As this week draws to a close, and I continue to work with beta customers, I thought I'd share a bit of my own thoughts on our Planning in A Box SaaS solution and the relevance to Supply Chain.
Planning in a Box - SaaS supply chain collaborative platform built on GCP recognized by Tableau at the user conference as innovative with embedded analytics . Click Here to Request a Trial Licence
It has been almost 15 years since Silicon Valley in california has seen the current high momentum in innovation, technology and investments, last since during the dot com days in 1999. The successes of social media companies and its impact on business and geo political landscape has made us only imagine further on the impact to the IT industry.
Topics: Big Data
The following post is by Pluto7, a predictive analytics company with a proven track record of delivering value through business insight in the Enterprise. Visit us at http://www.pluto7.com to learn more.
2014 promises to be an exciting year. Major technology advances coupled with a real appetite in the industry to make significant investments fueled by a charging economy are sure to make the coming year a memorable one. Contributors of these predictions are highly respected in their organizations, in the market and are considered thought leaders. We plan to track our predictions throughout the year and share our assessment at the end to see how we fared.
1. “SaaS goes mainstream” – Adoption of subscription based Software-as-a-Service will accelerate in companies of all sizes. While SaaS has been expanding rapidly over the last few years in the broad market, we see a major uptick in usage of SaaS solutions for mainstream applications within large enterprise customers as well. Forbes reports that 40% of all CRM sold in the last year was SaaS-based. Even in traditional Supply Chain Management, and related domains, Forbes shows 21% has gone to SaaS and we see this growing rapidly in the coming year as companies adopt a ‘cloud-first’ approach, primarily motivated by the economic benefits of moving away from budget gobbling and time consuming on-premise implementations.
2. “Big Data dust settles” – As companies understand how to apply Big Data for practical and actionable uses, we’ll see demonstrable ROI emerge from Big Data usage in 2014. Most companies already realize the potential of Big Data and the focus this last year has been on learning the technology and ideal usage models. While many struggled to find where and how Big Data can make a measurable difference to their business, some cracked the code. We observed a major toy company leverage Big Data to drive their product into the “10 most-wanted toys for Christmas” list this holiday season. As Business and IT get smarter about this technology and its value, we will see many more success stories emerge in 2014.
3. “From Trending to Prediction” – Predictive Analytics will gain more traction within day-to-day analysis in various enterprise functions. The best companies and managers have always been data-driven, and organizations spend a lot of time generating reports looking at past performance and analyzing them to determine trends. New predictive analytics capabilities, statistical modeling and recommendation algorithms now provide the ability to have real projection information as part of operational metrics. With dramatic improvements in compute power, infrastructure costs and efficiencies, we see predictive analytics becoming a part of the standard toolkit of smart business leaders.
4. “IT becomes a service broker for the Business” – As Business gets more tech-savvy, and chooses SaaS and cloud-based solutions, IT’s role evolves to become an effective service broker. A key trend in recent times has been a lowering of barriers to technology adoption through the availability of SaaS, IaaS and PaaS models. With the Business now empowered to directly acquire, or deeply influence the acquisition of, software solutions – IT’s role as a solution provider is rapidly evolving from solution provider to a service broker. Business now demands rapid turnaround and solutions at ‘cloud-speed’. In 2014, Smart IT organizations will increasingly focus on establishing procedures and guardrails to effectively on board best-of-breed Service providers to ensure rapid ROI while still maintaining control over the technology and software ecosystem.
5. “Social media in the Enterprise” – Supply Chain, Sales and Finance collaboration will drive better customer experience beyond just Marketing using Big Data and Social Analytics data. Amazon new patents “Anticipatory” Shipping approach to start sending stuff before you’ve bought it, is an example of blending and pushing the predictive analytics deeper into supply chain, finance and social media. In 2014 within the Enterprise boundaries and expanding into partner, customer and supplier networks, feedbacks on product and services will flow into your supply chain, marketing, product engineering, operations and finance. Product defects found in your supply chain will preempt defective products shipped to customers saving money and many such examples.
6. “Data Everywhere” – Internet of Things (IoT) will bring the People, Process aspects into lime light aligning with Machines, Mobile, Social. From 2014 heading towards 2020, the explosion in “things” generating data will generate a rich wave of new sources of data with varying formats for analytics. Enterprises will continue to struggle to keep up between innovation and massive information coming from the mobile work force. From phones, to cars, to refrigerator to smart meters to medical sensors, everything will talk to everything if there is an incremental value to humans with the corresponding data analyzed. Business decisions will be accelerated in organizations that have a better adoption plan for IoT across their ecosystem. Nest product bought by Google is an excellent example of a device supporting IoT momentum.
