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Helping to offer a Sporting Chance

Synetec sponsor Lord Taverners

Synetec have continued our on-going support for the Lord Taverners efforts and joined the annual event which is always a well organised day with updates for the supporters on the progress of the help given and the positive impact that it has in children’s lives to have the help of this organisation. The difference that Lord Taverners makes to disabled young people is huge and Synetec firmly stand by the efforts of this charity.

The Lord’s Taverners is the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged and disabled young people a sporting chance.

It’s the chance to interact, play and train and  the chance to compete, win and lose. Also the chance to learn, have fun and make friends.

Well done to the organisers on yet another great event.

Make a donation to Lord Taverners

 

Digital Transformation

Why Digital Transformation?

Organizations around the globe have started to realize the importance of Digital Technologies and most of them are running Digital Transformation Programmes in one form or another. There is a lot of curiosity around the new Digital technologies and new ways of implementing them. While transforming the way businesses operate and implement their IT systems is essential, it can be easier for the organizations and business leaders to fall prey to the trap of starting the process without knowing what they want to achieve out of it.

To ensure businesses get maximum benefit from the transformation process and remain relevant in ever-growing competitive markets, it is important that business leaders and transformation teams undertake a thorough evaluation of the challenges facing them and the best ways to address them. This can include anything from Business Process transformation, implementing Digital technologies, opting new IT delivery models, Mobile Apps, Data Analytics, AI based ChatBots etc.

Another major reason to consider bringing in Digital Transformation is the disruption from incumbents and start-ups. The start-ups are bringing innovations into the market at record speed and this is posing serious challenges for the organization traditionally leading the market space.  Digital transformation thus is more than necessity, it is in most cases the only way to survive and grow.

What is Digital Transformation?

Though there have been many articles written around Digital Transformation, the process and approach can be different for each organization. It can generally be defined as adoption / integration of Digital Technologies into how businesses operate on different fronts and how the value is passed on to end customers.

The definition extends beyond just adoption of digital technologies. Digital Transformation encompasses a fundamental change in the working culture challenging the current ways of working and bringing innovation in day to day operations. The change is required from the highest levels to the lowest levels of the organization who contribute to every aspect of running of the business. This process can be challenging and can present most difficult problems. At the same time, if done correctly, transformation can yield rewards allowing the businesses to be more efficient, reach out to more customers and add real value creating more business opportunities.

From technology standpoint, most common and most vital elements are how the organizations can benefit from vast amount of data that gets processed on daily basis and how patterns in data can be used for predicting future business decisions that will generate best results. Use of Big Data technologies and data analytics tools allows businesses to get this benefit. Cloud technologies provide ability to store and process the huge amount of data and scalable infrastructure on-demand.

Use of Agile methodologies for change management can add significant value as well. Adoption of Agile methodology allows the teams to deliver changes in smaller but regular chunks without having to spend months studying and designing complex solutions. This also allows businesses flexibility to change their priorities and expectations from the IT systems depending on changes in market conditions or end customer requirements. This is a huge improvement over traditional ways of rigid change management processes where making slightest of changes to the requirements or scope would keep moving goal post in future and incur additional cost.

Use of Automation in application development and testing process, Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) help further to reduce shipping time for changes without compromising on quality. The Dev-Ops model is being widely used to bridge gap between application development and operations to make whole change management process efficient.

An important aspect that can easily be overlooked but can make significant difference is use of collaboration tools and technologies. Tools like Jira and Confluence are replacing the traditional business requirement documents which needed heavy version control and had limited visibility across the delivery teams. The tools provide teams ability to manage their work as per the model that suits them best and give ability to have recorded communications around the work item replacing long isolated email chains. Use of communications tools allows the teams based in different geographical locations to collaborate more efficiently.

 

Digital Transformation Strategy: Is there a standard that fits everyone?

Every organization is different and has different needs from Digital Transformation. Therefore, there cannot be a single strategy that can fit everyone. Every organization must look at the challenges they are facing, and the results expected from the transformation before deciding on the approach. Digital transformation can be a complex process and finding the right approach that suits your needs is the most important step towards achieving the goals.

Deloitte’s report, ‘Strategy, not technology, drives digital transformation’, discusses the benefits of crafting a strategy for rolling out a path to digital maturation instead of just the technology. Technology will keep evolving over time and it’s likely that in a few years, the technology your business needs will change as well. However, a well thought of strategy ensures that opportunities presented by technological advances are grabbed at right time. The strategy, like the technology must be reviewed periodically for relevance and aligned to changing needs. No matter how well planned the strategy is, there can always be new learnings along the way and the approach should involve a feedback loop to allow continuous improvement.

