digital transformation

The Digital Self

Just as our analog notion of self (flesh and blood) consists of RNA and DNA, our digital sequence—let us call it the “Digital Self”—consists of code. Each day, we are creating massive and permanent data trails that contain essential attributes of encoding, decoding, and expressions of our genes (or self). We do this both consciously and explicitly, and subconsciously and indirectly. Consider the behaviors that you produce every day, stored permanently in “Digital Land”: you search the web, read ebooks, watch movies, post videos, tweet, list your friends, order food, and complete online transactions. Billions of us have actually submitted our own definition of our Digital Self into various social networking sites (name, address, age, marital status, education, employment, friends, likes, dislikes, political views, etc.). We volunteer this information—willingly! Imagine storing patterns of your behavior—sharing your movements via wearable technology, updates to your medical and bank records, driving information, purchase history, and so on. It is all there, a complete record of your digital RNA, DNA, and behaviors. Permanent, indefatigable, revealed truths, one digital bread crumb at a time, uploaded to the Cloud. Sounds like heaven. Now feed all this information into a computer, every minute of every day. Run an algorithm against that data, and a digital sequence of you is created. Perhaps multiple sequences are created. You could use a CRISPR and have a super-digital sequence of yourself. Then pump that into an artificial intelligence or learning machine, and suddenly your Digital Self is “alive.” Science fiction or a revealing truth? A friend recently received a call from his granddaughter who was in jail. She wasn’t able to ask her parents for help. He was her one call. She needed a $2,500 USD wire transfer to post her bail and get out of jail. He wired the money as instructed, but it turned out that the call was a scam. A bad actor used a digital self of the granddaughter to steal funds using digital payments. What does this mean for the person, for business, for governments and society? For the person, if we dismantle the notion of the self, the societal, spiritual, and religious impacts are profound. Your Digital Self lives on, ever collecting knowledge, and is in all places at once. To quote the movie Lucy: “I am everywhere.” We all become Brahma (the creator) and Shiva (the destroyer). Facebook is buying data to “fill in the profiles” of their almost 2 billion subscribers; rounding out their digital selves without the users’ explicit consent. For business, the Digital Self will be exploited to deliver better ads, provide better recommendations, drive purchasing decisions, and reduce risk. Consumer businesses will know what you need before you even need it. A perfect and persistent personal assistant. Governments will be obligated to protect the rights of our Digital Selves. Does the Digital Self become like a corporation, thus serving as a new shareholder in the definition of a Corporate Self? Ultimately, one has to “opt in” to this new Digital Land, the digerati, and leave the Flat Land, the land of the Luddites. For those who opt out, can they function in society, or are they a new super-culture or subculture? The British television series Black Mirror features an episode that addresses this notion of a Digital Self being created, captured, and exploited. It is a modern-day Twilight Zone, with sharp undertones of an expectant and emerging reality. It is so much an emerging reality that it is already happening in Shanghai with the recent release of the app, Honest Shanghai. In an effort to make Shanghai a global city of excellence, the government is using apps like Honest Shanghai to reward residents for their honesty, morality, and integrity. The app aggregates some 3,000 items of personal data collected by the government—creating a digital copy of Shanghai residents—to generate “public credit” scores that range from “very good” to “good” to “bad” (imagine your government rating you). Users with a higher score can reap the benefits in the form of discounts, lower loan rates, better positions in lines, travel discounts, and more—while those with a bad score may have to deal with declined loan applications or inferior seats on planes. There goes a little honest graft. We need to harness the transformative aspects of the 4IR to change the world, and obsessively but thoughtfully conquer the perils. This will prove to be a challenge for governments, which I will discuss in my next blog. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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Enterprise World 2017: The Future of Digital—from Engagement to Insight

Software changes the world. Today’s technologies have radically transformed both enterprise and consumer spaces, re-shaping our expectations about how we work, collaborate, and conduct business. Our capacity to generate and collect information is greater than at any time in human history; deriving meaningful insight from this information is the next major transformative activity for business that will open up new possibilities and set the stage for new business models. I invite you to join us at Enterprise World 2017 in Toronto, Canada from July 10-13 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, where we will showcase the technologies and companies that are forming the foundations of a digital future driven by insight. OpenText Enterprise World 2017 will deliver an entirely new experience. We’ve expanded the program with customized tracks to meet organizational and individual needs. Along with the standard 200 breakout sessions, training, and Enterprise Expo, this year’s event will feature keynotes by industry thought leaders on both Tuesday and Wednesday morning, as well as an Industry Conference, Partner and Technology Conference, combined Innovation and Developer Lab, Women in Technology Luncheon, Leaders’ Council, and the launch of our T250 program. I’m especially excited about this year’s conference because, along with a bigger and better format, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky will join me center stage for a fireside chat. Nicknamed “The Great One,” Wayne Gretzky holds an incredible 61 NHL records. A Hockey Hall of Famer, Gretzky will share with us what drove him to succeed in his remarkable career. OpenText Enterprise World is the number-one venue to interact with peers and discuss the technologies that are driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Digital and AI technologies enable executives to rethink business and fundamentally change go-to-market models, customer journeys, supply chains, and how to innovate. Organizations need pioneering technologies like the digital platform OpenText Release 16 (with enhanced user productivity, integrated information flows and a connected ecosystem) and AI platform OpenText Magellan to transform business in the digital world. At Enterprise World 2017, you’ll learn how OpenText solutions can help you digitize, automate, and optimize information flows—from Engagement to Insight. You’ll be able to chart your future with Enterprise Information Management (EIM) through roadmaps for all of our offerings and acquisitions. Leaders in your industry will be on hand to demonstrate how they are using cutting-edge vertical solutions to maximize the value of their data and create exceptional digital experiences for their customers, partners, suppliers, and employees. Finally, you’ll have many opportunities to explore how big data analytics, open standards, prediction and modeling, and cognitive and machine-learning solutions help to analyze massive pools of data and glean insights from structured and unstructured data, so you can empower your users to become more productive and make better, smarter decisions. Discover the strategies, tactics, and tools you need to achieve transformational success in a digital world. Register today and take advantage of our special offers.

