What Will Enterprise Architecture Look in 5 Years

Enterprise architects are amongst the best paid professionals and rank among top echelons in the IT industry. Yet their future roles are set to change. In sometime, they will be judged on the process of using data rather than just the end results. Big data, business intelligence and IoT (internet of Things) will all need to worry about the ethical dimensions as well. EA (Enterprise Architecture) is however a very disciplined field and that is something which will be valued even more in future. EA thus aggregates and compresses the vertical and horizontal relationships in a business. Algorithms will become even more integral part to the overall economy and they will need to be of even shorter time frame than at present. There will develop a complex yet comprehensive methodology to circumvent chaos and be able to predict matters more accurately. Thus we see that EAs will very much be integral part of the next era. Nomenclature may change to Enterprise Options Analysts, or Digital Transformation Specialists but the core product will remain similar.

Why Big Consulting needs to buy into BPO to Address the As-a-Service Economy

Traditionally consulting and outsourcing have been seen as divides or approaches towards problem solving. Yet there are reasons why consulting firms need to work more closely with BPOs. Consultants need to solve problem, yet do no know where to look for them. Where better to start than a BPO. While consultants deliver value, often clients cannot gauge the tangible results which they understand better when outsourced. BPOs themselves require consultation while maintaining budgets. While BPOs create value, their staff members usually do not understand strategic requirements. Consultants need to understand that they are part of service industry which BPOs do. Times are changing so curriculum needs to be rewritten. Even the newer consultancies can project themselves as service providers without damaging brand value. There needs to be greater people-process-technology integration. In the long run, consultants are trusted more than outsourced entities, thus this integration will bring greater credibility to the world of BPOs.

Digital Transformation in Financial Services: Challenges and Opportunities

Financial services like every other major product/ service category is undergoing a revolution to the digital transformation. The customer experience around the product now needs to be core focus. The category must be tailor made and pertinent as much as possible. Similarly the offering must differentiate itself from the rest of the competing pack. Employees in the firm must be encouraged to work in their own unique way rather than abide by strict regulations. It must be understood across the firm that the digital approach needs to be everyone’s responsibility and not of any department as such. Processes passed on as heirloom still holding back on achieving true digital transformation. 

Use Existing Business Systems to Create Shared Value Strategy

To create a strategy based on shared value, there exist many business systems. The social thinking model relies on customers to respond differentlythan to other forms. Product innovation is one field where customers tend to value organizations with a proven track record in CSR. Existing sponsorship deals worth billions of US Dollars for football matches or celebrities may be fruitfully re-directed towards aid programmes. Similarly lean thinking is a concept which embodies the minimum environmental footprint and maximum societal benefits accruing.

Simplify your Analytics Strategy

While most organizations today are involved in tapping analytics, some have over-complicated their procedures. There are however simpler ways. Fast data leads to fast insights and thus fast outcomes. Thus data flow must be accelerated. Certain aspects involving analytics technologies must be delegated. Examples could be data visualization, business intelligence, data discovery, cognitive computing, machine learning and analytics applications. Also one must understand all approaches towards generating data insights are unique. 

To Succeed as an Entrepreneur, Focus on the 5 Golden Priorities

While there may be no secret formula to succeed as entrepreneur there are some golden priorities following which success is usually attained. Innovation is top priority as no business can survive without it especially in today’s dynamic business environment. Instead of constantly expanding the scale of business, due focus must be paid to the per unit profitability. There must be consistent cash flow. Unless the work culture is sound, the business will never grow beyond a point. In spite of early success, one must constantly vie for improvement.

10 Great Ways Business Leaders use Technology

While technology is constantly changing and upgrading itself, businesses need to evolve simultaneously. There are ten ways in which technology is used by business leaders. The constantly innovate and do not fear change. The Cloud is used effectively by them. Mobile phones are not treated as mere accessory but as key business tool. Social media is well integrated into the business. Even tablets are used effectively. Time and space sharing are followed using teleconferencing and telecommuting. The online marketplace is well understood. To boost productivity, digital solutions are used. Internet security is not neglected for even a moment. Marketing is automated.

