Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Pragmatic Digital Skill Building

The ideal for attaining digital transformation is to build digital competencies and skills. While some can write big checks to the large consultancy firms, most organizations want a more affordable and incremental approach to build digital skills that eventually lead to excellent competencies. Let's explore a couple of approaches for developing digital skills incrementally. Before implementing any approach, it is essential to pick digital on ramps or mini digital journeys to target to focus areas of priority for your organization. See research that identifies 32 digital on ramps   Once a focus is selected, there are three helpful approaches.

Focused Outside Hires:

If you are lucky enough to find a digital resource in your area of focus that you can afford, jump at the opportunity. Unfortunately there is a shortage of digital skills and there is dearth of real implementation experience, so this approach as a primary strategy is a luxury at this point in time. Gaining an advantage by hiring young and hungry talent from digitally focused schools will play out in the long haul, however something needs to be done now.

Rent Spot Digital Skills:

While your organization might not want the big bang large consultancy approach, there is no reason not to rent digital skills from consultancies that focus on knowledge transfer; not knowledge hoarding. Finding a consultant that can grow digital skills in your employees while delivering results is ideal. However focusing on results and viral skill building simultaneously might be a bit much.

Building Skills Through Training:

If you can find training, organizations can bring send selected employees out to training or bring trainers in for mass training.  However this approach can be expensive in terms of cash flow and time off the job. Scheduling these skill interventions can be difficult, so self paced learning opportunities are best, if you can find sources. Online learning organizations have digital offerings worthy of investigation.

Net; Net:

Your organizations digital efforts will likely use a combination of all of the three approaches, so the challenge is find the right mix for your choice of digital on ramps or mini-journeys.

Additional Resources:

Digital On Ramps
Skillsoft’s Digital Transformation Learning Solution
Digital Competencies
Digital Skills

Monday, November 13, 2017

Selecting Digital On-Ramps to Accelerate Transformation: An Index to Digital

The discussion surrounding digital has been much more pervasive than complete Digital Transformations. Since transformations are journeys, they take a bit longer than normal projects. While digital has been the buzz for the past five years, “digital doing”—taking tactical steps or smaller journeys in order to attain an emerging digital strategy—will be the emphasis in the near term. Making the leap  Digital On Ramps Here 

The buzz around Digital is strong and it’s clear that digital has significant effects on organizational cultures, organizational competencies, and organizational beliefs and skills over time. While the speed of delivering digital is slower than expected, there are good reasons for it. The protracted rate of change is due in part to a significant number of new and emerging technologies that must be used together to reach the lofty goals of continual customer delight, increasingly effective/efficient business operations with work management, and continuous product/service potentially leading to new business models.

While there are many digital methods, techniques, and technologies that claim to aid in the transformation process, to date, there has not been a clear cut way to classify them and determine at what point in the process they should be used. These digital efforts now have had enough time in implementations to help others identify potential benefits, risks, and companion efforts that help accelerate individual digital implementations that lead to more successful and linked digital journey steps. There is a high likelihood that digital is quickly approaching an inflection point that spells disruption.   32 Digital On Ramps Described and Rated 

Linking Digital On Ramps into Process Focused Journeys:

Register for 3 Key Steps to Aligning Business Processes with Your Digital Transformation Journey by Clicking Here 

Digital Transformation is a journey, and it doesn’t happen overnight. So how do we begin to understand these technologies and align our Business Processes with our Digital Transformation journey? The answer is digital on-ramps – a clear and optimized mapping of technology to meet the specific needs of each unique cases.
Join me and TimelinePI for a live webinar on December 5th, 2017 at 11am EDT to learn how to identify 3 digital on-ramps that can be built on over time on your Digital Transformation journey - while delivering practical benefits now. You’ll also see real-life examples of these on-ramps being put into production by organizations like yours.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Make Proceses Work Harder For You

Processes/Cases are essential to most organizations, but few organizations are tapping them for real digital leverage. We all know that customer journeys are supported by processes that can affect how our customers feel about maintaining their relationship with us over the long haul. We also know that processes are ripe for operational improvements. Is your organization taking the right steps to leverage processes in your digital journey?  We think it would help your organization attend a free webinar on process scheduled for December 5th that will help you manage processes better by measuring actual results. Your organization needs to manage work better with processes.