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The Impact on the Person

The “Physical” Self The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is expected to accelerate knowledge like never before. As I mentioned previously, technology will advance with artificial intelligence (AI), resulting in medical breakthroughs. As a leukemia survivor, I carry three DNA sets and, thanks to a third-party donor, replaced my stem cell production. I guess that makes me not a cyborg, but a chiborg (chimerism + technology). (And yes, I just coined a new term.) Medical advancements like these will redefine what it means to be human. Nanotechnologies in the medical field will drastically change how we deliver drugs, kill microbes, repair cells, and perform surgery—all on a nano-scale that is more targeted and more accurate than previous medical methods and practices. As a result of breakthrough technologies, life expectancy should increase as we finally slow—or even reverse—the effects of aging and decay at a cellular level. Body parts that have failed will be replaced with parts grown from stem cells, biomechatronic body parts, or perhaps even 3-D printed organs. More humans will become cybernetic organisms (cyborgs), like Motoko Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, a movie in which much of humanity is connected to a vast electronic network through cybernetic bodies (“shells”) which possess their consciousness and give them superhuman abilities. In addition to increasing life expectancy, technologies such as genome editing will provide us with the tools for human enhancement, allowing us to replace defective genes or modify immune cells to fight diseases. As technology advances exponentially, so too must our civil, moral, and spiritual motivations to accommodate and adapt to the 4IR. The 4IR will, therefore, change our fundamental understanding of our physical selves—that we were born to die naturally. The introduction of designer babies, cyborgs, and veritable immortality will shift how we view our physical self and how we fundamentally organize ourselves. Our traditional concept of the family might cease to exist. The way we appropriate resources might also shift as designer babies have the potential to outsmart and outwork the now older, yet stronger cyborg population that might not die. Cogito ergo sum Descartes’ famous assertion that “I think, therefore I am” has guided modern Western philosophy and ontology for centuries. The notion of self is based on humankind’s ability to think and acquire knowledge. This ontological concept of the self will be challenged during the 4IR. Machine learning and interconnectedness, along with the advancement of AI, will eventually produce an intelligence that is sentient and may potentially trigger the Singularity. A self-thinking and self-improving machine would transcend our notion of self because if a machine is self-thinking, does that make it human or does it simply make it sentient? Would you consider Dolores in Westworld to be human or merely a sentient machine? If we were to consider these androids to be human, what changes would we need to make to our society to accommodate this increasingly powerful and smarter form of “human”? On the other hand, with the advance of cybernetics and a vast network of connectedness, can humans also attain the same level of knowledge as a sentient machine? Imagine again Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell, where her self inhabits a shell and connects to everything. Is she still a human? Or would transhumanism (H+) take over and advance the human race? Humans could start to control machines through synchronization to accomplish tasks no machine or human could accomplish alone (like the large fighting machines in Evangelion controlled by teenagers). Or maybe, humans would possess so much knowledge that an omnipotent, Lucy-like person could exist. Finally, humans could potentially tap into our stardust memories to unlock the inner universe’s power within us, like Akira did. The 4IR will advance machine intelligence and sentience while also ushering in transhumanism. Thinking will no longer be sufficient in defining who we are. Disappearance of the Self or Enhancement of the Self? The 4IR will connect everything—all networks, all things, all selves. Everything will have access to every datum, available for access in real time. Robots with AI will roam among humans. Humans will have cyborg bodies and their selves digitally copied, stored, and continually backed up in multiple locations, like the horcruxes of the Harry Potter universe. Transhumanism will be a reality. Will the notion of the self disappear? If everyone is connected and doesn’t die, would humans as a race be the only self that is left—a collective self and mind? Would all humans merge into this self and become a godlike creature, rivaled only by the equally godlike AI? Or will humans retain their individuality and personality, remaining connected to others as an enhancement of their own selves? The 4IR will not only accelerate technological revolutions and knowledge acquisition, it will challenge the most fundamental understanding of what it is to be human and the notion of the Physical self. But what about the impact on the Digital self? I will delve into this topic in my next blog. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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New IDC Study – 66% Would use B2B Outsourcing to Support Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation

Over the past few months I have posted several blogs relating to digital transformation across the supply chain. My last blog discussed how OpenText’s Enterprise Information Management (EIM) solutions could potentially support an Internet of Things (IoT) platform and an article on Spend Matters looked at how B2B integration and B2B Managed Services are a core part of today’s digital transformation projects. So what’s driving this interest in digital transformation?  After all ‘digital’ emerged in the 1980s but this time around companies around the world and in different industries seem to be taking it more seriously. Why? Customers are driving the need. At OpenText I have met supply chain executives around the world and the subject of digital transformation is a hot topic, especially as it allows companies to leverage new and exciting technologies such as IoT and wearable devices. In customer meetings two key trends started to emerge, firstly companies were keen on establishing a ‘digital backbone’ across their business (to integrate external trading partners to internal business systems) and secondly companies wanted to consider outsourcing the management of their B2B integration platform so that they could focus internal IT resources on new digital transformation projects. Last year this got me thinking, does digital transformation drive supply chain transformation? Certainly an interesting theory and one that I was keen to explore in more detail. Over the years we have completed research projects with the analyst firm IDC so I was only too pleased to engage with IDC on a new study relating to digital transformation in the supply chain. The timing for this study was perfect, not only from a market interest perspective, but digital transformation is a key focus for OpenText and through this study I wanted to prove that B2B Managed Services could support digital transformation initiatives. I want to use this blog to highlight some of the key findings from the study. Due to the large amount of survey data obtained from this particular study I will post further blogs by different industry sectors, regional aspects and also the technologies being adopted today. So where shall I start? Last December we worked with IDC to send out a survey to 254 companies across five different industries and seven countries around the world. I wanted to test the hypothesis of whether digital transformation was driving supply chain restructuring initiatives. Over the years we have found that when companies restructure their supply chains they will consider outsourcing their B2B integration so they can focus on the restructuring process at hand. Overall, digital transformation was widely known, as a definition, across nearly all the companies surveyed, only 7% were not sure what digital transformation actually entailed. 57% of respondents said that their business had appointed a Chief Digital Officer (CDO), however some believe this is more of a transitional type of role as it is expected that the traditional CIO role will absorb this activity moving forwards. However when you look at the role of the CIO in recent years it was about ensuring for example that an ERP system goes live on time or a new warehouse management system could connect into various supply chain solutions. Today, and maybe this is why the CDO role has emerged, the CIO has to embrace new types of networks, new types of devices connected to these networks, and new types of information coming off these devices that needs to be processed, analyzed and then archived. In terms of the maturity of digital transformation projects, the survey had a range of results from 36% of respondents saying they considered themselves as a ‘Digital Transformer’ (business is a leader in its markets, providing world-class digital products, services, and experiences) to only 8% who said they considered themselves as a ‘Digital Resister’ (business is a laggard, providing weak customer experiences and using digital technology only to counter threats). So clearly there is more work to be done to help companies move along the digital transformation maturity curve and of course OpenText is here to help. The interesting observation in the enterprise world is that there are five pieces of disruptive technology that have been embraced more than other technologies and these same technologies are driving consumer driven markets as well. For the purposes of this study we wanted to understand which technologies were being adopted across supply chains and how these adoption rates would grow over the next three years. The table below provides an idea of the technologies that we surveyed against as part of the study, this chart shows technology adoption at the time the study was conducted in December 2016. From a technology adoption point of view there were some interesting observations. 70% of respondents said they were using B2B cloud networks today, interesting given that cloud really started to go mainstream in 2010. After cloud, IoT projects were the next most important investment area but interestingly machine learning and artificial intelligence is going to have the fastest growth rate over the next three years. Some other observations: The great thing about this study was that it was cross industry and covered the main industrial centers around the world. Given IoT is one of the main focus areas I thought it would be interesting to highlight the benefits that companies in different countries have realized from this disruptive technology. The table below ranks the benefits of IoT across some of the countries surveyed as part of this project. In addition to regional cuts of the survey data, there are detailed findings at an industry level. The chart below shows three of the five main industries that were surveyed and the expected benefits these industries have realized with the deployment of IoT based solutions across their supply chains. Needless to say many hours could be spent analyzing all the technology adoption levels by different countries and different industry sectors! So then moving on to how digital transformation is driving supply chain related restructuring initiatives, once again some really interesting findings as can be seen by the following statistics. In order for companies to implement new digital transformation strategies, the survey demonstrated that there is a certain amount of preparation or IT restructuring that has to take place before new technologies can be deployed across a supply chain. However to ensure that companies can focus on this restructuring and then implement these technologies with ease, there are certain business activities, such as B2B integration, that could be outsourced to a trusted partner. In analyst related studies there is usually a ‘golden nugget’ of information that helps to justify the whole research project. So when we asked the question about whether outsourcing the management of B2B integration would help free up internal resources to focus on new digital transformation initiatives, we found a surprising result. 66% of respondents said they would consider outsourcing their B2B integration to a trusted partner. This was an interesting study for another reason, it demonstrated that companies were thinking about their EDI or B2B integration strategy when considering the adoption of new leading edge technologies such as IoT and machine learning. This also helped to demonstrate that EDI was in the next stage of its evolution, a journey that has lasted more than 45 years so far. I have only scraped the surface in this blog with some of the results from this new study and I have more blogs planned that will provide further technology and industry specific insights from our new study, as well as webinars in the near future with IDC to discuss the findings. In the meantime if you would like to download a copy of this new IDC study then you can do so here.

