permission can access this information easily.
Workflow automation software can help you automate almost all processes from IT, Sales, HR, Marketing, Finance, and so on. Once you bring all your applications under a common platform, with a workflow automation software, you can do away with the monotonous work of transferring data between these applications.
Workflow automation gives you a competitive advantage by helping you deliver better quality services at a lower cost and speedy decision making. The benefits of workflow automation include better accountability and communication within the organization, reduced costs and errors, improved employee engagement, improved business processes, and better efficiency.
Read more: How Automation Helps Business – How Automation Ensures Businesses Stay Afloat During COVID-19 Crisis
The new normal brought on by the pandemic demands digital transformation. One technology that has helped businesses and economies stay afloat in quarantine and social distancing is mobile payment. As regulations stipulate the reduction of in-person transactions to prevent consumers from stepping out of their homes, mobile payment facilities have come in handy.
You can equip your mobile customers by investing in contactless payment technologies like facial recognition, QR codes, and NFC technology. COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the way we conduct transactions. Companies struggling in implementing mobile payments need to find ways in establishing payment systems that are on par with the global standards. Businesses may hesitate to spend on digital payment technologies, during such unaffluent times. However, you need to remember that by enabling mobile payments, you are expanding your customer base and making it easier for customers to buy.
Choosing the Best Way to Implement Paperless Initiatives
Advances in IT and organizational design can drive cost reductions while improving quality and timeliness. To equip your business with these digital alternatives, you need to have clear goals and instructions for upgrading business processes. These tools have to be used in a systematic and coordinated way to improve efficiency and avoid chaos. Once these digital tools are managed in the right order, they enable restructuring of processes and building up resilience resulting in higher productivity.
Going paperless ultimately narrows down to improving processes. The real value of the aforementioned paperless technologies can be realized only once you go back to the beginning of a process and retool it making the whole process electronic. So going paperless is not just an afterthought, but you have to go for redesigning whole processes, making them more electronic. This, then helps you save time and money by streamlining your work and improving the efficiency of what you’re doing.
In other words, you should not opt for paperless technologies to just manage your storage needs. If you simply convert all of your paper into a digital format, you’re just converting your problem from one format to another. When you’re scaling paperless, you need to view it as an opportunity to look at your processes from A to Z and check whether you can make improvements. Then paperless becomes a part of the good business that you practice.
If you wish to know more about how paperless initiatives can recession-proof your business to survive and succeed in the new normal, send us a message right away!
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Why Does Your Business Need IT Consulting Services?
IT departments or on-site IT professionals have become increasingly significant for many types of organizations- small and large, today. As the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people work, giving rise to alternative workplace strategies, businesses are forced to rethink IT technology and strategy to keep up with the ‘new normal’. Companies, therefore, expect their IT budgets to grow.
So what’s IT consulting in simple terms?
Gartner defines IT consulting as “advisory services that help clients assess different technology strategies and in doing so, align their technology strategies with their business or process strategies.”
IT consultants are needed for software implementations, training, and maintenance. Some companies try to do these activities on their own. Many have succeeded in getting their software up and running to what they think is “Best Practices” for their company. However, with a technology consulting company like Fingent, you’ll rest assured that you’re dealing with someone who knows the product end-to-end. You’ll get to collaborate with an expert who knows how to look for alternatives or add-on solutions for that product. Thus, you end up streamlining the entire process of conversion, training, and implementation with an IT consultant.
Read more: Software Development Outsourcing – Why software development outsourcing is a smart move now?
Why should you hire IT consultants?
1. Flexible staff: Most IT consultants offer their services on a contract basis. Organizations may need to supplement their team for a holiday season; they may be rolling out new software or merging companies. There are a lot of situations where a company needs a lot more people for a small amount of time. They don’t have to hire full-time salaried people and then lay them off. Consultants can come in for a short time and do the job for them.
