Enterprise Journey to Becoming Digital

Do you want to be a digital enterprise? Do you want to master the art of transforming yourself and be at the forefront of the digital realm?

How can you change your business to achieve this?

Derive new values for yourself, and find better and more innovative ways of working. Put customer experience above and beyond everything as you find methodologies to support the rapidly changing demands of the digital world.

Your transformation will be successful only when you identify and practice appropriate principles, embrace a dual strategy that enhances your business capabilities and switch to agile methodologies if you have not done it already.

The journey to becoming a digital maestro and achieving transformation traverses through four main phases.

  • Becoming a top-notch expert with industrialized IT services – by adopting six main principles
  • Switching to agile operations to achieve maximum efficiency – so that you enjoy simplicity, rationality and automation
  • Creating an engaging experience for your consumers using analytics, revenue and customer management – because your customers come first; their needs and convenience should be your topmost priority
  • Availing opportunities for digital services – assessing your security and managing your risks

Becoming a top-notch expert with industrialized IT services

There are five key transformation principles that can help you realize the full potential of digital operations and engagement.

  • Targeting uniqueness that is digitized
  • Designing magical experiences so as to engage and retain your consumers
  • Connect with digital economics, and collaborate so as to leverage your assets
  • Operate your business digitally, customer experience being the core
  • Evolving into a fully digital organization through the side by side or incremental approach

Initially a digital maturity analysis has to be performed, followed by adoption of a targeted operational model. Maturity can be divided into five different levels: initiating, enabling, integrating, optimizing and pioneering, which are linked to seven different aspects: strategy, organization, customer, technology, operations, ecosystem and innovation, of which the last two are the most critical. The primary aim should be to cover all business areas that are impacted by and impact digital transformation.

Before taking a digital leap, the application modernization wheel should be adopted. Identify your targets, which will act as main drivers. Determine application states, and then come up with a continuous plan. This is referred to as the Embark phase, during which you understand the change rationale of your applications, and then improve metrics, which drive changes. During the Realize phase, you analyze ways in which you can change your operations and speed up your delivery. In the process, you have to improve quality, while ensuring your product line is aligned with your business needs. You establish DevOps, beginning from small teams, and then moving forward using new technologies.

The third phase is Modernize, during which you plan and implement your architecture such that your apps are based on API services. The last stage is Optimize in which performance is monitored, and improvements are made when and where they are necessary.

Switching to agile operations to achieve maximum efficiency

Data centers now feature several applications, suitable for the IT, telecommunication and enterprise sectors, but their offered services have to be responsive to the changing trends and demands. Ericsson brings agility into the picture so as to achieve efficiency through automation. This can be made possible with the NFV Full Stack, which includes a cloud manager, execution environment, SDN controllers and NFV hardware. The solution is capable to support automated deployment while providing you flexibility through multi VIM support. Check out this blog post to see a demonstration of a virtualized, datacenter and explore their vision of future digital infrastructure.

NFV’s potential can be fully achieved only when the hybrid networks are properly managed, which dynamic orchestration makes a possibility. The approach taken automates service design, configuration and assurance for both physical and virtual networks. Acceleration of network virtualization is being realized through the Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV), a collaborative project under the Linux Foundation that is transforming global networks through open source NFV. Ericsson is a platinum-level founding OPNFV member, along with several other telecom vendors, service providers and IT companies leading the charge in digitalized infrastructure.

Creating an engaging experience for your consumers

Customer experience is the central focus when you are in the digital realm. Customer experience should be smooth, effortless and consistent across all channels.

Design a unique omnichannel approach for your customers. This means that you should be able to reach out to your customers through mobile app, social media platforms and even wearable gadgets. Analyze real-time data, and use the results for improving purchase journeys obvert different channels like chatbots and augmented reality. Advanced concepts like clustering and machine learning are used to cross data over different domains, and then take appropriate actions. For instance, if you were a Telco, you should be able to offer a new plan, bundle or upgrade to each customer at the right time. All of the analytics data can also be visualized for a complete understanding through which the customer journey can be identified, and the next best action can be planned out.

Availing opportunities for digital services

Complexity increases when all your systems are connected, and security becomes a more important concern. You should be able to identify new vulnerabilities and threat vectors, and then take steps to protect your complete system. And this protection should extend to your revenues, and help you prevent fraud.

A Security Manager automates security over the cloud as well as physical networks. The two primary components are Security Automation and 360 Design and Monitoring. New assets are detected as security is hardened, which are then monitored continuously.

Additionally the Digital Risk and Business Assurance enable your business to adapt in the dynamic environment while reducing impact on your bottom line. Assurance features three levels: marketplace, prosumer and wholesale assurance. The end result is delivery of a truly digital experience.

