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Four starting points to turn your organisation into a digital business

Many companies are stuck on where to start their transformation efforts, says Kristin Moyer, VP and distinguished analyst at Gartner.


Johannesburg, 15 Aug 2018
Kristin Moyer, vice-president and distinguished analyst.
Kristin Moyer, vice-president and distinguished analyst.

Did you know your chances of surviving a heart attack are higher in Copenhagen, Denmark? That's because emergency dispatchers in Copenhagen now use a virtual agent to them help identify cardiac arrests.

Although human dispatchers alone recognise cardiac arrests 73% of the time, initial data shows the virtual agent plus a human dispatcher recognise cardiac arrests 95% of the time. This is an example of how artificial intelligence (AI) can be a starting point for digital transformation that enables machines to deliver value for an organisation.

Speaking ahead of her track on digital transformation at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Cape Town this September, Kristin Moyer, vice-president and distinguished analyst, explains: "Stories like this can help a CIO change what people think business will look like in the future. Our research shows that 66% of leaders want to transform, but only 11% are actually delivering digital business. To determine if your organisation is already transformed, ask questions such as: 'Did we change the way we make money?' or 'Have we changed the way we deliver value?' If the answer is 'no', there's still work to do."

But, many organisations are stuck on where to start their transformation efforts. According to Gartner research, about 57% of organisations have not yet found a starting point for digital business transformation. CIOs can work with business leaders to choose the best of four possible points to begin and expand the journey of digital transformation.

One: Connected

Connected often is not a transformation, but an optimisation initiative. Organisations seek to reduce delivery times, improve device utilisation or increase productivity by implementing technologies like the Internet of things (IOT) or dedicated digital platforms. The transformation begins when the organisation leverages the connected aspect to earn money in new ways, for example, when companies use generated data to create new revenue-generating services or make data more available and transparent across their entire value chains.

Two: Autonomous

With autonomous technology, machines can make humans better, and humans can make machines better. "The virtual agent used in Copenhagen to identify cardiac arrests is a perfect example for the autonomous approach. It's based on AI and uses real-time speech analysis and advanced machine learning to identify the context clues of emergency dispatch calls. To create a new business model, the technology provider could sell the anonymous patient data to emergency responders to help them allocate resources more effectively in the future," Moyer says.

Three: Empowered

The empowered method lets customers and business ecosystem partners create value for themselves and the organisation at the same time. This can multiply the potential for value creation. Examples are IOT devices in the medical sector that let people perform basic self-examinations at home without a physician present.

"With an examination kit, the organisation has created a new source of revenue while empowering both partners and customers," Moyer explains. "Healthcare payers don't have to compensate physicians for basic exams, and patients don't have to commute to a medical facility and spend time in the waiting area."

Four: Programmable

A programmable starting point is focused on both business model change and operating model change. The aim is to let other parties create and deliver value for your organisation. This can be achieved via application programming interfaces (APIs), open source technologies or blockchain.

"In the banking sector, for example, some banks have made their services consumable for everyone through APIs. This could allow for new revenue streams by charging for API calls and selling new products, such as digital identity," says Moyer.

Editorial contacts
PSI Communications (+27) 83 564 3020
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