28.09.2018 / Juha Kostamo

Data Strategy or Data Tragedy? Only a few letters in English differentiate these conditions, but there is a major difference in how organizations on each side live their daily lives, plan for the future, and adapt to constant changes they are facing.

Organizations that are living with Data Tragedy status are easy to recognize. They don’t have any means to communicate internally (or externally!) their current state of architecture, future development roadmaps, ownership of data or systems, and all change requests to the current setup (new source systems, new applications…) initiate an extensive investigation project, again and again.

People are stressed about change and there is no easy way to communicate internally with different stakeholders about IT and process development. Eagerness to develop businesses further is limited.

You don’t need leadership or plans to develop Data Tragedy, you just let things evolve over the years.

So, what is Data Strategy all about?

Data Strategy is the daughter of Business Strategy. It is vital to understand what the business wants to achieve now and in the future, and how data can help with these business targets.

Data Strategy is not about quick wins, it is about creating a long-term competitive advantage. Data Strategy includes also quick wins.

A comprehensive Data Strategy covers areas like improving decision-making, operational efficiency and data monetization. Collecting use and business cases is a necessary step when starting to formulate the Data Strategy.

It also consists of a longer-term architecture plan that can adapt to changes. AS-IS, transition and TO-BE architectures with source systems, integrations, operational and analytics systems and dependencies between different parts are needed. Architecture principles are created to guide the future development.

In order to facilitate the discussions between internal and external stakeholders, there might also be a need to create common and shared vocabularies and notions. “A truck” can mean different things to different persons.

In many organizations, the ownership of IT systems and data is not clear. A name on an Excel sheet listing IT systems is not equal to ownership. The concept of ownership (like owning a house or car) means, at least to me, that you take an active role in maintaining the quality of your asset. Data Strategy should also include this aspect.

When you want to harness new technological innovations to solve your business problems, competencies and skills start to play an important role. Technology itself is only 30-40 % of the whole business solution. The rest is about people. You can do magic with MS Excel if you have the right competencies in place. Understanding the needs of the future and the skill gap with the current knowledge base may lead to a need to hire new people, establish new roles and look outside the competencies needed.

When you know where you should go and what is needed, it is possible to draw a roadmap that includes both quick wins and longer-term opportunities. There will be, most probably, needs to verify the direction on a regular basis when the business environment changes. But when you have done your homework, it is business as usual – not an overwhelming task.

To conclude, creating a Data Strategy is not a “piece of cake” nor “walk in the park”. It will not happen by accident.

Creating Data Strategy is a serious exercise that needs strong commitment and leadership from the management board.

But as always, where there’s a will there’s a way.


25.09.2018 / Lasse Ruokolainen

A trip of a lifetime

Every day is day one. Day one. What is that supposed to mean, you might wonder? It’s great piece of insight offered by Teppo Kuisma, COO of Digitalist San Francisco, a tower of a guy with a big smile on his face. The insight is that we cannot change the past, but we have the power to affect what will come. While this might be useful to keep in mind in the hectic start-up scene in the Bay Area, it also applies to the IT business in general.

My journey to Silicon Valley started already a half a year ago. That was when Bilot and Louhia arranged a reverse hackathon around AI. The winning prize was a trip to the Silicon Valley, to meet with both start-ups and established major players pushing the limits of AI. As a member of the winning team, bringing intelligence to dairy farming with Raisioagro, I got to participate in this amazing trip. In addition to the impactful official agenda, we also got to experience the wonders and nature in Silicon Valley Palo Alto and scenic San Francisco city.

Three, two, one… lift-off!

As the departure came closer, I started to have serious doubts about travelling; what could a long-term academic like myself gain from such a business trip? How wrong I was! While I was mostly interested in the AI aspect of the visits, and those were at best jaw-dropping, the stories of entrepreneurs behind successful start-ups, such as Idean, were truly fascinating. Making or breaking in this extremely competitive set-up can be a matter of luck and good timing, but success does not come without high commitment and the ability to adapt.

On Monday morning, the agenda took us first to Singularity University—at NASA Research Park, an organization that aims at tackling the world’s biggest challenges by leveraging the possibilities of emerging new technologies. The discussions we had there made me realise that technology—not just AI, but all tech—is developing at an exponential rate. I was actually quite surprised that I had not thought about this earlier, but now I can see that the ramifications of the pace of development are quite mind-blowing. For one thing, we are gradually losing the ability to understand the technology we are generating, which resonates with the famous quote by Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. I can tell that this first visit really set the scene for the coming meetings; If you think big, everything is possible—even the unimaginable.

