Tag Archives: Operational

New eBook! State of Mainframe Operational Intelligence for 2018

We’ve recently completed our annual mainframe operational intelligence surveys of IT and data analytics professionals to identify trends, challenges and opportunities faced by enterprises investing in mainframe and Big Data technologies going into 2018. Respondents represented a wide range of IT disciplines and spanned vertical industries including financial services, insurance, health care, IT and government agencies.

Our latest eBook, State of Mainframe Operational Intelligence for 2018, takes a look at the current state of the mainframe within organizations and what professionals are looking to do moving forward.

blog banner SotMF Operational Intelligence New eBook! State of Mainframe Operational Intelligence for 2018

While organizations are looking for ways to optimize mainframe resources, reduce costs and re-invest the savings in newer technologies and use cases, they still rely on these systems for their most critical applications.

Download the eBook now and see the top objectives respondents identify for their mainframe environments.

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Expert Interview (Part 2): Ralph Hünermann on the Importance of Operational Intelligence for Digital Marketers

In Part 1 of this interview, Dr. Ralph Hünermann (@RHuenermann) discussed how Operational Intelligence can improve data management. In today’s post, he provides his thoughts around how Operational Intelligence is important, especially for digital marketers.

What are the benefits of taking advantage of Operational Intelligence? What are the risks of not using it?

Taking advantage of Operational Intelligence means to revolutionize user communication by designing every digital touch-point to be data-driven and situation-aware. Actually, a lot of brands (and digital marketers) are striving for this – and they get better and better.

Hence, users are already getting used to touchpoints that anticipate their needs. Soon, they will even expect this. Those companies that do not fulfill their expectations will be rejected by potential customers soon and, therefore, be left behind in our digital, customer-centric age. 

blog eBook Customer360 Expert Interview (Part 2): Ralph Hünermann on the Importance of Operational Intelligence for Digital Marketers

Think about our e-commerce use case – here, this has already become reality: big, innovative players like Amazon or Zalando are providing intuitive, personalized services. As a result, online shoppers consider this as a matter of course and perceive “traditional” online shops as outdated.

Related: Customer 360 and the Data Integration Paradox

How should digital marketers approach creating personalized experiences for customers in real-time? Where should they begin?

Personalizing customer experiences situation-aware means to implement the most relevant approach for each individual user and his situation. By this, brands need to evolve diverse decision options first. This may be a great effort. Hence, we from odoscope recommend to test it on a simple page element first in order to experience its benefits and revenue potential individually for their use case.

Related: Expert Interview: Avishai Sharon on the Value of Marketing Personalization

The perfect testing element for online retailers are product lists: the products displayed already exist and solely must be re-arranged in the individually most relevant order. In spite of this very low effort, the results may be mind-blowing: any individual customer may immediately find the product he desires most in his actual situation.

What trends or innovations in Big Data are you following today? Why do they interest and excite you?

The most inspiring innovations in Big Data for us are all part of Operational Intelligence: data Integration is the game-changer for companies who desire to master their Big Data mountain by finally making it actionable. Real-Time Analyses are the key for brands striving to no longer take imprecise estimations, but rather see the present comprehensively and integrated without simplifications.

Last, but not least, Prescriptive Analytics – the most sophisticated stage of analytics – empowers companies to probably influence the future according to self-defined objectives without any human interference. This is my vision of our future data-driven world.

Do you know which data points are the keys to obtaining a complete view of your customers to drive digital marketing success? Get advice and helpful tips in our latest eBook: Getting Closer to Your Customers in a Big Data World

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Expert Interview Series (Part 1): Ralph Hünermann of odoscope on Better Data Management with Operational Intelligence

Dr. Ralph Hünermann (@RHuenermann) is the founder and CEO of odoscope, the state-of-the-art Operational Intelligence platform (SaaS) for optimizing your digital touch-points.

We recently asked Ralph for his insight on the future of data management through operational intelligence. Here’s what he shared:

Can you tell us about the mission behind odoscope? How are you hoping to impact the world of digital marketing?

Imagine the ability to appropriately address each individual user in each individual situation. At odoscope, this is our vision: Revolutionizing online communication by aligning digital touchpoints on the current situation.

