Challenges Your Business Should Overcome in the Post-COVID Phase
- Challenges in Reopening Strategy
- Challenges of Shifting Customer Habits
- Challenge of Operations and Employee Safety
- Impact on Operations for Manufacturing Units
- Challenges of Finance and Banking
- Tax, Trade & Regulatory Challenges
- Crisis Management
- Focus on tomorrow
The past few months have been an extremely challenging time for communities across the globe as the pandemic continues to take its toll. Amidst all the chaos and anxiety however, the world is trying to return to the new normal. During this unprecedented reality, businesses are witnessing the beginning of a dramatic restructuring of economic and social order. Everyone is looking forward to the next normal that will materialize after the battle against COVID-19 has been won, with hopes that it will be better and more profitable. Challenges lie ahead though. What are these COVID-19 Aftermath challenges and how do we combat them? This article will discuss that.
Where Do We Start?
With lives and livelihoods in danger, businesses are running a spreadsheet for basics that never mattered so much before. Plans are being drawn how many people can fit into a workplace spaced six feet apart, where the one-way path should begin and end, and what adjustments can and need to be made to the entrance, lunchrooms, and restrooms.
All of these are critical tasks but chalking them down is not going to be enough to mobilize and stabilize businesses. We need an enterprise-wide ability to absorb uncertainty while incorporating lessons into operating models quickly. This might seem like a daunting path beset with challenges, but an action plan can get you through this successfully. This article discusses 7 major challenges and resolutions to jumpstart the recovery.
1. Challenges in Reopening Strategy
The pandemic has impacted nearly every industry including retail. Manufacturing is on a downward slope as production moves at a snail’s pace. Supply chains are being disrupted due to higher air freight costs. This supply shock is having a knock-on effect on retail. Navigating their way out of this spiral is going to need a solid reopening strategy.
What can businesses do?
- Restart and reset, not just reopen: Employee and customer behaviors have drastically changed. Be ready to start a new era of business. Build courage and foresight to change for more than just immediate needs.
- Be ready to adopt omnichannel integration: Omnichannel initiatives offer contactless curbside pickup and other features, so be willing to continuously improve services.
- Shape your future workforce: Redeploy store associates to fill other roles. Upskill then to achieve the required digital fluency. Cross-train employees so that they can fill in when others are away.
- Act swiftly to radically accelerate in-store integration: Customers may not be inclined to visit stores unless you give them a good reason to do so. Offer your consumers compelling value propositions for store traffic.
- Develop a future-state vision: Adopt an omnichannel view that includes store closure plans or rent negotiations.
- Digitize and automate non-core tasks: Automate labor scheduling. Expand the use of self-checkout and mobile checkout processes. Provide remote-management tools for in-house and field managers.
- Shift tasks: Sourcing and distribution teams must find ways to move certain tasks, such as price tagging and labeling, away from stores.
2. Challenges of Shifting Customer Habits
As the coronavirus spread progressed across geographies, customer behavior has also changed drastically. Customer habits are changing, and we can expect them to continue to change in the weeks and months ahead. We can break down their behavior into three phases where each phase shows a distinct behavior:
- Escalation: Customers tend to load up on essential goods such as groceries and medicines which include immunity-boosters.
- Accumulation: Customers brace for a sustained quarantine by stocking up on everyday personal care products.
- Recovery: Customers will continue to spend on consumer goods.
Also, customers now prefer making purchases online, their focus has shifted more to eCommerce.
How can businesses respond?
- Enable flexible product flow: Ensure your product inventories align with consumer demand. Make distribution centers more flexible. As more customers purchase products online, make sure you minimize distribution disruptions.
- Bolster online presence: Accelerate direct-to-customer sales.
- Maintain close contact with customers: Ensure they know that products are available.
3. Challenge of Operations and Employee Safety
One of the main concerns of a company leader during and after the COVID-19 pandemic is its impact on operations. Evidently, the epidemic has adversely affected sales volume and the ability to serve clients and customers as well as manage the business. Companies are faced with the challenge of employees being quarantined for weeks after business or vacation trips. They lack the tools required to organize remote work during the quarantine.
How to reorganize the workplace?
- Establish dedicated cross-functional teams: They can coordinate the activities between various business units, provide necessary information to the management team, and communicate with employees, partners, and employees.
- Analyze critical roles and key positions: Develop an effective process for managing decision-making under various scenarios.
- Ensure the safety of employees: Review policies for maintaining good hygiene at the workplace.
- Ensure that there is no crowding in the office: Decide on which roles can be done remotely and which roles require employees to be present in the office. This will help you optimize the work with only 20-30% of employees at the office.
- Easy Transportation: Ensure that transportation is arranged for and accessible by the employees.
- Plans for support staff: Have a written plan on how to stagger the arrival of support staff such as receptionists and security guards.
- Workout checkpoints: Have a series of checkpoints where testing can be done.
4. Impact on Operations for Manufacturing Units
Manufacturers face formidable challenges when it comes to restarting their operations. Globally, they are facing workforce disruptions at an unprecedented scale. Most manufacturers are yet to determine how they will function and perform while struggling to cope with the present scenario. They need fit-for-purpose plans.
How can manufacturers respond?
- Start with possible scenarios: Start with the current need for workforce and design a workforce approach.
- Tap into technology: Consider the possibility of automating certain aspects of the industry which would avoid too many people at the site.
- Create a roster: Ensure that teams come in at different times during the day depending on the number of workers and the skill required at any given point.
- Focus on a safe work environment: Organize regular cleaning and disinfection of workplaces and tools. Invest in medical equipment such as thermometers and sanitizers.
- Review sick leave policies: Consider the possibility of providing temporary sick leave without the need to provide a doctor’s notice.
- Develop agile workforce strategies: It keeps the global economy viable.
- Create your own news channel: Misinformation can create particular challenges for manufacturers. Combat this by ensuring that you put out timely, accurate, and appropriate information for your workers.
5. Challenges of Finance and Banking
Economic uncertainty and risk have either directly or indirectly impacted most finance companies. As businesses slow down, companies are seeing lower revenue due to reduced cash flow.
Managing cash and liquidity positions may become crucial in the coming months. This situation is worsened by inadequate digital maturity, staff shortages and immense pressure on the existing infrastructure as companies deal with the impact of the pandemic. You need strategies to safeguard your customers’ financial security while you safeguard their wellbeing and yours as well.
What can finance services do?
- Craft a strategic response: Adopting the right digital technologies enables innovations. These must include solutions for analytics and insights to detect and prepare for new risks.
- Enable Automation: Ensure availability of digital banking services through business process reengineering and automation.
- Leverage AI capabilities: There has been and will be a surge in call volumes during and after COVID-19. Leverage AI-backed tools and conversation platforms to deal with the surge.
- Initiate video banking: Live web video banking solutions can assist your team in serving customers and maintaining business continuity.
6. Tax, Trade & Regulatory Challenges
There are significant tax provisions and other measures to assist businesses that stakeholders should carefully review. Post pandemic, they should think about the broader implications of their business decisions and strategies.
What can you do?
- Business disruption: Develop restructuring plans. Review intra-group service expenses and expense allocations.
