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Drive Digital Transformation With These Six Principles

Every company – from the one-person shop selling handmade wares on the internet to the global enterprise shipping goods to the farthest country – is beholden to data. It’s how business people create community and buzz, how they track customers and build sales.

But while everyone is beholden to data, very few people actually know what to do with data, and some of them aren’t even collecting it in the right way. One of the reasons for that may be from the top down: Executives tend not to see themselves as leaders in data analytics – but most of them know that they have to be a part of the digital revolution that’s re-shaping our globe.

So how do companies begin to re-focus on data and use it to better things in both the short and long term? For starters, just making it a priority is important, and that comes from the top down. What else? This graphic can help:

6-ways-cios-can-drive-digital-transformation-and-lead-their-companies-toward-revenue-embed

If our future is digital how will it change the world?

  BY 2050 THERE will be 9 billion people to feed, clothe, transport, employ and educate. We’re committed to a growth-driven world economy that must inflate for centuries, supplying limitless consumption to everyone. With new tech, could we add a digital world that helps everyone succeed and prosper while working together? Could we become a successful world where greatness is normal?

The Preface from my new book, Imagine A New Future: Creating Greatness for All, asks: How could we build a positive and successful Digital Earth now?

One day greatness will be in our grasp. But rather than waiting, can we reach it now?

Here’s the good news: digital devices have made your life better. Here’s the bad news: although incredibly cool, devices are still in early stages of development. Maybe that’s not really bad, when you think of what’s coming next.

Until now, the devices you’ve had in your hands and on your desks have offered quite both usefulness and fun. But you couldn’t call it a fully digital world yet. It’s not even close.

There are limitations. You switch on your gadgets and wait. Or you have to find the app you want and wait for it. They might have an operating system whose principles you have to follow. They allow you a little creativity, but only a little.

Then your apps or data might not work with another device that you bought, say, last week, or last year. The last time you saw a friend with a new device you don’t have, could theirs be better? Maybe!

Clearly, there is room to dream about new technology.

There’s room to dream about building the world we want, instead of the one we’re turning into.

  Powerful Problems Drive Powerful Dreams

We have reached greatness, but the magnificent size of our successes will be matched by the size of our growing Crisis of Success. By 2050 there will be 9 billion people to feed, clothe, transport, employ, educate and entertain.

Billions are committed to a growth-driven world economy they expect to inflate for centuries to come. As we pursue unlimited growth, our limitless consumption threatens to crowd out everything else on Earth. We are warming the climate, overspending our financial resources, requiring more fresh water than we have, increasing income inequality, diminishing other species and triggering shockwaves whenever we can’t cope with a problem.

Billions of people are at the “bottom” of the economy. The middle class is declining in advanced societies. Youth underemployment is epidemic in many countries. The forecast is for billions to remain stuck for their whole lives.

Many no longer believe today’s leaders can improve this, though today’s leaders are increasing their power and digital surveillance. Leaders want new options as much as everyone else.

Clearly, there is room to dream about a more successful world along with new technology.

  Can a New Digital Window Display a New Future?

This new option started in 2007 with big questions: Can we envision a world where tech helps everyone succeed and prosper? Can that world be designed and built now, without waiting for “the future” to arrive?

The Expandiverse grew steadily through years of private and confidential tech and IP (Intellectual Property) development.

Our world is full of screens. We keep them in our hands, purses and pockets, next to our beds while we sleep, and surround ourselves with screens on our desks and counter tops. Our TV sets are morphing into interactive screens as we put them online so they display everything for free.

What if all our screens, everywhere, were a two-way networked system that turns the Earth into a digital room with everyone in it? What if that networked system brought everyone the world’s best services, resources and knowledge based on what we do, as a normal part of everyday life?

Billions of us. Together. All of us succeeding as much as we choose. All the time.

This new option started in 2007 with big questions: Can we envision a world where tech helps everyone succeed and prosper? Can that world be designed and built now, without waiting generations for that future to arrive?

Let’s dream a little. Let’s dream about technology we could build, about a world we could enjoy.

  Turn On a You-Centered Digital World

If your future devices were continuous, your control over all your devices, and the continuous digital world they could open for you, could Expand exponentially.

You switch between multiple screens. When you leave your old screen it stores “where” and “who” you are, then turns off. Your new screen recognizes you, turns on, retrieves “where” and “who” you are, puts you “there.” It is truly automatic.

  All sorts of things are in front of you — with you. They could be people, services or places. They could be apps or software, digital content (books, TV shows, movies, music, recorded videos and more), games or live video from events worldwide. They could even be other devices and sources you control remotely.Your digital life will always be on, always open, always yours. You’ll live in your “Shared Planetary Life Spaces.”

You combine anything into the digital “shared space” you want to inhabit, until you switch to a different one. Then switch again.

In fact, it’s so real that your “shared spaces” move with you across your screens, and become one of your realities. It’s the digital world you choose, where you can live. Always ready for you to use in whatever ways you want.

Technology is about to move much faster and converge with entertainment, until life is entertainment and entertainment is life. (Or dare I say it, your lives.)

In the Expandiverse, you will become used to your chosen digital realities being displayed and processed without effort. Multiple screens, multiple identities and multiple transformed video, audio and music feeds will simply appear and you will appear in them.

In your digital life you can walk through a beautiful new dawn. Or your own action movie sequel.

With you as both one of the directors and one of the stars.

Much of your life is already you-centered. Next your digital life will let you become the person (and people) you’ve always dreamed of becoming.

You can make any or all of your digital world’s outputs visible to anyone you want. What is still called “publishing” or “broadcasting” can be accomplished in a multitude of ways with a multitude of outcomes.

You are the publisher. You are the broadcaster. You are the digital reality creator.