We empower brands to base user approaches on their existing data treasures – and take both individual and situation-aware criteria into account. We believe that every digital touchpoint should be designed like this: data-driven and situation-aware. The results will be perfectly relevant customer experiences, optimized for each individual user and situation in the digital world.

blog BD Legacy Expert Interview Series (Part 1): Ralph Hünermann of odoscope on Better Data Management with Operational Intelligence

What are the biggest challenges you’re observing in companies in how they manage and leverage data today? What are the most common mistakes you observe brands making?

Most companies still struggle with making their data actionable. It’s not that it would be a lack of skills or technology that kills Advanced Analytics and thus intelligent decision-making – it’s plain old access to the data.

First, their data is siloed between a variety of different departments and apps. Second, they lack the ownership over their (raw) data. A common enterprise uses about 500 apps simultaneously to collect, manage and analyze its data. Most of the apps’ vendors claim the ownership over the (raw) data. See Google Analytics – its users only get access to the analytical results. Thus, it is impossible for common brands to connect their data, correlate it and gain actionable insights. Instead, they analyze their siloed data – an unbelievable waste of potential.

What should companies be doing with their data today in order to make it work for them? What should they be doing to prepare for the future of data technology?

In order to completely leverage the potential of (big) data, brands must ensure their ability to combine any existing (raw) data. This means to choose an analysis vendor who leaves the data ownership in their own hands (Google Analytics doesn’t!). This means to break down data silos. This means to reinvent itself as data-driven through progressively understanding and benefiting from the data in an organization-wide manner. And this means to choosing the right technology, which may combine data from any source into one platform.

What is Operational Intelligence? Why should organizations care about it?

Operational Intelligence (OI) is the state-of-the-art response to those tough requirements. This disrupting technology basically works with a combination of in-memory computing and data-parallel analyses. Thus, it enables the continuous storing, updating and analysis of live, fast-changing data sets. These real-time data may be enriched with historical data from all possible sources.

The result: An unsiloed data lake that enables a 360°-view on a brand and its operation as a whole. Ground-breaking Prescriptive Analyses scrutinize this data lake on hidden correlations. As a result, they determine the specific actions required for achieving a certain goal – e.g. the most relevant user approach according to his/her certain situation. Because Operational Intelligence includes a self-learning system, the analyses’ findings are included in the data lake. By this, the decisions are constantly being refined.

What does Operational Intelligence look like in action?

Currently, especially e-commerce vendors leverage Operational Intelligence for individually tailored user approaches:

odoscope operational intelligence diagram Expert Interview Series (Part 1): Ralph Hünermann of odoscope on Better Data Management with Operational Intelligence

The Operational intelligence system in action: 1. Tracking, 2. Self-learning, 3. Correlation-based real-time clustering and 4. Prescriptive analytics

The OI-system firstly tracks user interactions with the displayed shop contents and integrates them into the data lake (step 1: tracking). Secondly, it connects data from all possible sources (e.g. web analytics, CRM, CMS, stock, returns,…). This provides the historical, un-siloed data lake for upcoming analyses (step 2: self-learning). When a user enters the shop, the system records his profile and situational properties. It then detects historical situations most similar to the current one for each site element (step 3: correlation-based real-time clustering). Lastly, prescriptive analyses find the most relevant elements for the current users’ peer groups. Those with the highest conversion probability are displayed automatically “per click” (step 4: prescriptive analytics). This is how an online shop may be adapted on any individual user in his whole diversity. The result: a perfectly relevant shopping-experience.

In tomorrow’s Part 2, Ralph builds on today’s discussion, diving deeper into why Operational Intelligence is important.

Legacy data in Hadoop causing unwanted roadblocks? Don’t miss opportunities to maximize the breadth of your data lake – Download our latest eBook, Bringing Big Data to Life, to learn trending insights on integrating mainframe data into Hadoop.

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How to Simplify the Most Hated Operational Task for all Project Based Organizations

What is the most hated operational or administrative task that any professional services resource needs to do? Time entry.

Some businesses can afford to let it slide, but in a project focused business, accurate time entry is crucial.

Let’s be honest, this task will never be loved by the people that need to account for their time on a daily or weekly basis. But you can make it easier for them.

The Complicated Time Entry Method

In my experience, many companies have a disjointed process of collecting time.  Often it is managed within the ERP system because the billing is generated from the ERP system, not necessarily from CRM. The company might have a custom interface between ERP and CRM that shows a high level project plan, but doesn’t have all the project tasks. Usually people enter their time there or manage their time on spreadsheets and then send that to an admin assistant who will aggregate all of the time, assign it to a project and manually type it into the ERP system to process billing.