- Cash tax savings: Manage cash taxes by potentially reducing taxable income. Obtain available refunds. Work with the treasury function to align repatriation strategies. Model taxable income against the company’s overall tax posture.
- Agile tax models: Supply chains and business strategies need reevaluation, which is best achieved by agile tax models.
- Review all aspects: Stabilize supply chains. Brace for an unpredictable revenue. Reduce costs and increase productivity.
- Meet regulatory obligations: Despite budget constraints, tax compliance requirements must be met. Consider co-sourcing or outsourcing tax compliance.
- Stay informed: Understand the expense of various supply chain configurations and opportunities. Make informed decisions quickly.
7. Crisis Management
Your response to the crisis today can position your business to thrive tomorrow. You need to prioritize incident management along with the safety of workers. It is important for organizations to understand what data is relevant to their business. Some companies are developing new contingency plans while others are using existing ones.
What can organizations do?
- Dedicate a team for crisis management: Ensure that every team member knows what their role is. Train each team member in executing the plan to be sure that they are ready at any moment.
- Establish facts: Strong data reinforces a central element of crisis planning. Establish facts accurately during the crisis. Use the facts to inform your response strategy.
- Collaborate: Collaborate with the public relations team, legal and regulatory teams, and operational and response teams. Create a small core committee from among them.
Focus on tomorrow
The response window for any crisis is measured in months but recovery is measured in years. Create scenarios today to plan for a stronger tomorrow and beyond. Wider and longer-term perspectives can help your business emerge stronger and more sustainable. Data, Readiness, and Empathy are the three vital qualities required to keep people healthy and businesses running. Fingent is closely monitoring the situation and helping businesses return to work with our technology consulting and innovation capabilities. Contact us to know more.
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The Need for Digitalization
Digital technologies have penetrated into every aspect of our lives, transforming the way we seek and receive information. For instance, today, we search for products and services on search engines rather than in yellow page directories and other offline media. We communicate our experiences with other people through chats, email, blogs, or social media posts. In other words, the media we use, the content we consume and share, the customers we engage with – all benefit from digitalization and digitized data.
Read More: A Road Map To Digital Transformation in 2020
Why is digitalization inevitable for businesses and how can organizations benefit from it?
Before we discuss the advantages of digitalization, we need to understand the difference between digitization and digitalization. According to Gartner’s IT Glossary, “digitalization is the use of digital technologies to change a business model and provide new revenue and value-producing opportunities, whereas “digitization is the process of changing from analog to digital form.”
Digitalization is already influencing the way we do business
Digitalization already has had an impact on our business – from the way we acquire and retain customers to the way we present our business and manage our reputation. While in the past, brick-and-mortar stores were sufficient to establish your business, now consumers want to know what services or products you offer before deciding to make the purchase.
Today, businesses have to be in close proximity with their customers to find out about their opinions and improve customer experiences. When you know more about your customers, you have more data at hand. Digitalization helps apply this data to make better business decisions.
With digital technologies, you have more tools that make work easier. This can lead to increased productivity and reduced costs. Digital tools such as dashboards and collaboration tools such as messengers and video chats help align your employees with business goals and improve internal communication.
What does digitalization mean to you?
Digitalization does not just mean implementing various technologies into daily business. You need to also rethink your business and operating models to implement the technology. Technology is just the tip of the iceberg. Together with it, you need to understand your digital maturity as an organization. Technology does enable digital engagement, but you need to assess the big picture of what digitalization means to your business – whether you are a public organization, a small private company or a global player. To gain control over customer relationships, you need to develop end-to-end strategies to reach customers.
Top 3 opportunities for digitalization
1. Converting excel sheets to dashboards
In any organization, we find an opportunity gap between the growth of the company on a revenue basis and the growth of the support staff. This part of the company needs to focus on improving automation and scalability to better support the rest of the company.
Most of us still enter information in excel spreadsheets. For example, if we track our projects (work in progress), contracts, savings, etc. in separate spreadsheets, we’re only entering the same data many times. Converting to dashboards can help you quickly view and analyze your entire data in one place.
Along with consolidated views, dashboards provide opportunities for business intelligence by allowing users to display only what’s required through the use of filters. Once you start adding insights and recommended actions along with the summary, the dashboard becomes more useful by closing any communication gaps between various departments in your company. In short, you save time, provide clear communication, and drive business goals.
2. Document Management systems
The advent of digitalization has opened up new avenues of data, making its’ management complex. The traditional file and paper methods have become archaic as well as cumbersome. Document management systems have proved themselves indispensable for businesses of all sizes.
With digitalization dominating the trend in business, enterprises are looking for new ways to streamline documentation by using various automation techniques. The rise of cloud-based document management systems has simplified the creation and sharing of digital documents for enterprises.
Managing huge volumes of data has also become relatively easy. Today you have document management systems that vary in scope from simple systems that cater to small enterprises to more sophisticated ones that cater to large global enterprises. Document management systems reduce physical storage, enable quick access of documents, promote security, make maintenance and customization easy, and reduce monotonous tasks.
3. OCR Technology
Another technology that helps with the digitalization of businesses is OCR. The ability of Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to automatically extract data from an image file or scanned document has helped businesses to streamline their operations. It reduces the time required in manual data entry and extraction. A robust and accurate OCR can extract data from multiple document formats. Thus, it saves time in data collection, reduces human effort, and aligns business processes with customer needs. AI-powered OCR eliminates manual entry, thereby reducing errors and improving productivity. Businesses that are equipped with AI-powered OCR technology can stay afloat in the digital wave that has swept across the world.
Digitalization can drive recovery from COVID-19
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on people’s lives, it has also stimulated change in the social, personal, economic, and corporate forefronts. The focus has now shifted from growth, business development, and digitalization to just riding out the storm, that is, ensuring business continuity. However, organizations should not lose sight of the long-term effects of the crisis. Companies would have to rethink their business models according to changing customer demands. This crisis has forced organizations to invest in their digitalization strategies to establish sustainability.
Companies need to direct their digitalization strategies towards increasing resilience and optimization. Rather than just focusing on increasing productivity, a sustainable and comprehensive digitalization strategy should focus on maintaining productivity during future challenges. Write to us to know more.
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SAP Commerce Cloud: The Path to Delivering an Omnichannel Experience
The accessibility of the internet and various commerce solutions have broken boundaries to open up a global market. As a result, many businesses are looking for e-commerce solutions that are flexible, scalable, and provide highly targeted customer experiences across multiple touchpoints. Enter- SAP Commerce Cloud (formerly known as SAP Hybris Commerce).
What is SAP Commerce Cloud
SAP Commerce Cloud connects the dots in a comprehensive commerce portfolio integrating all digital and physical activities of the customer, creating a smoother and more personalized shopping experience. SAP Commerce Cloud is one of the five key components of the SAP C/4 HANA suite. SAP Commerce Cloud, together with SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Sales Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, and SAP Customer Data Cloud form the entire CRM environment.
SAP Hybris Commerce was renamed to SAP Commerce Cloud since SAP shifted their technology from proprietary infrastructure to the cloud. SAP Commerce Cloud uses an open-source Kubernetes technology and runs on the Microsoft Azure Hyperscale platform.