Want proof that the above methodologies do work wonders? Two of Ericsson customers, Verizon and Jio, have already been nominated as finalists for the TM Forum EXCELLENCE Awards.

I also encourage you to join and/or follow TM Forum Live this week. If you’re headed to the conference, be sure to check out the Ericsson booth and connect with the team to learn more and discuss your digital transformation journey.

If you would like to read more from Ronald van Loon on the possibilities of Big Data and IoT please click 'Follow' and connect on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Source: Enterprise Journey to Becoming Digital | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn

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HR Technology Tools Evolve to Handle Feedback, Performance and Agility

HR Tech MENA Summit returns for third edition in Dubai

Annual HR Tech MENA Summit 2017 Main Image

Dubai, 13 April, 2017 — HR Technology is fast developing. Year-on-year the trends, and market requirements keep developers busy. Driven by natural workplace changes and inspired by vastly different work ethics amongst new working demographics, HR Technology is continuously evolving from its traditional core of payroll, employee record management and recruitment.

Lorna Daly, Halogen Software
Lorna Daly, Regional Director, EMEA, Halogen Software

“People and their expectations of work are changing all over the world and it is happening quickly,” noted Ms. Lorna Daly, Regional Director, EMEA, Halogen Software who is a Gold Sponsor of the 3rd annual HR Tech Summit organized by QnA International. “We know that if people can give and receive feedback on an ongoing basis, they can feel good about what they do, and would be encouraged to bring their best effort forward, so they can give more to their customers, organizations and communities,” continued Ms. Daly.

Ongoing performance reviews, frequent and timely feedback is a new HR trend sweeping across many organizations across the globe. The need for almost immediate feedback stems from the multigenerational workforce, and the changing nature of work. “It comes down to something very fundamental; people want to feel a connection and a purpose to their organisation, that their contribution is valued and impactful,” stressed Ms. Daly.

To meet this new HR demands, organisations need to employ the new technological trends becoming available in the market place. In addition to traditional services of HR software, and cloud-based services, technological tools built for agility and for specialized purposes such as continuous performance management, frequent feedback, data analysis and learning tools will soon become an absolute must for the continued evolution of an organization.

However, Ms. Daly cautions on the blind application of these new HR technology tools, suggesting that organizations should “First recognise if the organisation is culturally ready to make the shift from traditional to ongoing performance management. Second, company leaders must be ready to act as role models for the rest of the staff. Culturally ready organizations are those which champion flexibility and adaptability to refine processes through the constant collection of feedback on new processes. This feedback loop ensures employees are supported.”

“Keeping up with technology developments affecting HR is becoming a tough task. The managerial processes for human resources across the globe is in a state of fluidity. Especially in the UAE and GCC which will see two new shifts with the onboarding of nationalization and VAT policies in the coming years, the importance of employing and using the appropriate tools for HR functions cannot be stressed more. Knowing the challenging changes ahead, we have planned the 3rd annual HR Tech Summit to provide in-depth discussions and ultimately provide a platform HR and IT Leaders to analyse the HR technology tools available, their uses, and whether or not they should be adapted and when adapted how it will impact the organizations in the region,” commented Sidh N.C., Director, QnA International.

On the trend of nationalization in the UAE and GCC, Ms. Daly said, “There is a great opportunity for business and HR leaders in the GCC to maximise the potential that exists in their respective region. In order to do this, organisations need to understand the existing skill sets of local nationals, continuously support the development of essential skills, and help with the career progression of local nationals into leadership positions. This effort will help organisations become an attractive destination for GCC citizens seeking employment and help shape the economic destiny of the region.”

Halogen Software will be actively taking part in the by-invite only premier summit which attracted over 150 C-level and senior level HR and IT personnel from government, state, public, and private organizations in 2016. “HR Tech MENA provides a terrific opportunity to connect with some of the world’s most thoughtful HR and business leaders. The partnership has opened the door to connect with very successful companies and has given us the opportunity to learn more about the emerging global trends and priorities in HR,” commented Ms. Daly on the importance of sponsoring, participating, and attending the 3rd annual HR Tech Summit.

The Summit will be held from 16-17 May 2017 at The Westin Dubai, Al Habtoor City, Dubai.

About HR Tech MENA

HR Tech Mena

Technology today has revolutionized every step of our lives and Human Resources is no different. The influence of technology on our evolution is paramount to making it imperative for HR to keep abreast with newest developments.

Today, HR is en route to becoming smart HR. Concepts such as Artificial Intelligence, big data, cloud, social workforce, mobility and gamification are key buzzwords and every organization is keen to embrace to help them in tackling the key issues of talent acquisition, talent management, change management, business performance and employee engagement.

