Competing in Digital Transformation and Mobility

The C suite must understand the battle they are fighting before they can develop and implement a winning digital transformation strategy.  The commercial battlefield is data, and the effectiveness and speed of competitors’ information logistics systems will make all the difference.  The C suite’s overall doctrine must be achieving information dominance in their target markets.  

Information, however, is trivia unless it results in correct insights, which leads to right actions at the right time.  In the book, The Principles of War for the Information Age, author Robert Leonard writes, “If I can develop and pursue my plan to defeat you faster than you can execute your plan to defeat me, then your plan is unimportant.”  It’s not the ability to collect more data faster, or analyze it faster, it is the ability to understand and act on it faster.  Businesses that can “understand and act with speed” will dominate those which are slower. 

In mobile commerce, the ability to identify the mobile app user, recognize their preferences, understand the immediate context, and then to provide a personalized and contextually relevant experience fast enough to satisfy impatient mobile consumers is the winning formula.  That is a difficult job, but offers competitive advantage opportunities!  So the question is how can I achieve those competitive advantages?

The C suite must recognize speed advantages in information logistic systems; analytics, business operational tempos and decision-making will determine the winners of tomorrow’s digital era.  Competition is now focused on optimizing information logistics systems (ILS).  ILSs are all the systems involved in John Boyd’s OODA loop (observe, orient, decide and act). They include the following tasks:

  1. Collecting data
  2. Transmitting data
  3. Securing data
  4. Normalizing data
  5. Storing data
  6. Analyzing and reporting on the data
  7. Understanding the meaning and impact of the data
  8. Driving decisions based on the meaning of the data
  9. Acting on the data (manual or automated) to achieve competitive advantages

Achieving speed in the first six steps can mostly be accomplished with technology upgrades and improvements, but in order to achieve speed in steps 7-9, it requires deep thinking that is codified in algorithms supported by automation. It requires augmenting humans with artificial intelligence, sophisticated algorithm-driven intelligent process automation (robotic software processes), and machine learning. 

To achieve competitive advantages and speed in these steps requires an enterprise to move beyond “human time” and into the realm of “digital time.”  Digital time can only be achieved with the augmentation of robotic software processes that work far faster than humanly possible.  When your mobile app is accessed by millions of users and the numbers of data transactions explode, supporting those apps in real-time requires automation and augmentation, i.e. algorithms.