Salesforce headquarters in San Francisco (the cylinder in the centre). Spectacular view from up there.

Highs & lows

The next highlight of the trip was, somewhat surprisingly, the visit to Facebook. One thing that became quite clear is that many large service providers, such as Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix, do plenty of machine learning research and application that is neither part of their main service nor visible to the user. Let me give you an example: While about half the internet users are on Facebook, it seems that the best way to increase their user base is to improve internet access generally and to bring free internet to places where access is very limited. This involves, for example, building a grid of autonomous planes that can be used to generate a mobile network to places with no relevant infrastructure, such as Africa. In their normal operations, Facebook uses AI to filter up to 2 million inappropriate accounts a day. They also have active development, which is open-sourced (https://developers.facebook.com/products#open-source).

Slide at Google campus. We were not allowed to try it out due to, you know, insurance issues.

Not all meetings were that spectacular, though. I had high expectations about what Google might have to offer. While we had CTO Ron Bodkin (responsible of applied AI) talking to us the rapid development of computer vision, speech analysis, translation, natural language processing, recommendations, and predictive responses in Gmail, we were left hungry for future visions. Given that Google has been the forerunner of AI development in the recent years, there must be plenty of those on the drawing board. Another disappointment was our visit to HP labs, which didn’t really provide any useful insight. While a guided tour to the historic offices of David Packard and Bill Hewlett was interesting, it left a feeling that the company is mostly looking into its great past rather than to the future.

History was made here. The “HP garage” (at the end of the driveway) in Palo Alto.
ML models require labelled data for training, but such raw material is not readily available. Figure eight is an interesting company from San Francisco that focuses on providing a service that lets users to annotate and label unstructured data, using a vast community of contributors to do the job.

This brings me back to the beginning of this short report; every day is day one. Why is this advice helpful for an IT consultant like myself? The shortish answer is that the rapidly developing technology creates an increasing demand for updating one’s own skills, as well as adopting new tools and new ways of thinking. In this game old experience can be useful, but it is not enough for remaining competitive. In addition to Teppo’s piece of advice, we returned home with our heads full of ideas, new potential partners, plenty of great pictures, heavy jetlag, and a dream of returning to the Valley.

The team and hosts at SAP.io meeting, San Francisco.

 


24.09.2018 / Kalle Anttila

I’ve worked part-time for some time now. Helps tremendously when you want to spend some time with your children so they can start easy with daycare. It is easy to mark the days you are out of office to your MS Office calendar. However, using the calendar “out of office” events does not activate the autoreply feature.

I remember some things and some things I do not. 90% of the time I forget to activate the autoreply for these individual days (1-2 times a week).

Then I realized this is a task easily automated. Microsoft Flow licences usually come with the Office package and this is the tool to automate your tasks. So let’s get to business and login to flow.microsoft.com, and create our new flow. There are a lot of templates available, but no matches for what I want to do so let’s start from scratch.

Step 1: Start the flow

First I need to select the trigger; how the flow gets started. Let’s use “Schedule –recurrence” type of trigger and configure that to be started once a day, sometime early to be activated early enough. On contrast to logic apps, runs cost nothing, so run as often as you like, but I am fine with once a day.

microsoft flow start the flow

Step 2: Check your existing out-of-office [added 2019-04-05]

If I am away for a longer period (such as summer vacation) I usually do remember to add a well formatted message for everyone as my out-of-office message. And with this flow, we do not wish to overwrite that. This can be easily achieved with two actions:

i) Adding “Get mail tips for a mailbox” action for my own mailbox

ii) use simple condition “@empty(body(‘Get_mail_tips_for_a_mailbox’)?[‘AutomaticReplies’]?[‘Message’])” to branch the processing into going forward (“yes”) and do nothing (“no”)

Thank you Ivan Dretvic (Australia) for showing me the light on this. Missing this step used to be a known issue with my flow but now it is perfect 🙂

 

Step 3: Check your calendar events

Then I need to check my calendar events. So I add action “Office 365 Outlook – Get Events (V2)”. Note the “events” there is also one for “event” for getting a single action, but I am not interested in the details.

microsoft flow check calendar events

Ok, a lot of options here.

