Friday, October 12, 2012

Building Business Value through next generation technology!

What a pleasure to listen to Pip Marlow, MD of Microsoft and Tim Reed, CEO of MYOB - both incredibly forward thinking and innovators in their field.

Here are some of their key points with some interesting messages and ideas for all of us!


We need to explore the constraints that we have about our work environment. Pen and paper have been replaced by mouse and keyboard.  The new generation coming in to the workplace will expect computers and technology to be more like us.
As business we need to leave Australia a better place than we found it.

Productivity today is growing today more slowly than in the seventies.
The further challenge is that we don't have the working population to replace the aging population.  So we have to think innovatively.  We need to know what are the mega trends that will have an impact on us?

Remember - innovation does not come from technology.  People do the innovation and the technology is just the platform.

As an example: NSW police had as primary job directing traffic.  Then more traffic lights were installed.  Now computers look at traffic flows.  This has enabled the NSW police to move on to doing higher level tasks.  That is what is known as disruptive innovation.

Think about what Microsoft has done with Kinect technology which has been a game changer in that the body is now the controller.  Gesture and voice are used with the connector and this has wider implications beyond the realm of gaming.  Now we can look at patient files without surgeons having to scrub in and out.  It is being used in ways we never thought of even for rehabilitation purposes.  It is changing the way we are think about collaboration on projects and in different languages.  Innovation is occurring here and now.  Artificial intelligence is on its way!

Think of the first phones and think of the smart phones and what we can do on them.  Think of twenty years time and what will be possible..

These are the 4 mega trends to be aware of

1. Mobility

There are approximately 11 million smart phones in Australia.  Initially we used the phone for voice.  Now it is the least used function on our phones.  We can now work anywhere any time.  We are able to get the information when we need it.  The device even knows your location to give additional functionality. 
The new world is an terconnected world filled with Linkedin members and Twitter users.  .  Your next customer can be anywhere in the world.  Websites are being replaced by Facebook pages.  There are different ways of reaching customers and just look at how this has impacted retail.
Suggestion get your Klout score.
Look in to People 123 this gives you a digital footprint and you will be able to see who your customer influences. 

2. The Cloud
Not the weather forecast.
The cloud is the democratization of IT. The Cloud allows for every business to have access to computing power that they never had before and that used to be taken care of by an IT department, can now be done in the Cloud.

3. Big data

This mega trend takes the amount of structured data in your CRM and in other databases and matches it to other databases to understand customers.  Data is the next oil and the. more we mine this, the more profitable companies will be.
As an example, it provides tools for us to know when to buy energy and when to use our solar panels - and when we can sell our energy back to the grid.
There will be far richer consumer experiences that will be created through this mega trend.

4. Workplace of the future  
Be at the edge of the next generation workplace.  A workplace with no fixed office and no fixed desk.  Work is a thing you do and not a place you go.  The workplace will engage  everyone and will be activity based working, that is managed on outputs and not inputs. Such as Are you driving customer satisfaction and are you driving sales. 
Microsoft no longer has landlines on desks.  This enables people to be out with customers.  The company has given back real estate and increased employee engagement by five points.  Remember - Unhappy employees cannot drive Customer satisfaction.

This is the productivity challenge:
We have to be a knowledge economy.  Leaders will need to think differently and will need to disrupt. 


Mobility is profoundly changing the way in which we work.  This trend started with email that enabled us to be more productive. And now there are different devices that will have different applications. 
MYOB won't rebuild their system on a mobile device.  They will select particular functions that people will need when they are about and about.  There is no point in doing a payroll application for mobiles but people will want to check their accounts on line.

Mobility is creating a collision between personal and business applications.  That has happened already for SMEs.
MYOB makes good use of Yammer because Social is changing the way we work.  And that is what Yammer does.  I tis for people of all ages and it allows for an idea exchange.  People submit ideas and leave comments for the development team.  Ideas come in from the clients and MYOB is able to deliver far more to what they need.

The Cloud is enabling us to deliver infrastructure at a fraction of the cost.  It can expand and extend your organisation.  Work flows will move across team members, and you can have access to accounts that are up to date.  It will also allow subject and trusted experts to see in to organisation and provide guidance and assistance.

The reminder is You need to use your change management skills.
This is seen where larger businesses are slower to manage that change in to the Cloud.  It is up to us to make the change easier. 

How often to you go to a bank any longer?  We do more and more on line. 
We have to find ways to automate tasks so that there is time for people to work on higher level tasks.  
Productivity is not about working longer hours.  We are low on the scale as compared with  other countries.   We cannot stay in the industrial relations part of this debate and we need to move in to an innovation debate. 
The rate of productivity is declining because of our current education sector. 
We need to think about the training and the university system.  Education is a continuing thing and ongoing activity.  We need to develop and deliver courses around what industry needs and make them digestible to what people really need.  We need skills for this century.  There needs to be a tighter connection to the workplace from the school. 
Give the kids digital ink!  Pull down the walls of the classroom.  In the tertiary space use distance learning. 

By not getting women in to the sciences and computers and  we are also missing out on so much participation.

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