2. Proven expertise: Your organization may be the best in your LOB. But you may not have the required know-how in house, to implement the best IT solution for your business. Well-experienced IT consultants can advise the best modus operandi to ensure that your new IT project runs smoothly. A reputable IT consultancy would also bring in the shared knowledge of its many business partners. So, you’ll be at the receiving end of the latest trends and updates of the IT industry.
3. Outsider perspective: You are a part of your company. So, you may not spot the blunders that an outsider can quickly point out. Since IT consultants have already worked on similar projects before, they can quickly identify what would work and what would not. They can also bring in different schemes that can help improve ROI that may not have been visible to you.
4. Train employees: Employees are an asset to your company. So you have to provide them with the necessary training facilities to develop their skills and keep them engaged. IT consultants are always at the top of their game, making them good trainers. Suppose you have implemented a new ERP system. After understanding the needs of your company, IT consultants can provide customized training programs to your staff and equip them towards a smooth transition.
Read more: Digital Transformation Consulting Services – How digital transformation solutions redefine businesses with effective digital experiences
Business benefits of hiring IT consultants
1. Reduced Costs: Hiring in-house staff solely for your IT technical needs or training your existing employees are other options that you can consider instead of hiring IT consultants. While hiring new employees, you’ll have to include the added costs along with their salaries, including taxes, benefits, and overhead expenses. On the other hand, for training existing employees, you’ll have to shell out on a trainer and the skill acquired may not even be used in the future. Hiring IT consultants will help reduce downtime. Often, you bring in consultants to address a specific issue for a short period. Therefore, they prove to be more budget-friendly.
2. Better Security: Cyberattacks continue to derail large and small businesses alike. Consultants who specialize in IT security can help tackle and prevent these risks. After analyzing the risk points in your system, IT security consultants can advise on the best security practices that would suit your company. IT consultants can help prevent possible risks by implementing regular updates on your software, training employees to identify malware, developing appropriate disaster recovery solutions, and so on.
3. Focus on core business: SMEs generally fall into the trap of trying to save money by doing everything themselves. The companies whose core competencies lie in non-IT related industries have observed that finding solutions for IT problems zaps them of their time and energy. Not to mention the rise in frustration levels of your workforce as they spend hours doing what they’re not good at in the first place. Once you outsource your IT needs to a specialist, you’ll see speedy execution with higher efficiency in completing the project. Thus, investing in an IT consultancy will lead to better ROI.
4. Increased productivity and efficiency: IT consulting experts can help businesses optimize their systems. They can help homogenize your IT infrastructure according to the industry best practices. The resultant consistency can help streamline processes, create resilience, and reduce costs related to IT support. Next, as mentioned earlier, IT consultants help manage tasks like software updates, data, and network security that would otherwise be monotonous for your employees, enabling them to focus on increasing profits. Many enterprises are moving to the cloud to reduce their infrastructure costs associated with outdated physical servers. An IT consulting partner can help you realize the full benefits of the cloud by integrating all existing systems, making a smooth transition securely, and avoiding common mistakes.
Read more: Digital Innovation – 10 Services Offered by Fingent to Prepare Your Business for the Future of Digital Innovation
As technology grows by leaps and bounds, organizations have to find ways to grow along with the growth in business. The right IT consulting firm can help you use technology as a tool to increase productivity and reduce unwanted expenses. Need help to manage your IT needs? Fingent’s round-the-clock and customer-centric IT consulting services are bound to give you a competitive edge. We’re just a phone call away! Contact us now!
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10 Services Offered by Fingent to Prepare Your Business for the Future of Digital Innovation
- Robotic Process Automation
- Business Continuity Planning
- Contactless Services
- Custom LMS | eLearning
- Business Process Re-engineering
- Reality Technologies
- Data Analytics
- Internet of Things
- Mobile Technologies
- Cloud Computing
- Innovation beyond digital transformation
It’s been more than half a year since we started battling the global pandemic COVID-19. While it shows no sign of waning and continues to dwindle economies, business leaders are still exhibiting a streak of optimism. Thanks to digital technology and infrastructure!