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Personalized Public Services Require a new era of Information Sharing

personalized public services

Citizens want to interact digitally with government. It’s not just the young. People of all ages are happy to have service delivered digitally as long as they are targeted, easy to use and secure. Personalization not only offers a better citizen experience, it can deliver the holy grail of agile, low cost operations. All it takes is a new era of information sharing between government, NGOs, businesses, communities and individual citizens. So, where do we go from here? It’s time to re-assess. I want to suggest that the first generation of digital Government – think of it as eGovernment 1.0 – is reaching its conclusion. We knew there was a need to deliver services digitally and we wanted to be able to provide them on the channel that the citizen prefers. It would radically improve citizen experience and make our operations more efficient. Well, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news. The good news is that digital adoption has been a success. Over 40% of respondents to a recent survey reported that the majority of their interacts with government were digital. Almost 90% stated that they want to maintain or increase their digital interactions. The bad news? Only a quarter of the people surveyed by Accenture were actually satisfied by their digital interactions with government. Consider that the respondents’ top five priorities included ‘the ability to have my question answered definitively’ (91%), to ‘be able to see the status of my request or activity’ (79%) and  ‘information organized by my need or issue'(69%) when it came to digital public services. It’s clear the investment made in digital government has yet to consistently deliver the level of information and personalization that citizens want. UK government minister, Ben Gummer has stated that although their digital services ‘delivered excellent web interfaces that better met user needs, back-office processes were often unchanged. In eGovernment 1.0, our focus on citizen experience – while perfectly justified – is failing to deliver the full benefits of Digital Transformation’. eGovernment 2.0 So what about eGovernment 2.0? McKinsey says ineffective governance; a lack of web capabilities and a reluctance to allow user involvement have held eGovernment 1.0 back. I’d like to add something a little more fundamental to that list: a model of information sharing at the heart of service provision and delivery. This is implicit in how the OECD defines ‘digital government‘ which, it says, relies on an ‘ecosystem composed of government actors, non-governmental organizations, businesses, citizens’ associations and individuals, which supports the production of access to data, services and content through interactions with the government’. This requires a new ethos for the sharing information in a sector where even different departments within the same government organization have jealously guarded their own turf. To fully benefit from digital government, the walls have to come down between departments and agencies while becoming much more porous when dealing with the private sector and the individual citizen. Personalized Public Services  In order to achieve the ambition of the personalization of service, governments have to move from the position of service provider to service facilitator or broker. The citizen needs to be able to self-select and self-manage if personalization is to be fully adopted. There has to be an acceptance that this is not something that government can achieve by itself – and, in fact, there are great benefits to be achieved in terms of cost of taking a partnership approach with citizens and private enterprise. We will see an increase in the co-creation of services as we move into eGovernment 2.0. There is plenty of evidence of it beginning to happen. The US Smart Cities open data initiative is a great example of encouraging government, the private sector, NGOs and citizens to collaborate and jointly develop solutions. Underpinning this collaborative approach to delivering co-created personalized services has to be a government platform that allows for the open and secure exchange of information. There has to be a means to centralize access to all content in order that all parties can access and interrogate all the information – both structured and unstructured data – surrounding an issue or service. While the current focus has been on the creation of ‘open’ data that anyone can access, reuse or distribute, there has to be a move towards an Enterprise Information Management approach  that can deliver the single view of service information. There are, of course, many challenges – not least the difficulty of sharing sensitive information between public and private sector organizations. The passage of the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act to enable information sharing between public and private bodies on something as uncontentious as tackling Cybercrime shows the complexity opening the exchange of critical data. Next month, I’ll look at approaches to governance that can enable this new era of information sharing. In the meantime you can read further blogs on government-as-a-platform and agility, and digital transformation vs digitization.

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The Rise of the Machine

It is happening so fast it cannot be stopped. From Oxford to MIT to Harvard to the World Economic Forum, they all say the same thing: The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) will automate up to 47% of all jobs in the U.S. over the next 20 years. This will motivate a labor migration greater than that of the Great Depression. Even at the lower end of this range, it will be a rude awakening in what some call “a world without work.” I am a believer that it will be a full-on technological revolution for robots, machines, and cognitive systems (incorporating analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning). Extreme connectivity, extreme computing power, and the new economics of automation are driving the rise of the machine. Jobs that are labor-intensive are at risk, especially when the cost of a robot is significantly lower than a human salary. For an employer, the cost of an employee (including salary, healthcare, and other benefits) can total $45,000 USD a year. A robot can do exactly the same work for much less and be more “reliable” in the process, requiring maintenance rather than benefits (robots don’t take sick days). It can also produce the same product or service at the same (or faster) rate in exactly the same way, every time. The more human incomes increase and benefit costs soar, the wider the crossover point grows, or if you will, the alligator jaws widen. This is the economic argument, not the moral one. The two arguments need to be solved, conjunctively. Machine-to-machine communication is driving vast increases in asset utilization and efficiency, more accurate information, and greater safety. For example, by the end of 2020, there will be approximately 53 million smart meters throughout the U.K. Will it make sense, or even be feasible, for a human to be dispatched four times a year to read and record the information and hand this to another human only to be correct 80% of the time? Engine monitoring—planes, trains, and automobiles—is a great advancement. Sensors in various locations can gather information about the engine. Fuel consumption, engine performance, irregularities, preventative maintenance, and more—all of this information is sent in real time to the operator for correction, or to machines for analysis, or to ground crews to ensure parts and labor are immediately available to get the asset performing again. The same goes for robotic handling, welding, assembly, dispensing, and processing. Over the last 10 years, the prevalence of industrial robots in welding has grown by nearly 100%. At the same time, U.S. manufacturing jobs have fallen 15%. In the auto industry today, one robot is employed for every 10 humans. Numbers are reaching critical mass. Researchers predict that by 2025, Japan will have 1 million industrial robots installed and there will be more than 7 million unmanned aircraft (or “civilian drones”) flying the U.S. skies. Over the next 10 years, there will be 60 million robots in the world. That’s the equivalent of the entire U.K. population! The rise of machines is real and reaching scale and the future of employment is being redefined. The business, ethical, and policy questions on how we treat a machine versus a human need to enter public discourse. As machines get smarter, more perceptive, better at manipulation, more creative and socially intelligent, more jobs become vulnerable. Here I am talking to a robot while checking in for a flight from Tokyo to San Francisco. The robot was useless. I tried to use one of those passport scanners and it could not read my passport, so I ended up speaking to a human and printing my ticket. The effects of the 4IR will be extended far beyond the workplace. In my next blog, I will explore the potential impacts it may have on individuals. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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How Mature Are You? Embrace Digital Transformation in Measured Steps

digital transformation

Embracing digital transformation will not typically be a step function or a sea-change for most organizations. It is an evolution—a path of measured steps. To make digital transformation meaningful and digestible for your organization, focus on your digital maturity.  Where are you today, and where do you need to be in one, three, or five years?  Benchmark internally, to industry peers and leaders. Research from SCM World (now Gartner) provides a model to benchmark current maturity relative to industry peers, and it outlines a roadmap of steps others have taken in their journey to digital supply chain maturity. Research from IDC outlines the business benefits of digital maturity in the supply chain, where “leaders” compare to “laggards” with: 156% Faster invoice processing 89% More responsive to unforeseen events 48% Improvement in customer order delivery time 35% Faster inventory turns 22% Reduction in cash conversion time 16% Increase in successful product launches 3% Improvement in perfect order rate If digital transformation is an evolution of maturity, consider the importance of having your digital information backbone—connectivity, exchange, and integration—mature with you. Solutions to today’s immediate needs may not get you where you need to be to thrive in the future. OpenText™ Business Network 16 EP2 introduces several enhancements that help organizations mature their digital supply chain and secure information exchange—all built on the core foundation of digitizing the exchange of structured and unstructured content with your trading partners and customers. Gain deep supply chain insights. Mature beyond information exchange to providing advanced analytics on business transactions. EP2 extends OpenText™ Trading Grid Analytics and data blending capabilities to all OpenText Messaging customers. EP2 also provides extended support for Automotive, High-Tech and global Retail industry standards. Optimize unstructured data exchange. Move beyond send and receive fax reports to analytics that help optimize business processes. EP2 introduces Analytics for OpenText Notifications and OpenText™ Fax2Mail in the cloud, as well as OpenText™ RightFax Analytics for on-premises users. Manage orders anywhere, anytime. Consider evolving customer responsiveness with new mobile support for OpenText™ Active Orders, enabling users to review, accept, or reject orders on the go. Manage non-events to reduce risk. Mature operational efficiency and agility with advanced supply chain event management. A new Business Event Notification service in Business Network 16 EP2 empowers users to create real-time alerts of events and non-events (e.g., it’s Monday 9:30 a.m. and I haven’t received my typical 9 a.m. order from Acme Corp.) to quickly identify issues and improve responsiveness—all from within primary business applications such as SAP Expand digitization to the entire ecosystem. Expand digital transactions from larger trading partners to those still using paper and email attachments. EP2 extends data quality and automation by auto-provisioning non-EDI partners who still email PDF invoices Integrate complex business processes. With the integration of OpenText™ Process Suite into the Business Network, EP2 enables organizations to digitize and integrate complex and unique business processes—evolving beyond automation of simple linear information flows See these and other Business Network EP2 solutions in action at Enterprise World 2017, July 10-13 in Toronto.