You choose your private or public audiences. They can use your creation, or appear in it. Or you decide to be the audience and appear inside your digital world.

Much of your life is already you-centered. Next your digital life will let you become the person (and people) you’ve always dreamed of becoming.

For example, Expandiverse technology includes a workaround to death. Since medical science can’t extend our lifetimes to hundreds and thousands of years, the Expandiverse offers multiple identities. Would you consider enjoying multiple lives in parallel? This won’t be for everyone, but for those who can’t get enough out of one short life, it could be their ticket to more lives and a better way to be alive.

In the Expandiverse your life is truly yours. Construct reality to enjoy what makes you truly happy for your fleeting moment, or create an identity and enjoy it for a “life” time.

And tomorrow… which dreams will you want next? How many? Who will you want in them?

The pyramid of scarcity: Scarce knowledge, scarce resources, scarce opportunities, and scarce education have kept society as a pyramid.

The pyramid of digital abundance: If the best tools, resources, knowledge and opportunities to succeed are pushed out to everyone as part of everyday living, what happens to society’s pyramid?

Your digital life is a real life. Wherever you really are.

For billions of people all across the Earth, yesterday’s world isn’t succeeding well enough or fixing problems fast enough. Too many are stuck, educated, aware, capable and connected — yet locked in a limited future instead of free to soar.

Isn’t it about time that your reality was yours, continuous and under your control? We don’t have this now. But in the Expandiverse, all bets are off and all your digital lives are on.

Something else Expandiverse technology offers is called Active Knowledge. Could we surpass the physical world’s limits on our personal futures? What if the best knowledge, tools, resources and opportunities to succeed could be delivered as part of what we do every day, as we use our screens? Everyone could become able to perform as well as the best in the world.

Then, with a universal interface, everyone could run their entire Expandiverse from everywhere. It won’t matter whether you’re in Silicon Valley or a small village in Africa.

Yes, you will be a global person who connects everywhere. And yes, the whole world and its best knowledge and resources will be local to you, at your fingertips, under your control.

Everyone could rise to the top.

Is it time to Expand today’s limited devices, and Expand today’s limited world? Should we begin the journey into a digital world where everyone could choose to be their best, where greatness could be normal? It’s a road with a destination beyond buying the newest cool device, then straining against its limits.

As our digital world grows, devices will have to Expand until your devices can serve you totally. This won’t happen overnight. But it’s time to start realizing that it will happen.

Unlike any generation before in history, we know how to design and build our dreams. Expand your mind, and expand your future.

Are you ready to take your first step?

 

How we use digital media is changing or lives

  The digital revolution has launched a new era of human empowerment and engagement across business, society and in every aspect of our lives. Never before has there been a more powerful influence on human behavior, irrespective of country or culture, than the combined effect of digital technologies. The effects of this shift on society are tremendous and, in particular, are dramatically changing our leadership responsibilities whether in politics, professionals in business, teachers in school or parents raising children.

  Leading in the new digital world is like walking a very thin tightrope. Digital platforms deliver immense value, enabling us to connect, collaborate and broaden our minds – raising awareness about important issues, bringing people together for a common purpose and achieving new breakthroughs. But these very same technologies can also cause people to feel isolated and disconnected, leaving them vulnerable to the malicious intent of digital perpetrators and as we have seen in recent times, even terrorist activity. The opportunity for users to fulfill the need for social interaction, entertainment and learning is almost equal to the risk of impairment to cognitive, emotional and behavioral development and even mental health issues. Digital technology is extremely powerful at either end of the spectrum, and leaders have a heightened sense of responsibility to answer the call to action.

I had the honor of having lunch a few weeks ago with Mutsumi Takahashi, chef d’antenne and anchor of CTV News Canada, in Montreal. She explained how digital disruption has changed the media industry and the very notion of “broadcasting”. In the past, the information that was disseminated by media contained a wide, comprehensive range of content that viewers could use to obtain a full view of the news. Today, that is no longer the case and consumers now demand (and customize) content to match their world view. The results are a new world where opinion is fact and the truth is debatable. As Sanjay Nazerali of Dentsu Aegis Network said, “I don’t need to believe in anything anymore because it has a user rating of 4.6. So, the whole notion of trust is now earned largely by collective experience rather than the symbols of faith.”

  There is no doubt that this shift in how people consume information has shaped people’s perceptions and influenced how we behave. Just look at the stark contrast between the Brexit and 2016 US presidential election results and nearly every leading poll. This gap suggests that the influence of our daily digital interactions on our perceptions and decision making is significant, perhaps even dominant; yet, we still know so little about how digital technology is truly influencing human behavior. Closing this gap – understanding the role of digital technology in shaping culture and behavior and using it to an advantage –is key to effective leadership in the future.

As the World Economic Forum asserted, “You either disrupt or are disrupted.” This statement rightfully puts pressure on leaders to change, not just with the curve, but to be ahead of the curve. CEOs, world leaders, teachers and parents alike must be initiators of change and assume responsibility for creating the digital culture and mindset and to generate a thoughtful and fruitful digital experience for those they lead (and often love). Most leaders are painfully behind and must quickly to get up to speed and:

  • Become a student of all things digital. Whether it is connecting with employees using the latest social media tool, engaging with your children, revamping outdated policies, or simply reading emerging research, leaders must be the first adopters of digital trends and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  • Forget hierarchy. The digital world is one of empowered, individualized experiences, and leaders must embrace that it has no boundaries or titles. By nature, digital technology is diverse and inclusive and, when nurtured, can give leaders endless opportunities to harness innovation, solve problems, share knowledge and learn from others.
  • Think beyond reality. Human workers are being replaced by a digital workforce with the unstoppable development of artificial intelligence. We’re not only talking about physical robots and self-driving cars; we’re talking about software agents that carry out repeatable routine activities with increasing cognitive ability as they “learn” by doing. Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than three million of us will have a robo-boss and 20% of articles like this will be written by a machine – take a look at Gartner’s top ten trends for 2017.
  • Hang on to your values. As we’ve seen, the spectrum of emotions, experiences and behaviors driven by digital are vast, and no one is immune to its influence. Our personal values can be easily corrupted if we are not careful in protecting them, so in the wake of all that noise, leaders – and everyone – must remember what and who is truly important, set boundaries and act accordingly.