Calendar id:

I’ll just use my default calendar (which shows automatically on the list as I logged in to flow.microsoft.com using my company AD login).

Filter Query:

So I want to have all the all-day events for today. But I need also to consider the type of the event; I want only the ones marked as “Busy” or “Out of office” on my calendar. As I am interested only on events for today I’ll search for ones already started and not yet finished (works fine for all-day events).

It takes a bit of googling to find out the correct variables and values but it only took me 10 minutes to get to this:

(start le @{utcNow()} and end ge  @{utcNow()} and isAllDay eq true and (showAs eq ‘Oof’ or showAs eq ‘Busy’))

We do not need to order the results, we are satisfied to find a single result, so let’s use 1 as top count.

Step 4: Update your out-of office

Then the final step.

Naturally I only want to activate the replies if there there was an event returned from the previous step. I could use a condition here, but I do not actually need the “no” branch at all so, I’ll use “apply to each”. There is also less clicking to do J.

I’ll use the values from previous step as the input for the loop and add action “Office 365 Outlook – Set up automatic replies” within the loop:

microsoft flow update your out-of-office

Again, some things to configure. I’ll use the scheduled option as I want only to use the automatic replies for the current day (the next run tomorrow will take care of that day).

I want to start the out of office immediately so I’ll add expression utcNow().

I’ll just keep this on for the end of day. There are probably many ways to get this but I’m using expression:

formatDateTime(addDays(utcNow(),1),’yyyy-MM-dd’)

After setting up the reply messages (I could create a stylish message using html, but I’m not going there), I can test this with the “Test” button on top right corner. When testing I encourage to keep in mind that this actually does update the behaviour of out-of-office. Do not start testing with external audience before you know it works.

However; with the above I can only send a message that I am unavailable. I cannot tell people when I will be available. I could make a guess based on the event properties, but that would only be a guess.

Improvement: Dynamic reply with the date you will be available

As there is no ready action for getting the next available time we need to be a bit more creative. First, let’s create some variables, I need to use the “Initialize variable” action on the bottom level, so I’ll just initialize these after the trigger.

ReservedDays, integer, set as 1

SlotFound, Boolean, set as false

searchDate, string

Then what I need is a “Do until” loop just before the setting of automatic replies, still within the apply to each.

Basically I need to check the events again, this time for the coming days. But, I need to consider also the weekends, I will not be available then for business.

Without going into every detail, here is the new content for the original “apply to each” loop:

microsoft flow dynamic reply with date you will be available

 

A few tips however

This time I am interested in days where there are no events, so we can use the length of the value list as condition.

length(body('FutureAvailabilitySearch')?['value'])

 

The condition to check if the currently processed date is part of the weekend is

or(equals(dayOfWeek(variables('searchDate')), 6), equals(dayOfWeek(variables('searchDate')), 0))

 

(6=Saturday, 0=Sunday)

Thirdly, the first available date can be set on the final step using (note Finnish date format)

formatDateTime(addDays(utcNow(),variables('ReservedDays')),'dd-MM-yyyy')

 

Note that the “increment variable” action for adding day to search date must be on both “If no” branches (other one not visible on diagram).


18.09.2018 / Erkka Puusti
I have been thinking about retrospectives quite a lot lately. One reason for this is that I was fortunate enough to be asked to facilitate one as an external to a team. Another reason is that surprisingly often I hear people criticize them and there are few common arguments that I would like to address specifically.
A confession first: I fear facilitating retrospectives. Every time I go into one, I am afraid of what I might learn. At the same time, I love them. If a team finds even a single thing to improve then I feel that it was worth the time and effort.
One reason I find retrospectives so important is that to me, continuous improvement is a fundamental part of agility. The very first sentence of the ‘Manifesto for Agile Software Development‘ points this out:
We are uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.
If we put emphasis on the word uncovering, then to me at least it means that we might not know yet what is the best way to do things, and we should regularly inspect our ways of working so that we can improve. But this is not easy, so I can understand why it can feel like a waste of time.