Features of SAP Commerce Cloud
- Omni-channel Storefront – gives your customers a consistent view of your contents or end-products across all their devices – PC, smartphones, or tablets. Today, customers interact with a brand both online and offline before considering to purchase an item.
- Personalization – You can improve the average order value and augment gains by providing tailored content, based on the shopper’s behavior and buying history. SAP Commerce Cloud allows you to segment customers and provides relevant product recommendations based on preferences.
- Order Management – Managing global market channels lead to complexities, data fragmentation, and high costs, making order management a challenge for companies. SAP Commerce Cloud solutions can support any B2B, B2C, or B2B2C go-to-market strategy through a single commerce platform and simplify the process. You can have a single view of inventory, shipping, and returns throughout the organization thus streamlining order management. Customers can have complete flexibility without cluttering stock levels.
- Real-time Customer Support – The Assisted Service mode in Cloud Commerce helps you offer real-time sales support from your business website directly. If the customer gets stuck during an online purchase or needs help at a retail store, the Assisted Service mode immediately connects them to customer support to help them complete their purchase or answer questions. The customer service representatives get a complete view of the profile of the customer complete with their purchase history, preferences, and so on.
- Accelerators – The SAP Commerce Cloud provides industry accelerators that can address the unique requirements of your industry. SAP Commerce Cloud offers cross-industry accelerators for B2C and B2B sectors, accelerators that are specific to the Chinese market, and several specific accelerators for Telco and media, financial services, travel, and citizen engagement.
Related Reading: SAP Preconfigured Solutions Boost Efficiency Among Industries
Integrations offered by SAP Commerce Cloud
In order to ensure the best customer experience, your commerce solution needs to be integrated with the other solutions in your ecosystem. While this can be complex and time-consuming, the prebuilt integrations offered by SAP Commerce Cloud help simplify and unlock efficiencies of this process. SAP Cloud Platform Integration service eases integration by using publicly available APIs and by using industry-standard protocols for managing data transfer.
Related Reading: SAP Focused Industry Templates & Automation Solutions
SAP Commerce Cloud offers pre-built integrations with SAP S/4 HANA, SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, SAP Customer Data Cloud, and SAP Sales Cloud portfolios, services from third-party providers, and various other solutions. These pre-built integrations permit end-to-end process management with the SAP Cloud Platform. SAP Cloud Platform integrates the master data with business processes to create a single source of truth. It thus prevents the complexities arising due to siloed data. What’s more, the intuitive user interface gives control to your system administrators to manage data with transparency.
Related Reading: SAP S/4HANA: Redefining End-To-End Solution
Benefits of SAP Commerce Cloud
- Rapid onboarding by providing quick access to development, staging, and production environments
- Many self-service features that give you the power to control the working of your commerce solutions in the cloud.
- With the cloud-native capabilities, you also gain access to the latest releases and upgrade packages, code checks, and quality gates.
- The SAP Cloud Platform Extension Factory allows extension and integration of microservices without affecting the core application
- You can augment your market reach and organize data through marketplaces, search, social, and marketing channels.
- The platform is highly scalable and can easily handle your traffic peaks. In other words, it grows with your business.
- You get automatic weekly full database backups and hourly incremental backups.
The SAP Commerce Cloud is a hyper scalable, flexible, and high-speed omnichannel commerce solution that is delivered through a SaaS model. You can exploit the efficiency and speed of the cloud by using SAP’s shared cloud infrastructure. You end up having nominal IT costs, you don’t have to maintain servers, and to top it all you have the world-class data security that SAP provides. So why not make the move (if not already done)? Fingent can help streamline last-mile delivery and improve a number of business processes. Our team of specialists can help you successfully deploy SAP Commerce Cloud and become a truly global digital business. Contact us today.
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Digital Transformation in 2020: A Strategized Guide
Digital transformation refers to employing digital technologies to manage the business processes, company culture, and customer experience, which will help meet the changing industry requirements. It is applied to create new strategies as well as modify the existing approaches to different business roles, such as sales, marketing, and customer service. The digital transformation strategy directly reflects upon how a business engages with its customers in this digitally-advancing era.
Incorporating a digital transformation strategy in a startup or small business is very simple. They can easily future-proof the business by applying a digitally agile method of operation, which will help them grow productively. For an established business though, it may take some reimagining for integrating the right tools and technologies for the best digital strategy and transformation.
What are the 4 main areas of digital transformation?
A digital transformation roadmap to success should include four key areas – customer engagement, empowering employees, optimizing operations, and transforming business models. Digital transformation is not just about adopting new technology or investing in digital tools, you need to be prepared for the changes, anticipate them, and drive innovation to remain competitive in the market.
1. Customer Engagement
Cultivating good customer relationships is the backbone of every thriving business. Maintaining a healthy connection with customers can be very easy by using digital tools. From addressing grievances quickly to promoting seasonal sales and offers, digital transformation can help improve the brand image through enhanced customer engagement, which will, in turn, lead to superior business results.
2. Empowering Employees
Building a dynamic company culture with digital technologies can lead to high performance and enhanced productivity. Digital collaboration and networking tools, for instance, can allow employees to work easily with different business departments and teams. This helps accelerate delivery, boost quality and efficiency, and drive greater employee satisfaction.
3. Optimizing Operations
A robust operations digitalization strategy can reform the business from inside out. Adopting digital tools for managing human resources, sales, marketing, manufacturing, finance, or any other business operation can give a comprehensive outlook of the current processes. With proper analytics and insights, businesses can easily manage the operations as well as fix the flaws for a better outcome.
4. Transforming Business Models
Digital business transformation strategy cannot be complete without changing how the business functions work. Leveraging technology to find innovative ways to introduce digital products can perfectly complement traditional offerings. In fact, marketing the brand and promoting the products and services digitally is the key to emerge as a flourishing business today.
Related Reading: 4 Questions to Ask When Your Business Goes Digital
How do you develop a digital transformation strategy?
Rapid digital development and evolution can be seen in every industry in the present day. If you want to keep up, you will need to have the right plan to make the best of the digital landscape. A digital transformation strategy framework allows you to understand your current state, identify your goals, and adopt the best measures to achieve those objectives.
Here is a three-step process to create your digital transformation strategy roadmap:
1. Analyze your requirements and align your business objectives
Developing a robust digital transformation strategy roadmap requires you to analyze the market properly. At the same time, you should also focus on your goals and evaluate how it will affect your current business model. Determine your vision for implementing digital transformation and think about how it will improve customer experience and company culture.
2. Plan your budget
You should also secure funding for your digital transformation. It is an ongoing process and usually involves technology-intensive investments. Therefore, you should have an idea of how much resources you can allocate for the initiative. However, the budget should be calculated keeping in mind all the business areas that would benefit from digital transformation. This way, you can structure the best IT transformation strategy by identifying priorities and establishing the scope of the process.
3. Evaluate the present to plan the future
It is also important to recognize your current business state. Simply trying to migrate to digital infrastructure will not work. You need to understand the current organizational structure, culture, business processes, operations, and employee skill sets. This will help you to categorize the pain points or opportunities that should be addressed at the earliest. It will also let you track the achievements in your digital transformation strategy roadmap promptly.