In this scenario the company is not leveraging the information within the CRM system which is where all of customers, projects and project tasks are outlined.

This type of complicated time entry wastes time, frustrates users and is often inaccurate.  And managers are not able to access updated reports at any point in the project.

The Simple Time Entry Method

The Project Management tool from AbleBridge provides integrated time entry from within Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  The time sheet interface allows someone to look at every single day of the week, easily pick the projects and project tasks that they’re working on and enter their associated time. Both billable and non-billable time.

Each project task under the main project has a budget. Time is entered against the specific budget line item.  This means you can always see the estimated time vs actual time spent vs time billed for each project.

This system dramatically reduces the amount of time it takes resources to enter their time and keeps administrative efforts to a minimum.

Our simplified time entry system also allows for deep analysis.  By looking at a project report from Dynamics CRM managers can look at trends and make decisions to keep the current project on track and plan for future projects.

Imagine a project manager asking these questions:

“I see that we are under budget here and we’re about done with the project task.”

  • That is great, but why are we under budget?
  • Did we do something more efficiently?
  • Did we budget too high?
  • Did we miss something?

“I see we put in three times the actual time that we budgeted for this task.”

  • Do we need to increase the budget on the next project?
  • Do we need to circle back with the resource and ask why it took so long?
  • Were they spinning their wheels on an issue that can be resolved?
  • Did they ask others for help?

Having a time entry system that is correctly integrated with your project management system in Dynamics CRM allows you to have that type of insight.  This leads to better projects, happier clients and better internal resource management.

Also Read: How I Get My Team to Enter Project Time Daily in Dynamics CRM

If you are interested in learning more about the simplified time entry method within Project Management for Dynamics CRM contact AbleBridge.

By AbleBridge, Massachusetts Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Partner, now a Crowe Horwath company.

www.AbleBridge.com

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM

AbleBridge ProjMan 728x90 625x77 How to Simplify the Most Hated Operational Task for all Project Based Organizations

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CRM Software Blog

CRM as an Operational Platform for Financial Services: 5 Goals One Firm Achieved

Sometimes it is not what the application was designed to do, but how the application is applied to a particular situation that the real benefits are realized.

crm key to business efficiency CRM as an Operational Platform for Financial Services: 5 Goals One Firm Achieved

A large hedge fund was looking for a single system to accomplish some very specific goals. They looked at several point solutions for the financial services industry, but all required some integration with other systems. They looked at ERP solutions, but these were too generalized without customization.

In Need of a New CRM Solution

The firm also needed a new CRM solution and chose Microsoft Dynamics CRM for handling client data and interactions. When they saw a Financial Services solution was available built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM, they realized that a single platform could be used to handle all their customer relationship management along with the other goals of the organization without trying integrate multiple software systems.

Moving to Microsoft Dynamics CRM

The switch to Microsoft Dynamics CRM helped the firm achieve the following goals:

1. Manage all investor and contact information, including forms and agreements.

2. Create a repeatable, end-to-end process for transaction processing—from initiation by the client to final settlement and cash movement—all at low risk to the firm or the client.

3. Create workflows that allow for multiple levels of controls and sign-offs, increasing efficiency while lowering risk.

4. Track financial transactions for audit purposes.

5. Manage complex, high-volume reporting requirements.

Also, because the system integrated with the firm’s back-end accounting system, all investor transactions originated in CRM were automatically transferred.

The move achieved a reduction in cost and easier integration because only one software solution was purchased and implemented.

Find out more about how this firm utilized Dynamics CRM as both a sales tool and as a powerful operational platform with Green Beacon’s Financial Services Solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Get the Case Study

by Green Beacon Solutions

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Internal Control – From Necessary Evil To Operational Excellence

IoT Isbel QA01 300x200 Internal Control – From Necessary Evil To Operational ExcellenceHyperconnectivity, the concept synonymous with the Internet of Things (IoT), is the emerging face of IT in which applications, machine-based sensors, and high-speed networks merge to create constantly updated streams of data. Hyperconnectivity can enable new business processes and services and help companies make better day-to-day decisions. In a recent survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, 6 of 10 CIOs said that not being able to adapt for hyperconnectivity is a “grave risk” to
their business.