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New Skills are Required

Over the last decade much attention has been applied to a handful of skills for the professional worker. This is about the future of jobs, skills, and workforce strategy. To date, emphasis has been placed on some key skills: people management, coordinating with others, negotiating, and active listening. These are all good skills, and in many ways, are table stakes for a modern workforce. But what skills will change the most and what is required for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)? As we look to the future of jobs and the most important skills required to succeed, these top three skills emerge: creativity, critical thinking, and complex problem solving. With new products, new technologies, and new ways to work, employees and employers will need to be more creative to make businesses function cohesively. Disruption will drive more critical thinking and new business models will require more complex problem solving. Think of a taxi driver. They require two skills: driving and the ability to read a map. Both of these skills are being replaced by self-driving cars and online map services. In airports, you order your meals on an iPad. Grocery stores have moved from self-service checkout to monitoring your activity and just billing you. I have always believed in this formula, and as time passes, I become more convinced: Killer Product = Function {Knowledge + Idea + Innovation} Turning an idea into a killer product is insanely hard and the success rate is abysmally low. Turning an idea into a killer product is a function of knowledge and innovation. Knowledge is the accumulation of facts and information, with new methods applied: Innovation. The plus (“+”) is the human, our talent pool, requiring new skill sets in the 4IR. Is Angry Birds (product) a function of cumulative knowledge (Sesame Street characters) plus a new idea (a sling shot) added to the innovation of mobile technologies? It may look simple, but developing the concept is insanely hard. Conventional thinking is a hurdle that must be overcome to free up creativity for true innovation to happen. When I traveled throughout Asia speaking about the 4IR and this Golden Age of Innovation, Fredrik Härén gave a presentation on ideas and the impossible. During this talk he asked members of the audience to imagine achieving the impossible and to write down their top three or four answers. His findings were incredibly revealing. The majority of people wrote down the same answers: flying, walking on water, time travel, immortality, space travel, world peace, the ability to teleport, invisibility, discovering a cure for cancer, and proving the existence of God or even to be godlike. If we were to ask a child the same question, their answers would be imaginative, limitless, and truly impossible: “I want to hold an elephant in the palm of my hand.” Products are a function of knowledge plus innovation. The skill sets required for the future of work has changed. Generation Xers need to redefine their thinking about what is impossible. In my next blog in this series, I will look at how the combination of new ideas and new technologies are transforming the workforce as we know it, giving way to the Rise of the Machines. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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Industries are Transformed

Every industry will be transformed by new technologies, a new workforce, new business models, and new buyer expectations. All businesses will become software and analytics companies (Uber, after all, is just software; they do not own any cars or have many employees, yet they are becoming the world’s largest logistics company). Bitcoin is just software called cryptocurrency. Money will soon be software too—in fact, most of it already is. In 2001, in my book eBusiness or Out of Business, I wrote “you banish software, you banish the world.” Let us consider how software will transform various industries over the next 10 to 20 years: Financial Services and Banking: Smartphones will replace wallets and physical cash. Processing will be instant for account creation, credit, and money transfer. In 1990, 90% of all NASDAQ volume was driven by humans. By 2025, 95% of all NASDAQ volume will be driven by machines. A handful of algorithmic trading firms will capture the vast majority of equity value creation— after all, it will be a zero-sum game and the person with the largest computer will win. Automotive: Self-driving cars will become the norm. You will summon them using your phone and they will drive you to your desired destination. You will pay only for the distance traveled and be productive in the process. With autonomous cars, will our children even need a driver’s license? Cities will be transformed and become safer as the number of cars on the road (and accidents) are significantly reduced, saving millions of lives each year. The competition is already reeling at the advances that Tesla, Google, and Apple have made with driverless and electric cars. Traditional car companies as we know them today will disappear. Each car will be powered by over 150 million lines of software code, more than is currently required by Google Chrome or the Mars Curiosity Rover or an F-22 Raptor. Did I mention cars will be electric? Insurance: Aging insurance agents will be replaced with direct relationships between customers and insurance companies as they fortify their franchises. Data companies with a digital sequence of the person or a property will eliminate the need for applications or consumer-supplied information. Algorithms in massive computer farms will be applied to instantly measure risk profiles, underwriting needs, and the required premium for each specific policy. As cars become autonomous, accident rates will plummet and the car insurance market will disappear. The day of digital reckoning is quickly approaching for the unprepared insurer as extreme computing, online data, and mobility reach critical mass. Know the person or the property (or its digital sequence), and you know the risk. Agriculture: Enter the agricultural robot, or agbot. Agbots will bring efficiencies and benefits to agriculture, eliminating physical, back-breaking tasks. As the price of agbots falls, farmers will transition from working in their fields to working as managers of their fields. In many ways, this is still analog thinking; in the future, we may not even need livestock farms. Agbots will change the world and the future of food production by optimizing land use and eliminating a dependency on livestock. Nearly 60% of all ag-lands are used for beef production. A single cow takes up nearly two acres of land and 441 gallons of water for one pound of beef. That same cow produces the methane equivalent of four tons of carbon dioxide a year (a significant percentage of all greenhouse gases). The need for beef will be diminished by innovative approaches like substituting insect protein for meat or in-vitro (synthetic) meats designed to taste like grade-A5 Kobe beef. Are you ready for your veal created in a petri dish? Legal: Law school graduate unemployment has hit a record high. What was once a future-proof degree will see 80% of its work eliminated by supercomputers. Within seconds, computers will be able to produce legal advice with 90% accuracy compared to 75% human accuracy. Though perhaps there will always be a need for human specialists. Retail: I liken transformation in this industry to an iceberg, with 20% visible above the surface, and 80% hidden from view, below the surface. There are the must do’s above the surface for extreme automation of operations, customer-centricity, omni-channel experiences, two-hour delivery, and technology augmentation for every sport, for every age (from team scheduling to fantasy sports to golf-swing analysis). Three-D printing will be the transformative technology allowing retail companies to turn high-resolution scans into highly customized products. A China-based company is already selling 3-D printed homes. They can print 10 homes a day at a cost of $5,000 USD per home. When raw materials, suppliers, supply chains, distribution, and logistics are all transformed, the end result will be bespoke, high-performance product—from athletic shoes to homes—for the consumer. Energy and Electricity: Renewables win. Electricity will become cheap and clean. We are now installing more solar energy than fossil fuel-based systems. The price of solar will drop so much that it will force coal companies out of business. In 2014, Ontario, Canada eliminated coal production. With cheap electricity comes cheap transportation and abundant water. The average consumer could save $2,000 USD a year. Producing water from desalination will cost less than running your toaster for a year. Water is not scarce, potable water is. Imagine a world where potable water is abundant. Healthcare: Big data will create cures for cancer, turning clinical specialization into globally available protocols. Nanotechnology will change drug delivery and targeted therapy. The cyber-knife will become widely available. Genome editing could eliminate mutations and deliver enhanced humans (H+). Three-dimensional printing will make prosthetics affordable and liberating. Life expectancy now exceeds 80 years of age. Living to be 100 years old is well within reach. Education: As connected devices become ubiquitous, younger generations will have access to education like never before, without even having to leave their homes. Education will become democratized, despite threats from terrorist groups or governments controlling or limiting access to education—especially for young women. Gender will no longer be a roadblock for access to education and educated young women will become educated mothers, ensuring generational access to education. As industries evolve, so too will the skills required to succeed in the 4IR. I will look at these new skills in my next blog. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.  