What are some of the best digital transformation examples?
Digital transformation has practical benefits for every business unit or department. Here are a few examples:
In marketing, it can help to find more customers for less capital investment. Digital marketing approaches can generate more leads and connect with potential customers, which results in greater brand awareness.
In sales, digital transformation can allow automation with analytics tracking and data-driven insights. By using the stats, businesses can promote the products/services that a consumer is likely to buy. Besides, the data and analytics can also help understand the effectiveness of current sales techniques and strategies.
As for customer support, digital transformation allows consumers to contact businesses quickly for any grievances related to the product/service. Customer support personnel can share information promptly across digital modes and find the best solution for the customer. When the company addresses their problems in time, it strengthens their relationship with the customer, which in turn leads to better customer retention.
Related Reading: Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
Implementing digital tools also facilitates improved collaboration between different teams within the organization. This is a must for streamlined business growth in today’s highly competitive industry. That is why you should employ a reliable digital transformation strategy for your business. It will definitely help you discover new opportunities and make the most of powerful sales channels to increase business revenue.
Fingent empowers businesses to build a strong foundation for smooth and cost-effective digital transformation that helps them discover new opportunities and revenue streams. Get in touch with our experts to learn more.
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Most Common Mistakes To Avoid While Implementing IoT
There are many pressing concerns about the possibilities of IoT in businesses. The most common is probably the question, “Is my business too small to adopt IoT practices?” However, as per the available statistics, the global IoT market is expected to reach $1.7T by the end of 2019. It is surely not unnoticed that IoT implementation has helped businesses both big and small to drive growth and innovation.
Making key errors while implementing IoT can however cause the entire business system to halt. These issues can be those related to device management, data flow across the organization, various partnerships involved, and so on. Security, scalability, cost involved, and the complexity of the system are other key factors.
Let us walk through the most common mistakes made while adopting IoT.
1. Security Concerns Associated With Technology Implementation
More than 80% of the senior executives in industries across the globe suggest that IoT implementation is crucial for positive business outcomes. Since more and more devices are connected to the global network, the highly sensitive data and applications require access restrictions to avoid any malpractices. For instance, the security scope needs to be end-to-end to support connected devices.
An IoT implemented framework needs to be secure. The security concerns could be any of the following:
- An Insecure Web Interface
- Improper Authorization Techniques
- Privacy Issues
- Cloud Interface Insecurity
- Insecurity In The Mobile Interface
- Insecurity In-Network Services
- Software Or Firmware Issues
- Lack Of Physical Security
- Lack Of Transport Encryption
- Issues In the Security Configuration
Poorly secured IoT devices and software make the IoT prone to cyber-attacks. End-to-end security is thus crucial for any IoT deployment. For instance, consider an Internet-connected car wash. Such devices use a default password. In this case, when a security concern arises, it also leads to a safety concern.
The solution here is an external security audit of the implemented IoT device. This builds confidence to perform new IoT implementations as well.
2. Not Being Aware Of The Critical Data Flow Forecasts
Not being able to forecast data volume can be one of the major mistakes in IoT implementation of devices and applications. According to EMC Research, the rate at which data is growing is exponential. It states that the volume of this data would be equivalent to 6.6 stacks of 128gb i-Pads which are fully-loaded, and will stretch from the Earth to the Moon!
Moreover, many businesses think that the more data they extract, the better it is for their business. Many a time, this misconception can lead to storage swelling of both structured as well as unstructured data.
The solution is to ensure the proper working of the right IoT big data business strategy with a clear forecast on different factors. The factors could be the amount of network traffic, storage requirements, and so on.
In case of an already existing functional data system, edge computing can be implemented to ensure intelligent pre-processing of data.
3. Cost Factors Involved In Decision-Making Of IoT Implementation
According to recent statistics, cost savings have turned out to be the major IoT adoption criteria for over 54% of enterprises. Taking into account just the cost factor while deciding to implement IoT might turn out to be another major mistake. Various factors affect the cost of implementing IoT projects. Starting from the number of connections to the device, the type of technology used, to the type and features of the application to be loaded, there are many more.
Hardware, let us say, is a major factor that affects the cost of IoT implementation. The cost of the IoT application is directly proportional to the number of devices used in the connection. Likewise, Infrastructure is another major factor that influences the cost of IoT projects. The infrastructure used could be wireless, middleware, or cloud-based.
4. Lack Of Proper Plans For Device Updates And Replacements
A proper IoT device management is critical to ensure core compatibility of the IoT platform. Device reliability is the most important requirements to ensure an enterprise-ready platform. Device management operations include network, power states, device geolocation, and so on.
Large volumes of data collection, transfer, storage, and utilization can result in malfunctioning of connected devices in the IoT ecosystem. Implementing an IoT platform enhances the integrity of connected devices.
The solution to the pressing concern of planning can be solved through regular monitoring, diagnostics, software updates, and maintenance. Performing frequent OTA (Over-The-Air) updates helps the IoT platform in monitoring and maintaining the device software, fixing bugs, managing firmware, and in customizing the connected devices. This ensures in-depth device protection.
Related Reading: Check out more about IoT – Where and Why should you invest!
In addition to the above-mentioned common mistakes, the following are a few other factors that can lead to IoT errors:
- Lack of setting a realistic timeline for IoT implementation – Achieving a realistic idea on the timeline of IoT implementation is necessary for a positive outcome.
- No Tolerance For Possible Failures – Implementing IoT without having a clear picture of your IoT project can be a big mistake. Leave room for scaling up new ideas.
- Relying Only On Existing Charts – IoT implementation requires dedicated decision-makers instead of relying only on existing organizational charts and decisions.
- Lack Of Technical Expertise – When every part of the IoT project is either reinvented or being contracted out, you are unsure of the third-party development and deployment teams. Technical expertise is the key to a successful IoT project.
Are you looking for an efficient technology partner to help you adopt IoT the best possible way? Get in touch with our experts today for a streamlined and error-free IoT implementation for your business.
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Tips To Help You Choose Between ERP & Digital Transformation
If you are a business aiming for delivering value to your customers and willing to accept challenges to integrate technology for a better tomorrow, then Digital Transformation is your Nirvana!
Small to large enterprises, require digital transformation to remain ahead of their competitors. The increasing value offered to your customers and digitally transforming your business goes hand-in-hand. According to IDG, State Of Digital Business Transformation, 89% of businesses have accepted their first business strategy as digital transformation. This includes 95% in Services, 93% in Financial Services, and 92% in Healthcare Services, followed by other industries.
Related Reading: Here’s a guide to help your organization digitize with IoT.
Key Objectives Of Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation is undoubtedly one of the biggest buzzwords of today. Enterprise leaders are looking for strategies to digitally transform their business to leverage the benefits. According to IDC, as per the Worldwide Semiannual Digital Transformation Spending Guide, the worldwide spending on digital transformation, by the year is forecasted to reach $1.97 trillion by the year 2022.