Many will not make the journey. But those who do will find a transformative, hyper-connected world that is teeming with unimaginable opportunities. The new territory is unchartered and uncertain. But by diving in with courage, respect and care, digital technology can be the greatest gift we give to our global community.

How technology is changing the world

There is no denying that in the modern world, we are quite spoilt when it comes to technology. Many of us will even admit that it is something we simply can’t live without now.

From speedy access to the internet on-the-go to the ability to instantly get in touch with almost anyone in the world by dialling just a few digits; recent technological developments have changed the way we live our lives.

However, has digital technology changed the way we live completely for the better or is there a down side to having almost everything at our fingertips? What’s more – is it changing the way we live, think about and see the world?

In the modern world, you cannot walk down the street, sit on a train or even eat at a restaurant without being surrounded by people with their eyes fixated on their smart phones, tablets and laptops. This isn’t surprising as according to recent figures, global active internet users now total 3.175 billion. What’s more, mobile users constitute half of the world population, with a huge 2 million smart phones being sold worldwide every single day.

Of course, our phones are now a far cry from what they used to be. We’re now able to do more than just make a phone call. We check our emails, order our weekly food shopping, take photographs, listen to music, watch hours of videos; the list is endless!

SOCIAL MEDIA

The biggest use of all? Social Media. The giant of the digital world has an impressive 2.2 billion active users around the world, which in the last year alone has risen by 176 million. Quite significantly, 1.9 billion of social media users are doing so from their mobiles.

Leading the way is Facebook, which adds half a million new users everyday and 6 new profiles are created every second!

Next up – Instagram. They image sharing platform now has over 300,000,00 users sharing more than 70 million photos and videos each day.

Its no surprise that the platform is now bigger than Twitter which has over 284 million users itself.

Taking all of these statistics and behaviours into account, it opens up the question; are we now just seeing the world through a screen or a lens?

Each year, billions of tourists visit the most famous cities and monuments across the globe and we know this, not just because of the stats, but because we see it – online. We capture moments and share them instantly with friends and family, where ever and when ever we can.

Whether it’s on holiday, at a music festival, with friends and even at the birth of a child, there are smart phones and cameras in most peoples hands. And what many of us don’t even realise, is that we now see and watch more of our lives and the world through technology than we do with our own eyes.

POPULAR TECH FOR TRAVELLERS

With this in mind, just how is technology changing the way we see and travel the world? Here’s our favourite three pieces of tech for travellers:

App – Flight Track

Follow the path of thousands of international flights on zoomable maps with detailed information including departure gates, delays and heaven forbid – cancellations. RIP Teletext!

Cameras – The GoPro

High-quality, wearable cameras are allowing travellers to capture almost anything whilst on the move; whether their on top of the worlds biggest skyscrapers or hitting the slopes on a skiing get away. Long gone are the days of mom or dad hanging around with a camcorder.

Essentials – The Selfie Stick

Okay, so maybe it’s not so essential, but millions of tourists around the world won’t leave their hotel rooms without their shiny, extendable sticks. Well, if it cuts back on the awkward “excuse me, can you take a photo of us, please?” moments, then who can blame them?

Every once in a while, maybe try to forget technology for just a second; really, it’s okay to eat your deliciously, mouthwatering food when it comes, rather than 5 minutes after trying to get the perfect Instagram shot.

Leading In A Digital World

  The digital revolution has launched a new era of human empowerment and engagement across business, society and in every aspect of our lives. Never before has there been a more powerful influence on human behavior, irrespective of country or culture, than the combined effect of digital technologies. The effects of this shift on society are tremendous and, in particular, are dramatically changing our leadership responsibilities whether in politics, professionals in business, teachers in school or parents raising children.

  Leading in the new digital world is like walking a very thin tightrope. Digital platforms deliver immense value, enabling us to connect, collaborate and broaden our minds – raising awareness about important issues, bringing people together for a common purpose and achieving new breakthroughs. But these very same technologies can also cause people to feel isolated and disconnected, leaving them vulnerable to the malicious intent of digital perpetrators and as we have seen in recent times, even terrorist activity. The opportunity for users to fulfill the need for social interaction, entertainment and learning is almost equal to the risk of impairment to cognitive, emotional and behavioral development and even mental health issues. Digital technology is extremely powerful at either end of the spectrum, and leaders have a heightened sense of responsibility to answer the call to action.

I had the honor of having lunch a few weeks ago with Mutsumi Takahashi, chef d’antenne and anchor of CTV News Canada, in Montreal. She explained how digital disruption has changed the media industry and the very notion of “broadcasting”. In the past, the information that was disseminated by media contained a wide, comprehensive range of content that viewers could use to obtain a full view of the news. Today, that is no longer the case and consumers now demand (and customize) content to match their world view. The results are a new world where opinion is fact and the truth is debatable. As Sanjay Nazerali of Dentsu Aegis Network said, “I don’t need to believe in anything anymore because it has a user rating of 4.6. So, the whole notion of trust is now earned largely by collective experience rather than the symbols of faith.”

  There is no doubt that this shift in how people consume information has shaped people’s perceptions and influenced how we behave. Just look at the stark contrast between the Brexit and 2016 US presidential election results and nearly every leading poll. This gap suggests that the influence of our daily digital interactions on our perceptions and decision making is significant, perhaps even dominant; yet, we still know so little about how digital technology is truly influencing human behavior. Closing this gap – understanding the role of digital technology in shaping culture and behavior and using it to an advantage –is key to effective leadership in the future.

