SOGETI UK BLOG

Who works in IT has already enough heard the buzzword Digital Transformation but – as often happens to buzzwords – there are elusive and often very generic cliché. The questions that I have asked myself is probably naïve: what is the simple recipe to achieve this transformation? When a company can really say: “Yes! We did it!”? And how – as IT people – we can do to help?

No easy answers, of course, but a really fascinating book (Leading Digital), jointly written by Capgemini Consulting and MIT Center of Digital Business,  helped me to find some of these answers; going through the different frameworks in the book, I have then tried to adapt what we can do from a technological standpoint, with what we should achieve to finally become digital leaders: it turns out that huge opportunities are out there.

If a company wants to understand where its journey toward digital transformation starts, needs to understand where they are today. Before achieving the status of Digital Master, three categories can be identified:

  • Beginners: newbie in this kind of journey they need to gain confidence in their moves, as they are missing both leadership and digital capabilities.
  • Fashionistas: they are attracted by all new technology trends, but without a real vision and therefore with a lack of leadership in their processes. It’s the kind of company that start mobile, social and cloud strategies, but without a real common vision.
  • Conservatives: with a very strong and recognized leadership they play the “safe side” and take every decision related to digital with caution.

On the other side Digital Masters have overcome the challenges and they outperform their peers: this is the most important message and makes clear that Digital Transformation is not just a buzzword or a trend but an opportunity to improve the way of doing business; studies have shown how Digital Masters are 9% more efficient in terms of revenue generation and 26% more profitable than their peers.

Figure 2 The Digital Transformation Framework adapted with Digital Capabilities and Opportunities

Based on the frameworks explained in the book I have tried to identify in the image below how IT can provide answers to this transformation and what are the digital capability that can serve the final goal of being leaders in digital.

While the customer experience is oriented outside the company, the operational processes aim to provide new solutions for the employees, which are also looking for a new way of working.
Finally, as Vincent Van Gogh said, we should not become the slaves of our models and becoming Digital Leaders means also creating values for customers and employees discovering new models of doing business.

The digital transformation is a journey that will take time, but it’s not anymore a question of IF, but rather of WHEN; companies have understood (and who didn’t will understand soon) that it is important to change and adapt themselves to the request of innovation that we are having today.

 

Manuel Conti AUTHOR:
Manuel Conti has been at Sogeti since 2010. With a technical background he leads onshore and offshore teams mainly in the use of the Microsoft SharePoint platform, building intranet and internet web sites.

Posted in: architecture, Big data, Capgemini Group, Cloud, communication, DevOps, Digital, Digital strategy, Infrastructure, Innovation, Internet of Things, mobile testing, Mobility, Quality Assurance, Research, Transformation, Uncategorized, User Experience, User Interface      
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Last winter, when I had a ski accident and broke my knee ligaments, my 6-year-old son said to me, “Don’t worry, they’ll fix it and you’ll become a robot”. What impressed me in that sentence was that, in his mind, the meaning of breaking things or disability was already changed: in some years, we will have to find a new term in the post-disability age.
Maxènce is french boy, born without a hand and that has been equipped with the first 3d printed hand in the world. The innovative thing is that the hand for “Super Max” is not a medical support that requires surgery, but a wearable device printed by e-NABLE(To Give The World A “Helping Hand!) association, created by volunteers passionate about 3d printing and able to provide innovative solutions at a low price. On his first day of school, he was “the hero”, the one that other kids admired, because of his new hand: the concept of disability suddenly took on a refreshed, new meaning.
The Chairless Chair is an exoskeleton that allows workers to sit without straining their muscles.

 

The change is already here, when such solutions are created not only to help people with disability, but also to help “normal” people during their work in difficult situations. The Swiss startup Noone has created an exoskeleton that acts as a chair and helps Audi’s employees during their working day, where they have to stand in difficult and uncomfortable positions. This chairless chair literally hugs the employee’s legs and sustains him/her whenever the standing position becomes difficult. The possible audience for such wearables is large and its impact on productivity, compared to the fatigue of difficult positions, makes the ROI impact very interesting.

 

Hugh Herr is a bionic designer and also a mountain climber, whot lost both his legs in an accident. In his TED talks video, he said that “We the people need not accept our limitation, but can transcend disability through technological innovation” .

Hugh HerrHugh Herr 

There is a large potential in this sector and recent studies show that the exoskeleton market share willreach $2.1 billion by 2021 and we will have an exoskeleton market besides the therapeutic robotic market. People that could not walk or had a major disability, today have the hope that moving about will be much more easier to achieve and I believe that this is just the beginning.