7. “Innovative Minds” – Everything stated above is created by human minds. There will be a continued shortage of smart brains in US and some areas globally. Get ready to pay more to your high performing existing employees or new hires. Call it Data Scientists, Developers, Programmers, Analysts or any other roles you can think of which brings newer insights into business improvements through data and process reengineering. As an example, In Silicon Valley California, the last seen massive labor growth was in 2000. With 14 years gaps, rapid innovation, enterprises now ready to spend, US economy recovering, Investors itching to invest in smart ideas and US government in tightened the immigration, the labor costs for smart human minds will go up.
Organizations have always relied on data. The difference between mid-1990’s and today as an example is that the cost to find the right data has dramatically gone down. We know the costs of a microprocessor and memory chip in the last 20 years have gone down exponentially. With that the data storage volumes and the algorithms capabilities to find the right information fast have gone up exponentially as well. While all of this were happening, companies have adapted to these changes and evolved and some companies like Amazon and Google and many more have grown during these 20 years. What is common between Amazon and Google is that they help you search through volumes of data and provide you the most relevant information for you in the least amount of time to make a purchasing decision or any other form of life impacting decision.
Now, finding faster and better data for actionable decisions is becoming a need in every organization. When thinking of transforming a company to be data driven, start with thinking broadly on how do People, Process and Machines in your company interact with each other? Understand how the organization is generating, searching, consuming data and making decision to take actions. Companies do function like a living organisms with data acting as the blood in the body. The more efficiently and effectively the blood flows, the body remains health, so is the effect the data causes to the organization. All of this is not as complicated as it appears. Executive and management need to look at this as a structured exercise and a journey to get to the better state in data usage than the current state. There is no destination in this journey of becoming more data driven; instead there is more of becoming a company in a more evolved state than the current state.
In Summary, to transform a company to become data driven, three key steps are needed
1. Know your Data,
2. Formalize your Outcome and
3. Be ready to change the fundamental of the business supported by data evidences.
Above all, be ready to foster a culture of exploration of data and raising the questions and finding the relevant answers. Interested to learn further, listen to a live customer at the webinar on How to become a Data Driven Organization ?
Over the past month Pluto7 did a study on various hi tech companies and their impacts to revenue, growth and operating models with the evolution of cloud. The companies we interviewed included No 1. CRM Software company, No 1. Software Security company, No 1. Operating Dekstop Systems company and few more. One observations that startled us, is the amount of change these organizations are embracing to align with Cloud adoption by their end customers which makes us believe that Cloud led change may be larger in impact compared to a PC led or internet led transformation of businesses. Some of the best examples of cloud transformation we have seen so far is Microsoft with Azure and Office 365, AWS and few hi tech companies in silicon valley.
On a daily basis we are in discussions with customers, partners, vendors and employees on the disruption of cloud expected in technology sector.
Like any other industries ( E.g. automobile in 1950's ) we can expect winners and losers in this game of monopoly of cloud business. In 1910 when Ford released model T, many aspects of value, price and features in a car was determined by Henry Ford, within 100 years, the same company nearly went out of business in 2007 until they re-invented themselves in the following years. What happened? Industry transformed from a centralized to decentralized manufacturing, competition changed from local to global, costs fell dramatically and many more. The same was observed from Mainframe to client server transition in 1980's ; IBM knows this very well.
The question not about "will cloud impact companies, jobs, customer buying patterns, cost models, monetization models, stocks, value chain models in the tech industry?" But question is about HOW MUCH and HOW SOON will the impacts be seen?
Being deep in this space, we see change happening FASTER and impact being felt DEEPER. Pick any of your 5 favorite Tech companies today. In 5 years, at least 2 of them will not be your favorite most likely. When you trace back the reasons you will see the marks related to CLOUD.
Working with some of the top companies in the west coast over the last two years, we see the journey of SaaS led transformation of companies into cloud accelerating. Our strong partnership with Google and similar partnership have further helped us go deeper into nuts and bolts of cloud transformation . Building deep expertise in PaaS, Applications, Infrastructure, Security, Operations and more has led us to launch our own SaaS application for Supply Chain analytics called Planning in a Box ( www.planninginabox.com ). We are a services company who transformed into a SaaS company upon market demand.
Topics: Machine Learning