“Retrospectives are a Scrum thing”

As we started with the agile manifesto, I think we can continue with one of its 12 principles:
At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly.
Yes, the term retrospective is made known by Scrum. If you are doing Scrum then, in practice, you have retrospectives (or you are not doing Scrum really). Retrospectives are Scrum’s way to ensure that the team gets better. But that does not mean that you can’t have them if you are doing something else. Call them whatever you like, have them when ever you can or need. But have them!
Teams that reflect and improve are less likely to make old mistakes. They get technically better, they get better at team work, and they get better in solving complex problems. Retrospectives help to waste less time.
Yes, retrospectives are a Scrum thing, but continuous improvement (through retrospectives) is an Agile thing.

“Retrospectives are just about complaining”

Some people feel that retrospectives are just a session for the team to vent and complain and nothing comes out from them. Sometimes this can be the case. For many teams, retrospectives are a safe environment where they feel that they can openly express their frustration, and this is actually a really good thing. But retrospectives are not just about complaining. One core aspect of retrospectives is to get concrete actions. If we are precise and follow the definition of the Scrum guide, these concrete actions are to be implemented during the next sprint: 
By the end of the Sprint Retrospective, the Scrum Team should have identified improvements that it will implement in the next Sprint. Implementing these improvements in the next Sprint is the adaptation to the inspection of the Scrum Team itself.
So, bringing out problems and complaining is something that happens during retrospectives, but this is not the only thing. A good retrospective always ends with at least one concrete action that can be implemented during the next sprint and then reviewed at the end of the sprint.

“Why can we only do changes every 2 weeks?”

At times, people who see retrospectives as a good thing still criticize them for being too slow and argue that changes should be done constantly and without any special sessions.
The Scrum guide (based on my interpretation) does not say to just have a retrospective once in a Sprint:
Although improvements may be implemented at any time, the Sprint Retrospective provides a formal opportunity to focus on inspection and adaptation.
Yes, the formal sprint retrospective session should be held at the same time, after the review, every sprint. But this should not limit you from making improvements continuously.
Another thing to consider is that development activities usually provide better results when you can focus on them, so why wouldn’t improvement activities? This brings me to Lean.
Lean thinking focuses on delivering value and minimizing waste. There is a really nice article (and video) about this by Agile 42 that gives a good high-level intro to the topic. One aspect of it is the different sources of waste, The 3 M’s: Muri, Mura and Muda. In this context, we are mostly interested in the last one, Muda, which means wasteful activities. Now, the best way to handle Muda is during work breaks, when the flow is stopped and everyone can come together and truly analyze the processes thoroughly.
So: a small change on the fly can be good, but if you take time to plan a change and also make that a goal for the whole team, then the results can be greater.

“Retrospectives cost money”

Retrospectives are a key to getting better results. Spending time (and money) on them can feel costly at first, but in the long run they can save more than they cost. Sure, you have a team that is sitting together and none of them are doing anything that produces concrete parts of the solution, but the findings that a retrospective produces can produce better working methods, which e.g. reduce throughput time, increase quality and decrease the solution’s lifetime costs.
Yes, retrospectives cost money. Not having them can cost more.

14.09.2018 / News Team

More than 60 guests packed the bleachers at MOW Ruoholahti on Thursday, September 6th, at the BilotGo.ai event. The morning seminar included viewpoints on artificial intelligence and machine learning, and featured three guest speakers as well as the BilotGo.ai hackathon teams.

After some opening words from Bilot CEO Mika Tanner, the lead of the newly-founded AI Accelerator, Alexander Törnroth, kicked off the event with a look at what AI is and what it isn’t, touching on common misconceptions about the forms and capability of artificial intelligence. “Don’t believe the hype: You’re not too late. Believe the hype: Act. Now,” Törnroth encouraged participants.

alexander törnroth

Following Alex, Finland’s Minister for Economic Affairs Mika Lintilä took the stage to talk about Finland’s national AI strategy. “I’ve been travelling a hell of a lot lately and the number one topic of conversation everywhere is artificial intelligence”, said Lintilä, calling upon Finnish companies to embrace new technologies and use them to their advantage.

mika lintilä

After the first two guest speakers, the stage was set for the BilotGo.ai teams to present the results of the reverse hackathon. Teams Kone, Reima, Altia and Raisioagro showcased their business cases and answered questions from the audience. The cases in the hackathon varied from offering prediction in elevator sales to creating a “predictive maintenance” system for dairy cows, showing that artificial intelligence and machine learning have their place in a wide range of industries.

team koneteam reimateam altiateam raisio

To round off the event, Maria Ritola, founder and CMO of iris.ai, took the conversation beyond blockchains and sketched a picture of what artificial intelligence will look like and behave like in the future.

maria ritola

Thanks to all the guest speakers, the hackathon teams, and our active audience for a great event!