The HR Tech Summit is the only initiative that brings together HR as well as IT professionals from across the Middle East and leading solution providers on a singular platform discussing the newest trends, ideas and disruptions over a period of two days exclusively dedicated to and focused on HR Technology.

About Halogen Software

Halogen Software

Halogen Software offers a cloud-based talent management suite that reinforces and drives higher employee performance across all talent programmes — whether that is performance management, learning and development, succession planning, recruiting and onboarding, or compensation. With over 2,100 customers worldwide, Halogen Software has been recognized as a market leader by major business analysts and has garnered the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry. Halogen Software’s powerful, yet simple-to-use solutions, which also include industry-vertical editions, are used by organisations that want to build a world-class workforce that is aligned, inspired and focused on delivering exceptional results. For more information, visit: http://www.halogensoftware.com/ae Subscribe to Halogen Software’s TalentSpace blog: http://www.halogensoftware.com/blog/ or follow Halogen Software on Twitter: http://twitter.com/HalogenSoftware.

Organiser: About QnA International

QnA International

QnA International creates and delivers business learning and development exchange platforms through B2B conferences, bespoke events and trainings. The company also has an expertise in outsourced sponsorship sales and key account management.

Website: www.qnainternational.com

How to Build a Data Science Team

Businesses today need to do more than merely acknowledge big data. They need to embrace data and analytics and make them an integral part of their company. Of course, this will require building a quality team of data scientists to handle the data and analytics for the company. Choosing the right members for the team can be difficult, mainly because the field is so new and many companies are still trying to learn exactly what a good data scientist should offer. Putting together an entire team has the potential to be more difficult. The following information should help to make the process easier.

The Right People

What roles need to be filled for a data science team? You will need to have data scientists who can work on large datasets and who understand the theory behind the science. They should also be capable of developing predictive models. Data engineers and data software developers are important, too. They need to understand architecture, infrastructure, and distributed programming.

Some of the other roles to fill in a data science team include the data solutions architect, data platform administrator, full-stack developer, and designer. Those companies that have teams focusing on building data products will also likely want to have a product manager on the team. If you have a team that has a lot of skill but that is low on real world experience, you may also want to have a project manager on the team. They can help to keep the team on the right track.

The Right Processes

When it comes to the processes, the key thing to remember with data science is agility. The team needs the ability to access and watch data in real time. It is important to do more than just measure the data. The team needs to take the data and understand how it can affect different areas of the company and help those areas implement positive changes. They should not be handcuffed to a slow and tedious process, as this will limit effectiveness. Ideally, the team will have a good working relationship with heads of other departments, so they work together in agile multi-disciplinary teams to make the best use of the data gathered.

The Platform

When building a data science team, it is also important to consider the platform your company is using for the process. A range of options are available including Hadoop and Spark. Hadoop is the market leader when it comes to big data technology, and it is an essential skill for all professionals who get into the field. When it comes to real-time processing, Spark is becoming increasingly important. It is a good idea to have all the big data team members skilled with Spark, too.

If you have people on the team that do not have these skills and that do not know how to use the various platforms, it is important they learn. Certification courses can be a great option for teaching the additional skills needed, and to get everyone on the team on the same page.

Some of the other platforms to consider include the Google Cloud Platform, and business analytics using Excel. Understanding the fundamentals of these systems can provide a good overall foundation for the team members.

Take Your Time

When you are creating a data science team for the company, you do not want to rush and choose the wrong people and platforms or not have quality processes in place. Take your time to create a team that will provide your company with the quality and professionalism it needs.

About the Author:

Ronald van Loon has joined as an Advisory Board Member for its Big Data training category. Named by Onalytica as one of the top three most influential personalities of Big Data in 2016, Ronald will contribute his expertise towards the rapid growth of Simplilearn’s popular Big Data & Analytics category.


Source: How to Build a Data Science Team | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn

10 Most Popular Articles of 2016 About HR, HR Tech, Recruitment and Beyond

Human Touch in Digital

The HR Tech Weekly® is happy to present you the list of 10 most popular articles in our blog in 2016. The entire rank is made based on the number of views and social shares. The competition was severe but fair. Some of our favorite article got behind. But there were only ten slots available.

We did not include in the list our own listicles and third parties ranks like Top 10 HR Tech Influencers on Twitter and some others despite of they were quite popular among the audience.

Some great articles from the beginning of the year did not compete well with those from the second half. We treat it as a technical error as the blog itself was less popular that time.