The major objectives of digitally transforming your business include the following:
- Improved Customer Experience
- Increased Operational Workflow And Agility
- Enhancement Of Workforce
- Better Work Culture
- Integration Of Digital Technology
How Is Digital Transformation Different From ERP Implementation?
ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning software is a suite of applications that can be customized to allow businesses and enterprises to manage their processes.
However, with the Lidl software disaster followed by the National Grid lawsuit, enterprises are skeptical about ERP implementation, to the core. Some people consider ERP implementation as a broader form of Digital Transformation. But, both are different in various ways. Let us walk through the following key differences between the two:
Differences In Technology
Core ERP vendors such as Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle rely on technologies that automate back-office functions. On the other hand, digital transformation makes use of a variety of technologies that include ERP, Artificial Intelligence, Internet Of Things, Industry 4.0, to transform their existing business models.
ERP is a typical enterprise application that integrates phases of business operations such as product planning, manufacturing, sales, financials, inventory management, marketing, and human resources within a single MVC architecture, that is, in a single user interface, application, and database.
Differences In Business Process Management
ERP systems approach business processes by incremental steps towards business processes for incremental benefits. On the other hand, digital transformation approaches business process improvement by “quantum leaps”. That is, only digital transformation supports a reengineering of business processes.
Business processes can be processed such as customer onboarding, managing insurance claims, etc. The difference lies in the approaches as well. ERP systems take a holistic approach altogether, whereas, on the other hand, digital transformation requires a strategy.
Additionally, ERP systems aim at providing data and functions to deliver products and services more efficiently to customers. On the other hand, digital transformation enhances the way products and services are delivered to customers. Digital transformation additionally changes even the products delivered to the customers.
In a nutshell, ERP implementation is automating the existing business processes, whereas digital transformation involves taking quantum leaps for improving business value. Transforming businesses digitally involves business process re-engineering and optimization. Additionally, digital transformation relies on disruptive changes in existing business processes and are open to new business models and strategies on doing business as well.
Differences In Organizational Change Management
Though there are MNCs are adopting technologies such as SAP HANA, Oracle Cloud ERP, or any other ERP implementation, is likely to witness an organizational change management challenge. Organizational change management associated with ERP implementation aims at training people on how to perform the same processes and transactions in a new system.
According to its definition, Enterprise Resource Planning Organizational Change Management (ERP OCM), is a framework to manage the impact of new business processes along with the organizational changes in an enterprise.
However, digital transformations aim at helping the workforce change their job roles to support new business models. Digital transformation makes use of disruptive technology rather than automating the status quo. This is because while ERP systems provide an incremental improvement, digital transformation aims at materially disrupting the existing business model for improvement. This leads to the provision of better products and services to customers.
In a nutshell, Organizational change management in ERP systems aims at addressing the people side of change management in enterprises. It can be also defined as strategies that help stakeholders and employees migrate from their existing state to a new system altogether. On the other hand, digital transformation changes the existing business model with a disruptive technology mechanism.
While ERP implementation focuses on achieving greater efficiency with an enterprise’s existing business model, digital transformation disrupts or changes the existing business model.
Differences In Providing Business Value And ROI
A recent HBR survey was conducted for certain companies that invested in digital transformation. This survey that polled 2216 employees illustrated that these companies invested in digital transformation and embraced an annual revenue of $500 million. This figure shows that strategic planning on transforming their businesses digitally resulted in increased revenue and reduced costs.
ERP implementations can deliver a good ROI for enterprises within a few years with all business processes going well. Whereas on the other hand, digital transformation potentially delivers an exponential increase in revenue and considerably reduced costs. This, in turn, leads to enhancements in business value, significant ROI increase, customer loyalty and satisfaction, improved efficiency and other benefits.
Differences In Employee Strategies
Enterprise Resource Planning systems focus on getting their employees trained on new systems. This transactional training addresses organizational change management concerns. On the other hand, digital transformation aims at employee acceptance strategies of the new systems. Enterprises adopting digital transformation perform so by making use of comprehensive organizational changes and employee transition methodologies.
ERP systems hardly, invest in organizational change management strategies. This, in turn, leads to high failure rates in enterprises adopting ERP implementation. Whereas on the other hand, digital transformation invests largely on organizational change management strategies. This increases the people side support considerably. This largely explains the success rate and improved ROI as well as the increased business value in enterprises adopting digital transformation strategies.
Related Reading: Check out the Global ERP Technology Trends For 2019.
ERP Implementation or Digital Transformation – Which Is Better For Your Business?
To automate business operations entirely, some enterprises choose a single technology platform. Leveraging on the plethora of technology advancements is the key solution to improving business processes.
A right Risk Mitigation strategy can work wonders in managing your business processes irrespective of which strategy you choose to implement. To this strategy, it is also required that all employees be equally aligned to this strategy as well.
There is no universal or all-purpose solution as to a perfect business strategy implementation. This is where our experts can provide you with the best roadmap for your business. Our experts can guide you with step-by-step guidance for implementing the best technology that suits your enterprise. Call our strategists right away to learn more about which strategy is best to implement for your business!
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5 Technology Trends Every Travel and Tourism Business Needs To Invest In 2019
If we look at the sheer number of customers involved, the travel and tourism sector is one of the world’s largest industries. Back in 2017, it was a USD 1.6 trillion industry worldwide and over 1.32 billion international tourist arrivals were recorded worldwide according to emigration agencies. With such a phenomenal target audience base, businesses that want to flourish in this sector from hotels to travel companies to flight and cruise operators are continuously seeking new differentiators to win customer loyalty and survive profitably in the face of intense competition. And the competition is not just from peers in the industry.
Today, there are thousands of technology companies that have transformed the conventional travel and accommodation experiences for the common man by shifting the power of choice to the consumer from the hands of the service provider. To remain viable, traditional players in this industry have also shifted their investment priorities to technology that helps them provide better services with lower costs.
There has been a paradigm shift in how the travel and tourism industry works. What was once a monopoly of travel agents, today an end customer has the freedom to chart their own travel itinerary, arrange every necessary and ancillary service throughout their journey and ensure hassle-free travel experiences anywhere in the world.
The best part is, they can accomplish all this from the comfort of their homes using just their mobile phones. The proliferation of smartphones and a large digital savvy guest base necessitates players in this industry to continually invest in technology platforms that help them connect with potential customers across all channels, be it booking offices or online portals.
Today, we shed light on the top 5 emerging technology trends that travel and tourism-related businesses need to keep a close watch and invest wisely if they want to remain successful. Here are our picks:
1. Mobile Friendly
Did you know that over 47.96 percent of global web page views have been from mobile devices alone? This implies, that irrespective of which travel or tourism service you offer, you need to ensure that every presence you have for your business on the internet needs to be mobile friendly. Additionally, businesses need to ensure that they offer customers access to critical services on their premises through smartphones. An example would be a hotel offering customers to book ancillary services like spa, cabs, recreational activities, restaurant, and in-room dining services, etc., through a mobile app rather than having to call up the reception to do so.
Check out the video to learn more about how hotels are embracing technology to provide better customer service.