IoT Isbel QA02 300x200 Internal Control – From Necessary Evil To Operational ExcellenceIoT technologies are beginning to drive new competitive advantage by helping consumers manage their lives (Amazon Echo), save money (Ôasys water usage monitoring), and secure their homes (August Smart Lock). The IoT also has the potential to save lives. In healthcare, this means streaming data from patient monitoring devices to keep caregivers informed of critical indicators or preventing equipment failures in the ER. In manufacturing, the IoT helps drive down the cost of production through real-time alerts on the shop floor that indicate machine issues and automatically correct problems. That means lower costs for consumers.

Several experts from the IT world share their ideas on the challenges and opportunities in this rapidly expanding sector.

qa q Internal Control – From Necessary Evil To Operational ExcellenceWhere are the most exciting and viable opportunities right now for companies looking into IoT strategies to drive their business?

Mike Kavis: The best use case is optimizing manufacturing by knowing immediately what machines or parts need maintenance, which can improve quality and achieve faster time to market. Agriculture is all over this as well. Farms are looking at how they can collect information about the environment to optimize yield. Even insurance companies are getting more information about their customers and delivering custom solutions. Pricing is related to risk, and in the past that has been linked to demographics. If you are a teenager, you are automatically deemed a higher risk, but now providers can tap into usage data on how the vehicle is being driven and give you a lower rate if you present a lower risk. That can be a competitive advantage.

Dinesh Sharma: Let me give you an example from mining. If you have sensored power tools and you have a full real-time view of your assets, you can position them in the appropriate places. Wearable technology lets you know where the people who might need these tools are, which then enables more efficient use of your assets. The mine is more efficient, which means reduced costs, and that ultimately results in a margin advantage over your competition. Over time, the competitive advantage will build and there will be more money to invest in further digital transformation capabilities. Meanwhile, other mining companies that aren’t investing in these technologies fall further behind.

qa q Internal Control – From Necessary Evil To Operational ExcellenceWith the IoT, how should CIOs and other executives think and act differently?

Martha Heller: The points of connection between IT and the business should be as strategic and consultative as possible. For example, the folks from IT who work directly with R&D, marketing, and data scientists should be unencumbered with issues such as network reliability, help desk issues, and application support. Their job is to be a business leader and to focus on innovative ideas, not to worry for an instant about “Oh your e-mail isn’t working?” There’s also obviously the need for speed and agility. We’ve got to find a way to transform a business idea into something that the businessperson can touch and feel as quickly as possible.

Greg Kahn: Companies are realizing that they need to partner with others to move the IoT promise forward. It’s not feasible that one company can create an entire ecosystem on their own. After all, a consumer might own a Dell laptop, a Samsung TV, an Apple watch, a Nest device, an August Smart Lock, and a Whirlpool refrigerator.

It is highly unrealistic to think that consumers will exchange all of their electronic equipment and appliances for new “connected devices.” They are more likely to accept bridge solutions (such as what Amazon is offering with its Dash Replenishment Service and Echo) that supplement existing products. CIOs and other C-suite executives will need to embrace partnerships boldly and spend considerable time strategizing with like-minded individuals at other companies. They should also consider setting up internal venture arms or accelerators as a way to develop new solutions to challenges that the IoT will bring.

qa q Internal Control – From Necessary Evil To Operational ExcellenceWhat is the emerging technology strategy for effectively enabling the IoT?

Kavis: IT organizations are still torn between DIY cloud and public cloud, yet with the IoT and the petabytes of data being produced, it changes the thinking. Is it really economical to build this on your own when you can get the storage for pennies in the cloud? The IoT also requires a different architecture that is highly distributed, can process high volumes of data, and has high availability to manage real-time data streaming.

On-premise systems aren’t really made for these challenges, whereas the public cloud is built for autoscaling. The hardest part is connecting all the sensors and securing them. Cloud providers, however, are bringing to market IoT platforms that connect the sensors to the cloud infrastructure, so developers can start creating business logic and applications on top of the data. Vendors are taking care of the IT plumbing of getting data into the systems and handling all that complexity so the CIO doesn’t need to be the expert.

Kahn: All organizations, regardless of whether they outsource data storage and analysis or keep it in house, need to be ready for the influx of information that’s going to be generated by IoT devices. It is an order of magnitude greater than what we see today. Those that can quickly leverage that data to improve operational efficiency, and consumer engagement will win.