Nevertheless, after careful consideration and precise calculation we’ve got the following list of readers choices, and here we go:

  1. Recruiting Secrets LinkedIn Doesn’t Want You To Know, by Ninh Tran

Today, only pockets of the tech industry still enjoy significant growth and hiring volumes, for example, autonomous vehicles, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and deep learning. To satisfy hiring teams, talent acquisition professionals must find better and more creative ways to reach premier talent and generate their interest for the right opportunity. Can LinkedIn be an excellent recruiting channel to connect the right people with the right roles?

  1. What you need to know about Agile Performance Management, by Yatin Pawar

Agile performance management is a collaborative, continuous feedback and development practice that is steadily replacing traditional performance management.

Traditional performance management has proven to be insufficient to assess and enhance an employee’s contribution. Its primary focus is setting up a series of processes to measure the employee’s performance over the whole year. These processes end up having an unanticipated effect of managers focusing on employee’s weaknesses.

  1. The Future of Recruiting and Hiring with AI, by Noel Webb

The buzz around artificial intelligence this year is being shrugged off by many as just a new word HR got ahold of, but what would happen if AI was actually embraced by the recruiting and hiring world? What could it do to further practices and solve problems?

  1. HR Tech Is So Dynamic and Still Has Very Much a Work in Progress, Q & A with Bill Kutik

As for being on the other side of the table… being a good interviewer means taking second chair to the person being interviewed. Teasing out and highlighting what they know. Since much of what I do are interviews and panels (except for my columns), I don’t get to do much of the talking. So I love whenever the roles are reversed!

  1. The HR function is in the middle of a process which will change it forever, by Marco Pastore

The New Way of Working (NWoW) is rising and the reasons behind this are in the latest trends in HR: Autonomy, Accountability, Flexibility and ICT.

Most companies are following or are planning to follow this trend, and for good reasons! But before speaking about the benefits, it is better to understand what this trends mean with some examples.

  1. What LinkedIn’s Buyout with Microsoft means for the Talent Acquisition Technology Ecosystem, by Brian Delle Donne

While critics point to Microsoft acquisition failures like Nokia and Yammer, neither one of those companies open up the ability for increased ad revenue, user interaction data or video conferencing abilities.

  1. Building a Culture of Confidence, by Lisa Feigen Dugal

Confidence and competence: Two invaluable characteristics to possess in today’s professional environment. While these traits have different meanings, they are inextricably linked. Consistent research findings show men tend to overestimate their competence while women underestimate it, yet research has also shown that women tend to be more effective, and more competent, leaders.

  1. 5 Reasons Why Big Data Analytics Degrees Are Worth It, by Lauren Willison

Due in large part to the rapid growth of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, big data analytics is approaching new heights. Students who pursue a degree in big data analytics learn how to effectively analyze large sets of data and identify patterns, connections and other pertinent details revealed by data. Companies are increasingly turning to data analytics to harness customer insights, and ultimately, produce better business decisions. As a result, big data analysts are in high demand and the data analytics field is showing no signs of slowing down.

  1. Great Companies Are Built Around Great People, by Annie Jordan

There is a lot of truth in the saying that great companies are built upon great people. However, the reality is, of course, more complicated than that. The world’s leading companies are a powerful blend of people, vision, capability and culture. These things work together like the mechanics of a rocket, generating and maintaining irresistible momentum.

  1. How You Can Improve Customer Experience With Fast Data Analytics, by Ronald van Loon

In today’s constantly connected world, customers expect more than ever before from the companies they do business with. With the emergence of big data, businesses have been able to better meet and exceed customer expectations thanks to analytics and data science. However, the role of data in your business’ success doesn’t end with big data – now you can take your data mining and analytics to the next level to improve customer service and your business’ overall customer experience faster than you ever thought possible.

Featured articles:

The 30 Most Influential People To Follow In The #hrtech World • Recruitee Blog

50+ Online Sources for HR Managers, Part 1

50+ Online Sources for HR Managers, Part 2

Top 10 Articles of 2015 in HR Tech, Recruitment, Startups and Around

The new exciting year is ahead and we are looking forward to serve you with the best content. We wish you useful and productive reading with us! Stay tuned and we’ll be back…


If you want to share this blog post the reference to Alexey Mitkin and The HR Tech Weekly® is obligatory.

The Biggest Change Set For Business Across The Globe

The Agile Working Event

The world of work as we know it is changing. Where, when and how we work and communicate are all questions that are being asked by workforces across the globe and as a result organisations of all sizes are entering a period of significant change as they prepare for the future of work.