The American management consulting firm McKinsey states that business executives expect profits and consumer demands to rise within the next six months. However, households across the globe have reduced their spending due to low income and savings. This poses a challenge for business sectors such as banking, retail, telecom, healthcare, and utilities. The organizations belonging to these sectors have to find new ways to support customers as well as preserve shareholder value in these ambivalent times.
In spite of several unsuccessful attempts to curb the virus spread, promising vaccine tests give us hope. The good news along with it is that businesses are managing to meet their urgent requirements and are optimistic for a time when all employees can return to work safely. Business leaders need to focus on supporting their employees by building up trust and providing clear communication.
If not anything, the pandemic has taught us the necessity of digital innovation and management. The business-as-usual approach is bound to fail in these difficult times. Business leaders have to make fast decisions, use technology in new and different ways to improve productivity and accelerate digital innovation. Organizations that embrace technology and new tools to reinvent business processes will see better results. This blog enlists 10 ways by which Fingent can help you re-engineer your business processes and overcome the challenges efficiently.
1. Robotic Process Automation
In light of what’s happening, the demand for automation has fundamentally increased simply because the business dynamics have changed in various industries. Since most employees have to work from home, repetitive and data-intensive processes could be handed over to Robotic Process Automation. Once employees are freed up from performing mundane tasks, they can concentrate on other important operations that require cognitive skills.
The payroll, onboarding and offboarding processes in HR can be automated using RPA technology. In the banking sector too, RPA bots can fasten activities such as loan application processing, account opening and make them error-free.
Fingent combines technologies like Machine Learning and AI with RPA to design smarter processes for businesses. Our focus is on utilizing RPA software bots to enhance the cost-effectiveness and efficiency of business processes. We help companies to automate business processes by identifying areas that require automation, deploy the most appropriate tools, and provide the necessary maintenance and support.
2. Business Continuity Planning
A business continuity plan is crucial to ensure the effective recovery of organizations from a disaster. From conducting virtual site inspections to document collaboration to human resources and payroll management, Business Continuity Planning helps keep track of all your crucial tasks.
Fingent utilizes a wide range of technological frameworks like SAP, AWS, Microsoft technologies, public cloud services, and custom software solutions to help you come up with a strong business continuity plan. Our Business Continuity Planning (BCP) services enable you to make faster decisions, reduce costs, and retain customers. We help you create and implement a sustainable business model that allows you to keep pace with the rising customer demands.
3. Contactless Services
COVID-19 has changed customer behavior w.r.t what and how they buy. This shift has given rise to a demand for contactless services. The demand for smart deliveries, self-service facilities, and other technologies such as QR codes, mobile payments, tap-and-go are expected to rise.
Maneuvering these challenging times may seem daunting. But Fingent can help you turn the tables with our innovation capabilities and technology consulting. We guide organizations to expand their existing set of offerings and capture new markets.
Fingent helps you bring your brick-and-mortar store online by developing highly responsive, secure, and scalable ecommerce CRM solutions, customize your existing application to integrate contactless payment features, configure new offers or discount codes and also helps you leverage AR/VR technologies that allow customers to view your project sites or prototypes.
4. Custom LMS Development | eLearning
According to a recent study, 42% of organizations in the US have increased their ROI through eLearning. Over 90% of students say that they prefer eLearning to classroom training- a trend created by the COVID-19 forced lockdowns. eLearning systems are highly beneficial in times of a global pandemic like COVID-19 to ensure uninterrupted learning.
Fingent helps schools, universities, colleges, educational institutions, NGOs, and training centers to develop customized LMS platforms that come with aptitude-based smart learning tools.
5. Business Process Re-engineering
Business process re-engineering involves the fundamental rethinking and redesigning of processes to achieve significant improvements in performance, efficiency, and alignment of processes with organizational strategy. Fingent’s BPR services enable enterprises to revamp existing business processes to improve productivity, quality, and cycle time, especially during a crisis.