What makes me dream about all these innovations is that the only limit is the sky and we can go beyond ourselves. The last example that I would like to cite is less linked to robots but still interesting. It is about what Dr. Tarek Loubani made in order to help Palestinian patients. This Canadian doctor saw that stethoscopes were missing in Gaza because of the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel and he “just” found the solution. The cost of his 3d printed stethoscopes is $2.5 and it is just as good as costlier models, doctors say.
Innovation is already here but, the most funny thing is that we are the innovation.

 

Manuel Conti AUTHOR:
Manuel Conti has been at Sogeti since 2010. With a technical background he leads onshore and offshore teams mainly in the use of the Microsoft SharePoint platform, building intranet and internet web sites.

Posted in: 3D printing, component testing, Digital, Innovation, Open Innovation, Research, Robotics, Social Aspects, Software Development, Technical Testing, Test Driven Development, Test Plans, User Experience, User Interface, user stories, Wearable technology, wearable technoloy      
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MS IgniteThe Microsoft Ignite conference, which took place in Chicago (USA) in the first week of May, clearly demonstrated how CEO Satya Nadella has changed Microsoft’s vision. We got to see the real direction, the company is taking, with a focus on multi-device, intelligent Cloud and new business processes. However, something that really made me think of what disruption and innovation means, was the keynote session on Monday, May 4, at the end of the day. During the presentation, Harry Shum, EVP of Microsoft Research, showed us how its research team is targeting the long run. Quoting Bill Gates, Shum said that people tend to underestimate what they can do in one year, but largely underestimate what can be done in 10 years.

Here are the key points on which the Microsoft Research team is focusing right now:

The Big Data apocalypse: The fact that we have Big Data (44 zettabytes to be reached) does not mean that they make big sense. One way to create this “sense,” introduced by Microsoft, is data visualisation. This approach allows the end users to search large amounts of data, and work with them without complex operations, in a more friendly way.

The limit of human intelligence: AI will overtake human intelligence and now, we are getting the results of the researches that started years ago. Computer vision and computer training is considered to be something real, today. One example is the website how-old.net that is able, with a picture provided, to tell how old your face looks. This is the magic of machine learning, where computers do not just execute, but also learn things. Results show us that computer vision is getting more precise than human perception.

Quantum computers: For all people in the IT domain, quantum computers should mean nothing less than “THE legend”; and if you are not shocked by the principle of Quantum computer, it means that you didn’t understand what its real potential is. In a nutshell: Standard computers use binary digits, bits, which can be 0 or 1. Now, imagine that you can superpose these values to get qubits, which can be at the same time 0 and 1. Quantum computers could do calculations that today are almost impossible and it would lead to a revolution that will make today’s super computer look like a chalkboard!

First picture of a Quantum Computer created in Microsoft's Lab in Copenhagen, DenmarkFirst Picture of a Quantum Computer created in Microsoft’s Lab in Copenhagen 

Although, Quantum computers are not yet available, but what seemed impossible few years back, has become probable today. In 2006, Microsoft created the Station Q with a specific focus on quantum computation and today, the initial results are coming through with applications to fields like health, energy, environment and, of course, Cloud and machine learning.

The quantum computers promise to open up a sea of new possibilities that will not only help machines speed up processes, but will also enable us to ask questions that we cannot even imagine today. What, now, takes days or months of calculation, will be possible in hours or minutes.

To be a pioneer in innovation, we have to find the answers to problems that people do not yet have today.

To read the original post and add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: Quantum computers: When magic happens and impossible becomes probable

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Manuel Conti AUTHOR:
Manuel Conti has been at Sogeti since 2010. With a technical background he leads onshore and offshore teams mainly in the use of the Microsoft SharePoint platform, building intranet and internet web sites.

Posted in: Behaviour Driven Development, Big data, Business Intelligence, communication, Developers, Digital, Digital strategy, Enterprise Architecture, Environmental impact, Innovation, Open Innovation, Opinion, Research, Smart, Technology Outlook, Transformation      
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HybridCloudWe already discussed some time back how important the cloud is today and the benefits that this technology can bring to the client, however, the cloud still comes with doubts and fears: data security, cyber-attacks (don’t miss Sogeti’s book about it), governments intrusions, lack of supports, etc. This is why  hybrid-cloud is more and more a trend today and a good compromise between private and public cloud. How can we help our clients with this challenge?