The Agile Working Event is a brand new one-day conference that will give senior HR professionals and business owners the opportunity to hear from agile working leaders and industry pioneers who have implemented change that has resulted in success for employees and business. The agenda boasts key organisations such as BT, Nationwide, Eon and Lancaster University as well as a Keynote address from Fiona Cannon of Lloyds Banking Group and CEO of the Agile Future Forum.

We know that a highly engaged workforce has the potential to reduce staff turnover by up to 87% and it is these statistics that are making the headlines and making businesses stop and plan for the future. Prospective employees from the latest generation no longer just think about their pay cheque before accepting a job. Office dynamics, workforce engagement, remote working opportunities, technology enablers and office aesthetics are key priorities when searching for a new role.

Further research has found that losing a valued employee due to poor working conditions or lack of engagement could cost upwards of £10,000. Retaining the best talent in any market is considered business critical and this results from this research further outlines why.

Gone are the days of candidates choosing their new job based on salary alone. Millennials now have a huge expectation of their prospective employer when it comes to technology and remote working availability for example. Yet still employers are making the fatal mistake of offering items such as this as a feature or a benefit of working for said company, rather than a standard requirement.

When it comes to workforce performance, attracting and retaining great people, and overall business success, organisations need to consistently review their operations when looking to adapt an agile working strategy.

The Agile Working Event boasts a line up of speakers whom have campaigned for agile working for business, who challenge ‘the norm’ and ultimately who have a passion in sharing real-life case studies behind their very own agile working journey in order to aid business.

Sebastien Bonicel, Agile Transformation Coach, EON and a key speaker at The Agile Working Event 2017 has based his agile working approach around the relationships within the organanisation and specifically how we communicate, why and when. Sebastien believes that understanding relationships within the workplace is a key indicator as to why we go to work in the first place. One idea that Sebastien has of which he will speak on detail on at the event, even goes as far as having a P&L for relationships in the workplace in order to see how this is linked to both individual and organisation performance.

Event organisers, Sonas Events Ltd, seek to provide a forum for the business community both in the UK and globally in which delegates can share experiences and take away a toolbox of solutions to implement within their own businesses, that ultimately deliver results.

Adam Cox, Director at Sonas Events Ltd said about the launch, “The Agile Working Event launches at an opportune juncture in the future of business. Organisations across the world are consistently reviewing their strategies in order to ensure they are at the forefront of their industry sectors, and as it stands I don’t think the business world has had to prepare for anything quite like this. The rulebook is being thrown out with many organisations encouraging their staff to promote the way in which they want to work rather than dictating it to them. The Agile Working Event aims to bring together like-minded professionals to collaborate, share knowledge and debate key issues facing their operations in obtaining agile working status and I am looking forward to welcoming delegates to London on 29 March 2017”.

For further information on The Agile Working Event please visit:
www.agileworkingevent.com

Early bird tickets are still available for a short time only and you can save £100 on your ticket by clicking here: https://billetto.co.uk/en/events/agile-working-event/tickets

Digital Strategy in HR World

Digital Strategy

The world is moving on with digital transformation irrespective of industries, countries and service lines. Organizations want to adopt the technologies in faster paces, especially by “Digital Megatrends”: mobility, analytics, cloud computing and social media.

This digital evolution is also reshaping the role of Human Resources. It involves deepening and broadening collaboration between HR and other business units to improve the performance and analysis of talent management, and a greater focus on driving business results through the strategic use of technology. It’s important for executives to get engaged in long-term strategic planning for business needs and even leveraging their organizations to drive profits.

According to the surveys from Oxford Economics and Tower Watson in Digital HR Transformation:

Digital HT Transformation

More on Digital HR Transformation

So to compete successfully in the new digital economy, HR should:

■ Use technology effectively to execute on business imperatives and extend collaboration with other departments, incorporating mobile, analytics, social media and the cloud to ease the transition to a strategic role.

■ Consider the competitive risk of not leveraging technology to contribute to business strategy. Organizations in developed economies are not adopting technology as quickly as their counterparts in fast-growing economies and may risk being left behind in the global competition for talent.

■ Embrace the transition to strategic thinking and driving business results.

(Taken from Oxford Economics and Tower Watson)

Digital transformation is to enable people to think and to transform and here is HR Digital Strategy plays an exponent role in driving the Organization’s Business Transformation. Digital Strategy is the most valuable and powerful asset in the Digital Transformation environment or any future transformation to come.

Digital Transformation is about the capacity of the organization and therefore the people’s minds to not only adapt to change, but to drive change, to drive innovation. The real value to HR in the Digital Transformation is to enable the whole organization to think creatively. Enable the organization into a deep dive into its need, its values, purpose & mission. And this is the foundation for the real successful business strategy into the Digital Era.

