DevOps as accelerator of Digital Transformation

engrenagesWhile promoting Digital Transformation, everybody thinks first on customer centricity and therefore on front-end interfaces that should better reply to customer needs anywhere, anyhow and at any time. Usually, a big focus is also given to Marketing departments which have to provide an appropriate solution to these new types of customers.

These points are right, of course, but delivering the best service is not only a question of marketing and on offering the best “app” to proceed to product ordering. It is also (and maybe first) a question of showing high flexibility in replying to market trends and to customer demand.

  • If a new product needs to be launched, how much time is it needed between conception and delivery?
  • If a client is requesting support, how much time till he gets a solution?
    And how many people will get involved to solve his issue?

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Taxis vs UberPOP: When Dinosaurs try to fight against Darwin

Recently, relationship between taxi drivers and UberPOP users has clearly deteriorated in France: Some UpberPOP drivers have been assaulted in different cities where they operate, like in Strasbourg or in Paris. Even an UberPOP customer has been subject of violent attack by taxi drivers in Lyon. And this is not only a French issue since we could already notice similar reports in the area of Amsterdam or in The Hague some weeks ago.

To justify such behaviour, Taxi drivers claims that they are facing an unfair situation where Uber is stealing their business with much less constraints than them to operate it. Seeing their business decreasing very quickly, they feel high pressure and react to it in such (very bad) manner.

Since Uber, like AirBnB or Amazon, are to me very good examples of the new digital era, I was asking myself if Taxi were right in their complain and if they are handling the issue the right way. I’d like to share my views on it since this may be applied to any business facing Today a digital transformation. Continue reading

Yes, we can use customer (big) data!

digital_customerOne of the main challenge of a successful digital transformation is customer centricity: understanding what the customer wants at every second and be ready to deliver him the best service accordingly. To achieve this, companies need to know better their customer, implying for them to gather more information about him, or at least in a more effective way.

That is where the famous “Big Data” idiom pops up immediately, bringing with it at the same time the challenges of volume handling and data quality on one hand, and the privacy aspect on the other hand. Recent news about China hackers having stolen indentifying information of 4 million US federal workers makes the topic very actual by the way. As a consequence, a company using obviously customers data could be very quickly seen as “big brother” and would suffer of a negative image.

On the other hand, we see the value of Big data while improving daily life of smartcities inhabitants like in Songdo or savings lives by using social media info to react more accurately during natural catastrophies. So, why not profiting from them as individual in our daily consumer life as well?

We then reach a dilemma: should we use customer data to offer him better service, or shouldn’t we? Is it by the way profitable? Continue reading

Digital transformation: just a trend or a reality?

IT has been subject of many trends in the past 15 years.

Some were effective and had a deep effect on the way companies are using it. Usage of email as first communication factor has been a very good example even if Today some, like Atos, are thinking of replacing it by social media platforms.

ballet_etourneauxSome others were more like fashions pushing many CEOs and CIOs to adopt from day to day the strategies that strong gurus were predicting to be unavoidable. It has been funny for instance to notice how outsourcing was “the way to go” 15 years ago, then being neglected (see particularly 2006 conference of Prof Strassmann: “Is Outsourcing Profitable?“) and now coming back again.
Were companies having deeply outsourced their IT more successful than the ones having kept their know-how in-house? Difficult to say. There are success stories on both sides.

All in all, we may understand that, after the Y2K issue that required strong attention of business to their IT, new subjects popped up on a very regular basis driving budget choices, sometimes with expected ROI that were slightly theoretical.

And now, for about 2 years, a new topic has risen up: Digital Transformation !

But what do we actually mean by this? And how CFOs and CEOs can be sure that the expensive changes such approach requires are a necessity for their company growth?

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