Register for 3 Key Steps to Aligning Business Processes with Your Digital Transformation Journey by Clicking Here 

Digital Transformation is a journey, and it doesn’t happen overnight. The problem is that, while there are many technologies that claim to aid in the transformation process there has been no clear methodology for classifying them and at what point in the process they should be used. Without this understanding, organizations with even the best intentions can end up wasting significant amounts of time and resources applying these potential solutions in suboptimal ways often preventing them from ever achieving real transformation.
So how do we begin to understand these technologies and align our Business Processes with our Digital Transformation journey? The answer is digital on-ramps – a clear and optimized mapping of technology to meet the specific needs of each unique cases. Join me and TimelinePI for a live webinar on December 5th, 2017 at 11am EDT to learn how to identify 3 digital on-ramps that can be built on over time on your Digital Transformation journey - while delivering practical benefits now. You’ll also see real-life examples of these on-ramps being put into production by organizations like yours.

Monday, November 6, 2017

The Three Most Common Approaches to Digital Transformation

While most organizations approaches to digital are multi-faced, we have identified three basic approaches to Digital Transformation. The dominant approach in any organization will tie to the organizations culture and current powers in charge in an organization. 

 I.                    Wait for Proof of Digital Success:

This approach exercises a skeptical eye towards digital efforts or placates change adverse cultures. This approach will help organizations that are focused on empirical results who are risk adverse in nature. The problem with this approach is that there is a large risk in doing nothing when digital catches fire and digital journey success enables competitors to distance themselves and accelerate fast. This approach is a large bet against digital transformation.  Since most organizations will have a hybrid of digital and non-digital solutions eventually, this approach seems to be weak.

II.                     Develop a Holistic Digital Strategy:

This approach concentrates on getting the strategy right and as complete as possible up front. This requires a bold long term orientation that counteracts short term financial performance. This approach concentrates on changing the culture and implementing change in a rapid and agile fashion. This requires and appetite for risk and great patience. This approach is usually quite expensive and assumes that the target is more stable. There are some key stable activities that make sense to target and communicate, but there are dangers.

III .                 Exercise Digital Dexterity Utilizing Incremental Delivery:

This approach concentrates on delivering benefits along the way to a potential changing digital destination. While some an initial target is identified and a possible route to the target is selected, lessons-learned and new inputs are considered to alter the target and path to the destination can change. This leverages on-ramps in an exploitative fashion and build / morphs into an overall journey or sets of journeys. Organizations are encouraged to have a solid, but mold able strategy that will not be perfect at the start, but will evolve with industry and organizational lessons-learned. Competencies and skills will evolve and create a new digital culture. 

Net; Net: 

Most organizations will have folks that will try to represent each of these approaches. It is dangerous to develop a holistic approach until there is a base of competencies, skills and experiences related to digital, but it a more dangerous to not have consistent executive strategy for digital. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Tibco Now 2017

This year Tibco split it's well attended conference with three regional conferences. The Asia version was in Spring in Sinapore, the Euro version in Berlin and the US version in San Diego. This time there was a test on the progress of their vision in terms of  digital journeys and Tibco plans to help our shared customers. Aragon named Tibco as a leader in the Digital Business Platform Technical Spectrum. For a free copy of the report click here 

Tibco has traditionally had a portfolio of strong and visionary products and has had a sweet spots in connecting/integrating and business intelligence. While these themes were still Strong there were some new themes that are emerging. The integration (interconnect everything) and the business intelligence (augment intelligence) are still a driver, but with new scopes and levels of intelligence. The most impressive case studies were around BI (Jet Blue and the Mercedes Racing Team). There were some case studies around cloud conversions, but they are still in progress. The theme of distributed intelligence (smarts on the edge) was new to me. Discussions around customer journeys leveraging a more intelligent customer experience was boiling under the surface.

While the underlying themes were still there, the management team believes that digital will change things. In fact they pointed to survey based conclusions to stay data driven showing the revenue, profit and stock value gaps without digital. 

Edge Presence and Intelligence:

With an augmented approach to leveraging Flogo, Tibco will be leveraging it's intelligence even at the chip level. The case for complexity of connections requires decisions at the point of event detection was a common theme. To that end Tibco has proof points of having Statisica (connected data science platform) and Google Tensor Flow (AI) operating at the lowest capacity chip level with a tiny footprint. Intelligence at the edge is for real, now case studies have to emerge leveraging the Tibco approach. Partnerships with Amazon and the leverage of Lamda looks a sure thing. As Tibco starts working with Microsoft, watch for more options. 