As the World Economic Forum asserted, “You either disrupt or are disrupted.” This statement rightfully puts pressure on leaders to change, not just with the curve, but to be ahead of the curve. CEOs, world leaders, teachers and parents alike must be initiators of change and assume responsibility for creating the digital culture and mindset and to generate a thoughtful and fruitful digital experience for those they lead (and often love). Most leaders are painfully behind and must quickly to get up to speed and:

  • Become a student of all things digital. Whether it is connecting with employees using the latest social media tool, engaging with your children, revamping outdated policies, or simply reading emerging research, leaders must be the first adopters of digital trends and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  • Forget hierarchy. The digital world is one of empowered, individualized experiences, and leaders must embrace that it has no boundaries or titles. By nature, digital technology is diverse and inclusive and, when nurtured, can give leaders endless opportunities to harness innovation, solve problems, share knowledge and learn from others.
  • Think beyond reality. Human workers are being replaced by a digital workforce with the unstoppable development of artificial intelligence. We’re not only talking about physical robots and self-driving cars; we’re talking about software agents that carry out repeatable routine activities with increasing cognitive ability as they “learn” by doing. Gartner predicts that by 2018, more than three million of us will have a robo-boss and 20% of articles like this will be written by a machine – take a look at Gartner’s top ten trends for 2017.
  • Hang on to your values. As we’ve seen, the spectrum of emotions, experiences and behaviors driven by digital are vast, and no one is immune to its influence. Our personal values can be easily corrupted if we are not careful in protecting them, so in the wake of all that noise, leaders – and everyone – must remember what and who is truly important, set boundaries and act accordingly.

Many will not make the journey. But those who do will find a transformative, hyper-connected world that is teeming with unimaginable opportunities. The new territory is unchartered and uncertain. But by diving in with courage, respect and care, digital technology can be the greatest gift we give to our global community.

What is a digital strategy?

This question re-emerges as organizations complete their initial investments in digital technology. Much of that investment concentrated on applying new technologies to existing products, practices and processes. In that sense digital strategy was much like IT strategy – a process of selecting which technologies you will invest in and where those investments would go. This approach to strategy results in a plan or in the digital world a roadmap. Digital strategy is not IT strategy, and requires a different approach.

Going mobile, adding analytics, or extending the online experience begs the question what’s next? These investments often changed the form of interaction, with limited change to the function. Transforming the business with digital, particularly in the marketing area, makes sense in the face of changing consumer expectations, options and information. As organizations near the end of their first digital journey and complete their initial roadmap, the question of digital strategy re-joins the executive agenda.

The next round of digital strategy setting

What should be different in digital strategy? This is the first question to ask when revisiting this topic. Repeating the past is no guarantee of success, so understanding the directions for digital strategy is important. At the highest level there are two options available.

The first option calls for extending digitization by repeating the current digital playbook to cover new functions and processes. That is the path IT took as it automated and integrated functions across the organization. Starting with ERP, the strategy repeated itself for customer relationship management, supply chain, sales force, product development and other functions. Digitizing HR, Financial Management and other functions provide examples of strategies based on applying new technology to existing activity.

Transforming activity, and therefore the business, is the second option for digital strategy. This was an initial promise of first generation digital strategies but one that often fell back into prior IT transformation habits in the face of organizational, governance, and other legacy roadblocks. Taking this path recognizes the work that has been done but asks the question – should digital strategy be more of the same or can it be different? It is an important distinction and a question that requires a thoughtful response.

Refining the definition of digital and strategy

Experience changes understanding. Organizations have been on a power curve gaining experience concerning digital, with their understanding evolving at an exponential rate, revising the common understanding of digital.

Digital is more than a set of technologies you buy. It is the abilities those technologies create. That results in a rather expansive definition of digital that over time has simplified into the following essential elements:

Digital is the application of information and technology to raise human performance.

Human performance is the essence of digital transformation. Human performance creates the type of value that leads to revenue. Alternative goals for digital create efficiencies that largely drive down the cost of creating short-term benefits but drain the economy and growth.

Digital becomes just another technology when digital investments do not call for changing what people do in ways that enhance their ability to achieve their goals. If that is the case in your situation then the digital strategy option is simple – just spread the technology beyond its beachhead in marketing. Such peanut butter approaches fit that view of digital.

Digital technologies offer more than additional rounds of automation. Realizing what more looks like, however, involves reducing the idea of strategy to its essence. Strategy as a term has become too complex, loaded and limiting. Strategy needs to be simplified to its essential elements. Here is a suggestion:

Strategy is setting a direction, sequencing resources and making commitments.

While there is constant debate about what constitutes a strategy, direction, sequence, resources and commitment are all elements required to define transformation. Direction defines the “why” in terms of ambition and excluding alternatives. Sequence answers “when” and “what first.” Resources and commitment complete the discussion by answering “what” and “who.”

A business strategy for success in a digital world

Every technology with transformation potential starts in isolation, and digital is no exception. Mobile, cloud, process, customer, supply chain, etc. Each had its own siloed strategy before it blended into business strategy. As a result of these strategy waves the terms ‘digital’ and ‘strategy’ have become overused and misapplied terms.

Digital is no different. Digital strategy needs to become the essence of business strategy. Renewing the baseline for digital and strategy clears away the clutter, setting teams on a path for action. In that renewal a digitally informed business strategy becomes an answer to a simple question:

How can a business win using information and technology to raise human performance?

That is digital strategy, particularly after you have finished thinking of digital in the same light as IT, or as investments limited to marketing.