HR digital strategy or HR technology strategy should actually support the overall strategic objectives of HR and the organization. And HR must take ownership of the digital strategy and ensure that it aligns with the HR strategy which should be in alignment with the business strategy. Moreover, it should emphasize more than just efficiency and effectiveness as a driver for the adoption of technology, and choose solutions to allow for future growth and flexibility, while focusing on deploying solutions that meet the current and future needs of the organization.

Drivers which can lead Digital Strategy for HR are: (Below Tips/Drivers are from Talent Culture)

Drivers for Digital Strategy

According to Talent Culture, developing an HR digital strategy begins with taking a deeper look at business priorities and validating how current systems are and are not supporting the organization’s goals. This helps create a path toward synchronizing the organization’s priorities with the HR digital strategy. A successful HR digital strategy should be aligned to the needs of the business, agile, focused on strategic enablement rather than just efficiency and effectiveness, and should be owned by HR in partnership with IT.

And it’s Strategy, not Technology which drives the Digital Transformation according to MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte.

About the Author:

Soumyasanto Sen

Soumyasanto Sen — Blogger, Speaker and Evangelist in HR Technology who try to think Out of the Box!

Professional Consultant, Manager, Advisor, Investor in HR Tech. Focusing on Strategies, Mobility, Cloud, Analytics, UX, Security, Data Protection, Developments and Integration in HR Technology & Digital HR.


Source: Digital Strategy in HR World – HRTechCon

What Is the Future of Data Warehousing?

Data Warehousing

There is no denying it – we live in The Age of the Customer. Consumers all over the world are now digitally empowered, and they have the means to decide which businesses will succeed and grow, and which ones will fail. As a result, most savvy businesses now understand that they must be customer-obsessed to succeed. They must have up-to-the-second data and analytical information so that they can give their customers what they want and provide the very best customer satisfaction possible.

This understanding has given rise to the concept of business intelligence (BI), the use of data mining, big data, and data analytics to analyze raw data and create faster, more effective business solutions. However, while the concept of BI is not necessarily new, traditional BI tactics are no longer enough to keep up and ensure success in the future. Today, traditional BI must be combined with agile BI (the use of agile software development to accelerate traditional BI for faster results and more adaptability) and big data to deliver the fastest and most useful insights so that businesses may convert, serve, and retain more customers.

Essentially, for a business to survive, BI must continuously evolve and adapt to improve agility and keep up with data trends in this new customer-driven age of enterprise. This new model for BI is also driving the future of data warehousing, as we will see moving forward.

Older BI Deployments Cannot Keep Pace for Success

As valuable as older BI applications and deployments have been over the years, they simply cannot keep pace with customer demands today. In fact, decision-makers in IT and business have reported a number of challenges when they have only deployed traditional BI. These include:

  • Inability to accurately quantify their BI investments’ ROI. Newer BI deployments implement methodologies for measuring ROI and determining the value of BI efforts.
  • A breakdown in communication and alignment between IT and business teams.
  • Inability to properly manage operational risk, resolve latency challenges, and/or handle scalability. While BI is intended to improve all of these, traditional BI is falling behind.
  • Difficulty with platform migration and/or integration.

Poor data quality. Even if data mining is fast and expansive, if the quality of the data is not up to par, it will not be useful in creating actionable intelligence for important business decisions.

Keeping Up with Customer Demand Through New BI Deployments

So how can combining traditional BI, agile BI, and big data help businesses grow and succeed in today’s market? Consider that big data gives businesses a more complete view of the customer by tapping into multiple data sources. At the same time, agile BI addresses the need for faster and more adaptable intelligence. Combine the two, along with already existing traditional BI, and efforts that were once separate can work together to create a stronger system of insight and analytics.

Through this new BI strategy, businesses can consistently harness insights and create actionable data in less time. Using the same technology, processes, and people, it allows businesses to manage growth and complexity, react faster to customer needs, and improve collaboration and top-line benefits – all at the same time.

The Drive for a New Kind of Data Warehousing

A new kind of data warehousing is essential to this new BI deployment, as much of the inefficiency in older BI deployments lies in the time and energy wasted in data movement and duplication. A few factors are driving the development and future of data warehousing, including:

  • Agility – To succeed today, businesses must use collaboration more than ever. Instead of having separate departments, teams, and implementations for things like data mining and analysis, IT, BI, business, etc., the new model involves cross-functional teams that engage in adaptive planning for continuous evolution and improvement. This kind of model cannot function with old forms of data warehousing, with just a single server (or set of servers) where data is stored and retrieved.
  • The Cloud – More and more, people and businesses are storing data on the cloud. Cloud-based computing offers the ability to access more data from different sources without the need for massive amounts of data movement and duplication. Thus, the cloud is a major factor in the future of data warehousing.
  • The Next Generation of Data – We are already seeing significant changes in data storage, data mining, and all things relate to big data, thanks to the Internet of Things. The next generation of data will (and already does) include even more evolution, including real-time data and streaming data.

