The digital age is upon us, and those who do not embrace this change will most likely not survive. From brick-and-mortar shops under threat from e-commerce, to even banks and other financial services competing with mobile banking, there’s no denying that technology is fast-evolving and businesses need to keep up before they get labelled obsolete. One of these key areas that should be adapted is operations, with the assistance of cloud tech.
In the Internet of Things (IoT) space, pain points vary widely across industries. IoT technology for enabling a smart city has very different dynamics and ramifications than the technology needed to make a smart watch for example. Regulatory hurdles for a government project may take a decade to address, whereas a consumer product could go through multiple generations of changes in one percent of those timeframes. Adoption rates for IoT also vary widely – with retail, consumer products, and manufacturing leading the way, and financial services, natural resources, and education taking longer to adopt.
The role of CFO at innovative product companies has quickly evolved from “bean counter” to powerful agent of change and business leader. In manufacturing's past, the role of the CFO has been limited to accounting practices, such as ensuring company compliance with financial reporting and control requirements — rather than any direct involvement in specific IT strategic initiatives.
Here’s a connect-the-dots exercise. Design-focused companies have outperformed the S&P 500 index by 228 percent in the last decade. Salesforce, which offers the most intuitive, highly configurable CRM SaaS solution on the market, grows 25% year over year. In a recent CNN product design survey, two of the top ten product designs in the last century — according to design experts — were from Apple, a company soon to be worth a trillion dollars.
A few months ago, I wrote an article about the dangers a company faces when one of its employees raves about Olive Garden. The issue isn’t that the Olive Garden lover is a problem employee — it’s that anyone tarred with the “Olive Garden lover” brush will unfairly get thrown under the bus when failures arise in a manufacturing company’s supply chain.
By now, most are aware of The People’s Republic of China’s new Cybersecurity Law which took effect June 1, 2017, in efforts to improve national cybersecurity for the largest digital shopping and mobile/internet based financial service markets in the world. Intense discussions and debate continue within government offices, multinational businesses and human rights circles regarding the new law’s uncertainty and vague sets regulations. Enforcement of localization for foreign firms has been delayed until Dec 31 2018 to provide time for companies to prepare for compliance which will often include costly upgrades in efforts to meet tighter government scrutiny while still maintaining as much control as possible over intellectual property.
Big Data. The keyword of the decade. Yet, it’s barely understood or often confused by so many. The idea behind Big Data is simple. Collect all the data you can (Volume), from multiple sources in any and all formats (Variety), as fast as you can (Velocity), and try to be sure the source provides useful, accurate and clean data (Veracity). The 4 V’s just mentioned, form the basis of Big Data.