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New Business Models Emerge

New business models have emerged in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) that distinguish themselves from “the way business was conducted” in the Third Industrial Revolution (3IR). A common theme that has been applied to these new methods is disruption. Let us look beyond disruption and consider the distinguishing characteristics of these new models: From Analog to Digital: This is perhaps the most obvious. Every analog version of a product or service has a digital version. The quest to eliminate every piece of paper often requires the rethinking of a process. It could be the “Kodak Moment,” the elimination of the wallet and cash, removing a lockbox process, challenging a title process, redefining intellectual property, or going wireless with headphones. Challenge every analog process or product you have, even the very notion of being human. From Partners to Disintermediation: One of the distinguishing elements in the 4IR is disintermediation, or the removal of the middle person or partner, going direct, direct to the customer, buyer or supplier. We see disintermediation occurring in all industries. Direct in retail. Direct in software. Direct in insurance. The ownership of the customer or consumer is a new battleground for trust, brand, and share of wallet. If the intermediary does not add value, it will be destroyed. From Transactional to Subscription Economy: In the 3IR, we purchased products or services to own them. In the 4IR, we will subscribe to products or services. This will change relationships and processes from one time to recurring. Customers and consumers will desire more agility and flexibility. But do the math. There are breakeven models of owning versus renting. I find the answer to many of life’s questions is 42 (as in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams). In the case of owning versus renting, the breakeven point is usually 42 months. After 42 months, you are better to own. From Me to We: The Sharing Economy: The sharing economy, as it is called, is all about asset utilization. How do I utilize non-working labor or an idle car? Uber. How do I utilize an unoccupied room or house? Airbnb. How do I utilize programmers with available time? Code sourcing. How do I utilize the collective energy of a group of individuals? Crowdsourcing. And so on. These new business models are rooted at the nexus of the extreme changes in technology (connectivity, computing power, and automation) and a generational or societal change. Millennials are changing the way we do business. They are not shackled to tradition or location, they do not believe in the value of face time, they are impatient learners and seek immediacy, they prefer to learn through experiences, and they believe in life, not a work-life balance. Technology reflects life. This drives innovations like on-demand, public SaaS, Cloud, a sharing economy, subscription services, and disintermediation. After all, you can run your life today only using one finger on an iPad. In my next blog in this series, I will explore how industries will be transformed as a result of disruptive new technologies, business models, value chains, and buyer expectations. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.  

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The Impact on Business

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is servicing new market needs while simultaneously disturbing existing products and services. New business models and value chains are emerging, and in some cases, supply and demand cycles are being slammed together to become one. In almost all cases, new entrants have an advantage over incumbents. New entrants have vast access to capital, have no legacy infrastructure to transition into the future, innovate at the speed of thought and without political or organizational boundaries, and investors are more interested in grabbing subscribers and market share than generating profits in the early years of the 4IR. Even more important than all of this is the ability to conceptualize in the 4IR, perhaps because the new inventors are borne of an age with a maniacal focus on the customer experience, transparency of their services, and a reinvention of how products and services are conceived, designed, delivered, marketed, sold, and supported. Business leaders need to transform their thinking along fundamental lines to break synchronous orbit and achieve exponential thinking. How do we deliver solutions that are more customer-centric, faster, at greater scale, and are disruptive and thus provide higher barriers to entry? In the 4IR, I see a new business codex: It is more important to be fast than perfect We need less data and more insight Conduct less planning, and encourage more experimentation (and at scale) Be customer-led, versus merely customer aware Talent, in many cases, is more important than capital The skills of critical thinking and creativity are more important than interpersonal and organizational skills Innovation is real time, iterative, and not a linear waterfall Experiment at hyper-scale It is one world; build one company Do for machines what we did for humans There is a new latticework for the 4IR. As the 4IR continues to disrupt, new business models will emerge. This is the topic of my next blog in the series. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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Q&A with Forrester Senior Analyst Heidi Shey: Secure Information Exchange in the Digital Age

Forrester

Forrester Senior Analyst Heidi Shey recently joined OpenText to discuss how secure information exchange can help your organization seize its digital future.  As a follow up to the webinar, Why Secure Information Exchange is Critical for Digital Transformation, Heidi shared more insight into the common questions asked about digital transformation – and how you can be successful in your journey. Q:  How is digital transformation changing the way organizations think about, share, use, and store documents? Shey:  Digital transformation changes both customer and employee expectations, which in turn changes how organizations must think about information and document handling. Customers expect more and faster ways of discovering information, as well as sharing their information with you. Employees have the expectation of getting the information and tools they need to do their jobs anytime and anywhere, so that they can be productive. The information contained within documents is only useful if someone is able to use it, and use it appropriately. Digital transformation has organizations thinking about who should have access, defining what constitutes sensitive information, as well as considering compliance for handling personal information. Q:  How is the way that organizations exchange information changing due to transformation? Shey:  In many ways, it hasn’t fully changed, which is part of the challenge for securing this information. Employees naturally turn toward using common methods of exchanging information, like email, USB drives, and consumer file sharing services. The result is that the organization often has no visibility into how information is flowing and where it is stored, and the movement of this information using these methods is not secure. There are also cases where organizations do bring in enterprise technology for employees to use to exchange information securely, but if this tool doesn’t align with how employees work or causes unnecessary friction, employees may not use it, or find ways around it instead. Organizations should seek solutions that are easy to use and easily accessible, which will facilitate greater adoption and eliminate risky and unsecure workarounds. Q:  With the need for information to be available 24x7x365 and sharable across multiple platforms, devices, and applications, what must organizations keep in mind when exchanging information? Shey:  A lack of control in protecting your sensitive information will undermine your efforts for availability and accessibility of this information by placing your company at risk of a breach. This could be a data breach of personal information or intellectual property; a breach of the terms of a business partner contract that stipulates how data must be handled; or noncompliance with relevant security and privacy requirements and regulations. Proper authorization for access to information is critical, as are capabilities to audit information exchange and usage. And as much as we would like to think we have everything under our control, accidental data loss may happen. You must also have a plan in advance for what to do in case of a breach. Q:  Can you offer some best practices for effective, compliant, and secure information exchange? Shey: You must understand your data first. Identify what types of information the business needs to exchange, and why, to comprehend its value. This helps to determine the appropriate level of effort and investment required to protect and exchange it responsibly, and the risks of not doing so. Identify how this information needs to flow — who and what systems and applications need access and why — to optimize efficiency and productivity. Identify what types of information are sensitive, and define sensitive data for your organization, to gain a better handle over how you should protect and control this information and how employees should handle or use this information. This goes beyond understanding your compliance requirements for security and privacy; for example, an executive’s travel itinerary, a marketing strategy plan, and other types of intellectual property are all examples of sensitive information, too. Q:  What role does faxing, either on-premises, cloud-based or hybrid, play? Shey:  Documents printed out on paper can easily fall into the wrong hands, get lost, or be disposed of improperly. With digital documents, we can track and take measures to appropriately control and handle sensitive information. An electronic fax solution can help to eliminate the risks of traditional, paper-based faxing while supporting the organization in its digital transformation efforts for their business environment. I see both on-premises and cloud-based fax as viable deployment options for the enterprise based on their IT and risk management strategy. Flexible deployment options are necessary. Some organizations are moving fast to the cloud, some have a preference for keeping certain applications and systems on-premises, and others seek a more hybrid approach. There’s no right or wrong here; they are just different approaches that require different security strategies. Watch this webinar featuring Forrester Senior Analyst Heidi Shey and learn how secure information exchange solutions can help your organization seize its digital future.