The Blueprint of Business Strategy is the Business Model

A new model called Business Model Canvas has developed which is possibly the most detailed matrix developed as a tool so far. The matrix is divided into 2 zones- cost structure and revenue streams. These 2 share one subzone called- value propositions. Revenue stream involves – channels, customer segments and customer relationships. And cost structure includes- key activities, key pictures and key resources. As per the permutation, there are 14 ways to use this. There is also the concept of value proposition design. This seeks to describe how firm will create value for clients using services or products. Then there is product market fit. This will align the strategy on paper and the actual execution which are often disparate. By this one can successfully tap others’ work without possessing massive assets of own

Developing Employees who Think for Themselves

It is in many ways easier to develop employees who are team players rather than thinkers. But those employees who ‘think’ for themselves cause a challenge for which there are certain solutions. The first step involves shifting accountability and allied benefits in the process to worker from manager. Then, workers must be enabled a certain identity. This ensures lower attrition rates. Increasingly time is being seen as a luxury and in case firms do provide workers with greater leisure time, then firm’s goodwill increases exponentially in the eyes of the employees.

MOOCs Emerge as Disruptors to Corporate Learning

When MOOCs first emerged, it was seen as a major disruptor to formal higher education. Yet now more than just education, it threatens to discomfort the world of corporate learning. Some findings can be cited out of this recent development. Companies can tap MOOCs’s innovative learning model for employees’ development plus use the platform to attract quality new recruits. Companies are using MOOCs to create new range of open learning tools. Major challenges for MOOCs expanding further within corporates have been cited as –budget, limited skills and security issues. Those working with respective corporate learning departments have proven to be top obstacles.

How to Engage your Customers and Turn Likes to Leads

Winning over and then retaining customers is trickier now than ever before. The digital world has flattened information flow and consumers are well aware of competitor product characteristics. In such a scenario there are certain activities, the following of which tend to convert likes to leads in the world of digital marketing. There must be a story which harks on brand personality. Testimonials by customers and case studies developed by them on firm are vital. Certain offers must be launched frequently but with limited time inducements only. Extremely pushy sales pitch does not work now, instead soft conversions do.

How to Use Social Media as a Customer Listening Platform

Customer listening sounds intrusive yet is a powerful tool to gauge customers’ insights when performed ethically. It involves monitoring discussion forums, collecting data about own firm, scouring followers for their key influencers and analyzing conversations in areas of interest among target audience. There are some strategies for effective customer listening. Social listening is one such where mention of brand or firm can be tracked. Online surveys are always useful though more for quantitative rather than qualitative research. There is also the concept of list building which works best with Twitter where lists can be built about organizations and news stories to follow. A core list for key demographics needs to be built to monitor what topics are trending for the firm’s target audience. 

21 Easy Habits to Start Today that will Help You 5 Years from Now

While one size does not fit all, there are certain key takeaways which are sure to come handy for all concerned. Public speaking skills for one have to be improved. Programming is here to stay and thus even for non ‘technicals’, this is a skill certain to help. Podcasts must be followed as they enable free learning on broad range of topics. Understanding of a bit of psychology will always prove useful. Maintaining physical fitness must top priority and that’s where an athletic hobby helps. There must be a daily activity chart maintained. One must learn to listen to others and meet new people every day. Time wastage must be reduced to bare minimum. While accomplishing one’s dreams, the process must be enjoyed. Being kind to people helps develop lasting relationships. One must save money. Similarly, one must diversify one’s experiences and for example the person can drink in company in company of older people. Meditation helps our brain cope with doubt and shame. One must not stay indoors but go out and meet people different from us. Reading novels can be a lifelong satisfying venture. Every event in life, big or small must be recorded by us. Basic goals, we must all set for ourselves.

