Listen to this enlightening interview with Kelly Mattarocci as she discusses what companies should be talking about when it comes to new styles of technology-ready business models. Also hear 8 benchmarks for companies to be ready for an AI strategy today. Listen here. Podcast by the AICPA-CIMA.
Using AI for better business strategies modernizes the way business is done. AI aggregates customers' experiences and business processes into revenue in real-time. Learn how in this podcast titled, "Using AI for Better Business Strategies" by TICH's founder, Kelly Mattarocci; an interview by the AICPA-CIMA.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, known as Industry 4.0, is a revolution in business. The following quote is about Industry 4.0, “45 percent of the activities individuals are paid to perform can be automated by adapting currently demonstrated technologies” quoted from McKinsey & Company and can be found here. These technologies exist and they are affordable. In addition, much of the technology is easily and quickly implemented without a heavy load on internal information technology (IT) departments. This combination of attributes paves the way for quick market acceptance.
For these technologies to function as intended, digitalization is required. Digitalization is the process of using digitized information to change business models and create value. In other words, digitalization is a digital environment (no paper) in which the information is used for analysis, innovation, value creation, operations, and office administration. It is not about replacing people.
Digital efforts must be at the forefront of customers’ and employees’ acquisition and retention experiences. The goal of each interaction is a frictionless experience regardless of how an interaction occurs. Singular interaction points are not robust enough for this scenario. Multichannel or omnichannel are.
Multichannel options offer interaction through multiple mediums (channels). For example, multichannel options are reflected in accessing offerings through multiple devices and locations.
Omnichannel options offer interaction through multichannel options plus more. These channel options allow for on-demand support and services. For example, omnichannel options are reflected in chatbots and live support by employees.
Digitalization goes beyond no paper and channels. It is everywhere; in a physical office, home office, co-working space, coffee shop, or park and can be across town, across country, or on the other side of the world. This expanse of digitalization in conjunction with the Internet of Things allows for an interconnected ecosystem of consumers, businesses, and regulators. A digital strategy is necessary to successfully maneuver through this intertwined global system.
A digital strategy is a component of an overall company strategy; and aligns with and supports the overall company strategy. Like an overall company strategy, a digital strategy is translated into components, and ultimately actionable steps. A strategy’s components are interlaced with all other components constructing an ecosystem.
Ecosystems have long been a topic of management conversation; however, companies historically have not succeeded in in creating a seamless ecosystem. The lack of historical success is rooted in technologies not being readily available and affordable. This is no longer an obstacle. The technology of Industry 4.0 is precipitating evolution of this holistic approach.
Components of a strategy and all sub strategies are vetted to translate into actionable steps. Within a digitalization strategy, there are four components.
The diagnostics process identifies the strengths, weakness, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) from conception of digitalization continuing through its infinite life. The SWOT analysis quantifies how and to what degree, identifies root causes, and formulates actions where needed. In addition, viewing the SWOT through the lens of innovation breeds value creation.
The operating model builds the framework consisting of the details of the industry, people, technologies, and operations. Operating models in Industry 4.0 promote the optimal collaboration of people and technology focusing on value creation through empowerment and experience.
Transformation mapping identifies the touch points along your processes including critical moments of truth that will make, or break, experiences, innovations, enhancements, and friction points, among other areas. When done correctly, transformation mapping will help leaders engage with the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
A digital workplace spans virtual and physical realms with the goal of enabling a seamless collaborative work environment. A truly digital workplace brings together people with devices, applications, data, mobility, and collaboration tools tailored to each employees’ responsibilities and preferences on persona-based models instead of single services.
A revolution by its very nature fundamentally changes business. Digitalization is a key component for success in this new revolution, Industry 4.0. Digitalization realizations will result from a correctly executed digital strategy.
Remain open to the new realities to realize competitive advantages. Throw out the way “it’s always been done” business. Accept these new realities to fully transform.
Much of the technology is easily and quickly implemented without a heavy load on internal information technology (IT) departments. New technologies are designed for the leadership along the value chain to do the “heavy lifting” and not the IT departments. This naturally aligns ownership with the new “heavy lifters”.
Interdisciplinary and inter-functional teams with an end-to-end view of impact are ideal for a digitalized reality. Understanding the digital journey through internal and external users lead to success within the new reality.
Change is to exist in a continuous form in companies. Project management and re-engineering disciplines are not designed to grasp a digital ecosystem. Transformation using these techniques won’t happen one day with the flip of a switch. Instead, project management and re-engineering are incorporated into every employees’ daily job functions allowing for continuous change.
Technology has brought about an experience first expectation and as technology continues to expand so does the expectation. Like technology, this expectation isn’t limited to customers only. As customers, everyone has become accustomed to experience first. For business, this translates to experience first for customers, employees, suppliers, and other stakeholders – anyone that interacts with the company.
Each of these new realities will emerge from the digitalization transformation. A lack of evidence of these realities is indicative of not truly transforming, but instead creating digital documents and still “pushing paper” in a digital form.
A digitalization strategy is made up of four components and each component is fundamental. New digital realities emerge with a successful digitalization strategy. Lack of evidence of these new realities is indicative of not truly transforming.