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution

What makes the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) different from the Third Industrial Revolution (3IR)? Well, everything. It is marked by exponential thinking where linear solutions no longer apply. The digital version replaces the analog version. Knowledge and invention are cumulative. Evolution is just the re-encoding of information, after all. Every person, culture, industry, and country is affected. All forms of production, management, systems, and governments will be transformed. The opportunities are unlimited: faster prototyping and time-to-market with 3-D printing and production, conquering disease and illness with nanotechnology, micro-financing using robo-advisors and advanced algorithms, more efficient and affordable connected homes, safer and more convenient travel with autonomous vehicles. Not to mention other improvements made in human longevity, energy, material sciences, entertainment, consumerism—the list goes on and on. All of these advances will be predicated by developments made in Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, algorithms, massively large data sets, and robotics. But as the opportunities flourish, so will the perils: identity theft, cyber-crime, espionage, new definitions of conflict and war, de-humanization, a widening of the digital divide, automation anxiety, radicalization, propagandizing. Last year, my identity was stolen and I only discovered this because the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rejected my tax return, claiming that I had already filed. Sixteen months later, I am still dealing with the aftereffects. The 4IR is delineated from the 3IR by three main concepts: extreme connectivity, extreme computing power, and extreme automation. Extreme Connectivity: Cell phones currently connect almost 5 billion people. By 2025, this number will be 6 billion. Today, a smartphone costs $150 USD a month. By 2025, it will cost $150 USD a year. Further, it is easy to follow the curve to attaining 1 trillion connected devices (machines) over the Internet (cars, phones, homes, machinery, airplanes, trucks, ships, soda machines, etc.). Six billion connected people, 1 trillion connected machines—this is extreme connectivity. Extreme Computing Power: Today, you can rent almost endless processing power from Microsoft Azure or Amazon’s AWS. Enter quantum computing and the Qubit. Quantum computing will become a reality in the 4IR. Humans can no longer beat a computer at chess. The world’s Go champion is also a computer; the alpha male is replaced by Google’s AlphaGo. This is nothing compared to the capabilities of quantum computing and the Qubit. Quantum computing has already reached 128 Qubits of processing capacity for a single system. At 1024 Qubits of quantum processing power, all the world’s traditional encryption codes can be unlocked by a machine in near real time. All doors are instantly opened, from banks to vaults to personal accounts to weapons systems. It would be a world without doors and locks. This is extreme computing power. Extreme Automation: With extreme connectivity and extreme computing power, the exponential opportunities for automation are revealed (truths are revealed, never created): cognitive, AI, machine learning, 3-D printing (prosthetics, cloths, and machine parts), algorithms, and methods at hyper-scale. Five billion Google searches a day, 200 million daily orders on Alibaba, and 2 billion worldwide Facebook subscribers. Automation will drive cars, cure cancer, replace entire labor pools, reduce underwriting risk, fight wars, and entertain us. Ultimately, it will create a new class of sentient beings with artificial consciousness. This is extreme automation. The 4IR has the potential to disrupt in ways we have yet to realize. In my next blog, I will look at the impact it will have on business. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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Are Neo-Luddites Giving Digital Transformation a Pass?

A feature does battle with a smartphone

At the beginning of the 19th century, English textile workers called Luddites destroyed weaving machinery to protest “the fraudulent and deceitful manner” in which the “modern” machinery was bypassing standard labor practices.  Their fear that technology was threatening their jobs has made Luddites synonymous with an opposition to industrialization and technological progress. Today, some of these Luddite-inspired trends are alive and well in the “neo-Luddites” who resist the pull towards a world where digital is the norm, rather than the exception. While they are not destroying the modern equivalent of weaving machines, they still show a resistance to technology. New Luddites and their turn away from the latest tech When it comes to technology adoption, only 28% of Americans hold strong preferences for being early adopters of new technology products, with 26% placing themselves at the opposite end of the spectrum, indicating a stronger preference for familiar technology products. These statistics confirm that certain segments of the population will always hang on to older technology, requiring businesses to offer customers the experience they desire, regardless of how they choose to interact. The latest tablet with high-resolution display is simply not for everyone, and those less inclined to adopt new tech won’t change just to engage with your company. Across the marketplace, lower-tech trends are surfacing. Recently, Nokia rebooted its 3310 in Europe, 17 years after its first launch. At around $51, its battery lasts an amazing 31 days but its features are designed for the customer who basically just wants their phone to make calls and not much more. Even in the workplace, the trend of lower adoption of new technology is evident, with one study saying that “old-school” methods of emails, phone calls, and texts still make up 75% of all communications with co-workers. The voices of those craving a less digital path are definitely out there. An omni-channel customer experience that includes everyone For this reason, organizations are wise to implement the full breadth of omni-channel capabilities, to accommodate customers whether on the company website, via mobile devices, or through more direct, potentially less digitized, communications. Catering to customers who prefer a super-rich, perfectly orchestrated website experience, as well as those who prefer a lower tech interaction, requires organizations to take an omni-channel approach that is mindful of each group’s unique needs. A truly omni-channel solution will allow you to deliver personalized experiences that give each user what they’re looking for at every point of interaction—physical or digital, direct or on any device—across every phase of the customer lifecycle. This approach allows businesses to maintain the high-touch, customer-centric service that all your customer deserve, whether neo-Luddite or early adopter. Digital transformation is happening everywhere, and though it is an imperative to remaining competitive, it doesn’t always track exactly with the personal technology choices and preferences of customers. Every business needs to capture information across multiple channels, whether data comes in from a call center as a voice file, or in clickstreams from online orders. Businesses have to be able to understand it all; structured and unstructured. Customers are in control, so your business has to be ready to handle those preferences. So when you encounter a modern-day Luddite, be sure not to bury your head in the sand; remain agile as you cater to the younger generations, and don’t ignore the preferences of your existing base. Remember that information is everything, and providing a unified and consistent experience for all customers will determine your success. Find out how your organization can get more value across the customer lifecycle. Check out OpenText Experience Suite 16.

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Digital Transformation and Thoughts From Gartner Symposium