Innovation Starts with the Heart, Not the Head

The Lakeland Health centre in Michigan state of USA, can be cited as a perfect example of a place where innovation occurred due to warmth of the heart rather than technically detailed plans. The health centre was very well run by all accounts yet was not performing very well in public polls, and thus the CEO felt the need to innovate. He asked all employees to function with empathy. Thus at every level, employees started developing personal touch with patients admitted. The centre couldn’t scale up much financially, yet showed a remarkable turnaround as patients started giving much better feedback. SO while processes and operations were always smooth, what really turned the tide in the favour of the health centre was the human touch and empathy which troubled patients could now feel with the staff of the place.

Mobile Marketing for Customer Relationship Management

A spate of new technological applications has meant that mobile phones not form crucial link in CRM. Mobile advertising has now surged five times in volume terms. Geo-positioning has meant that exact locations of interested clients can be tracked post listening to conversations on social media. Advertisements and coupons can then be placed and timed as per exact requirement. Cookies further help in this. One can even gauge sources from where potential customers gather information. In the future, this is set to rise with business developments in gamification, m-learning, crowd-sourcing, mobile visualization and behavioral modeling.                 

How to Build Conversations that Create Innovative Ideas

Innovations all originate from conversations. While there may not be any fixed formulae, there exists an understood art of strategic conversation which if tapped properly can create such ideas out of the right conversations. A strong vision is needed for it, but solutions must be encouraged to come from employees. Structured forums for such discussions help. Crucially, employees must feel empowered. Certain days may be designated as ‘innovation days’. Contests and challenges may be developed among employees. They must get the right platform to voice their innovation. Strategy reviews must be held frequently and all meetings must be conducted within the framework of T-shaped conversations. Overall the entire philosophy of the organization must be chaordic- chaos plus order. In this way ideas are generated by employees at all levels and dissipated through the formal hierarchy.

Harness Your People’s Enthusiasm, Loyalty and Creativity

It is an oft repeated cliché that successful organizations are an outcome of employee motivations. There are some ways in which employees’ enthusiasm, loyalty and creativity may be tapped. To do so, the organization must be structured bottom-up. The values quoted in fancy mission and vision documents must be replicated into deeds. Change must forever be embraced in processes. The leaders must be prepared for existing norms to be altered. The employees must be encouraged to create for the future and not lament the past. And all these points must be tied up together by the various stakeholders working in tandem.

Only 1 in 10 People Possess the Talent to Manage

Though management is among the most popular courses of study worldwide and countless people across possess the word manager somewhere in their designations, studies suggest very few people actually possess leadership skills to deserve the tag. As per a Gallup study, 82% fail to make the grade. Skills, knowledge and experience can be gained, but not talent. The leadership talent dimensions include motivations, accountability, decision-making, assertiveness and ability in developing proper relationships. High talent managers tend to do well in these and do not pass over for short term solutions. Managers possessing these talents are usually more engaged and are focused on strengths. They are also better brand ambassadors.        

Why a Good Training Program will Keep Marketers Competitive

While the buying behavior of customers is increasingly veering towards the online mode, the vast majority of marketers still cling to the older ideas. This is why firms are increasingly adopting intensive training programmes for their marketing staff. ADMA is one organization active in this space. A property group Mirvac recently organized a year-long course for their employees in this regard. This enables a more hands on yet tailor made training ideal for firms focusing on the long run. Employees are then exposed to the latest tools and online resources aimed at digital marketing. 

How Should Organizations Actually go About Digital Transformations

The move from brick-and-mortar to digital is often precipitous, yet necessary to survive in today’s complex business world. There exists a roadmap which firms have used to successfully bridge this transformation. Before one progresses, the vision and frame for the same must be clearly defined. A Hypothesis must be designed, keeping in mind company resources. The entire organization must be engaged for it once the process gets underway. Proper leadership must be assigned for each component of this change. This entire change must then be sustained using a decentralized network. The portfolio must be expanded and change agents must be embraced whole-heartedly by leadership.  

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