Here’s the difference that Fingent’s BPR brings to your table:
- Re-engineer and optimize your processes from the ground up
- Eliminate redundant processes and enhance workflow efficiency
- Coordinate and integrate multiple functions/ teams quickly
Business process reengineering offers nearly all benefits- increased revenue, improved customer service, reduced cost, higher employee retention, faster processing time. Though the risks are considerable, the crisis presents an opportunity for your business to build resilience and reshape your future roadmap by leveraging BPR.
6. Reality Technologies
The latest advancements in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality technologies are helping businesses explore new ways to reach customers and take their innovation efforts to the next level. Perkins Coie LLP reports healthcare and medical devices as one of the top potential growth areas for AR and VR technologies. Visual-based immersive learning experiences, virtual events and conferences, virtual showings and site tours, etc. ensure sustainability, safety, and remote collaboration.
Read our case study: The Future of Communication and Security Using Augmented Reality
7. Data Analytics
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted supply chains and has brought about dramatic changes in customer behavior. Given the current volatility, it is nearly impossible to track real-time changes in consumer mannerisms and aptly respond to them. Fingent offers Predictive Analytics from SAP as well as other data analytics solution providers that can help you detect hidden trends and make quick decisions.
Sectors such as healthcare, retail, sports, insurance use predictive analysis in various ways. Fingent’s data analytics services guide you towards increased ROI by turning data into valuable insights.
8. Internet of Things
Business executives believe that the disruption brought on by COVID-19 will cause an increase in the demand for IoT devices. Robust 5G networks are necessary to realize the power of IoT. Join forces with Fingent to leverage the benefits of IoT in your business. Gear up for IoT with our vast portfolio of technologies that can help you create new IoT processes and manage your devices. We provide customized IoT services to meet your unique business needs. Our cloud-based IoT data management solutions help you gather insights from your IoT data.
9. Mobile Technologies
As stay-at-home and social distancing are the new norms, mobile technologies can keep business running. At Fingent, we utilize leading mobile technologies to support businesses. Being scalable and secure, our mobile solutions deliver value to your customers.
So you want to build an app, but don’t know how to get on with it? While finding the right mobile app development company may seem an obvious answer, you first need to get your requirements on paper. Fingent offers a mobile app specification template that can help you define the scope and functionalities of your app. This erases ambiguity in the development process and keeps all stakeholders on the same page.
10. Cloud Computing
The Cloud has proved to be a lifesaver for businesses whose offices are closed and employees are scattered across various locations. Those who were skeptical of the Cloud are now changing their opinions and have come to benefit from the flexibility that it offers.
Fingent’s expertise in cloud architecture models has helped many organizations realize their goals. With our proficiency in various cloud platforms such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM, and Google we aim to make organizations flexible and agile. We also provide cost-effective cloud application development solutions that can be easily implemented in your current infrastructure and tailored to suit user requirements.
Innovation beyond digital transformation
As the pandemic seems to gather strength, organizations scramble to find ways to keep business running. Business leaders have to prepare for recovery by supporting their staff, establishing effective communication, and balancing costs. If nothing else, these turbulent times have brought to light the significance of digital transformation. By resorting to innovative digital technologies like the ones mentioned above, businesses can reinvent themselves and keep going.
We at Fingent focus on supporting businesses by equipping them with these smart technologies to ensure business continuity. Leveraging smart technologies, Fingent can help you understand the pulse of your customers and make the necessary changes in your business models. It has become increasingly clear that given the serious health implications on people returning to work, creating a post-pandemic organization would take longer than earlier perceived. Companies have to seize this opportunity to build new capabilities like remote work environments, virtual collaboration, automation, eLearning, eCommerce, and so on.
Our business solutions have already helped various industrial sectors solve problems and eventually succeed. Fingent can help you capitalize on this opportunity to create a digital innovation strategy. Contact us to know more.
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What considerations should be part of a company’s digital transformation strategy?
Smart business leaders are waking up to the fact that they need to get digital transformation “right” for their very survival. The widespread adoption of technology, rapidly changing consumer behavior, and innovation-triggered disruptions are making digital transformation a must-have for businesses.