Digital Transformation

I recently had the opportunity to attend and present at the Gartner Symposium in Dubai on behalf of OpenText. This was a three day event held at the Madinat Jumeirah complex and the second of the Gartner Symposiums I have attended now, having been to the same event in Cape Town last September. It was a very good event, well organised by OpenText and Gartner, with a great attendee list. The key thing I found interesting from Gartner was their definition of an organisations Digital EcoSystem. This extends in all directions with Intelligence at the core, expanding out into Customers, Things, EcoSystems and IT Systems (which is not a million miles away from what I presented, happily!). Gartner’s top 10  top 10 Strategic Technology directions for 2017, which they broke out into three categories (Intelligent, Digital and Mesh), was also interesting and I went to many breakouts on this topic. My session was straight after the opening keynotes on the first day and it was the only speaking session at that time. The title of the session was “7 ways to drive Digital Transformation in your organisation”. The OpenText team had done a great job promoting the session with flyers all round the auditorium so over a third of all attendees were present, with standing room only. My 20 minute session was minutes straight before the private Gartner analyst sessions and breakouts started (and the first official break!). So what did I present to the assembled executives? As I went through drafting the deck and looked at other decks from similar events it occurred to me that one of the big challenges with Digital Transformation (and not Digitization – see this great post here on that topic) is that it could be hard to know where to start. Sure, everyone has Digital Transformation on their agenda and understands that they need to become more digital. They probably also know that they should have started this a couple of years ago and be further along their transformation journey. But it’s a very big topic to transform an organisation and so knowing where to start could be the part that is holding companies back. In OpenText we have 6 sets of solutions (pillars) that make up Enterprise Information Management (EIM). These are Content, Experience, Analytics, Discovery, Network and Process. Each of these can enable transformation across an Enterprise in different ways, be it providing a new content platform for an organisation to enable compliance, enabling different ways to market or streamlining enterprise processes. In my role in OpenText I look after our EcoSystem products (SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and SalesForce). We focus our attention on 7 ‘enterprise systems’ (based partly on the SAP Digital Core) that are present in every organisation whether you are a small startup or a large construction company. The 7 systems are IT, Finance, Products, Assets and IoT, Suppliers, Workforce and Customers. One of our key strategies is to take content, and place the content in the context of the lead application, only by having Content and Process in Context can transformation be effective. Digital Transformation – where to start What I couldn’t find in any of my research was a presentation that mapped the 6 Pillars into an organization’s Enterprise Systems – to maybe give some ideas on where to start. Transformation doesn’t have to affect every single of an organisation at once, it can be in a single Enterprise system, for example transformation of HR, or Finance. There are some obvious synergies in our solutions – our Experience solutions linked to a transformed customer experience; our Content solutions linked to IT providing an enterprise wide solution for Content Management and Archiving; and of course our Analytics solutions linked to IoT and Big Data. Also, the combination of more than one pillar such as Content and Process to improve Finance processing. In fact even in obvious areas like Experience Suite and Customer Experience by applying more than one pillar can dramatically increase the effectiveness of transformation initiatives (for example, Customer Experience is pretty meaningless without robust Analytics to measure the effectiveness of new experience). The presentation is below and highlights synergies and customers who have started their transformation by combining the solutions and systems. Each reference covers one or more of the pillars (solutions) around a particular business transformation (and are all available to read in more detail on the OpenText website). In summary So the key message from my session was: Look at the specific areas of the organisation to transform first. Combine the different solution pillars from OpenText with the Enterprise Systems that we recognise in the EcoSystem and start your transformation from there. From the feedback I received at the event and in the private sessions between attendees and myself it seemed like the presentation served its purpose. As always, I appreciate any comments, feel free to connect with me, my details are in the presentation!

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Revolutions. Industrial or Otherwise

The Fourth Industrial Revolution changes everything. Although it has many names—Industry 4.0, Digitalization, the Singularity, the Internet of Things (IoT), Connected World, Smart Home, Cognitive, etc.—it will be known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR. It is being driven by vast technology advancements and will change the nature of wealth, health and happiness, how we live, work, relate to one another, as well as how governments engage, regulate, serve, and protect. By 2025, 50% of the world’s GDP will be derived from digital (a process that is completely automated by machines, which does not require human intervention). This will have profound implications. The First Industrial Revolution (1750 – 1840) was powered by water and steam to mechanize production. Inventions such as the steam engine, iron working, textiles, cement, and railroads terraformed our landscape as humans migrated from rural (agrarian) to urban (city) settings in massive population shifts. Language and reading skills increased with the printing press and so our civilization advanced. Great libraries of the world were built and opened to the public. Revolutions ensued and Napoleon conquered most of Europe. The very fabric of society changed and great thinkers like Voltaire, Paine, and Rousseau agreed that society should be organized according to rules based on rational thought rather than religious ideology. Indeed, most western advances are based on rational thought, behavior, and market dynamics. This is changing in our time. The Second Industrial Revolution (1840 – 1969) was driven by electronic power to create mass production and predicated inventions such as cars, airplanes, the television, the telephone, and even the hydrogen bomb. It was the great age of iron, steel, rail, electrification, petroleum, chemicals, engines, telecommunications, and modern business management. It demonstrated the greatest increase in economic growth in the shortest period ever, introduced by mass production and modern manufacturing. The foundations of globalization were laid and great western populations rose up out of poverty while many deadly commonplace diseases were eradicated. Civil war defined America, Germany rose to power, and two world wars were fought. The Third Industrial Revolution (1969 – 2000) was enabled by Information Technology to automate production. Inventions included the integrated circuit, the personal computer, smartphones, the Internet, space exploration technologies, and the laser. In 1988, Kodak had 170,000 employees and sold 85% of the world’s paper. Within a few years, their business model disappeared and they went bankrupt. Yes, digital technologies replaced film, but what Kodak failed to realize was the disruptive force around them, its opportunities, and the appropriate investment in them (thus, the defining “Kodak Moment”). The Fourth Industrial Revolution (2000 – present) not only digitizes production, but also “intelligence-based tasks,” which previously could only be handled by the human mind. This revolution is of a scope, scale, velocity, and complexity unlike anything else we have faced. Its effects will impact all of humankind, all industries, all countries, every facet of every glorious element of our society—revolutionizing business models, reshaping the world, and even redefining our very existence. The technological opportunities presented by this revolution will be unlimited and challenging, having the power to create and the power to destroy; and as we say in Vermont, any fool can burn down a barn. Extinction events happen. The Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event (i.e., the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs) decimated some 75% of the plant and animal species on Earth. Some add sentient machines and the Singularity—or the point at which a machine can think and act at or beyond human capability (thereby rendering us redundant)—to this list of possible present-day extinction events. This blog series highlights the power to create inherent in the 4IR as the Golden Age of Innovation, but it is important to note the perils that are equally present. In my next blog in this series, I’ll explore what makes the 4IR difference from the 3IR in more detail. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for the Innovation Tour and Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.  

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Is the Microphone Working?

Testing, one, two, three. Testing, one, two three. Can you hear me? Is the microphone working? Testing (tapping on the mic a few times). As I stated in the intro blog for this series, we are in the midst of the Golden Age of Innovation that many are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Over the last decade, the top 20 U.S. technology firms have created over $1 trillion USD in value. U.S. venture investment topped $60 billion USD in 2016. Software is now contributing over $1 trillion USD in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to the global economy. And there are 4.5 million professional software developers in North America alone—more than ever before. Innovation drives progress. Software and hardware innovation accounts for nearly 15% of all R&D, pharmaceuticals for almost 10%. In 2015, U.S. patent applications hit a record high, topping over 600,000. Half of the world’s best-known brands are now platform companies. In this golden age of innovation, we all need to be software companies. The ability to innovate at scale needs to transcend nations, cultures, and people. Many cultures find it difficult to innovate. My experience suggests there are three key ingredients to innovation: access to talent, access to capital, and an entrepreneurial spirit. The Fourth Industrial Revolution describes an era marked by digital innovation, exponential thinking, and unlimited potential. This will be a revolution of scope, scale, velocity, and complexity unlike any other in human history. But what will be the ultimate measure of this transformation: is it profit, peace, quality of life, or a new form of conscious capitalism? The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Better Life Index ranks Norway, Australia, Denmark, Switzerland, Canada, Sweden, New Zealand, Finland, United States, and Iceland as the top 10 countries for wellbeing. The United States would rank in the top three if not for: community, civic engagement, and work-life balance. I am not one to lecture on work-life balance. But democracy is not easy, and the great American experiment has invested deeply in a government of, by, and for the people, yet only 50% of eligible American citizens vote or experience civic engagement. This is shameful. In regards to community, despite progress over the last 100 years, 15% of Americans still live in poverty, which is completely unacceptable. My grandfather was born before planes, cars, televisions, telephones, and electricity were commonplace. He lived for 98 years (smoked for 60 of those and ate bacon and eggs every morning). He also worked on his farm every day until he passed, and left America only once to sail across the Atlantic to France to join the Allied Liberation Forces in WWI. There were many phenomenal aspects to my grandfather, but let me highlight the incredible human spirit of adaptability that led him to transition from horses to planes, from whale oil to electricity, from dirt roads to a nationwide transportation network. He also lived to see the first personal computer, and his grandson earn a computer science degree. As a software engineer, I have never seen a more gilded time to positively impact society and humanity through technology. This is the Golden Age of Innovation: And so begins the Fourth Industrial Revolution and our individual responsibilities for creating a better future. …Testing, one, two, three. Is the microphone loud enough? In my next post in this series, I will discuss each of the four industrial revolutions, highlighting their innovations and impact on business, society, and culture. To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for the Innovation Tour and Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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Introducing The Golden Age of Innovation