Sharma: The future is going to be characterized by machine interactions with core business systems instead of by human interactions. Having a platform that understands what’s going on inside a store – the traffic near certain products together with point-of-sale data – means we can observe when there’s been a lot of traffic but the product’s just not selling. Or if we can see that certain products are selling well, we can feed that data directly into our supply chain. So without any human interaction, when we start to see changes in buying behavior we can update our predictive models. And if we see traffic increasing in another part of the store in a similar pattern we can refine the algorithm. We can automatically increase supply of the product that’s in the other part of the store. The concept of a core system that runs your process and workflow for your business but is hyperconnected will be essential in the future.

qa q Internal Control – From Necessary Evil To Operational ExcellencePrivacy and security are a few of the top concerns with hyperconnectivity. Are there any useful approaches yet?

IoT Isbel QA03 Internal Control – From Necessary Evil To Operational ExcellenceKavis: We have a lot less control over what is coming into companies from all these devices, which is creating many more openings for hackers to get inside an organization. There will be specialized security platforms and services to address this, and hardware companies are putting security on sensors in the field. The IoT offers great opportunities for security experts wanting to specialize in this area.

Kahn: The privacy and security issues are not going to be solved anytime soon. Firms will have to learn how to continually develop new defense mechanisms to thwart cyber threats. We’ve seen that play out in the United States. In the past two years, data breaches have occurred at both brick-and-mortar and online retailers. The brick-and-mortar retail industry responded with a new encryption device: the chip card payment reader. I believe it will become a cost of business going forward to continually create new encryption capabilities. I have two immediate suggestions for companies: (1) develop multifactor authentication to limit the threat of cyber attacks, and (2) put protocols in place whereby you can shut down portions of systems quickly if breaches do occur, thereby protecting as much data as possible.

Polly Traylor is a freelance writer who reports frequently about business and technology.

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Digitalist Magazine

Mobile Commerce, Speed, Operational Tempos and the Real-Time Enterprise, Part 3

This is part 3 in the article series.  Read part 1 and part 2 here.

The Shelf Life of Data and the Need for Speed

ThinkstockPhotos 89674351 Mobile Commerce, Speed, Operational Tempos and the Real Time Enterprise, Part 3



Today enterprises are facing a massive challenge that will require new strategies and investment. In fact, 80 percent of survey participants reported that increasing demand for mobile apps is forcing IT departments to rethink and change how they have designed IT environments.  Rethinking and changing IT environments requires investment and budget, and 83 percent believe the demand for mobile applications will force enterprises to make major investments in their IT environments to better support real-time interactions with mobile apps and to remain competitive.

Our survey reveals that real-time mobile data is critical for personalizing and optimizing the mobile user’s experience and promoting the adoption and utilization of mobile applications and websites. We have also found that organizations, IT environments, and business processes will require changes in order to support a faster operational tempo. One of the key reasons these changes are necessary is the shelf life of data. Data has greater economic value the faster it can be collected, transmitted, analyzed, consumed, and utilized. This brings us back to the speed requirement. If the mobile user can instantly be presented with a personalized and contextually relevant experience based on real-time and previously collected and analyzed data, then the user will realize the greatest value and utility.

Situational Awareness and Information Dominance

Military strategists today believe the size of opponents and their weapons platforms are less representative of military power than the quality of their sensors systems, mobile communication links, and their ability to utilize information to their advantage. We believe these same conclusions are also relevant in the commercial sector.

An enterprise’s ability to use information as a competitive advantage is central to a successful business strategy today. If a manager has the responsibility of optimizing the schedules of 5,000 service technicians during an ice storm, or routing 10,000 delivery trucks, then the faster they receive accurate data from the field – the better they can perform their jobs.

ThinkstockPhotos 79085399%2B%25281%2529 Mobile Commerce, Speed, Operational Tempos and the Real Time Enterprise, Part 3



Information advantages often involve improving situational awareness — the ability to understand events and actions around you. This takes visibility and data. Visibility happens when people, mobile, and sensor data collection technologies are integrated with IT systems and processes that enable the measurement, collection, transmission, analysis, and reporting of remote activities and events. The faster this can be accomplished, the faster data-driven decisions can be made and tactics deployed.

Historically, it has been difficult to manage remote workforces due to a lack of visibility. There are too many unknowns and a lack of accountability, which forces managers to make decisions based upon conjecture, rather than on real-time data analysis. Robert L. Bateman writes in his book Digital War, “The three questions that have befuddled soldiers since the beginning of human history are:

  1. Where am I?
  2. Where are my buddies?
  3. Where is the enemy?” 

Bateman speaks to the difficulty of managing from afar. The lack of real-time visibility often means critical operational decisions and optimized scheduling choices are delayed, which results in the inefficient utilization of resources and assets. Today technologies exist to eliminate many of those operational blind spots.

