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Latest Digital Transformation Opinions


Digital transformation ROI starts with revisiting your objectives

In the last decade, few organisations would argue with the necessity of digital transformation; unfortunately, almost everyone would argue about what exactly “digital transformation” means. Now that many organisations are several years into their digital transformation efforts, that lack of definition has become a problem, in part because we’ve gotten to a moment where many leaders are curious about the ROI of their digital transformation initiatives – and rightly so. No major project should be undertaken without a clear sense of how to measure its ROI. It is, however, impossible to calculate ROI without an agreed-upon definition and a tangible, consistent goal. That may sound basic, but a lot of organisations launch digital transformation initiatives without agreeing on those two things. Here’s how to think about ROI if that’s the boat your organization finds itself in.


Digitalising healthcare: the key to being secure and agile

As enterprises go digital and integrate new technologies into their business, public sector organisations have been left scrambling to keep up with the new digital age. This is a mammoth challenge for a public institution like the NHS which operates across a massive scale and hosts huge amounts of data.

It’s not as simple as moving away from legacy infrastructure to a cloud platform in a few easy steps. It’s a complicated project that encompasses different areas including cyber security, networking, data and cloud. The issue facing the NHS and other public sector organisations is prioritising one area without compromising another. It’s a careful balancing act to ensure that the NHS can achieve its aim of becoming digital and agile, whilst deploying a stringent cyber security strategy in order to protect its new digital system, critical services and confidential data. 


Q&A: AI’s transformation of the energy industry, with Shell’s Dan Jeavons

Global energy giant Shell has invested heavily in AI and analytics as part of a digital strategy that has saved it over a billion in cost reductions, production increases and additional customer margins. Heading up the company’s data science team is Dan Jeavons, a data expert and digitisation enthusiast who has been repeatedly recognised for his contributions to the field. Ahead of his keynote session at London’s Big Data World next week, we asked Dan about Shell’s hugely successful data strategy and where AI’s benefits are being most keenly felt


Convenience — The next retail battleground

The pace of change in the retail industry is unrelenting and now is not the time for businesses to become complacent. Faced with a growing proliferation of online marketplaces and the fast-evolving demands of today’s omnichannel consumers, standing out among a crowd of competitors is no easy task.

In recent years, retailers have focused their investment efforts on wooing online shoppers in a bid to compete head-to-head with big name pure-play disruptors like Amazon. Yet, last year, online accounted for just 19 percent of all UK retail sales. So clearly, UK consumers still value the unique experiences and level of service encountered when shopping in a bricks-and-mortar store.


“We want to empower. We want to inspire” — Helping everyone in society thrive in today’s digital world

It has been clear for a number of years that those who lack the skills to navigate our digital world will either fall behind, fail to reach their potential or fall victim to online harms. As banks become more digitised, citizens will soon not be able to distribute money to their loved ones unless they are computer or app-literate. Tomorrow’s great business ideas will not blossom unless their architects can establish an online footprint. And smartphone-gazing children risk encountering a raft of dangerous content and individuals.


Evolving Your SaaS business for the 2020s

Entering a new decade, it’s easy to forget just how quickly the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model has evolved over the past 10 years. The rise of cloud-based software has helped to redefine the enterprise workplace, unleashing truly mobile and collaborative workforces and new customer-facing interactions. It’s also democratised IT management and stimulated a shift in technology adoption that’s transformed the way companies buy and consume products and services.


Blockchain in Government: Hollow, but hopeful

“The blockchain revolution in government has not lived up to expectations yet.” That’s according to government digital transformation expert Miquel Estapé. Estapé is Vice-President of Government Digital Innovation at The Association of Corporate Governance Practitioners and Deputy CEO of the Open Government of Catalonia Consortium.

The digital transformation expert devotes much of his life to researching how emerging technologies can be harnessed to deliver improved and more innovative public services. Over the last few years, no emerging technology has caught the public sector’s (and wider society’s) imagination quite like blockchain. It has subsequently become a key research focus for Estapé, and will be the subject of his session at Blockchain Technology World in London this March.


AI at the heart of digital transformation, with Microsoft’s Phil Harvey

“In order to benefit from the value of good AI, you must first ensure that you have great data. So, in order achieve this, you need to first understand your practices, then understand your data, and only then can you effectively work out where to add value with AI.’’ That’s according to Phil Harvey, Senior Cloud Solution Architect for Data & Artificial Intelligence at Microsoft UK. Through a combination of design workshops, hacks and advice, Phil empowers Microsoft’s vast partner community to make the best use of Azure’s data and AI powers.


CTO Interview: Breathing life into the British Heart Foundation’s tech agenda

Like many other companies seeking to orchestrate the raft of technologies entering the market, the British Heart Foundation recently appointed its debut CTO. Ursula Dolton, who has had a wide-ranging career, working for likes of Jaguar & Land Rover, Citi Group and in a variety of sectors, was chosen to steer the ship.

The charity, which provides support to the millions of people living with heart and circulatory disease and conducts invaluable medical research, has an ambitious goal of creating a “world free from the fear of heart and circulatory disease” by 2030. Ursula’s role is to ensure that technology – including data, AI, cloud computing – serves this objective.


CIO Interview: Mitie’s IoT program is leveraging building data at scale

IoT is one of the key ways of sourcing data about how buildings and facilities are being used. That’s why over the last few years, Mitie, the UK’s largest facilities management company, has embarked on a journey to evolve from a manpower-driven business to a technology-driven business — with IoT as the key enabler.

Mitie is one of the largest strategic outsourcing firms in the UK, employing 50,000 across facilities management and professional services. IoT now serves all of the group’s business units, but the group’s energy management and mechanical and electrical maintenance clients have felt the most benefits.


The infantryman helping the military get its digital house in order

Digital and information technology have changed the nature of defence for good. Today’s battlefield is an information battlefield, one that favours those who process information quicker and more securely than their rivals. All strands of the armed forces, including their partners and allies, are reliant on technology as an avenue for real-time cooperation. The efforts of their enemies, on the other hand, are directed towards undermining the new cyber avenues upon which military operations and intelligence depend.


5G, Hong Kong International airport and the importance of moving fast in a digital world

In a recent article, I wrote about the amazing customer experiences to be had in airports such as Changi and ways to enable that customer experience. Here, I propose to extend my stopover by looking at what goes on landside, rather than airside, and how one carrier is leading the way in using the latest digital tools to reimagine operations. 

Just as Changi embodies how airport operators are reworking the customer experience, Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) is a template for how smart use of data, communications and infrastructure can reinvent the back-end processes that enable passengers to move swiftly from point A to B.



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