How New Data Warehousing Solves Problems for Businesses

So how do new data warehouses change the face of BI and big data? These new data warehousing solutions offer businesses a more powerful and simpler means to achieve streaming, real-time data by connecting live data with previously stored historical data.

Before, business intelligence was an entirely different section of a company than the business section, and data analytics took place in an isolated bubble. Analysis was also restricted to only looking at and analyzing historical data – data from the past. Today, if businesses only look at historical data, they will be behind the curve before they even begin. Some of the solutions to this, which new data warehousing techniques and software provide, include:

  • Data lakes – Instead of storing data in hierarchical files and folders, as traditional data warehouses do, data lakes have a flat architecture that allows raw data to be stored in its natural form until it is needed.
  • Data fragmented across organizations – New data warehousing allows for faster data collection and analysis across organizations and departments. This is in keeping with the agility model and promotes more collaboration and faster results.
  • IoT streaming data – Again, the Internet of Things, is a major game changer, as customers, businesses, departments, etc. share and store data across multiple devices.

To Thrive in the Age of the Customers – Businesses Must Merge Previously Separate Efforts

Now that we are seeing real-time and streaming data, it is more important than ever before to create cohesive strategies for business insights. This means merging formerly separate efforts like traditional BI, agile BI, and big data.

Business agility is more important than ever before to convert and retain customers. To do this, BI must always be evolving, improving, and adapting, and this requires more collaboration and new data warehousing solutions. Through this evolution of strategies and technology, businesses can hope to grow and improve in The Age of the Customer.

Examples of the Future of Data Warehousing

And what exactly will the future of data warehousing look like? Companies like SAP are working on that right now. With the launch of the BW/4HANA data warehousing solution running on premise and Amazon Web Services (AWS) and others like it, we can see how businesses can combine historical and streaming data for better implementation and deployment of new BI strategies. This system and others like it work with Spark and Hadoop, as well as other programming frameworks to bring data and systems of insight into the 21st century and beyond.

Want to learn more about BI, agile BI, the future of data warehousing, and all things big data? 

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Source: What Is the Future of Data Warehousing? | Ronald van Loon | Pulse | LinkedIn

Hard Skills vs. Soft Skills: Are Soft Skills Winning?

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The whole debate about soft skills versus hard skills sounds like a relatively modern debate, right? Not at all. The debate has been raging for many years – as far back as last century even. In 1918, Charles Riborg Mann, a physicist, engineer and civilian adviser in the US War Department, published research that discussed the importance of soft skills versus hard skills in engineering disciplines.

Within the study he asserted that: “personal qualities such as common sense, integrity, resourcefulness, initiative, tact, thoroughness, accuracy, efficiency and understanding of men are universally recognised as being no less necessary to a professional engineer than are technical knowledge and skills”.

Research by Harvard University, the Carnegie Foundation and Stanford Research Center built on that 1918 study, leading them to conclude that only 15% of job success comes from technical skills and knowledge. What does the other 85% come from? Good, well-developed soft skills of course.

So the debate about soft skills versus hard skills is nothing new. However, thinking tends to fluctuate over which skills – soft or hard – are most important when hiring. At the moment, the swing is definitely towards soft skills and it has been going that way for some time.

Why? For starters, there is the undeniable fact that hard skills date very quickly now. What was relevant and required five or even two years ago is soon redundant. Skills and knowledge regeneration is constant and employees need to have the right mindset that enables them to keep learning, keep developing and keep moving forward.

As a result, employers place less importance on what employees already know. They want to know what employees are capable of in the future, what their aptitudes are and how well placed they are to apply the skills needed today and the skills needed tomorrow.

It’s all about agility. It’s a VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world that we live and work in and if organisations are to be agile, as they need to be, then they need agile employees. And being agile requires employees to have a whole host of personal attributes that fall into the soft skills category – flexibility, adaptability, creativity, dynamism, connectiveness, emotional intelligence and so it goes on.

There is lots of research that says that these are the skills that employers want now and will want even more in the future. A survey by Talent Q, part of Hay Group, for example found that nine in 10 employers think graduates with soft skills will be increasingly important as globalisation continues to gather pace. But those graduates are already in high demand – 81% of employers say they face strong competition for graduates with people skills.