Digitalization is a first step in experience first with a goal of frictionless interactions. A digital strategy is designed as a component of the overall strategy with collaboration across all other sub strategies and their components. Digitalization is a key component of success in Industry 4.0.
Chief Market Creation and Compliance Officer
Strategy upholds an organization’s mission, vision, and core values with a plan and operating steps to achieve success. Historically, strategies were long-term, often five or more years long. In Industry 4.0, long-term has a new meaning – three years or less. Strategy development and execution must be nimble. In today’s business environment, the operational components made up of people and technology are continuously dynamic and, therefore, both long-and short-term strategies must be modified as needed based on new information.
Business agility in Industry 4.0 is defined internally and externally as:
Mobile technologies are widely recognized as a dominant force in the birth and development of Industry 4.0. In business, mobile solutions have proven highly successful in increasing productivity and engagement and reducing time demands from historically time intensive tasks for both employees and customers. Mobile technologies have dramatically increased the amount of data created every second all around the world and mobile has surpassed digital as the main way to access the internet (Source: Comscore). According to Fierce Mobile IT, 71% of employees spend over two hours a week accessing company information on mobile devices. In addition, almost 13 million text messages are sent every MINUTE of every day (Source: Domo). Nimble organizations must utilize platforms that enable them to make data-driven impactful business decisions in real-time that support their strategic goals.
Strategies in Industry 4.0 cannot be developed in a vacuum. They must be developed by cross-functional teams that includes leadership, management, and employees at various levels. The cross-functional and multi-level nature of these teams are critical to analyze the vast amount of data from different perspectives and provide reality checks on the resources (time, money, people, technology, and other resources) actually needed to accomplish goals. The diversity of the team also drives creation of innovative solutions that overcome organizational challenges. Having employees involved at various levels increases buy-in and engagement and fosters a culture of employee empowerment.
There is no “perfect” strategy. With new competitors entering markets daily; the increase in costs of recruiting and retaining talent, security, technology; and the regular complete disruption of industries by technology advancements, organizations face a constant barrage of new data. The information gleaned from the data creates the ability for organizations to focus on experience first and adapt their strategies quickly. Experience first is one of the few sustainable competitive advantages. Gartner’s 2017 Customer Experience in Marketing Survey reports that “67% of companies feel they compete on mostly or completely on the basis of customer experience, and 81% expect to do so in two years.”
Competitive advantages based on price or enhanced production can be easily replicated. Innovation in this revolution is seen in a temporal competitive advantage. A temporal competitive advantage is the window that exists when a company identifies a market, and then goes to market with speed and decisiveness until the opportunity is exhausted. Apple’s iPhone is a prime example of a technological innovation backed by experience first that created a competitive advantage. This differential advantage allows for significant revenue, dominant market shares, raving brand advocates, and outstanding profit margins. Non-adopters and slow adopters of experience first will lose competitive advantage regardless of how advanced their innovations are.
On the journey to developing a competitive advantage, establishment of strategic performance measures that align with the organization’s mission, vision, and strategic goals is critical in order for leadership and management to shift the culture towards results orientation and measure success. These strategic performance measures must be clearly communicated across the organization to ensure all employees understand what success looks like. The greater the understanding, the quicker organizations can learn which strategies are producing the desired results and adapt those that are not.
Strategic performance measures build on traditional key performance indicators (KPIs) to promote the desired outcomes and results. For example, traditional KPIs might include net revenue, revenue growth, and return on net assets – all lagging indicators and all financial metrics. Strategic performance measures build on these to include the “why” behind the importance of these lagging indicators and add in leading indicators, such as number of unique website visitors, number of products/services delivered on-time, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty. Strategic performance measures are also consistently tracked and proactively reviewed regularly – monthly or even more frequently. Changes to strategies, if necessary, are made and closely monitored. Both results and modifications to strategies are distributed throughout the organization.
In order to measure the return on investment in any strategy, each one must have an associated budget. However, in Industry 4,0, these budgets are not dictated by the Accounting Department or based on a percentage of the amount of resources that were spent in the previous fiscal year. They are driven by the strategic performance measures established and are therefore adapted based on the value created by the results of each strategy.
Just like with experience first, as technology continues to expand so does the expectation of transparency. Employees’ satisfaction and engagement at their workplace now correlates significantly with their feeling of transparency in their interactions with management and leadership. Employees want to work for leaders that openly share their organization’s “why”, their goals for the future, and the organization’s successes and failures. In today’s business environment, customers also demand that organizations build trust with them prior to gaining their loyalty. When organizations have a history of transparency in interactions, customers are more likely to be forgiving if something challenging was to occur.
Just like strategies can’t be developed in a vacuum, an individual’s performance metrics cannot be solely based on individual performance. Collaboration is vital in Industry 4.0 and organization and team success must be components when evaluating an individual’s performance. The criteria for evaluation must also include tangible and intangible metrics that drive behaviors that are aligned with the organization’s strategic goals. However, these metrics must be objective and transparent to foster the best performance from all employees.
Organizations that develop strategies that uphold their mission, vision, and core values and then execute them in an adaptive and collaborative manner with an attribute of agility are, by definition, operating in Industry 4.0. Embrace this exciting new way to drive innovation and production in your organization to excel in Industry 4.0.