6 Digital Strategies, and Why Some Work Better than Others

Digital technology has been roiling markets and disrupting companies for more than two decades, but despite that lengthy history, incumbents are still struggling to enact and deliver on digital transformations.

The first challenge is disruption; digitization is enabling new, disruptive models that aggressively compete with legacy models, putting material pressure on incumbents’ revenue and profit growth. As incumbents fight back with their own digital strategies, our research shows that they often trigger a second wave of competition, closer to the notion of Schumpeterian imitation where incumbents start themselves to innovate, sometimes aggressively, against the threat of entrants slashing yet more revenue and profit growth. We estimate that on average, both waves of digital competition has taken out half of the annual revenue growth and one third of the growth in earnings from incumbents that have failed to respond to digital.

The second challenge is that, even when companies do launch transformations in response to competition, the results are often underwhelming. Based on our recent worldwide survey of 2,000 incumbent companies across all major industries and countries, we estimate that the average return on incumbent digital initiatives is below 10% — barely above the cost of capital. Besides the average, however, we also witness in each sector a large spread among firms in terms of their ability to sustain growth and generate a return from their digital investments. The top-performing decile of companies achieves revenue growth that is eight percentage points higher than the industry average and a digital ROI that is 10 times that of the bottom decile companies.

To understand what these outperformers do differently, we dug deeper into the data and found that the degree to which they reshuffle their activity portfolio (eg, by selling some activities, buying new ones, or materially reallocating investments among remaining business lines)  as well as to which they adapt position in their industry value chain mattered enormously, both in achieving higher digital ROI and reversing the digital curse of low growth.

We clustered companies in two ways. First, based on the level of boldness of their corporate strategy, as measured by the degree of changes above, and extended to two measures of firm commitment to radical changes, eg how they are doing those changes at the expense of cannibalizing their current revenue and profit pools and how they are willing invest in digital technology. The higher the share of cannibalization and the higher the investment devoted in comparison to competitors/peers, the bolder the strategy; using our classificiation, we found four distinct clusters. In particular 13% of companies are part of the most offensive cluster ( which we call “big and bold”), which is composed of companies which are more radically adapting portfolio and investing significantly more than peers, with high rate of current revenue cannibalization. Further, a clear pattern is emerging: The bolder the digital strategy, the more likely the company is to have a successful digital transformation. In our dataset, bold corporate strategies were associated with significantly superior performance on all counts: revenue growth, profitability growth, and return on digital investment.

We then classified companies based on the digital strategy they were pursuing. To do so, we outlined six digital strategies. The first three are primarily offensive, targeting new demand, new supply or new business models. The second three are defensive in nature, since they are aimed at improving what the firm already does.

The six types of digital strategy

Platform play: One third of firms have engaged to some degree in platform strategies, in an attempt to redefine their industry’s value chain so customers and suppliers can interact more directly and benefit from network effects. Platforms have the power to radically alter the way value is distributed in a value chain. Accor, which is opening its online booking platform to independent hotels offers a good case.

New marginal supply: A smaller fraction of incumbent firms (13%) were using digital technology to tap into previously inaccessible sources of supply at a marginal cost, often, but not always, in combination with a platform play. Examples include the Swedish retailers H&M and Ikea, both of which are offering a online reseller options for their own customers, allowing them to sell used, branded products to one another.

Digitally-enabled products and services: Other companies, some 55%, were using digital technology to create new products or services with digital features, typically to serve new demand. One example is P&G’s Oral-B toothbrush with Bluetooth-enabled digital guidance.

Rebundling and customizing: Another 60% of companies are using digital technology to rebundle their products or services to better serve their existing customers. The paywall for news content erected by the New York Times where people can personalize reading lists and organize the content they read is a good example.

Digital distribution channels: Many firms – almost 60% – invest in digital distribution channels, in an attempt to make it easier for customers to access their products or services.

Cost efficiency: Almost half of companies we looked at were using digital to improve their cost efficiency, typically through automation or cost scaling. In an age where operational excellence is the norm, this strategy looks like it’s aimed at survival rather than creating a source of comparative advantage.

We found that successful companies, especially those with a bold corporate strategy, were considerably more likely to employ one of the three offensive digital strategies. Successful digital transformations are significantly less focused on cost efficiency and more focused on new products or new customers.

For companies committed to transforming and adapting, the key is to make sure that their strategy really istransformational and not just a bundle of cost-cutting measures. Our data shows that, while digital attackers often enter markets with a platform-based business model, only a handful of incumbents have done so. In effect, incumbents are losing because they’re playing defense. For companies looking to successfully ward off digital disruption, they have to play offense.

Keep an eye on Blockchain

In the world of technology, it happens that the esoteric concept or program is so popular due to its usefulness that it is pulled out, literally, from the shadows and it becomes part of everyday life. Let’s take as an example, e-mail, it began to gain popularity in 1969; at that moment computer scientists sent messages from one computer to another.

 

Currently, there is another technology that can have a significant impact on the automotive world. This can affect how automakers pay suppliers, how consumers pay for car exchange services and even, perhaps, how dealers process legal documents.

 

Technology, called blockchain, it originates as a method of making payments using Bitcoins with digital currency. This new payment system begins to emerge in the automotive world. At the Frankfurt Motor Show this month, auto supplier ZF and IBM announced that they are jointly developing a payment platform for transport services based on blockchain technology. Dubbed Car eWallet, the platform would offer a variety of services: from car exchanges to car purchases to dealer repairs, simply and reliably handle payments.

 

Toyota, the consulting firm EY and the French automaker Renault are also exploring applications for this technology.

 

So, here’s all you need to know about blockchain: how it works, its history in the shadow world of digital currency and why it can be the key to launching the common, independent driving forces of the future.

 

  1. What is it and who uses it?

 

Blockchain is a global financial database.