In a recent survey by Gartner, 87% of senior business leaders responded that digitalization is a company priority and 79% of corporate strategists said that digital innovation is crucial for reinventing their businesses.
It’s clear that organizations have started thinking about digital innovation. What they need to know next is the best approach to start, lead change, and transform.
In this interview, our Senior Vice President – Process and Technology, Deepu Prakash shares his expert opinion by answering these questions:
- How do you define digital transformation?
- What does digital transformation mean to your company?
- How can a brand identify what digital transformation should mean to them?
How do you define digital transformation?
Digital transformation is the strategic, deliberate, and sustained application of modern digital technologies to deliver highly unique customer value propositions, by making fundamental changes to how a business operates.
Can you explain what digital transformation means to your company?
I look after the process and technology practice at Fingent. To us, digital innovation broadly means three things.
1. Strategic shifts
Our focus has shifted from developing products to developing platforms, both for us and for our customers. We are moving away from a value chain-based model towards managing the entire ecosystem that impacts our customer base. Today, we are on the constant lookout for partnerships that can help us provide a competitive difference to our customer base. We expect cross-industry consolidation in the near future.
Related Reading: Why Business Leaders Must Embrace Digital Adoption
2. Developing operational agility through digitally-enabled processes
We are using digital technology to cut across organizational and departmental silos to provide a better Customer Experience. This results in increased cross-department and cross-organization project management, collaboration, and integration. We are reorganizing our processes to enable experimentation and evidence-based scaling.
From a technology perspective: DevOps practices, APIs, and Unified Identity management are being rolled out across the organization. We are setting up practices to actively leverage third-party developer innovation, to reduce the time-to-market for us and our customers. In fact, one of our products INFINCE is empowering small businesses to achieve digital agility without the need to own infrastructure or an IT practice.
3. Culture and competence:
Despite being a young technology company, we have to work hard to develop the mindset needed to adapt to the massive technology shifts, across all departments. While training helps, it takes continuous coaching and mentoring to help deal with the culture shock that such transformation brings in. Roles and job descriptions may not be so clearly defined as it used to be before. Hence, there is less certainty around outcomes and an increased need for greater transparency than what we had previously.
The ability to exert influence without direct authority is a critical skill for career growth.
How other brands can identify what digital transformation should mean to them?
- Successful digital transformation is less about technology and more about leadership. Hire the right leadership talent to create a digital transformation strategy that would work for your customers and your people.
- Start by deeply re-examining your core business through your customers’ eyes. Ask yourself whether your business will continue to stay competitive or will it be sustainable going forward.
- Map out the entire set of customer journeys. Include customer interactions with your allied products and services. Map modern digital technologies to all these journeys. Identify new channels, new opportunities, and see how you can reach out through all these channels.
- Analyze your state of competition not just with the established players, but also with the startups in your industry segment and adjacent segments, especially with a view to identifying the relevant technologies, platforms, and vendors.
Related Reading: 4 Questions to Ask When Your Business Goes Digital
Need help with your digital transformation goals?
Fingent’s team is highly experienced in helping businesses solve their digital transformation challenges.
We have partnered with businesses worldwide in their digital transformation projects.
We can help you define your vision and create robust digital transformation plans that enable your business to transform and grow. To take advantage and get the ball rolling, please get in touch with Fingent.
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Can Equipment Maintenance Be Simplified With Augmented Reality?
“If I had six hours to chop down a tree,” said Abraham Lincoln, “I’d spend the first four hours sharpening the axe.” Wise words which emphasize the fact that there is no substitute for consistent, preventive maintenance. And yet, it isn’t high on the priority list of many. Sure, equipment maintenance isn’t a ribbon-cutting event. A short-sighted CEO could argue that it increases cost and hinders the speed of growth, but effective maintenance is what will hold the business together in the long run.
In an attempt to balance out the costs of maintenance with their goals to increase business growth, businesses are looking to Augmented Reality for a solution. With the power to augment reality and machines, AR is the perfect solution for firms looking to simplify equipment maintenance and increase their growth. This article provides an overview of how AR can achieve that.