By all accounts, we are entering the Golden Age of Innovation, which many are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Some of the early innovations of the Fourth Industrial Revolution are visible in consumer and personal use cases, such as gaming, shopping, and entertainment. But the vast majority of these innovations—like software, Artificial Intelligence (AI), medicine, robotics, and transportation—have yet to impact society or productivity. When they do, their effects will be exponential and staggering. All industries will be transformed over the next 10 to 20 years by technology. These transformations will affect us as individuals, as a society, as businesses and governments, and will change how we live, work, govern, keep the peace, and wage wars. My recent book, The Golden Age of Innovation, describes the impact of this technology-driven revolution, exploring the opportunities it presents and the risks we face as it unfolds. I’m pleased to kick off a new blog series based on this book. In this series, I will continue my exploration of digital transformation with a collection of topics addressing the radical impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution—from disintermediation to the subscription economy, automation, and the “Digital Self.” I invite you to follow the series, and together, we’ll discuss these topics in more detail: Is the Microphone Working? Revolutions. Industrial or Otherwise The Fourth Industrial Revolution The Impact on Business New Business Models Emerge Industries are Transformed New Skills are Required The Rise of the Machine The Impact on the Person The Digital Self The Impact on Government How Will We Measure the Golden Age? To read more, download The Golden Age of Innovation. I’ll be taking this message on the road for the Innovation Tour and Enterprise World. Learn more. I’d love to hear your thoughts. To provide feedback, or if you would like to see additional topics covered in future publications, please add your comment below.

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Challenges & Opportunities In Energy’s Digital Transformation

Innovation Tour

In this post we introduce guest blogger Martin Veitch, Editorial Director at IDG Connect UK, who will present at the Innovation Tour in London on March 21, 2017. The energy sector’s focus has historically been on the oil price dynamics of supply and demand. The implications for capital efficiency, business intelligence, data management, and enterprise information management technologies are now changing the once physical nature of energy. Globally both companies and business leaders are now grappling with a world that is more volatile and more complex, yet demands greater agility, more speed, and more digital competence. It’s a topic we’ve studied in depth, surveying senior executives in energy companies across the UK, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. I’ll be presenting the research findings in greater depth and explaining why digital transformation is so crucial for the energy sector in my upcoming presentation at the OpenText Innovation Tour London on 21 March. Obviously I don’t have space to cover all of the main findings and implications from our research in this blog, so I’d like to touch on just some of the industry-wide challenges and degree of digitisation we are seeing. The biggest challenges the research discovered are around maintaining service levels, and avoiding down-time, which are both crucial for the energy industry as every down-time second impacts the bottom line. The second biggest challenge cited by our respondents involves customer retention and meeting industry regulations. New industry disruptors are more agile and able to adapt to new regulations faster, giving them a competitive edge in winning market share. And of course, just about every company is concerned about making enough money to maintain, repair and replace infrastructure and assets – especially the capital investments required in both digital technology as well as physical plants. Which leads to another issue – the current lack of digital skills and what to do about. (I’ll be touching on how some companies are addressing these challenges in my presentation). Respondents say the best opportunities for digitalisation lie in the ability to store and search media rich content effectively and gain insight to make better decisions. The three obvious areas of digitisation – keeping up with supply and demand and load balancing, administrative workflows, and customer contact – still have a long way to go in many energy companies. Most are focused on the front end looking at digital interaction with customers for workable and attractive solutions, but successful digital transformation requires a holistic, end-to-end view. But lack of budget, management buy-in, and being able to point to a hard ROI remain big barriers to digitalisation. There’s still time to get your house in order – most respondents in our research expect full digitisation to become a reality in the next 5-10 years. But the runway is getting shorter. As technology disrupts business models, adoption accelerates and competition increases, digital readiness will become one of the deciding key factors in long term success. If you look at every other industry that has gone through disruption, history shows that technology powers the winners – period. If you’d like to hear how the leading energy companies are getting their house in order, join me on the 21st March at the Innovation Tour.

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Analytics is Key to Digital Transformation in UK Manufacturing

digital transformation

When TS Elliot famously wrote ‘Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?’ he could easily have been speaking about the vast amounts of data produced by every manufacturing organization today. It’s the new lifeblood of business, but only if it can be properly harnessed. Recently research from OpenText and Sapio Research suggests that knowledge of data analytics is still in its infancy and is holding back Digital Transformation efforts within UK manufacturing companies. Manufacturing is one sector where Digital Transformation will have the biggest impact. It goes far beyond the process of digitization to improve productivity and efficiency. It provides the opportunity to embrace product and market innovation in a way that drives completely new revenue streams. Little surprise then that 80% of respondents to our ‘Digital Transformation in Manufacturing’ survey placed it as a key priority for their business. Change is accelerating While the transition to digital processes is disrupting the sector, it has taken companies some time to put in place the plans to respond. In fact, a full 90% of respondents who had plans admitted that they have begun implementing them within the last 24 months. Worryingly, almost one fifth of respondents didn’t have a plan. It’s very clear from our research that companies understand the value in the data created with any Digital Transformation program. When asked what they considered the key benefit of Digital Transformation, the ability to improve decision-making based on big data analytics came top of the list. Strategies are becoming actions Companies have started work on creating the environment where big data analytics can be fully exploited. Our survey showed that over 50% of respondents has already begun digitizing unstructured information into a contextual framework with a further 34% planning to do so within the next 18 months. In addition, almost half had introduced processes that filter and analyze internal data to help optimize business insight, with 47% planning to do so within the next 18 months. In terms of business operations, the ability to organize and analyze data is already producing benefits for manufacturing companies. When asked, almost two thirds of respondents said they were already using analytics to improve productivity. Over half the companies surveyed were using analytics to achieve supply chain efficiencies. Yet, more business oriented objectives are still lagging behind with only 40% of respondents said they were using analytics to enhance their levels of customer engagement. Analytics skills is still a barrier While our research report shows that real progress has been made in both Digital Transformation and the implementation of data analytics, it remains a barrier. In fact, handling and analyzing the vast volumes of data create ranks as the second and third most significant hurdle to the adoption of Digital Transformation. Manufacturing companies are struggling to gain visibility of all data held in various silos within the business. It is very interesting to note the affect that survey respondents see these legacy, non-integrated systems spread throughout the organization having on their business. Over 70% said that disparate and legacy systems had a negative impact on scalability, 60% said it impeded business agility and 70% felt it held back business innovation. There is an urgent need for organizations to consider implementing a robust infrastructure that supports data analytics as an enterprise-wide capability. With investment a major challenge for Digital Transformation programs, manufacturing companies need a centralized system that can provide complete control and visibility across all its information – both structured and unstructured – and allow advanced analytics to be applied for real-time business and operational decision-making. OpenText™ Content Suite is a Enterprise Information Management (EIM) system that provides the building blocks to underpin an organization’s Digital Transformation while connecting with legacy systems and information silos to maximise investment and speed the transformation and implementation processes. It includes the powerful OpenText™ Analytics Suite, including OpenText™ Big Data Analytics (BDA),  whose advanced approach to business intelligence lets it easily access, blend, explore, analyze and display data. Want to find out more about how Digital Transformation is affecting UK and Nordic manufacturers? We are presenting the results of our Digital Transformation in Manufacturing Survey at the OpenText Innovation Tour in London (March 21) and Stockholm (March 29).   Join us at either event and find out more.

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