Posts Tagged ‘Holistic Solutions’

Five Essentials for Business Success in the Digital World

Friday, April 13th, 2012

Digital technologies are forcing an unprecedented pace of change for business. If you don’t get on board now, you risk being left behind! To determine whether your business is on track to becoming a Digital Business, you need to ask these five questions:  

 

 

  1. Do you proactively monitor the industry changes that are affecting your business?

Use web based tools to help track the impact that converged technologies are having on all aspects of your business, such as customer behaviors, new suppliers, technology trends etc. This approach will give you a holistic perspective of your industry and enable you to identify strategic options ahead of your competition.

 

  1. Do you encourage collaborative behaviors within your organization?

It is crucial that your company provides the tools and environment that enable the sharing of knowledge and information in order to tap into one of its most valuable attributes – the tacit knowledge of your employees.

 

  1. Do you regularly engage with communities external to your company? 

It is essential to adopt a digital mind set and rethink how your business can more effectively engage (interact, listen, learn and co-create) with the rapidly growing collective knowledge base outside of your company in order to understand changing customer requirements, generate new ideas and gain important feedback.

 

  1. Do you disrupt your business model?

Traditional business models, tools and methodologies do not adapt well to the opportunities and threats encountered in today’s digital world. First you need to understand how the individual elements of your existing model work together and then take full advantage of digital technologies to create a disruptive new business model – before your competition does it for you!

 

  1. Do you inspire your employees to bring innovation into the workplace?  

You need to encourage your employees to leverage the mobile and social technologies that they use in their everyday lives to generate innovative ideas that will enhance, simplify and accelerate the business processes within your company.

We at KeySo Global have developed frameworks and tools that can help you rapidly adapt to changes in the digital environment. We have assisted companies by designing and implementing development programs that produce dynamic digital strategies. Contact us at 847-478-1633 or info@keysoglobal.com  to set up an initial meeting and we’ll help you discover your digital path to success!

 

Smart city architects – would Aristotle and Steve Jobs make a good team?

Friday, March 11th, 2011

Smart City InforgraphAristotle and Steve Jobs would, I believe, have worked well side by side.

While researching for his book the “Politics”, Aristotle studied the Greek city/state of Polis and questioned why people live together? He concluded that “the city… is a partnership for living well”.

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, said “Man is the creator of change in this world. As such he should be above systems and structures, not subordinate to them”. The design philosophy of the iPhone, iPad, iPod and iTunes reflects this, enabling simple usage that adapts seamlessly into a person’s lifestyle. Business at Apple has become the “art of life”.

What has this to do with smart cities? About three months ago I wrote a paper about the Internet of Things (IoT) based on an all-day discussion at the Center for Policy on Emerging Technologies (C-PET), a Washington based think tank. This paper addresses the challenges associated with this emerging technology, and examines some of the considerations from a government and regulatory perspective.

The paper covers topics such as the state of global collaboration, innovation, government and industry partnerships, infrastructure development, cost and motivational factors that prompt government and industry to pursue and develop these technologies on a global basis. It also touches upon four main areas of concern for society: privacy, control, security and elitism. At the heart of these issues is the principle of double power; that although this technology has the power to greatly enhance the way we live, it also has the opportunity to do significant harm to things we hold dear.

The Internet of Things, along with other Information Communication Technologies (ICT), are key enablers in the future world of smart grids, smart buildings and smart cities. The concept of smart cities has been emerging around the globe; in China it addresses the anticipated 350m people likely to move to urban living in the next 10 years; in other countries smart cities are being developed to take advantage of emerging technologies and to combine new concepts of urban living with better management of scarce resources.

Convergence of technologies has resulted in the creation of vast and ever more complex networks or systems. Within the systems, most attention tends to be paid to the components (IoT, ICT) making them up but really the true value of a complex system lies in the interaction between all the components. Smart cities are an extension of these complex systems and they will languish or flourish based, not on the technology used, but on the interaction facilitated between machine to machine, machine to humans, and humans to humans.

The principles of business as the “art of life” and the city as a “partnership for living well” should guide the holistic systems architecture and integration of IoT and ICT technologies into smart cities of the future. This should ensure that smart cities do not fall prey to the double power issue. More significantly, smart cities should be designed to foster communities of people, linked together through smart networks, which enable partnerships to grow and flourish. As a global community, we should listen to philosophers of the past and embrace practitioners of the present, to encourage the creation of smart cities in which we can live our smart lives to the fullest.

