The Digital Age, 4th Industrial Revolution

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Monthly Archives: November 2016

CEOs Need to Ask the Right Questions About Their Digital Businesses


8 digital life skills all children need – and a plan for teaching them


A Call to Action : The Approaching Perfect Storm

Long before others started talking Digital Transformation, The Augmented Consulting Group has been researching, analyzing and informing about the need for Trinidad and Tobago to engage in the concept of the Digital Economy as a means of socio-economic transformation. 

It’s commendable some are attempting to engage in the conversation on The Digital Economy, but the digital transformation is not about software, it’s about the country and and its economy and how it can engage and embrace the creation of wealth in ways more significant that any in the history of the world. 

Augmented Consulting was meant to guide business and society in the transformation because it simply has within its ranks, a far higher goal than selling software, to put it bluntly. 

This is a call to action to Trinidad and Tobago to move wholeheartedly into the Digital Economy as a means of economic sustainability. The horizon is displaying signs of a perfect storm in the making. The massiveness of this storm is unprecedented, and it seems to be a destructive force I can only imagine similar to that of a tsunami. A tsunami, like the Japan tsunami recently, and like others before it, destroys everything in its path and clears it out when the water recedes. The approaching perfect storm of 3D Printing will do just that. This tsunami in 3D Printing, has a precedence, a forewarning of sorts, in the classic case of destruction of Kodak. Kodak, invented the digital technology of the digital camera, yet it did nothing with it or about it, and that same digital technology it invented, destroyed it.

What is 3D Printing

3D Printing is a form of manufacturing known as additive manufacturing. It is a form capable of zero wastage in the production of a good or service. What this means is huge cost benefits to the organization, corporate or sole. But that is not the real disruption because a company can purchase or create a 3D printer for its own use, in which case it can become very profitable. Had Kodak used the digital technology which it invented, it would have been able to mass produce digital cameras, capture the market as a first mover, and move on to others areas in digital technology, especially in content management platforms. In other words, it could have been still in existence had it engaged in deep vision-driven strategic thinking, planning and execution. The digital camera moved the control of markets into the hands of the consumer, and had the company taken decisive action, it would have moved to a new business model, where it could still have been in control, but it would not have owned any digital camera. Facebook is the biggest online platform but it diensnt own the internet, Uber has become the biggest provider of taxi services, globally, but it doesn’t own a single taxi, and Airbnb owns the online space for room reservations, but it doesn’t own one single hotel.

Had Kodak immersed itself into the digital world, only ones imagination can conjure what could have happened with a cogent, strategic, digital transformation strategy. 

The real threat to the traditional manufacturing is when 3D printers becomes cheaply available as an appliance in the home or as portable as the digital camera of old, or the smartphone digital camera. When 3D printers become as available and affordable as a smartphone, it will anihilate traditional manufacturing as we know it. Everyone will become a manufacturer, just as everyone is now a photographer or video maker. The the focus of traditional manufacturing companies will change.

Deep-visioned Strategic Thinking, Planning and Execution is now an imperative for all borganuzations, profit or non-profit. 

In this present economic environment in Trinidad and Tobago, it is critical that companies engage the global digital economy for acquiring wealth and income generation. The Internet has brought the world markets into our homes, it’s up to us to create new wealth and new opportunities in ths the Fourth Industrial Revolution, The Digital Age.

Business and society cannot resist this impending change. The key to survivability and sustainability is to start now.

In this call to action, Augmented Consulting is calling on you to start the transformation process. Augmented will guide your journey into the future! 

The Essence of Strategic Thinking

This world today is such a virtual beehive of activity, constantly changing at such great velocity, it’s almost impossible to predict what is going to happen next. Indeed, nothing is. At the same time though, there are things within our capacity and capability   to control as we are still be able to lead lives routinely. In this comfort zone, we can therefore apply strategies workable enough to maintain lifestyles. The problem is that because it is impossible to tell what will happen next, strategies can sometimes be limited to a timeframe or period, and therefore, strategic planning requires iteration to cope with changes in the environment. But Even with this uncertainty, it is still possible to discern what can happen in the future. Careful analysis of the present combined with the past can lead to insights that are futuristic.  But even this also can be limited as what is required for sustained competitive advantage is a deep-space incursion into the future. The ability to embark and complete the journey into the future is the essence of strategic thinking.

Many organizations utilize data to keep themselves well informed of what is occurring in their environments and therefore planning ahead takes a logistical stance. Strategic thinking on the other hand, while data-dependent on the reliability of information produced at industry level, looks way out into and beyond the horizon. It encompasses the future plans of customers and suppliers alike, the changing dynamics of industries, and the resultant effects of technology. Strategic thinking requires the ability to look far out especially at the technology advancements.

Such a capability to look deep into the future by analyzing trends and future plans of all stakeholders can produce great insights into the horizon. Organizations who are able to set aside resources for the purpose of this deep horizon analysis, are positioning themselves for sustainability and as the unknowns of the world unfold, they will not be blindsided by tectonic events. Kodak, the global giant, was caught, and saw its  multi-billion dollar business evaporate and by an innovation which started internally.

Strategic thinking 

Many organizations engage in brainstorming as a means and method in strategic thinking. Organizations engage teams of researchers to discern trends and future plans as a platform for brain storming. Research looks at the plans for future investments of both suppliers and customers as well as regulatory plans and upcoming events which are likely to have shocks in the environment.

For  example, the Mexican government recently engaged in a contingency plan, should in case there be a Trump victory in the upcoming US Presidential elections on November 8, 2016. It is a most pragmatic move, however it is motivated by a need to plan ahead.  

On the surface, it may seem to be short term. But that is quite a strategic planning exercise, based on visionary strategic thinking and planning.

The anatomy of the contingency plan will reveal a brain storming exercise that would have projected what-if analysis, synthesis and insights derived from a deep horizon search. It is a classic case of strategic thinking and planning that gives a framework to operate under, even if the event projected to occur, doesn’t occur. It would have resulted in viable alternatives which are realistic.

The most salient point of this example is that there was foresight, action and subsequent operational planning that has provide a comfort zone.

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