This video is made using InVideo.io
Some of the world’s most premier hotel chains have gone one step further by creating smart room keys that help guests unlock their rooms with just their mobile phones or a wearable device like a smartwatch. Even more, if such services can be offered by integrating the hotel’s technology back-end with popular services that users already use will ensure greater customer satisfaction as they need not download another app on their mobile phones to use the new feature.
Related Reading: Find how realtors are winning tenants with innovative mobile apps.
2. Artificial Intelligence
Gartner predicts that by 2020, consumers worldwide will handle 85% of their interactions with a business without the need of a human agent. For the travel and tourism sector, customer engagement and the subsequent experiences are critical for continued success. AI can be a game changer in this regard. By serving multiple roles ranging from a virtual assistant or chatbot, AI enabled platforms to help businesses keep their businesses open to customer queries 24 X 7 without dedicated human staff.
Considering the fact that the travel and tourism industry is a global sector with business opportunities available without time zone restrictions, AI becomes even more special. By using machine learning, AI systems can study user behavior and offer automated recommendations and services during interactions for booking a cab or tickets to a nearby destination and so on.
AI can also help businesses automate much of their intense manual data management jobs like generating reports for management, staying compliant with local and regional laws, facilitating verification of guest background and biometrics and much more. The list is endless and in the coming years, AI will turn into a significant contributor to profits for key players in the travel and tourism industry.
Related Reading: Read on to know the top artificial intelligence trends of 2019.
3. Immersive Visual Experiences
What if you could offer a virtual tour of your hotel or resort or a popular tourist destination where your business operates, to a potential customer in another country? Well, this is possible today, thanks to the advancements in immersive visual technology like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR). It can be used for virtual simulations of travel destinations and accommodation facilities and even for interactive content marketing campaigns. With hardware costs going south every year, more users would buy devices that facilitate such experiences.
The popular Oculus Rift that had a hefty price tag of $799 when it launched in 2016 now sells for just $199 and this is an indication that hardware hindrances will not deprive AR, VR and MR technologies of their worth in the coming years. Businesses can offer interactive opportunities for other ancillary service providers to market their services in their properties like for example, a hotel chain, allowing AR-enabled shopping from popular brands for their guests or running promotional campaigns of nearby attractions that guests can explore virtually before making a decision. The possibilities are limitless.
Related Reading: Check out which technology has a better future: AR or VR
4. Internet of Things
Today, technology is moving from the bounds of computers and smartphones and integrating into almost every physical environment surrounding us. The Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm has opened new possibilities for improving customer experiences considerably. The travel and tourism sector too can leverage the potential of IoT to serve their customers more efficiently. From hotels offering a smart room environment controls to guests and airlines facilitating smooth check-in and boarding through beacons within airports, the number of offerings in this segment is numerous.
With the advancement made in hardware sensors, it is possible to gather a large volume of data from a customer or potential customer’s physical surroundings and businesses can use this data to offer personalized services. With an increased focus on data security, today’s IoT platforms will assure end users of personalized services without the risk of unauthorized access by imposters. From an operational standpoint, businesses such as airlines and hotels can use IoT platforms to automate several key operational tasks such as maintenance activities to improve their efficiency, save costs and reduce manual labor risks in the long run.
Related Reading: Read along to know where and why should you invest in IoT.
5. Big Data Analytics
From the huge gamut of data generated by guests and travelers, businesses in the travel and tourism sector can derive insights that help them make the best decisions for growth. This is facilitated by powerful big data analytics platforms that are today available even on a subscription basis. This makes the proposition sweeter for even smaller businesses as they can now compete with the giants in their respective business community by gaining vital knowledge about customer behavior, their spending habits, and their interests.
By analyzing data on past travel experiences, hotels and travel companies can provide personalized recommendations to customers and aid their decision-making process considerably. These systems allow travel companies to suggest the most profitable itineraries for both them as well as the customer making it a win-win situation for everyone. It also allows them to segregate travelers, according to several criteria such as cost preferences, location preferences, interests and much more. This allows them to create personalized marketing and promotional campaigns for each segment and gain more business opportunities.
Related Reading: Check out how big companies are using Big Data to boost business
The travel and tourism sector will undoubtedly rank among the largest in the world when it comes to investment potential. However, the future of this industry will largely be decided by who makes the wisest technology investment decisions among competitors. By converging human interactions and technology, businesses in this sector can serve their customers better and run their infrastructure smarter.
The choices are numerous and it requires an expert advisory partner for travel and tourism companies to realize the full value from their technology investments. This is where our consultants can be your differentiator. Talk to us today to know how your business can survive and succeed in the age of digital disruption by investing intelligently in technology that matters most to your business.
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Digital Tools That Can Improve the Future Of Healthcare
Health Care providers understand that they need to up their game. This is the digital age and consumers are looking for a hassle-free digital front-end experience when interacting with healthcare providers. They are more aware and are used to the conveniences afforded by online banking, personalized shopping and other aspects of CX provided by retailers and the service industry. They expect the same when it comes to health care.
True care redesign is what we are talking about. This involves much more than revamping your website or providing updates. It means high-quality, effective, accessible and affordable health care through digital tools. The future is here, and health care providers must keep up.
How Digital Transformation Is Improvising Healthcare Services
A McKinsey report showed that “total EBITDA in the healthcare services and technology market has the potential to increase from $35 billion in 2016 to close to $50 billion in 2021. These figures suggest a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 7%, continuing the trajectory these players have experienced in recent years.”
This shows the growing role of technology in healthcare. Technological advances like advanced analytics, IoT (Internet of Things), interoperability and machine learning have radicalized the healthcare sector and opened up new possibilities that were unfathomable in the past. The same McKinsey report stated that these advances “present important opportunities to address the half a trillion dollars of annual spending resulting from low productivity and waste.”
Apart from this, technology in the healthcare sector is being re-ordered by tech-enabled customers to achieve the following:
Today’s consumers value options and being able to get value for their money. Pricing transparency applications and online scheduling tools allow consumers to sift through different healthcare providers. Consumes value this as they no longer have to settle for the limitations in benefits or exorbitant prices in healthcare.
Technology has now made it possible for people to have access to and control their health data. As befitting an informed health consumer, they can use information like patient history, medical records and other details as they choose. This way, digital tools are breaking the information asymmetry in healthcare.
Digital tools are placing healthcare in the palm of our hands. They have made it possible for consumers to manage their healthcare according to their preference. They can now monitor and manage any aspect of their health and healthcare spending in the way that they prefer.
A study conducted within Delaware-based Nemours Children’s Health System’s pediatric sports medicine practice compared the satisfaction rates of telemedicine patients in comparison to patients who opted for in-person consultations. The results of the study showed that those who opted for telemedicine experienced shorter waiting times, and saved more time and money (average of $50). The study went on to report that 99% of respondents said that they would recommend telemedicine to other families and 98% said that they would opt for telemedicine again. Consumers obviously value this convenience and telemedicine is rapidly gaining ground.
The impact of telemedicine and digital tools is being recognized by governments as well. The Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies (CONNECT) for Health Act of 2017 was reintroduced this week and its focus is to give healthcare providers the freedom to experiment with telehealth in alternative payment models and incentive programs. The bill also furthered the expansion of remote patient monitoring programs for chronic care, underserved and remote populations. Sen Ben Cardin (D-Md.) who supports the bill says: “Greater use of technology to connect patients and doctors will benefit both with better outcomes, as well as more timely and efficient use of resources.” The outcome of the bill was estimated to be government savings of at least $1.8 billion over 10 years, offsetting projected costs of $1.1 billion.