Network-Centric Operations and Data Collection

The problem: Technology [used between WWI and WWII] was viewed in discrete packets as it applied to narrowly defined areas. As a result the US military did not fully develop the possible combinations of technology with tactics.” –Robert L. Bateman, Digital War

Many commercial organizations today retain the narrow view and strategy that Bateman wrote about. They continue to think about and deploy mobile and sensor technologies in line-of-business (LOB) silos. They believe in the utility of these technologies, but have no enterprise-wide strategy for combining mobile and sensor technologies with tactics to achieve an overall information advantage across the enterprise.

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Modern military organizations use the term Network Centric Warfare strategies to describe an information-based strategy for winning wars. These strategies have been taught in military organizations for decades, but are less understood in the commercial sector, where these strategies can be found with names such as Network Centric Operations or Networked Field Services. Military organizations that have implemented Network Centric strategies are accustomed to using a wide range of mobile devices and sensors to create a web or grid of data collection capabilities that are all wirelessly networked together for the purpose of enhancing real-time situational awareness, organizational agility, collaboration, and decision-making. Commercial enterprises share many of the same requirements, but as our survey data shows, they have yet to adopt the necessary enterprise-wide strategies or IT systems with enough speed to support real-time interactions.

Given the importance of an information advantage, what should commercial organizations focus on in 2015 and beyond? Broadly the answers are:

  • Recognizing that information can be used as a competitive advantage
  • Recognizing the importance of achieving real-time operational tempos
  • Developing and implementing enterprise-wide network centric operational strategies
  • Utilizing mobile applications and sensors to reduce operational blind spots and improve situational awareness
  • Personalizing and contextualizing the mobile user experience using real-time data and Code Halos strategies
  • Employing artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the speed of decision-making and the execution of tactics

An organization’s ability to be competitive now and in the future largely depends on its ability to successfully navigate the process of digital and organizational transformation to achieve an information advantage.  If you would like to brainstorm these issues and discuss your specific business environment please contact us.

************************************************************************

Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Read more at Future of Work
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin’sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies


***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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Kevin Benedict on Technology, Business Strategies and the Future

Mobile Commerce, Speed, Operational Tempos and the Real-Time Enterprise, Part 2

This article is part 2 in a series I wrote and published in an intelligence and defense industry trade journal.  Part 1 can be found here.

Operational Tempos and Mobility

ThinkstockPhotos 57571789 Mobile Commerce, Speed, Operational Tempos and the Real Time Enterprise, Part 2

Supporting real-time mobility is more than just a technology issue. It also requires companies to support real-time operational tempos. An operational tempo, in the context of this article, is defined as the speed or pace of business operations. Achieving a satisfactory operational tempo in order to support real-time mobility is a significant challenge and extends far beyond the IT environment and deep into decision-making and business processes.

Changing an enterprise’s operational tempo requires strong leadership that can transform the entire organization. It often requires significant IT updates and upgrades, organizational changes, and reengineering business processes and decision-making matrixes to align with real-time demands.

The military strategist and U.S. Air Force Colonel John Boyd taught that in order to win or gain superiority over an opponent, one should operate at a faster tempo than the opponent. Today competition is increasingly around the quality of mobile users’ experiences, data management, integrated IT systems, and the speed with which data can be collected, analyzed, and utilized. Robert Leonhard in the book The Art of Maneuver writes on the role of tempo and speed, “If I can develop and pursue my plan to defeat you faster than you can execute your plan to defeat me, then your plan is unimportant.” The words “faster than you can execute” in Leonhard’s context refer to the tempo of operations.

In a fast changing world, mobile applications are competing for users and acceptance against the

status quo (traditional paper or desktop processes) and competitors’ apps. In order for organizations to be successful, they must deliver mobile applications that will meet the expectations of mobile users. A key component of a good mobile user experience, as we previously identified, is the speed with which it can load and respond to clicks, swipes, taps, commands, and queries. When asked in a survey how significant speed is to a user’s overall mobile application experience, 80 percent answered “very important.”