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Digital Adoption is crucial for the success of an organization. Businesses understand this and are going full steam ahead in ensuring that they are completely equipped digitally. While the IT department is primarily hands-on with digital adoption, it is becoming increasingly clear that business leaders must also roll up their sleeves and get involved with the digital goals of the company. This blog will discuss why this is important and how it makes for better business leaders.
Digital adoption in the most elementary sense is to achieve a state of functioning where all the organization’s digital tools are used to their full capability. Digital Adoption also involves getting stakeholders, including customers and employees, to use these tools to the best.
If the company has a whole repertoire of digital tools, it doesn’t mean that they have successfully implemented digital adoption. It can only be a success if these tools are being used to their full capacity by the organization and its customers.
How Digital Adoption Makes You A Better Business Leader
Talking about the top executives in today’s organization, Dion Hinchcliffe, VP and principal analyst at Constellation Research says that they must “match the pace of change, fall behind, or lead the pack.” Continuing on what is expected of business leaders particularly the CIO’s today, he says: “That’s the existential issue at stake in today’s digitally-infused times, where bold action must be actively supported by out-of-the-box experimentation and pathfinding … The CIO this year must be both a supremely masterful priority juggler and an effective digital leader from the front.”
This is what today’s business scenario demands a true business leader. Leaders are expected not only to be digitally informed but to be able to lead their company into digital transformation. Digital adoption must be the focus of their efforts. Here are a few ways in which digital adoption can make you a better business leader.
Related Reading: Find how digital innovation is transforming today’s business.
1. Leading Change and Growth
One of the qualities that define a capable business leader is his ability to be a visionary and lead his organization towards growth. In today’s world, growth is becoming synonymous with the company’s ability to keep up with technology and digital transformation. Business leaders stand to benefit the most as their company moves forward and adopts the best of digital technology.
And yet, according to a KPMG study, more than 56% of digital initiatives fail due to lack of leadership. As this shows, good leadership can make all the difference between success and failure of digital adoption. The mindset of a leader and his/her dedication to digital adoption will direct the mindset of the rest of the organization. Digital disruption calls for a positive attitude towards change. It calls for a change in the culture of the organization. Encouraging innovation and experimentation is also key to the success of digital adoption. All this can only be achieved if the CEO and top-level management embrace and lead the change.
2. Gaining Customer Insight
Today’s business is more customer-centric than ever. The success of an organization is dependent on its understanding of customer preferences and behavior. In the digital age, there is no better way to gain customer insight than through digital adoption.
Jim Swanson, former CIO of Monsanto is an excellent example of leaders who leverage a company’s IT to deliver growth and value in the business. Discussing digital transformation in terms of customer centricity and the role of leaders, he says: “We talk about automating operations, about people, and about new business models. Wrapped inside those topics are data analytics, technologies, and software – all of which are enablers, not drivers. In the center of it all is leadership and culture. You could have all those things – the customer view, the products and services, data, and really cool technologies – but if leadership and culture aren’t at the heart, it fails. Understanding what digital means to your company – whether you’re a financial, agricultural, pharmaceutical, or retail institution – is essential.”
That is where the magic lies. Understanding digital and understanding what digital can do for your customer-centric goals is where you will find success. When business leaders understand this vital concept and become champions of digital adoption, then the company will see real growth.
Related Reading: Find how machine learning boosts customer experience.
3. Nurturing Curiosity
Curiosity is an important attribute of growth and change. To step out of their comfort zone and embrace growth, business leaders must cultivate and foster this important attribute. In a PWC survey of 1,322 CEOs in 77 countries, most CEOs pointed out to the importance of being curious. In order to keep up with the turbulent business scenario and stiff competition. Michael Dell, Chairman and CEO of Dell, says in the report: “The one attribute CEOs need in the future to succeed, that I would place my bet on, is curiosity. From curiosity comes learning and new ideas. In businesses that are changing very rapidly, if you’re not curious, if you’re not learning, if you don’t have new ideas, you’re going to have a real problem.”