To obtain a copy of our comprehensive report on the “Internet of Things” or to find out how KeySo Global can assist you in taking advantage of Digital Life opportunities, contact us at +1 847-478-1633 or visit our website at www.keysoglobal.com.

Is iPad off target and Nook Color in the sweet spot?

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Has Barnes and Noble accidentally stumbled upon the sweet spot in the converged space between PCs and smartphones?

Their Nook Color device, with its Android operating system, is a significant step above just being an e-reader but it doesn’t have the pretension or the price of some of the tablets that are due to arrive, or are already, on the market. The device, in addition to providing excellent reading and media experiences, can also act as a storage facility for sharing presentations and other material. I’m a convert! It’s lightweight, easy to use and read and, as I have said before, has instant-on capability, so ideal for the moments when you feel compelled to share that key slide in a quick sales pitch!

A recent study by the Boston Consulting Group implies that Barnes & Noble could have a real winner. BCG’s report, released just before Apple’s announcement of a second generation iPad on Wednesday, finds that the consumer’s growing preference is for multi-use tablets over e-readers but says that the “sweet spot” for pricing will be below $200. The fact that the Nook Color appears to be an enhanced reader and is priced at $249 indicates that it’s very close to that sweet spot.

The ability to access the online bookstore, participate in magazine subscriptions and have special offers focused on reading and leisure interests is supplemented by a growing number of applications that are available on the Android market. The Android application developer community is the secret weapon and truly enhances the value of the Nook Color to its users. According to an Engadget review, Barnes & Noble plans to launch its own Android tablet app store in the first quarter of 2011, providing a consistent, compatible application experience.

Barnes & Noble could also have the upper hand due to the fact that Apple is increasingly leveraging its iTunes store’s quasi-monopoly to extract value from the ecosystem. The most recent announcements of the 30% tax on all media content sold via the store means that the company is penalizing consumers and increasing the total cost of ownership for the iPad experience.

Barnes & Noble, with its existing books, magazine and media distribution capability, is in a strong position to offer a compelling and competitively priced reading and entertainment experience on a device that also provides Internet access and a wide variety of online applications. Combine this with an opportunity to create an enthusiastic community of users who also like to frequent the bricks and mortar stores for coffee and special offers, and the Nook Color could be the best thing since the invention of the paperback for the publishing, media and bookstore industry.

If you would like to learn how to holistically assess the market place and take advantage of Digital Life opportunities, contact us at +1 847-478-1633 or visit our website at www.keysoglobal.com.

Why a digital life crisis is not just about the device!

Friday, February 4th, 2011

Sometimes it takes a crisis to make you recognize why some systems fail and why, in today’s digital life, a holistic problem solving approach is essential. It started yesterday when the washing machine overflowed, flooding the laundry room and pouring gallons of water into the finished basement below.

As we dried everything out, I was already planning how to prevent this happening again. It suddenly struck me that a washing machine is not just a stand-alone device but an integral part of a household system. I’d never really thought through this particular system before, although our focus at KeySo Global is to help our clients view problems from a holistic perspective, so I did some research.

According to insurance industry statistics, leaking washing machines account for billions of dollars a year in property damage claims – not to mention the immeasurable distress caused by destroyed family memorabilia. I then started thinking about house design. Why can’t laundry rooms be designed like shower rooms, able to contain and drain water? Why don’t warm air heating systems have central drainage points, in the event that they become filled with water? Why isn’t there a central sensing system that warns of flooding and subsequently cuts off the power and water? The reason that problems occur is that the system is designed with a silo mentality, and nothing is seen as interconnecting.

Ironically, the same day, I read about General Electric’s ZigBee enabled smart-grid washing machines. These machines can wirelessly communicate with a “smart meter” to save money for the consumer by choosing the optimal time of day to switch on automatically. Excellent silo concept but, back to my problem, not ideal if the machine is going to malfunction.

As Steve Jobs at Apple has figured out, it’s not just the application of technology to a device, or even the connecting of devices and services that appeal to the consumer. From my perspective as a consumer, it’s being able to solve fundamental systems’ problems in a way that adds value, instead of additional drama, to my overall experience.

Based on my most recent triage experience, I’d think twice before signing up for a smart device that may save cents when there’s no “smart system” to monitor the machine, alert you if it malfunctions and at the same time switch off the power to prevent water flowing to the machine. This would be a smart system that could add value to my digital life by saving me dollars and cherished memories!

If you’re interested in a holistic solution to your business problems, contact us at KeySo Global and we’d be happy to help. Call us at +1 847-478-1633 or go to our website at www.keysoglobal.com