11.09.2018 / Krzysztof Pieszak

Podstawowym krokiem do rozpoczęcia jakichkolwiek działań marketingowych jest zebranie jak najpełniejszych danych dotyczących naszego obecnego klienta ale również i potencjalnego klienta. Zwłaszcza w czasach gdy nadmierne obciążenie działaniami marketingowymi, wywoła skutek odwrotny od zamierzonego. Staramy się zatem klientów jak najlepiej zrozumieć.

W poprzednim blogu (https://www.bilot.fi/sap-marketing-cloud-omnichannel-i-pelen-profil-klienta-skad-sie-to-bierze/ ) skupiliśmy się na wyjaśnieniu sposobu łączenia danych z różnych źródeł w jeden profil. Poniżej z kolei przedstawiamy jakie możliwości oferuje SAP Marketing Cloud (https://www.sap.com/products/crm-commerce/marketing.html ) w zakresie prezentacji posiadanych danych kontaktu. Omówimy przede wszystkim najważniejsze zakładki profilu kontaktu.

Po zalogowaniu się do systemu odszukujemy kafelek „Contacts” oraz za pomocą wyszukiwarki wyszukujemy i otwieramy interesujący nas kontakt.

Rysunek 1 Własne opracowanie na podstawie sap.com

Po otwarciu profilu kontaktu widzimy podstawowe jego dane takie jak imię i nazwisko, adres e-mail, zdjęcie, podsumowanie interakcji (kiedy i jaki nastąpił rodzaj interakcji), zgody marketingowe (zgodnie z RODO system musi zapewniać przejrzyste zarządzanie zgodami marketingowymi z klientami i zapewnić respektowanie ich przy wysyłkach – SAP Marketing Cloud przechowuje te dane. Mogą one pochodzić z wszystkich podpiętych źródeł danych), chmurę tagów z określonymi zainteresowaniami klienta oraz listę ostatnio wysłanych kampanii marketingowych.

Rysunek 2 Własne opracowanie na podstawie sap.com

Przechodząc niżej widzimy informacje o ostatnich interakcjach kontaktu z naszą firmą.

Rysunek 3 Własne opracowanie na podstawie sap.com

Dokładniejsza analiza interakcji znajduje się w menu „Interakcje”.  Na pierwszym planie widzimy chmurę tagów reprezentujących zainteresowania kontaktu. Poniżej znajdziemy suwak do ustawiania zakresu dat, z którego interakcji poszukujemy. Dzięki temu możemy w łatwy sposób wybrać interesujący nas okres w celu analizy zachowań klienta. Ikony poniżej pozwalają nam wybrać (i wyświetlić) konkretny rodzaj interakcji taki jak:

  • Sprzedaż,
  • Potencjalna szansa,
  • Szansa,
  • Spotkania,
  • Zakup w sklepie internetowym,
  • Kampanie marketingowe dla tego kontaktu (wysyłki),
  • Rozmowy telefoniczne,
  • Wydarzenia (na przykład targi),
  • E-maile,
  • Zdarzenia w sieci (rejestracja na naszej stronie www, pobranie pliku ze strony, wystawiona opinia na sklepie, porzucony koszyk)
  • Wiadomości z mediów społecznościowych

Warto podkreślić, że nie jest to skończona ilość kanałów interakcji z klientem. SAP Marketing Cloud pozwala nam na tworzenie własnych typów interakcji (np. do integracji z systemem lojalnościowym, systemem obsługi klienta, itp.).

Obraz 4 Własne opracowanie na podstawie sap.com

W zakładce „Dane Osobiste” widzimy proste podsumowanie danych podstawowych o danym kontakcie. Są tam dane komunikacyjne, obszary marketingowe (możliwość przypisania kontaktu do określonego obszaru np. globalny, kontynent, kraj, województwo, itp., który odpowiada za obsługę marketingową) oraz dodatkowe informacje (istnieje oczywiście możliwość dodania dodatkowych pól na tym ekranie w zależności od potrzeb).