“We use it in a wide variety of industries,” said Andreas Kind, an expert on the IBM Research blockchain. “Delivery, loyalty programs, finance, international settlements.”

 

This is perhaps best known for BTC, an innovative digital currency that exists outside the control of public and financial institutions. The blockchain platform acts as a public exchange, which allows anyone to buy and sell directly to anyone else, by passing banks and protecting the threat of illegal or counterfeit bitcoins entering the market.

 

This is related to money laundering and other crimes, but over the past few years has become a legal way for companies to conduct business. In 2015, Goldman Sachs told investors in the study that the blocking “can change, absolutely, everything.”

 

  1. How does blockchain work?

 

Blockchain, the name derived from how data is structured in related units or “blocks”, is a kind of equivalent to Google documents for payment registers. Google Docs is a word processing program that can have many people at the same time, and changes and changes are shown live on each version of the document. This eliminates the need to send new versions and updates to a group of people.

 

Blockchain works this way: changes made by one user are visible to everyone, but the key difference is that users can not change information that is already in the document. New versions have timestamps and are encrypted and, possibly, impossible to forge.

 

“The record is literally a series of numbers and figures,” said John Simlett (EY), a blockchain expert working on the Blockchain platform on the Tesseract platform.

 

  1. Why is the automotive industry important in the technology blockchain?

 

In the short term, the blockchain may allow third-party companies to easily offer their own services in using the car.

 

“At the moment, all OEMs work on automotive services,” said Alexander Graf, executive director of ZF, engaged in the development of EWallet cars. The platform “directly connects services and users”.

 

The supplier works with parking lots and management companies that will pilot their payment system in 2018.

 

In the long term, as more and more people move away from owning a car, experts say that the blockchain facility will become the key to managing the fleets of robo-taxis, which will generate revenue through a subscription to transportation.

 

“As cars get more and more technology and perhaps become more expensive to buy, then [blockchain] provides a great way to make [self-capturing] vehicles ubiquitous,” Simlett said.

 

Here’s how the automotive industry will do it:

 

Imagine a mobile company wants to manage a fleet of taxis in the city. Currently, the company can create software that manages the location and use of each vehicle in the park. Users will need to register a credit card or debit card, which will be charged whenever the vehicle is used.

 

Blockchain will make it easier for fleet managers to control the use and payment of the entire fleet through a single entry. Passengers could use one lock card that allows them to take private common cars, welcome a robo taxi or use a public bus.

So much noise around the blockchain comes from its potential to offer a neutral platform for cooperation between auto, financial and retail enterprises. The ability of cars to offer services such as horse riding, pizza delivery and entertainment, increases the number of companies involved in daily transportation. While automakers can still control what services are offered, the block will ensure that transactions are performed fairly and transparently.

 

“Blockchain, in its essence, refers to the distribution of trust,” said IBM Kind. “We want new companies to come and use this platform for their services and enter this renewed automotive market.”

Blockchain a New Web 3.0

Blockchain provides the ability to authenticate digital information.

Smart Contract

Distributed registers allow you to code simple contracts that will be executed when certain conditions are met. Ethereum is an open source blockchain project that was built specifically to implement this feature. However, in the early stages, Ethereum can use the usefulness of the blocks in a truly changing world scale.

At the modern level of technology development, smart contracts can be programmed to perform simple functions. For example, a derivative can be paid when a financial instrument corresponds to a certain benchmark using blockchain and Bitcoin technology to automate the payment.

Economy of exchange

With companies such as Uber and AirBnB, the exchange economy has already proved its effectiveness. Currently, however, users who want to welcome the travel-sharing service have to rely on an intermediary like Uber. Including peer-to-peer payments, the blockchain opens the door for direct interaction between the parties – a truly decentralized economy.

On an earlier example, OpenBazaar uses a block-chain to create a peer-to-peer eBay. Download the application to your computing device, and you can make deals with OpenBazzar providers without paying transactions. The notion of “no rules” protocol means that personal reputation will be even more important for business interactions than it is currently on eBay.

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding initiatives, such as Kickstarter and Gofundme, do preliminary work for the growing peer-to-peer economy. The popularity of these sites suggests that people want to have a direct relationship to product development. Blockchain show interest in the next level, potentially creating venture capital funds from sources with the crowd.

In 2016, one such experiment, the DAO (decentralized autonomous organization), based on the Etherium, raised an astonishing 200 million US dollars in just two months. Participants purchased “DAO tokens”, which allowed them to vote for intellectual venture investment investment (the voting right was proportional to the amount of DAO they held). The subsequent hacking of the project’s resources proved that the project was launched without due diligence, with catastrophic consequences. Regardless, the DAO experiment assumes that the blockboy can enter into a “new paradigm of economic cooperation.”

Control

By providing the results in a fully transparent and public way, distributed database technology can provide complete transparency of elections or any other poll. Etheric intellectual contracts help automate the process.

The application, Boardroom, allows you to make organizational decisions on a blockchain. In practice, this means that the management of the company becomes fully transparent and verifiable when managing digital assets, shares or information.

Supply chain audit

Consumers increasingly want to know that the ethical requirements that companies have for their products are real. Distributed books provide an easy way to confirm that the prehistory of the things we buy are genuine. Transparency includes a time stamp of date and location based on chains on ethical diamonds, for example, which corresponds to the product number.

British Provenance offers a supply chain audit for a range of consumer products. Using the “Efirium” block, the “Provenance” pilot project ensures that fish sold in Japanese land-based restaurants were steadily collected by its suppliers in Indonesia.

File Storage

Decentralization of file storage on the Internet gives clear advantages. Distributing data across the entire network protects files from hacking or loss.