Curiosity plays a vital role in embracing digital technology and helping employees adapt to change. Fostering a culture of innovative thinking and intellectual curiosity will help the organization move forward with digital adoption and make the best of it. Conversely, digital adoption will help business leaders build curiosity and lead their organization towards innovation and success.
Embrace Digital Adoption
The importance of embracing digital adoption cannot be overemphasized and it must start from the top. It has been estimated that there will be US$15.7 trillion in global GDP gains from AI and digital by 2030. If you want to rake in some of this revenue, there are no two ways about it – go digital or go home is the verdict! Fingent helps business leaders worldwide in their journey towards digital adoption and transformation. Let’s have a chat and see what we can do for your business.
Related Reading: Check out how AI is driving business value across industries.
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Digital revolution has not just changed how businesses are perceived but also how businesses are performed. It meant a shift from the conventional means of operation to the one aided by technology. In today’s age, every aspect of a business from operations to management is run using digital tools. Such digital transformations has changed every industry and revolutionized the way of serving the customers, improve the competitiveness of the business and pushed forth its expansion into the global market.
Coleman Parkes Research in one of their surveys identifies that 82 percent of respondents have adopted digital technologies for redefining their businesses. This complete overhaul of business with the reinvention of business operations are affected by the advent of mobile, cloud, social, and big data analytics. So has the transcendence of a digital world helped grow businesses? If yes, what are the ways in which businesses can take advantage of the same?
Related Reading: Implementing a digital transformation strategy for your business requires adequate know-how of the varied process involved in the same. Know about the five crucial questions to consider before initiating your digital transformation journey here.
What are the innovative changes?
Early on, businesses built websites as a front for providing only information. With interactivity and the onset of the mobile revolution, sites and apps started to provide much more. They are used to offer services and products right at the doorstep of customers. The use of social media has enhanced the knowledge regarding what the customers like and what they seek. Businesses can use this medium to understand and tailor personalized experiences to provide real value to their customers.
Big Data analytics has changed the way businesses adapt and change. From decision making to predicting customer preferences and hiring the right skill sets, big data analytics has emerged as the game changer for businesses today by influencing how they deal their data. Instead of undertaking a market study, there is relevant data that tells what is working in the market and what is not.
Each business that enters into a digital transformation is out there to compete every second. Imagine the new generation of customers who have everything at the tap of a button. Businesses need to be on their toes to deliver rich, real-time interactions with an element of personalization to keep their customers engaged. Also, the need to keep updating and innovating with respect to the competition is a necessity to save the business from running into the ground.
The increased reach
Even though the competition increases with the digital transformation, businesses can take advantage of the fact that now they have reached a global audience. There is a market for the niche of products and services since customers have a way to access them easily. Also putting a step into innovation ensures that your business is at the forefront of achieving a profitable chunk out of the industry.
Since transforming the business into a digital space is no longer an option, businesses should start utilizing the benefits of such a change. Pervasive digitization of services and products can be made to ensure that there are no barriers between the business and their customers. Also, traditional companies can start making efforts to revamp or add new services that are digitally available to increase their profits. Monetization from digital platforms and collaborations with partners can further help achieve better profits from an untapped source of customer relationships.
Related Reading: Take a look at the CIO’s opinions of digital transformation initiatives deployed across different businesses here.
How to make the most of this digital transformation?
In today’s day and age, no business is smaller or bigger, each of them competes in a virtual, digital space that offers fair ground for competition. Businesses should start looking at Big Data analytics and use the social media space to push their content to the customers. The idea is to be always supple, no matter how big or small your business is. Think like a startup at every step to understand the new technologies, the revolutionary changes, and be flexible to adopt them quickly. Having a digital core at the heart of your organization to manage and operate the business is the right way to go ahead in this modern digital era.
If your business is seeking to get into the race of digital transformation, it is important to act right now. Late adopters can have serious disadvantages since the competition is already in the domain. If you are looking to adopt a business model that utilizes a digital core, we can help. Embrace the digital transformation with the best developers to get to the forefront of change.