Obraz 5 Własne opracowanie na podstawie sap.com

Zakładka „Origin Data” pozwala na prześledzenie w jaki sposób system dokonał połączenia danych o danym kliencie przychodzących z różnych źródeł. Dokładniej opisywana była ona w poprzednim blogu https://www.bilot.fi/sap-marketing-cloud-omnichannel-i-pelen-profil-klienta-skad-sie-to-bierze/

Kolejną równie interesującą zakładką jest zakładka prezentująca Scory. Na podstawie posiadanych danych o kliencie system potrafi wyliczyć np. poziom aktywności klienta, czy przypisać go do danej grupy klientów. Innymi słowy Scory służą do nadawania ocen rankingowych, wykorzystywanych później w działaniach marketingowych (np. w samej segmentacji). Przykładem jest score:

  • Które urodziny obchodzi kontakt,
  • Ostatnia aktywność kontaktu (kiedy ostatnio nastąpiła jakakolwiek interakcja),
  • Poziom lojalności klienta,
  • Najlepszy czas na wysyłkę marketingową,
  • Skłonność do odejścia,
  • Analiza sentymentu (badanie nacechowania postów -> skrajnie negatywne, negatywne, neutralne, pozytywne, skrajnie pozytywne) postów na serwisach społecznościowych,
  • Wiele innych, które można stworzyć za pomocą odpowiedniej aplikacji SAP Marketing Cloud –> Score Builder. Są również dostępne modele predykcyjne, za pomocą których Score można wyliczać.
Rysunek 6 Własne opracowanie na podstawie sap.com

Przechodząc do zakładki „Zgody marketingowe” widzimy w przejrzystej postaci zgody na kontakt z klientem. SAP Marketing Cloud jest w stanie zbierać je z systemów z nim połączonych. Jeśli klient zarejestrował się na jakikolwiek newsletter, ta informacja również się tam znajdzie. Na poniższym przykładzie widzimy, że klient nie zgadza się na kontakt mailowy, natomiast wyraził zgodę na kontakt za pomocą Facebooka, Twittera oraz Google Ads. Oczywiście w zależności od uprawnień SAP Marketing Cloud może tylko prezentować zgody marketingowe lub możemy dać użytkownikowi (pracownikowi działu marketingu) uprawnienia do edycji zgód. W przypadku bezpośredniego kontaktu z klientem przedstawiciel handlowy może zmienić zgodę na kontakt w systemie. System odnotuje kto i kiedy dokonał zmiany zgody. Dodatkowo w notatce przedstawiciel wpisuje powód tej zmiany.

Co nam daje zgoda na kontakt marketingowy bądź odmowa? Podczas wysyłki kampanii marketingowej system automatycznie nie uwzględni osoby na liście do wysyłki jeśli nie ma zarejestrowanej zgody na taką formę kontaktu.

Rysunek 7 Własne opracowanie na podstawie sap.com

Zakładka Commerce w przypadku integracji z systemem SAP Commerce (bądź systemem firm trzecich) pozwala na podstawie aktywności danej osoby prezentować rekomendacje zakupowe danego produktu. SAP Marketing Cloud analizuje całą historię „życia” klienta i jest w stanie zaproponować produkty, które z dużym prawdopodobieństwem zainteresują klienta (np. poprzez użycie algorytmów – np. asocjacja, najczęściej oglądane, najczęściej kupowane, top N w danej kategorii). Rekomendacje dla klienta są wyświetlane gdy przebywa on w sklepie internetowym, w miejscu udostępnionym na takie podpowiedzi.

Rysunek 8 Własne opracowanie na podstawie sap.com

W następnym blogu z kolei omówimy bardzo ciekawą funkcjonalność „Customer Journey Insight”, która pozwala zobrazować indywidualną podróż klienta od pierwszego kontaktu z naszą firmą aż do zakupu danego produktu lub usługi.


5.09.2018 / Mathias Hjelt

Bilot presenterade igår resultaten från CDO Barometer 2018 undersökningen på Finska Ambassaden i Stockholm. Vi hade samtidigt äran att höra inspirerande inlägg från CDOs från Fortum och ICA, som gav varsin inblick i företagens respektive digitala agenda.

Chief Officer över … vadå?

Titeln Chief Digital Officer (CDO) gjorde intåg som hetaste titeln i affärsvärlden för några år sedan. Samtidigt gick diskussionen om digital transformation hög i medier och seminarietal. Disrupt or die! Mången har frågat sig: vad gör en CDO i praktiken? Vad innebär digital transformation konkret?

