Archive for March 28th, 2018

  • Embracing data for the digital environment

    The past 12 months have seen digital becoming a focal point for many businesses. Yet, the market is still fragmented in how to approach dealing with the complexities of migrating. Part of this entails preparing for this new [digital] world but not completely understanding the building blocks required.

    Contributing to this is the misconception that technology provides a silver bullet to organisational challenges. But, it requires more than just purchasing a Web platform and thinking that is enough to turn your business into a digital one. There needs to be a full paradigm shift taking place within the organisation.

    While financial services companies have digital on the strategic agenda, other industries are lagging in terms of understanding the urgency of transforming. Perceptions need to be changed and focused on getting management out of their comfort zone. While some are at the forefront of innovation, others are still too traditional in their outlooks.

    Data, data, data

    A focus on data and analytics will be essential to help change this. Making sense of data and using it to gain a better understanding of customers and their preferences will be critical throughout the value chain of the organisation.

    The likes of Web platforms, chat bots, and even machine-learning require cognitive abilities. After all, a chat bot is only as intelligent as the information that is provided. There is likely quite a bit of unfamiliarity from senior management who do not understand the technical requirements and capabilities needed for a digital world.

    Again, this is where prioritising data comes in. This forms the foundation of a digital environment. While many understand that information is important, they do not have sight of the kind of data that is collected, what to do with it, and how to link it with consumption in focused and targeted methods.

    Overcoming challenges

    Yes, there are difficulties involved in moving from a legacy to a digital one. However, companies who have completed (or are still busy with) the transition typically start by building a green field solution in parallel to the legacy one and gradually migrating to the new environment.

    They can then add on components as required until it permeates all facets of the business. This has the additional benefit of showing all stakeholders the benefits that going digital offer. By the end of this year, most companies in South Africa would have realised the importance of going digital and would have started planned a well-rounded strategy for transforming.

    Ultimately, people need to start engaging in digital this year to truly understand their customer requirements if they are to remain ompetitive in the future.

  • Data proliferation drives cloud storage adoption

    This article was first published on ITWeb, on 20th March 2018

    Source: ITWeb

  • The evolution of the datacentre

    This article was first published on Brainstorm Magazine online, on 07th March 2018

     Source: Brainstorm Magazine online


  • Unlock the power of data in finance

    Information is all around us. Despite cynics arguing that much of it is simply ‘noise’, the opposite is true. Given the wealth of data at our disposal, companies are realising the importance of getting value from it using a myriad of analytical solutions.

    Even though organisations of various sizes and from any industry can draw benefit from its data, it is especially in the financial services sector we are seeing significant gains. Part of this can be attributed to the difficult global economic conditions and unique local circumstances. Of course, finance permeates every aspect of business and using data in more innovative ways will be a fundamental part of ecoming more competitive in the connected landscape.

    Changing technologies

    Certainly, advances in technology are making it easier to extract meaningful insights from the data decision-makers have at their disposal. However, there still needs to be a willingness to scrutinise back-end data and ensure that the ‘right’ information is used for the development of products and services and the revision of corporate strategy.

    Similarly, techniques to analyse data have also improved significantly. Today, you do not have to be a data scientist or business analyst to gain some value from the resident information. Yes, these professions can unlock a significant amount of meaningful insight but organisations that do not have the budget for these resources can still get some competitive advantage by performing in-house analysis.

    Democratisation of tools

    Just as cloud computing made collaboration, sharing, and storing information a more cost-effective process, so too is data analysis tools making real-time insights something that all companies can perform.

    When every expense is being scrutinised and every line item on the business budget examined, data analysis can empower executives by giving them access to information in ways previously unimagined.

    An advanced mindset

    More advanced analytics can bring about even more business advantages as companies try to gain the competitive edge wherever possible. Being able to generate detailed profiles of customers, identifying purchasing patterns, and even incorporating telemetry data from connected devices provide organisations with a wealth of options when it comes to create more bespoke solutions.

    Factor in the potential of predictive analytics and you have an environment that is incredibly conducive to a more personalised customer experience. And it is this unique offering that stakeholders are expecting of more connected – and data-savvy – businesses in 2018.

    So, even though some might think that true real-time analytics is a while away, the organisations that are able to extract the most benefit from it in finances will be the ones to remain relevant in the months and years to come.