Hybridcloud merges the benefits of public cloud (Amazon, O365, etc.) with the comfort of an on premise technology. Let’s think how our clients need to communicate with external partners that are outside their network or Active Directory in terms of authentication. A hybrid approach will be able to keep completely independent the two ecosystems: sensitive information will remain local, while everything that needs to be shared can live in the cloud. Especially in programs like ECM (Enterprise Content Management) where collaboration (internal or external) is crucial, hybrid-cloud can make life much easier.

Moreover, let’s also remember the benefits in terms of costs, switching from a CAPEX model (you buy all the required hardware, even if you use it only at its 10%) to the OPEX approach, paying only what you consume. Software editors have clearly understood what companies are looking for and many collaboration products today are moving in this direction. A couple of these are NemakiWare, an open source CMS, or the hybrid solution offered bySharePoint 2013.

Of course the hybrid-cloud is not magic and we have to keep in mind all the pros and cons of this approach:

PROS

High performances: Network must be secured, but with the use of virtualisation a high performing environment can be built.

Scalability: When demand increases, the cloud can extend capacity almost immediately and keep safe the flexibility.

Security: While many people continue to think that the cloud is not secure (which I don’t believe), the hybrid-cloud guarantees isolation of really private content to the company

Low price: With very low operational costs and no hardware maintenance for the cloud, the companies can focus their efforts on improving features for their businesses instead of buying servers that are only partially used.

 

CONS

Infrastructure: To put in place all the necessary configuration to have a secure hybrid-cloud is not easy and has major drawbacks.

SLAs: The SLAs need to be constructed carefully and be able to serve both your users on premise and in the cloud.

Data Protection & Compliance: There will be 2 independent environments that will need to respect the company compliance rules and data needs to be protected and secured in two separate ecosystems.

Complex Networking: The network in a hybrid configuration plays for 70% of the solutions. This networking is complex and high competencies are necessary.


So, what’s the point? Our clients are looking for scalability and flexibility and we can reach these goals only by being flexible ourselves and creating flexible solutions.

To read the original post and add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: Hybrid Cloud, Hybrid clients…hybrid solutions!

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Manuel Conti AUTHOR:
Manuel Conti has been at Sogeti since 2010. With a technical background he leads onshore and offshore teams mainly in the use of the Microsoft SharePoint platform, building intranet and internet web sites.

Posted in: Cloud, Opinion, Security, Virtualisation      
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Ebola#Ebola spreads faster on Twitter than the real disease, and the Earth is living the nightmares shown many times by Hollywood.

How can Big Data help us?

A few  days before Ebola was declared epidemic, HealthMap developed an algorithm to detect and predict how the haemorrhagic fever would evolve. Scientists are not yet convinced about its potential, but it is now clear to the global community that IT can really help.

Collecting tweets, news, calls to emergency services, airline services etc., this algorithm can predict the evolution of the disease. Time is key in this kind of emergency and big data alone will not be enough. The advantage of an “algorithmic approach” is that the problem can be attacked from all the angles. For example, Nigerian Minister of Communication Technology Omobola Johnson highlighted how technology and social media have been key success criteria to her country being Ebola-free.

Are these entrepreneurs heard by the community? Is this knowledge cross-shared in order to obtain some good for the entire world?
We can see some first steps: Microsoft offered its Azure platform, the Gates foundation already gave $50M, and IBM created dedicated hotlines to help people (through calls and texts) by calling ambulances and highlighting power problems, but the impression is that this is still too specific to the IT world.

My final question has, however, a much larger scope and – unfortunately – I don’t have an answer…

We are today surrounded by all the evolutions that technology can bring us (if you read French I strongly suggest this, where Google Glasses are used during remote surgery) but are we sure that we are not misleading the content with the container?

The technology is just the container, the machine we can use to achieve a purpose, but WE are the value and WE are the change. I like to see that at Sogeti, we don’t forget this and we really leverage IT in order to “give back” to the others, because – in the end – we are the real Big Data.

To read the original post and add comments, please visit the SogetiLabs blog: WILL BIG DATA SAVE US FROM EBOLA? WHERE DOES IT PROVIDE ITS REAL VALUE?

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Manuel Conti AUTHOR:
Manuel Conti has been at Sogeti since 2010. With a technical background he leads onshore and offshore teams mainly in the use of the Microsoft SharePoint platform, building intranet and internet web sites.

Posted in: Azure, Big data, communication, Microsoft, Opinion, Research      
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