Digital tools that can improve the future of healthcare
Digital tools are reshaping the landscape of healthcare in a significant way, much beyond just reducing wait times and costs. Technologies like Big Data, IoT and Artificial Intelligence have contributed much in the healthcare sector, with digital tools being designed for diagnosis, consultation, preventive medicine, drug testing and much more. With software that processes data and “learns” how to apply it with the help of machine learning and AI, the possibilities are endless.
Case in Point: Ultronics
Ultronics is a digital tool that has been developed by researchers at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, UK. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, this tool has the potential to radicalize the diagnosis of heart disease and improves diagnostic accuracy by 90%. Ultronics analyzes nearly 80,000 data points from every echocardiogram image and renders a near perfect diagnosis that could save millions of lives and has been predicted to save the UK’s National Health System GBP 300 million a year.
Now that’s just the beginning of what digital technology could bring to the table in the future of the healthcare sector. Here are 5 types of digital tools that are gaining popularity in the healthcare sector now:
1. Self-service tools
These tools help in streamlining patient appointments with the doctor and include features like online appointment scheduling, electronic payment, auto-renewal of prescriptions and more. These tools give patients a way to manage their health without the hassle of dealing with the administration.
Further Reading: Check out how Fingent helped streamline healthcare operations with an online service platform.
2. Wellness tools
These tools include technology that helps you monitor the status of your health and maintain your wellness through fitness coaching, real-time consultation and more. These include apps as well as wearable technology that helps people stay on top of their health goals.
Applications based on this concept help users schedule consultations, calculate fitness levels, schedule sessions, set goals, generate exercises and record performance and change exercise plans accordingly.
3. Clinical transparency tools
These tools are designed to decrease information asymmetry and give consumers the necessary data to make informed decisions with regard to their healthcare. By giving patients insights into the performance of different providers and a transparent view across disciplines, these tools help in clinical decision making.
A good tool will have interactive, visual graphs linked across multiple disciplines, real-time access to vital information, detailed analysis of performance across parameters, and highlight key performance issues and indicators.
4. Financial transparency tools
These tools will give consumers access to the different financial aspect of health care, including options in insurance, fees charged by different health care providers and more. This will help them compare the prices and benefits offered and make informed financial decisions.
5. Remote Monitoring tools
These tools allow for effective remote monitoring and care and seamless e-visits with providers. With these tools, a doctor can monitor the progress of a patient, assign reminders and tasks for the patient and engage with caretakers for better health care.
Join The Digital Revolution in Healthcare
“The reality out there is the system is complex, and we all own a part of that, whether you’re on the payer side or the provider side,” says Gregory Brown, a divisional senior vice president at Health Care Service Corp. “We need to invest in our digital capabilities in a way that will advance simplifying the system and help educate our consumer base out there.”
Fingent has worked with clients across the healthcare sector to achieve this goal. Give us a call and get set to join the digital revolution to better healthcare.
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With the Industrial Internet, Industry 4.0, industrial robots and more, the manufacturing sector is seeing sweeping reforms in their processes and core functions. These reforms are making them faster, bigger and better and all of this has been possible because of digital transformation.
Digital transformation has changed the face of the manufacturing industry. From behemoth machinery and an army of workers, manufacturers have transformed themselves to a sleek, modern and more efficient entity. This blog will explore how digital transformation has made that possible. We will also see the most important digital trends in the manufacturing industry.
The Importance of Digital Transformation in Manufacturing
Change has been constant in the manufacturing industry. Right from the Industrial Revolution of the 1700s to today’s Industry 4.0, the manufacturing sector has had to adapt to the changes in political climates, economic upheavals, and technology. As technology fast forwards in our times, it is imperative that manufacturers keep up. The only way they can prepare their businesses for the digital revolution of our day is through digital transformation. Here are a few ways in which digital transformation is benefitting the manufacturing industry.
1. Keeping up with Customer Demands
A recent Harvard Business Review study of 75,000 people, showed that the most important factor in building customer loyalty towards an organization is the reduction of effort. Be it in collecting information on products, customer service or getting their needs met faster and more effectively, customers value the path of least effort. This is where the speed of innovation comes in. Manufacturers need to create products that are software-enabled and connected, and they must do this before anybody else!
A digital factory design where development, production, and other cycles aren’t siloed is imperative to this. Digitalization makes it possible for all these cycles to work in tandem and innovate much faster. The vision of a “smart factory” is that it can make critical product decisions about customer demand, design, material selection, scheduling and pricing, all in one process. This would speed up innovation, create personalized products and enhance the overall customer experience exponentially.
2. Refining Processes
Manufacturing is largely a process-driven industry, so there is an incredible amount of focus on process refinement. Digital transformation makes this possible in many ways. Automation of processes is a major step in that direction. This reduces manual errors, helps automatically detect production inefficiencies, allows for the pre-testing of new ideas more economically and helps optimize the performance of workers.
Predictive disruption analytics, KPI monitoring, and other digitally enabled tools help in refining processes as they are happening. This allows manufacturers to identify weaknesses and make improvements quickly. Machine Learning enables instructions and intelligence to be built into the machines as they are developed and deployed. As these machines are intuitive, they learn from the environment and aid in the continuous process refinement.
3. Revenue Gains and Cost Reduction
A PwC survey of over 2,000 participants from companies in nine major industrial sectors and 26 countries, predicts that Industry 4.0 will drive $493B in revenue gains and $ 421B in cost reductions globally by 2020.
These numbers are realized by the many opportunities brought in by digital transformation. The digitization and integration of vertical and horizontal value chains help bring a cohesive focus to the organization’s processes and production. The creation of new digitized products with analytical capabilities and integrating new methods of data collection and analysis helps manufacturers understand and cater to the needs of customers more effectively. Disruptive digital business models allow for a more agile approach throughout the organization and thus optimizes performance and cost. All this and more contribute to significant cost reductions and an increase in revenue.
Digital Transformation Trends in Manufacturing
Different technologies have opened up a wide area of possibilities in the manufacturing industry. Here are 3 Trends that are doing wonders in the manufacturing space.
1. IoT And Industry 4.0
61% of enterprises say that the “Internet of Things (IoT) plays a role in their digital business strategies with manufacturing and high-tech leading all other industries.” The manufacturing industry is evidently recognizing the critical impact of IoT in gaining a competitive edge. In 2016 alone, IoT, accounting for more than $178 billion in revenue. There are many avenues where IoT has helped streamline and simplify manufacturing processes. It is also a key component of Industry 4.0 and enables connected devices. This allows for the streamlining of internal operations and the optimization of products and operations through insights from the cloud.
Industry 4.0 has also made possible the trend of mass customization, which is characterized by a better and more effective response to the demands of customers. Connectedness and mobility have led to faster innovation and response. Logistics and supply chains have also benefited greatly from this connectedness.
Related Reading: Find how IoT is reshaping industries.