A report carried out by Grant Thornton, a professional services network of independent accounting and consulting member firms, shows just how much value is placed on soft skills in the modern workplace, even in a profession that is all about numbers. The report, called ‘The Evolving Accounting Talent Profile’, said this in its executive summary: ‘Today’s CFOs find that technical skills are a necessary, but not sufficient, competency among accounting professionals. As they and their staff become more engaged in organisational decision-making, soft skills such as critical thinking and communication are increasingly important”.

Another report, this one carried out last year on behalf of McDonald’s UK, called ‘The Value of Soft Skills to the UK Economy’, states that soft skills are worth over £88 billion in gross value added to the UK economy each year, underpinning roughly 6.5% of the whole economy. That figure is expected to rise considerably over the next five years. The report predicts that by 2020, the annual contribution of soft skills to the economy will have grown in real terms to £109 billion and to just over £127 billion by 2025. Soft skills are worth a lot.


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What you need to know about Agile Performance Management

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Agile performance management is a collaborative, continuous feedback and development practice that is steadily replacing traditional performance management.

Traditional performance management has proven to be insufficient to assess and enhance an employee’s contribution. Its primary focus is setting up a series of processes to measure the employee’s performance over the whole year. These processes end up having an unanticipated effect of managers focusing on employee’s weaknesses.

It is difficult to distinguish performance, except for the truly poor performers or high achievers. Being a year long process, below par or mediocre performers can’t be identified early on. Once a year performance review, with little to no feedback, gives no scope for development to the employees or the managers.

There needed to be a more dynamic performance management practice that could evolve and adapt according to the changing environment.

Elements of Traditional Performance Management:

  • Traditional performance management (TPM) reviewed employees annually or biannually. They were given a feedback for their overall performance of the year.
  • It set rigid goals for everyone for the entire year, that did not account for any changes. Employees were reviewed at the end of the year. They couldn’t fulfill these goals as unforeseen changes were not considered. This hampered their reviews to a high extent.
  • Spoon feeding was done on a large scale. Employees were believed to be inherently incapable of setting up their own goals.
  • Communication was a one way process. Employees felt their work is being dictated to them. Not only was this unproductive, but also created resentment at times.
  • Earlier, employees worked under tremendous pressure. Their performance review was largely dependent on their ability to deliver on time. Race to fulfill quantity often compromised on quality work.

Thus, Agile performance management was introduced. Its three key aspects are regular feedback, communication and coaching. These aspects bridge the gap between goal setting and performance evaluation.

Agile performance management focuses as much on the process as the end goals. Continuous improvement is the key.

Agile Performance Management [Infographic]

Let us look at a few ways to introduce agile performance management in your organisation:

Incorporate regular 360° feedback

In an age of instant communication, feedback should be given on an ongoing basis. A constructive feedback helps employees understand their strengths and weaknesses. Managers can help employees address the issues that hamper their productivity.

Similarly, employees can give regular feedback to their managers. It is the virtue of highly effective managers that they accept these feedback and improve themselves as well.

The stakeholders/customers too can share their expectations. A 360° feedback mechanism is highly beneficial for everyone involved.

Keep goals flexible

Employees are as different from each other as apples and oranges. Everyone works at a different pace. Individual goals should be assigned for individual development. These should be aligned with team goals for consistent growth and development. In case of any change in direction, they should be flexible enough to adapt to that change.

The expected outcome should be clear. Goals for the organisation as well as teams can be designed and modified accordingly. Goal setting frameworks such as either MBO (Management by Objectives) or OKR (Objectives & Key Results) are relied upon.

Collaborate more

Agile performance management lets employees find out their capabilities. Together they can determine a time frame in consensus for achieving their goals. This authority brings in a sense of accountability and boosts performance.

Focus on consistent development

Now, managers’ focus on consistently developing their employees through various means. It could be regular feedback, training or even recognition for their work. Developed employees are able to perform better and increase productivity.

Supportive Leadership to increase 2 way communication

Employees should be given an opportunity to voice their doubts. A 2 way communication ensures that the managers and employees are on the same page. There is a clear understanding of what is the purpose of their work and what is to be achieved. This ensures they do not deviate from the end goals and work hard to achieve them.

Agile performance management is changing the way organisations are looking at assessing & enhancing employee contributions. Not only build your softwares in an agile environment but also manage the employee performance with agility.

About the Author

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Yatin Pawar leads the Marketing and Content writing efforts at Amoeboids Technologies for UpRaise. Fascinated by all things Marketing, everyday he seeks to learn best practices and new concepts to help his company grow. A voracious reader, Yatin enjoys reading fiction, fantasy and mythological novels in leisure.

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