Saturday, February 20, 2016

5.1 Welcome to the future: business benefits

The benefits for the business – and let’s not forget that this is where the all the money comes from – can be separated into two large domains.
  1. Solving existing challenges thus running the current business much better
  2. Offering new processes and services to customers thus innovate and transform for the (digital) future


1. Solving existing challenges

In chapter 2.3 I described a selection of current business challenges in various industries. My claim is that many if not all of them will disappear with the implementation of a Corporate Data Pool. However these challenges are so manifold that companies need to prioritize them according to business needs. We can achieve a lot, even out-of-the-box, but not everything at once. It is important to have the big picture in mind and then to go step-by-step (see also chapter 6 “Transition path”).

Here is a non-exhaustive list of business challenges which can be solved with the approach described here along with their respective business benefits:
  • Intransparent status on the overall business situation due to bad data quality (incomplete, outdated, wrong) and missing reporting features – this comes in various shapes: cash management, risk management, fraud detection, churn management, etc., and it has negative business impact in all cases
    >> immediate improvements <<
  • Long process durations, slow (annoying) customer interaction due to long system response times
    >> immediate acceleration <<
  • Long response times and inadequate measures to unplanned, spontaneous events (like disasters)
    >> immediate improvements <<
  • Poor product/service quality due to bad data quality
    >> improvements through consolidation of isolated data silos <<
  • High manual work load in processes due to incomplete data and insufficient degree of automation
    >> improvements through consolidation of isolated data silos and usage of built-in features <<
  • Inability to match compliance and transparency regulations due to bad data quality
    >> improvements through consolidation of isolated data silos <<
  • Inability to offer “one face to the customer” over multiple contact channels
    >> improvements through consolidation of isolated data silos <<
All of the improvements lead to satisfied customers, a high loyality rate and additional revenues. Moreover in the age of social media it takes a few hours to ruin an enterprise's reputation which has been built over many years of customers are dissatisfied.

    2. Innovating for the future

    As mentioned before in this blog all enterprises face the challenges of digital business. The emerging era builds on correct and current data: the better you can deal with it, the more successful your business will be. It is as simple as that.

    Here comes the non-exhaustive list of innovative business scenarios which can be implemented on top of a Corporate Data Pool. As we are talking about innovation it is all about creativity and beating your competitors. And this is exactly the reason why you, dear reader, will come up with many more ideas for your business beyond the buzzwords that I present here:
    • Big data analytics: This is the concept of using huge amounts of data to analyze customer behavior in relation to my offerings and get business benefits out of it (e.g. through better products, services)
      >> immediate benefits <<
    • Embedded services: One effect of digitalizing value chains is that services that belong to a value chain become easy to reproduce and therefore easy to replace. This is what Alphabet/Google and Apple demonstrate when they attack traditional value chain and business models with their digital platforms and services. Managing payments or the physical transport of goods within a value chain are typical examples for these changes. If you want to remain relevant in your value chain (that means: stay in business) you will need a differentiator (or “USP”) for your services. And in the digital world USP comes from - data.
      >> immediate benefits <<
    • Internet of things IoT/Internet of everything: “Things” (sensors, machines, robots, cars, etc.) have started to communicated with each other in order to coordinate their collaboration autonomously. Machines order their own spare parts, cars warn each other of accidents, plants calculate their optimal amount of fertilizer. All of this will have huge rationalization potential – and it will produce even more digital data.
      >> immediate benefits <<
    • Industry 4.0: This is a special topic currently discussed in the world of manufacturing. The basic idea is that all physical things will have a certain DNA just like human beings that make them aware of what they are and what their purpose is. “Production” in the sense of creating physical things will not be organized and managed from the outside anymore. Instead every thing will organize its own process: creation, transformation, transportation, replacement, etc. This requires a high degree of digital interaction. And again will produce massive amounts of digital data.
      >> immediate benefits <<
    • Predictive/adaptive business: A better response to highly individual customer demands is definitely a great source of business success as demonstrated by leading digital players. It includes the prediction of future customer behavior (whereat “future” can mean anything from weeks to seconds) as well as the flexible adaptation of businesses to it which could eventually lead to a highly individual product or service which is produced exactly one time.
      >> benefits especially when the concept of a Corporate Data Pool is extended beyond the boundaries of the enterprise throughout all participants in a value chain <<
    • Adaptive workforce: The way how we organize human labor today is great to provide individual security and reliability to employees and citizens but it is highly inefficient in using the human potential to generate wealth. Real-time data and connected things offers us much more options and freedom to collaborate upon our individual strengths.
      >> This is rather a long-term project as it heavily impacts social topics. A Corporate Data Pool will however facilitate the efficient sharing of human potential with an organization. <<
    There is so much more to be mentioned here. Feel free to start a discussion with me.

    To summarize the thoughts in this chapter:
    The potential of working with data in a different way other than we do today is huge in many respects. When you keep this in mind it should not be hard to find a business case to justify the initial investments which are required to start the journey (we will come to this a little later).

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