The interplanetary file system (IPFS) makes it easy to understand how a distributed network can work. Just as bittorrent moves data over the Internet, IPFS gets rid of the need for centralized client-server relationships (ie, the current network). The Internet, consisting of fully decentralized websites, has the potential to speed up file transfer and streaming. Such an improvement is not only convenient. This is a necessary update for currently overloaded content delivery systems on the Internet.

Forecasting markets

It is proved that the crowdsourcing of forecasts on the probability of an event has a high degree of accuracy. The assimilation of opinions abolishes unexplained prejudices that distort judgment. Forecast markets, which are paid according to the results of events, are already active. Blocked chains are a technology of “wisdom of the crowd”, which, undoubtedly, will find other applications in the coming years.

 

Improve Your Mobile Marketing Skills

All you need to get started with mobile marketing is your phone -or desktop- and an hour of spare time each day. Easy. You can start planning a killer mobile marketing campaign on your morning commute!

Granted, you may need to pre-plan and break your tasks down into stages. However, with access to the right tools and a ‘fly from the seat of your pants’ attitude, you can start boosting traffic and sales from your site today.

This article will give you some pointers to help you up-skill in this burgeoning area of digital marketing.

Ensure Your Setup is ‘Good To Go’

To level the playing field you need to ensure that your mobile site is up and running and responsive to your customer’s needs. This means you have to take a ‘mobile first’ approach to the site’s design.

Ensure Your Setup is ‘Good To Go’

To level the playing field you need to ensure that your mobile site is up and running and responsive to your customer’s needs. This means you have to take a ‘mobile first’ approach to the site’s design.

responsive-mobile-website

Does the site scroll fluidly and have you made it as reader-friendly as possible in the fonts and contrasts you are using? Have you condensed your site’s navigation to make it easy for customers to choose the right path through your site?

Research mobile UX conventions and invest time and effort into getting the foundations of your mobile site right.

Some of the more in-depth aspects to explore within mobile include conversion-focused navigation paths.

If for example, you are a business with premises, mobile visitors will want easy access to your telephone number, a map, or they may wish to donate to your site or pay via SMS.

Think about the tasks users would need to complete on their mobile phones and look for ways you can make these as easy as possible for them. Some of this will technically take longer than 60 minutes to complete — but you can quite easily map out a mobile improvement roadmap.

It’s worth it in the long run — you don’t want to build mobile traffic to a site that’s not going to convert.

Get Creative

Sites like Snapchat and Instagram have opened up a wealth of options for advertisers looking to make the most of their paid campaigns. You can create shoppable galleries on Instagram and link them directly to your online storefront.

This makes it easy for customers to shop from you on mobile.

Snapchat, thanks to its Snap MMM Partner program, now allow advertisers to make their own custom filters and geo-targeting campaigns. Brush up on your Photoshop skills and get designing your own brand-themed filter.

snapchat-geofilters

You can start a campaign for as little as $5 for 24 hours. There really are no barriers to entry, whether you’re a ‘mom and pop’ shop or multinational company.

Go for it — explore new and exciting ad formats and campaigns to make the most of what mobile marketing can offer. In an hour, you should be able to lay good groundwork in terms of trying something different.

Digital Marketing Trends for 2018

The digital world is constantly changing with rapid advancements in technology each year.

With newly-digitalised businesses and consumers beginning to interact with websites and apps more than physical staff, this shift change can’t be ignored.

From voice search, to micro-moments and omnichannel, here are 8 predictions for digital marketing trends in 2018:

1. Advancements in voice search

With voice search already accounting for 20% of searches, businesses will consider this far more in their SEO strategies into 2018. With all major technology providers investing in virtual assistants, the AI technology will advance and become a key part of a user’s journey with a brand.

Marketers need to rapidly improve their mobile-first strategies, to adapt to the voice-first marketplace. Voice search will definitely impact the business of search marketing, and digital marketers should prepare for this evolution in search user interfaces.

2. Rise in niche-influencer marketing

There’s been a clear rise in influencer marketing over the past few years, especially on social media.

There will be a fall in big celebs endorsing products as new niche-influencers emerge, including the Z-list celebs, think Love Island.

This can be a cost-effective way, roughly $900 per 100,000 followers, of reaching a highly engaged and relevant audience – if done correctly!

3. More companies investing in Live Chat

It’s a no brainer that live chat will become an even bigger channel of digital communication. We’ve seen a surge in B2B live chat interaction in 2017 across a range of clients. Not only that, it has proven itself as a high converting medium.

Businesses will put more agents online and be available outside of working hours.

4. A switch to a #nofilter community

Users are tiring of highly polished and photoshopped media. With these ever-growing cynical audiences -thanks fake news- brands will realise authenticity is key.

Content will be more genuine, abolishing the airbrush with a surge in live videos and real-life content.

5. More local inventory ads

Since their release in 2016 the pick-up of local inventory ads has been quite small. You’d think with a big shift in local intent that more retailers would have jumped on this.

The trouble is it’s tricky to identify the value of a LIA vs a standard product ad. In 2018 Google will improve on this tracking which leads on to…

6. Better measurement of omnichannel

Omnichannel is a term I’ve heard a lot from numerous clients this year. With 75% of mobile searchers visiting a store within 24 hours, the release of Project Beacon was no real surprise.

In 2018 Google will share more details on how they track store visits, for businesses to understand how this attribution works – and begin using it properly as an important KPI in digital marketing.

7. Understanding micro moments

With there being more devices than people in the world, and each person on average checking their phone 100+ times a day, micro moments are crucial.

Decisions are made in micro-moments; when you check emails, social media or push notifications. Monitoring these touch points and their impact on the lead up to a macro-conversion will be a priority for digital marketing strategies in 2018.

Whilst we can’t predict exactly what will happen in 2018, we’re excited to see what new trends, tools and technology will be released in the digital marketing industry.

This time next year, let’s see how many – if any – predictions were right!

Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamentals

Requirements
There are no requirements needed to enroll beyond having a business interest in learning how Blockchain and Bitcoin work.
Description
Newly expanded with even more video content!

Listening and acting upon valuable feedback from over 10,000 satisfied students worldwide who are currently enrolled in this course – we have added new video and valuable content including Smart Contracts, Cryptocurrency, DAOs, DACs and even a new video lecture on Bitcoin Cash – the new cryptocurrency born out of the August 1st, 2017 Hard Fork!

Don’t waste any further time and quickly get the working knowledge you need in blockchain and Bitcoin by enrolling now!

– Are you looking for a quick, highly-effective and easy way to understand blockchain and Bitcoin?

– Do you want to get a firm grasp on what blockchain and Bitcoin are all about? Even topics such as Smart Contracts and Digital Tokens?

– Do you need to learn the key concepts and vocabulary around blockchain and Bitcoin?

This effective guide will help you understand blockchain and Bitcoin, including more advanced topics such as smart contracts and digital tokens, and will set you well on your way to blockchain and Bitcoin mastery.

You’ll learn the key aspects around Blockchain and Bitcoin, including:

What is a blockchain?
What is Bitcoin?
What are smart contracts?
What is a cryptocurrency?
What are digital tokens?
How blockchain and Bitcoin are related and why it’s so important to know the relation.
Some common misconceptions about blockchain and Bitcoin.
How to get started with Bitcoin
And more!

FREE BONUS:

I have included a downloadable and printable PDF Glossary including over 100 of the most important blockchain and Bitcoin terms so you can have the essential concepts and language available with you whenever you may need them.

This course will help you quickly master the most important ideas and topics in blockchain and Bitcoin.

I look forward to seeing you inside!

Best,

George Levy

Who is the target audience?
The ideal student for this course is someone who wants to quickly understand and expand their knowledge of how Blockchain and Bitcoin work as well as how they are applied in business.
Business people who want to learn more about how Blockchain and Bitcoin are impacting the world of business.
This course does not include any code sampling elements, as such it is not meant as a course for developers who wish to learn how to program Blockchain applications.

5 Digital Marketing Tips To Grow Your Startup In 2018

It’s a great achievement to be able to launch your own startup in this tightly packed global business industry. You dreamt big and coalesced resources, ideas, and action plan to create your nascent platform.

A pat on the back for you, and a nudge on the other shoulder. You have yet to go stronger to grow stronger.

In this fast-paced and influencing business industry, you need to take measures on establishing your brand name with a robust digital marketing strategy.

Digital Marketing is a powerful tool, can contribute powerfully to your online presence, and positively impact your bottom line.

Everything you do to build your digital presence counts toward your brand name getting known. When you are known by your target audience, it will start affecting your bottom line.

And one of the most effective ways to create a strong presence is by using digital media for your marketing needs.

Here are 5 essential digital marketing tips to grow your startup.

1. User experience

Your audience is what matters. Your audience must be able to engage with your brand name, your values, and your product, to build a lasting relationship and association with your company.

Similarly, the audience is now more reflective and receptive when brands offer them unique user experience and brand value.

Your digital marketing strategies must be designed carefully to appeal to the audience of your market. Delve into research and find out what works for your audience.

Build their interest and knowledge by providing them with content that informs and inspires. You will also be able to strengthen the brand voice by continuously engaging with your audience.

User experience can be made effective primarily through content, communication channels and intuitive UI.

The loading speed of your website; the intuitive menu navigation; chatbots that assist in communication; and simplicity and tone of your content is key to a great user experience.

In addition, you need to develop a client management strategy that helps you connect with your customers.

This strategy will walk you through query and complaint management. Moreover, it will collect feedback for improvement and make your clients feel part of the brand community.

For example, develop a series of simple FAQs and use them to respond to your audience and clients’ queries on social media, via email, on phone, etc.

If you are keen to getting involved more, digital world is full of new updates. Go ahead and search for more tips and trends on making a captivating user experience.

2. Creative content

You will need to invest in a solid content marketing strategy that engages your audience. Create content that is unique and fresh as it can have a strong impact o your target market.

From communicating your brand’s message to engaging your customers with information,  content is supreme as it gives something useful to your potential customers.

Great content can increase your organic traffic and can improve your search engine rankings.

Your audience is primarily looking for content that communicates value.

Get to the point!80% of your content should not be about your product – no, it doesn’t backfire at all – and 20% of it could be focused on your online sales, giveaways, etc.

3. Social media platforms

Your online presence and identity begins with your website and social media platforms. So you can engage your audience, communicate your message with powerful content through a strong social media platform.

As a startup, one of the first things that you probably worked on was an active social media strategy.

You know that in this business industry, social media is the key to leveraging your brand awareness and value.

Apps like SnapChat and Instagram are becoming popular and engaging the audience with brand names.

4. Video marketing is seeing an upward trend

Videos are powerful tools to communicate extensively. Consider Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and SnapChat stories to engage your audience.

You can hold webinars and live events for product launches, hold tutorials, and answer questions in real time. This gives a tangible feeling to your audience and helps them connect more closely with your brand and product.

5. Search engine optimization

And most importantly, invest in a credible SEO solution. Conduct an SEO audit and find out how users are interacting with your website and social media platforms.

SEO will look into aspects of your website and page optimization, device optimisation and credible link building for better visibility in search engine results.

For example, in one of Google’s highly important updates, the websites that are not responsive on various digital devices will not appear in search altogether, regardless of their SEO measures!

Once you understand the nature of association, outreach and impact of your brand’s SEO, rehash or redefine your digital marketing strategy accordingly.

Understand how SEO works and learn about the expectations and prospects of hiring SEO specialists. This will help your startup to grow quicker. Be consistent and regular in your digital marketing strategy.