Some firms have engaged to some degree in platform strategies, in an attempt to redefine their industry’s value chain so customers and suppliers can interact more directly and benefit from network effects. Platforms have the power to radically alter the way value is distributed in a value chain.
New Marginal Supply
Many firms were using digital technology to tap into previously inaccessible sources of supply at a marginal cost. Examples include the Swedish retailers H&M and Ikea, both of which are offering a online reseller options for their own customers, allowing them to sell used, branded products to one another.
O2O Products and Services
Many companies were using digital technology to create new products or services with digital features combination with mobile applications, typically to serve new demand with additional value to their customer. One example is P&G’s Oral-B toothbrush with Bluetooth-enabled digital guidance.
Rebundling and Customizing
A lot of companies are using digital technology to rebundle their products or services to better serve their existing customers. The paywall for news content erected by the New York Times where people can personalize reading lists and organize the content they read is a good example.
Digital Distribution Channels
Many firms invested in digital distribution channels, in an attempt to make it easier for customers to access their products or services. This include building an e-commerce platform or making integration with popular online shops. As online purchase are becoming a norm these days for many customer.
Many companies were using digital to improve their cost efficiency, typically through automation or cost scaling. In an age where operational excellence is the norm, this strategy looks like it’s aimed at survival with lower overhead rather than creating a source of comparative advantage.
Many businesses are now transitioning online in a bid to streamline the management and day to day running of operations. This shift is being powered by a new wave of technology that allows companies of all shapes and sizes to be more strategic and efficient. This trend is set to continue as more businesses understand the benefits of digitalisation and move to capitalise on them.
The role of technology in the workplace has changed dramatically. Cloud computing is technology that can help your company gain a competitive edge in the marketplace. The introduction of cloud computing has revolutionised how businesses operate, providing new levels of flexibility and access via remote working.
Cloud computing is the delivery of IT services online in the ‘cloud’. A growing number of businesses are adopting this application for their IT infrastructure. It is more secure – hosting your systems on remote servers protects your information, prevents data loss and allows for a more effective and protected storage solution. It is also more reliable with automated data backups and disaster recovery.
Workflow and Document Management
Another way to increase productivity is through automated workflow. This is a system that digitally produces, tracks and manages documents associated with your business processes.
Many businesses find they have large paper archives and countless boxes of old documents that are taking up valuable office space. Over the years it’s likely that the organisation and storage of these documents will fall into disarray, leaving a large paper trail of archived work.
Effective workflows are crucial; the more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable they are, the better prepared you will be for the future workplace. An improvement strategy will help manage your documents whether they are paper, electronic or digital.
There are many benefits to this; reduced costs, improved efficiency, security, which is especially important to those who must comply with rules around legal or sensitive data. You can control when, who and to what capacity certain people access documents, with a solid authorised paper trail.
Popular departments who benefit from this process includes digital mailrooms, recruitment, HR and finance management divisions. Essentially it allows you to manage your information, analyse current performance and optimise for continued improvement.
Intelligent data capture manages the process of capturing incoming information or data to your business, ensuring it is processed and documented efficiently.
Information coming into an organisation typically arrives in paper, fax, web or email format. With intelligent data capture solutions, information can be automatically classified, extracted, validated and shared with digital workflows or existing ERP systems.
There are many data capture technologies that organisations can incorporate into their processes, the most suitable will depend on the nature of the business. Digital pens, tablet or OCR intelligent document and image scanning are the most popular. The information gathered can then integrate with host systems and pre-defined databases – automating the process from start to finish.
When this process is digitalised and automated, it eliminates the human error factor and will increase data quality and accuracy. It also saves a huge amount of time, increases efficiency and productivity and lowers organisational and storage costs. It improves business processes and increases transparency internally.
Whether you’re a technologist within your company or an operational or business leader, you’re probably aware of several significant technology trends, including the internet of things (IoT). Often, IoT is described as a massive network of connected devices and sensors that transmit data via wireless and wired networks.
However, in enterprise and industrial environments, IoT can be viewed as the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) – or where the digital world meets the physical world. Most people know what IT is, but not as many are familiar with the term OT; it’s important to understand what OT is and why it’s converging with IT because this convergence creates both opportunities and challenges for businesses.
What is Operational Technology (OT)?
When most people think about the technology within their company, they think only about information technology (IT). The reality is that enterprise technology also includes operational technology (OT), especially in industrial firms. In fact, OT is often even more mission-critical than IT. OT incorporates all the physical infrastructure that underlies many businesses, including power plants, production lines, vehicles, locomotive and aircraft engines, HVAC equipment, oil & gas rig equipment, and many others. This infrastructure is made up of complex machinery and is increasingly being connected to networks.
Operational technology is relevant for most companies, but especially those in industrial sectors like manufacturing, oil & gas, utilities, service & repair, medical devices & healthcare, and real estate. These industries have physical assets residing in the real world (as opposed to the digital or virtual world) that need monitoring, maintaining, repairing, and optimizing.
Why are IT and OT Converging?
There are two primary drivers for IT/OT convergence: fundamental shifts in technology and operational business demands. On the technology front, these fundamental shifts in core technology have changed the foundation on which all IT initiatives are constructed:
The advancement of wireless networking, proliferation of smartphones and tablets, and emergence of new mobile interfaces (such as wearables and heads-up displays) are changing the primary computing device for many workers.
The increasing miniaturization of components has created the viability of putting sensors on virtually everything so machines and assets of all types can be connected to share data.
The ability to consume and process data at scale and access resources in an on-demand model allows companies to harness greater computing power.
The widespread use of big data and evolution toward artificial intelligence will create new insights from the data being collected and analyzed.