För att besvara dessa frågor har Bilot sedan 2016 utfört CDO Barometern som en årlig undersökning. Syftet har varit att kasta ljus dels över CDO-rollen och dess mandat, dels den konkreta innebörden av digital transformation i olika branscher.

År 2018 utförde vi undersökningen parallellt i Sverige och Finland. I undersökningen som utfördes i samarbete med KantarTNS intervjuades 58 svenska och 54 finska direktörer med ansvar för digital transformation inom medelstora och stora företag.

Fokus 2018

Retoriken på digitala seminarier handlar ofta om radikalt omvälvande (”disruptive”) affärsmodeller. Av de intervjuade uppgav dock drygt hälften att optimering av existerande processer är ett viktigt delmål inom det digitala arbetet. På god andra plats kom utveckling av kundbemötande. Mer transformativa mål som lyftes fram var platform economy (skapa nya ekosystem och marknadsplatser, en övergång från att sälja produkter till tjänster (outcome as a service) samt kommersialisering av data och API.

Här blir det lätt CDOs eller den digitala direktörens roll att balansera mellan initiativ som fokuserar på kostnadsinbesparing och effektivering (snabba vinster), konkurrenskraft genom modernt kundbemötande (bättre marknadsposition på medellång sikt), samt helt nya sätt att tjäna pengar (lång horisont, hög risk, osäker återbetalning).

Innovation svårt men oumbärligt

Många respondenter i lyfte fram utmaningen med att kombinera innovation med det dagliga arbetet. Som Per Edoff från Fortum betonade:

Det svåra med att vara kreativ är inte att hitta lösningar på problem – utan att hitta de rätta problemen att lösa.

Utan dedikerade resurser är det svårt att garantera att tillräcklig hjärnkapacitet läggs på att blicka framåt och att hitta de relevanta frågeställningarna. I undersökningen framgick att exempel från andra företag är den främsta inspirationskällan för det digitala arbetet. Att hålla koll på konkurrensen är kanske inte nyskapande, men oerhört viktigt.

Peter Muld från ICA målade en tydlig bild av de krafter som lätt kör över traditionella företag som inte hinner följa med utvecklingen: dels antågan av de stora globala plattformarna med enorma volymer av användare, transaktioner och partners (t.ex Amazon, Alibaba, Google, Apple mfl), dels små startups som kan bränna riskkapital med full fokus på en väldigt smal niche och minimalt bagage av gammalt. Att underskatta vad dessa krafter kan göra för ditt företag är livsfarligt.

Igen blir det lätt Chief Digital Officer som får mantla ansvaret för att bygga upp en innovationskultur inom företaget. Det blir en balansgång mellan att hålla det digitala integrerat i affärsverksamheten och att ge ett dedikerat team fria händer, arbetsro och budget att tänka framåt. 

 

Okej, men handlar det inte alls om teknik?

Digital transformation skulle inte kallas digitalt om det inte handlade om att utnyttja den nya teknologi som ständigt bubblar upp och blir allt mer kostnadseffektiv.

Media och konsulter älskar tala om allt det nya som ligger på ”peak of inflated expectations” i Gartner’s hype curve — men rätt få företag tar sig tid att experimentera med dessa. Varje års upplaga av CDO Barometern har visat att fokus ligger tyngst på etablerade teknologier. Blockchain, wearables och 3D-printing är intressant, men för väldigt få. AI (främst i form av machine learning, voice, chatbots) har nått betydligt längre och intresset för robotik växer starkt.

Så visst är teknologi relevant, men som en av de intervjuade svarade:

”Vi har flera miljarder frågor. Bara en hundradel av dessa handlar om IT”

Vad lärde vi oss i år?

Rollen som Chief Digital Officer eller ”head of digital” eller ”digital utvecklingsdirektör” har fortfarande ett väldigt brett fält av frågor att tackla och mycket att driva igenom. Att samla företagets digitala initiativ under ett ledarskap behöver inte betyda att en person äger alla utveckling, men kan ge bättre förutsättningar att fokusera knappa resurser på rätt saker, ställa siktet tillräckligt högt, säkerställa innovation och modigt gå vidare med nyskapande mål.

Du kan ladda ner rapporten från CDO Barometern 2018 här »