Contextually Relevant Mobile Apps

ThinkstockPhotos 450745919 Mobile Commerce, Speed, Operational Tempos and the Real Time Enterprise, Part 2It is well known that the more personalized and contextually relevant a mobile application or website is to the user, the more successful it will be at delivering a good user experience. Mobile apps and websites by their very nature are used on the move. That means the context in which a mobile device is being used changes rapidly. This data can be about locations, time, activities, history, and behaviors. This important data must quickly be collected, analyzed, and consumed by the mobile application fast enough to personalize the user’s experience before the context changes. Cognizant’s Center for the Future of Work calls this Code Halos.  This refers to all the data about a person, object, or organization that can be used to personalize and contextualize a mobile and digital experience.

The data required to personalize and contextualize an experience takes time to process and utilize. It often requires many different integrated IT systems. It needs to be captured, transmitted, analyzed, and shared in real time with the mobile application and used to personalize the user experience. The speed with which all of these steps can be executed is important. No matter how great a mobile application’s design, delays in retrieving or interacting with back-office business or IT systems equate to negative user experiences. This is true for business-to-business, business-to-employee, or business-to-consumer mobile applications. In order to be successful, IT systems must operate at speeds quick enough to satisfy all of these different categories of mobile users. This requires a serious review of every IT, operational, and business process component that ultimately impacts the speed of mobile applications.

Stay tuned for part 3 in this series.

************************************************************************

Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
View my profile on LinkedIn
Read more at Future of Work
Learn about mobile strategies at MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict
Subscribe to Kevin’sYouTube Channel
Join the Linkedin Group Strategic Enterprise Mobility
Join the Google+ Community Mobile Enterprise Strategies


***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at fivefilters.org/content-only/faq.php#publishers.

MobileEnterpriseStrategies.com

Mobile Commerce, Speed, Operational Tempos and the Real-Time Enterprise, Part 1

ThinkstockPhotos AA047299 Mobile Commerce, Speed, Operational Tempos and the Real Time Enterprise, Part 1

In a recent survey of eighty IT and business professionals, 73 percent responded that having optimized mobile applications and user experiences was “very important to critical” to their company’s future success.  In the same survey however, 78 percent reported their mobile strategies and plans were inhibited or limited by their existing IT environment. These results reveal a critical gap between the requirements for success and the reality of the obstacles enterprises are facing. Overcoming these challenges is the strategic imperative facing large enterprises today.

Enterprises understand that digital transformations being driven by mobile technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) are changing their industries and markets. Consumer behaviors are changing at speeds never before seen, which impacts how businesses operate and bring products to market. These rapid changes are forcing enterprises to change their strategies in R&D, manufacturing, distribution, marketing, and sales. They are being forced to reconsider budget priorities and plans. They feel uneasiness. They are concerned with their ability to remain competitive, to understand real- time market trends, and to be agile and flexible enough to respond in time. They do know, however, that mobile technologies, sensors, and information management are at the forefront of these changes and are key components of any plans and strategies.

As organizations begin developing mobile strategies and implementing mobile apps, they quickly realize that simply developing and deploying basic mobile apps, infrastructure, and frameworks are not enough. They must push further and implement a real-time enterprise to remain competitive. This real-time requirement is at the root of many additional challenges. Eighty-four percent of survey participants reported that they have IT systems too slow or incapable of supporting real- time mobility, which negatively impacts mobile app performance and user experiences.

Jonathan Gabbai, Head of International Mobile Product at eBay, recently reported that almost half of eBay’s transactions globally are now touched by mobile.  Users conduct product research, create wish lists, and complete transactions using mobile applications. With so much business now depending on mobile device, application, and website performance, the user experience must be outstanding in order to be competitive. An October 2014 Harris Poll survey found that 37 percent of U.S. smartphone and tablet owners now favor mobile shopping over in-store shopping, and Google reports that 79 percent of consumers now say they use a smartphone to help with shopping.  These numbers alone should move mobile technologies up the priority list of any business.

Although an increasing number of shoppers prefer the convenience of mobile shopping, they still remain hard to please. Forty-six percent of mobile shoppers say they will leave a mobile app or mobile site if it fails to load in three seconds or less, while 80 percent will leave if the mobile app or site is buggy or slow.  Consumers’ expectations on what defines a good user experience are changing fast, but seem always to begin and end with speed.

Stay tuned for Part 2.

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Kevin Benedict
Writer, Speaker, Senior Analyst
Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.

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