2. Machine Learning
Machine Learning has elevated the processes and operations of the manufacturing industry in many ways. A PwC study entitled Digital Factories 2020: Shaping the future of manufacturing showed that the adoption of machine learning and analytics by manufacturers to improve predictive maintenance is predicted to increase in the next five years by 38%. Advanced machine learning algorithms are able to identify and implement improvements in processes and operations, thus leading to reduced costs and increased revenue.
A study by The World Economic Forum (WEF) discussed how manufacturers are recognizing the ability to combine emerging technologies including IoT, AI, and machine learning to improve asset tracking accuracy, supply chain visibility, and inventory optimization. Thus, in various ways, Machine Learning is greatly contributing to lowering the cost of production, improving the speed of innovation and operations and enhancing the customer experience by accurately identifying and meeting customer demands.
3. Advanced Robotics
Robotics is no more confined to the realms of accomplishing repetitive assembly line tasks. Robots are now intuitive, trainable and have the ability to mimic human attributes of dexterity and critical thinking. This makes them a formidable force in manufacturing.
Robots with advanced sensors and collaborative ability are now being deployed in hazardous environments to collect information and data pertinent to the manufacturing industry’s needs. This contributes greatly to providing safe working environments for humans. Apart from the physical robotic machines, Robotic Process Automation (RPA) has also grown in importance. RPA goes a step above and beyond physical tasks and replicates human thinking ability and transforms processes and operations to the next level. Recently, the term ‘cobot’ was coined by professors at Northwestern University in America. This underlines the significant progress in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) where robots are now able to collaborate with humans in the workspace.
Related Reading: Read on to know how robotic process can help accelerate business growth.
Owning Digital Transformation
There can be no doubt that digital transformation is the way to go if manufacturers want to keep up with competition and stay relevant. Capitalizing on these digital trends for your business need not be a daunting task. At Fingent, we help manufacturers make sense of digital transformation and adopt it successfully. We can help you make a success of your digital transformation. Get in touch with us and see how.
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Over the past couple of years, digitization has enabled technology-driven small companies to outclass established business houses worldwide. With industries ranging from taxi-services to banking, transforming digitally, more and more enterprises are realizing the importance of making digitization their number one priority. The tech-savvy consumer base, which consists of the population below the age of 30 and covers 50% of the global population, is considered to be the key driver behind this realization. Such folks have the rising affinity to expect every business organization they interact with to provide the fastest and most satisfying experiences each time. As a business, turning deaf ears to customer’s expectations can lead to unrevivable consequences. From AI to blockchain, IoT and RPA, the list of digital innovation you need to pay attention to are huge.
It’s nearing the first quarter completion of 2019 and we thought this would be the perfect time to show you the digital innovations that we believe will reshape businesses in the coming months and future years. Here are our top 5 picks from technologies that enterprises need to watch out for by 2020:
Flexible Cloud Computing
When cloud computing became mainstream a couple of years ago, there was a rush from enterprises to build their technology competence on the cloud. This resulted in several businesses having their own private cloud ecosystems that supported their own limited digital innovations. Today, many available digital tools require a complex network of cloud resource. This has reshaped the cloud computing ecosystem which has now transitioned into intelligently connected networks that have Public, Private and Hybrid cloud partitions working in sync to help businesses derive value from technology running on these platforms.
Different IT workloads may need to be run simultaneously over multiple cloud platforms to achieve enterprise goals and this has resulted in the so-called Multicloud saga. This is one area which will see more developments and interest from the business community in 2019 as the previous year saw major cloud service providers acquiring or developing solutions to club their multiple cloud ecosystems to serve client interests.
Related Reading: Find how a cloud platform like INFINCE can help businesses leverage technologies more efficiently.
Blockchain in Mainstream
The past couple of years saw considerable investments from the business community in the blockchain. We believe there will be mainstream applications coming out in 2019 that will revolutionize areas such as data security, digital identity verification, and intelligent automation. Sectors such as BFSI, logistics, regulatory bodies, and government agencies have already started using blockchain to set up complex autonomous verification and validation systems that require minimal human intervention, thanks to the capacity of blockchain to be immutable.
In the coming years, more mainstream consumer-facing areas of businesses would be driven by blockchain based autonomous operational interfaces and it could set the stage for innovations akin to self-driving cars. Many technology companies would be coming out with mainstream solutions having blockchain essentials embedded into their core and these would further enhance business capabilities for enterprises worldwide.
Related Reading: Find how blockchain technology can transform the supply-chain industry.
While this concept has been around for a while, we think it will make more impact this year as more companies are investing in this front. The idea is to create a digital persona for every product or service business has to offer its customers. This persona would be used to arrive at choosing the right supporting digital enablers like data generators (sensors, IoT enabled devices, etc.) as well as the right decision path (data models and implementations of data science to arrive at success models). Such persona would be used to ascertain an offering’s readiness to the market, the cost required to maintain it viable, the processes and business models that need re-defining to support it and so on. The entire exercise though a bit complex will bring about a strategic advantage to adopters as their business offerings would be more aligned for digital success than competitors.
2019 will see consumer experiences moving to a more immersive phenomenon where almost everyone from a local retail shop to an e-commerce giant will offer interactive experiences courtesy of technology like augmented and virtual reality. Gartner says that by 2022, nearly 70% of all businesses would be using immersive customer experiences in some form on an experimental basis. Such immersive technology will find its way into numerous consumer-facing scenarios like demonstrations, virtual assistants, field services and so on. With gadgets supporting immersive experiences like smart glasses and wearables being available for very affordable prices, the consumer base requiring such experiences will grow tremendously in the coming years. The possibilities are limitless and businesses small or big can capitalize on this opportunity to improve their competence.
Artificial intelligence is no longer a trend to watch out for because it has already gone mainstream over the last two years. Today, the focus should be on solutions that have been made available by harnessing the power of AI. One major solution that has gained attention now are conversational bots. From websites to major apps, a multitude of consumer-facing interactions is now handled by programmed bots that can interpret queries and respond intelligently.
Be it ordering food from a restaurant, booking a cab or even carry out a banking transaction, tech-savvy consumers are increasingly depending on personal digital assistants or bots to aid them in every step of the way. The proliferation of smart devices like smart home speakers, wearables and other IoT enabled home and personal electronic devices have created immense possibilities for a business to connect more effectively with end users. Today, you can ask your smart coffee maker to brew a coffee in the most precise variants of taste and smell without even having to touch the coffee maker. You can simply ask the personal assistant on your phone to do so.
The top technologies mentioned above concludes that 2019 and the years to come is going to be a breakthrough year for several technological innovations. Business leaders need to hone their digital skills to keep pace with the rapidly growing market. On the positive side, most of these technology platforms or solutions come in affordable subscription basis and hence it is pretty much accessible to any enterprise despite their business size. However, the biggest differentiator for your success is the right technology advisory and implementation.
This is where our consultants at Fingent can become your best asset. With years of experience in empowering multiple businesses to achieve their digital aspirations, our world-class services can help you achieve your digital dreams seamlessly. Talk to us to know more about how we can help you embrace the above innovations and much more into your mainstream business operations.