Skunk Work Teases:

Tibco had some hints in the presentations and some demos on the floor that pointed to some promising emerging technologies. I was very impressed by Tibco graph data base and I saw a NLP approach to leveraging the nodes on this ontological based data base for intelligence that emerges and remembers context as the query turns it's attention to new things. I also heard rumors of partnerships with big players leveraging distributed smarts.

Bottom Line:

Tibco sees the opportunity with digital and will make the right investments to help existing clients while attracting new one. Tibco will lead with their strengths in integration and intelligence, but they are more than a two trick pony now.

There was no risk to naming them a Digital Business Platform leader. Now will they continue to move their customer base along. We all will be watching

Monday, October 2, 2017

Customer Journey Mapping Vendors Rated

We all know that the Digital Transformation Age that we are currently in gives us a chance to treat customers in a much better way while becoming more operationally effective. There are a number of vendors that can use analytics to map out present journeys to look for operational opportunities. While these are necessary, they are not sufficient. The best Customer Journey Mapping Tools combine actual use data (clickstreams, logs, audit trails etc.) to mine customer journeys plus emotional data (surveys, discusions and focus groups) to create a holistic journey map. Aragon Research now has a rating of these complete vendors or those that are aimed in that direction. Using the Aragon trade marked Technical Spectrum (TS) methodology and visualization, this sector of complete journey mapping vendors are now rated here.

Free Research and Webinar on Customer Journey Mapping 

Additional Reading:

Customer Cultures 
Proud of Your CX
Future Proof CX
Journey Listening
Existing Process Problems
Customer Journeys and Organizational Silos
Journey Mapping for All
Journey Mapping Case Study

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Celebrating the High Fives

Everyone has “high five” moments that make you think about where you have been, where you are and where you are going. September 2017 s caused me to do just that as five “high five” moments have come together, all at once. Writing about them will help me deal with them as they are significant. 

Five Decades Leveraging IT to Help Organizations:
It started on September 27th, 1967 when I graduated from Electronic Computer Programming Institute (ECPI) at the age of 18 after spending a year learning how to wire EAMs, program IBM 1400 series computers and building COBOL skills. Green around the gills and draft eligible put me in a corner, so I took a part time job while attend school full time pursuing a Business Data Processing Degree from Milwaukee Area technical College (MATC).  The part time job became more than full time along with 15+ credits each semester. Thus started my long and storied IT career that funded two degrees.

Five Blue Ribbon Companies:

Wehr Steel: Supported conversions from IBM 1440 AUTOCODER to Honeywell 3000 COBOL

Northwestern Mutual Life:  Supported conversions from 7080 to PL/1 for Tax Deferred Annuity and Variable Annuity applications. Pioneered online systems for payment and Bond/Security Systems. Pioneered Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE), Data Administration and AI guided persona based workbenches.

American Express: Director that supported the world’s largest model driven and code generated system leveraging rule based approaches for international variations in a merchant management system. Directed Data Administration, Model Management and Case Tool Management.

Gartner: VP and Distinguished Analyst that supported Application Development, Meta Data Management, Legacy Leverage, Business Process Management and Business Rules Systems. Support 17000 career inquiries, two time winner of sales support awards and a thought leadership award.

Aragon Research: VP and Fellow supporting Business Process Management, Robotic Process Automation, Digital Business Platforms and Customer Journey Mapping.

Five New Markets Defined:

Business Process Analysis / Enterprise Architecture
Intelligent Business Process Management
Business Rule Management
Digital Business Platforms
Customer Journey Mapping

Five Hundred Thousand Hits on My Personal Blog:

Covering topics like digital, process management, business rules, digital business platforms, customer centric cultures, digital competencies / skills, artificial intelligence, legacy leverage and case studies.

Five Art Skills Generating Revenue:

Starting in late 2008, my art career has led to having my art in 30 private collections. Was fortunate enough to participate and flourish in 15+ exhibitions / contests. Highlights include one piece shown in Muse De Louvre, several pieces shown in Times Square, several pieces Art Basel Miami and one piece on Ashley Red’s music CD.

Oil Paintings
Water Color
Fractals / Digital
3D Fractals

Net; Net:

The biggest life accomplishment are my kids who have turned out to be diligent and loving humans. The biggest “high five”!!!  I did tell you about my eight grandchildren, the oldest turning 21 this month  I’m not sure if deserve all of this, but I am certainly eternally thankful J