The most important aspects that the strategy should address include increasing awareness across the organization and a top-down cascade of adoption of transformation goals. Reskilling existing workforce in the new technologies and ways of working is as important as hiring people with right skills and industry experience. Adoption of collaborative culture open to ideas and experiments allows everyone involved to participate and bring innovation to the table.

Clearly defining the goals of the Transformation Programmes and aligning the business initiatives against each goal should help the organizations ensure that all aspects of transformation are covered. Regular reviews of initiatives against the goals help in identifying inefficiencies and gaps that need to be closed on priority.

 

Finally, Digital Transformation is an ongoing exercise. Businesses will need to keep transforming themselves and achieving higher levels of Digital maturity. The organizations that embrace Digital Transformation as a way of working will ultimately be the ones leading the way in future and will create maximum business opportunities for themselves and their customers.

 

Synetec is an Agile solutions provider with expertise in diverse development technologies, such as Angular, the .Net Framework, SQL Server and other cloud friendly data stores. We are certified and have successfully delivered projects across different cloud technology stacks such as Microsoft Azure and AWS, delivering integration and development solutions since 2000.

We work with a number of the UK’s most respected financial institutions to deliver a range of innovative solutions. We have expertise in working with both established businesses as well as start-ups and extreme growth businesses.

Understanding Behaviours with Machine Learning

Understanding the behaviour of your customers and staff will help you create value and growth, but how do you access this important information?

In our previous article that you can read here, we discussed topic identification and how this is important in providing context to the conversations your business has with customers.  Behaviour identification is the next step in this process because it tells you what’s happening in relation to a specific topic.  First you need to know what is being discussed, then you can identify what behaviours or actions are occurring.  This information will demonstrate how the behaviours and actions are being carried out and lead to understanding what patterns are exhibited in relation to particular business activities.

 

So how do you go about identifying this information?  Behaviours or actions are identified by taking a particular topic, and then adding ‘wake’ words or terms to be recognised by a system.  For example, the ‘wake’ word for the Amazon Echo is Alexa which consumers need to say out loud before stating a demand or asking a question.  One of our clients asked us to identify certain behaviours carried out by their staff including when they were giving advice.  The action of giving advice is a behaviour so we constructed a list of ‘wake’ words and terms to ‘listen’ for.  Keep in mind that when creating ‘wake’ terms you should be careful to avoid making the terms too long or complex so as to avoid missing the core behaviour that is of interest.  These lists are specific to a behaviour or company and can be trained using ML (machine learning), to remove irrelevant terms and add new ones.

In the area of giving advice, key wake terms may include ‘I think’, ‘I believe’ and ‘I suggest’ which would then be analysed against the topic of a conversation.  Once you have a list of wake words or terms compiled, a system can flag these with appropriate actions depending on what has occurred in the conversations.

Here is an example of the topics and behaviours occurring in a conversation between a sales person and their client:

  1. A sales person calls their client
  2. During the call both football and business are being discussed
  3. The client is a fan of the Manchester United team, for their sins, and watched the last game played
  4. The sales person suggests the next game that the team plays will be a win for them and that football is great for betting
  5. The conversation then moves on to the client indicating an interest in purchasing shares
  6. The sales person suggests client invests in Vodafone shares

As you can clearly see, the two topics occurring within the conversation are football and purchasing shares.  You can also see that the context of the conversation is critical when applying these ‘wake’ terms, which is why topic identification is still the vital first step.  The wake term ‘I suggest’ has hugely different meaning when applied to purchasing shares vs suggesting football is great for betting.

The behaviours identified include giving advice in both topics, but the football instance is a non-business incident and is therefore not relevant from a business perspective.  On the other hand, the second incident of advice is business-related and could result in non-compliance to certain regulations if no action is taken, therefore of business interest.

ML is then used to flag this incident to the appropriate people with suggestions on the actions that should be taken.  For example, the system identifies that this is the third incident where that sales person has given advice in the last 6 weeks and actions previously taken included a warning then re-training.  This means the business can more effectively flag for advice and monitor the actions that are taken afterwards to ensure they remain compliant.

Another beneficial example of behaviour identification would be setting up a system for clients to register an interest in a certain product or service.  So the behaviour is “I would be interested in purchasing 1 million GBP of Russian Ruble at 82 or less around April”.  You would then use ML to monitor the rates, dates and identify who would be interested in that information combination, enabling the setting of flags so if the scenario occurs then the client details would be passed onto the relevant sales person for follow up.

 

So is this everything you need to know to effectively analyse your communications? A simple answer might be yes, but to realise the full benefits there’s a third aspect of identification that you should understand called Sentiment Analysis.  Keep your eyes peeled because we’ll be discussing this in our next article!

 

Synetec is an Agile solutions provider with expertise in diverse development technologies, such as Angular, the .Net Framework, SQL Server and other cloud friendly data stores. We are certified and have successfully delivered projects across different cloud technology stacks such as Microsoft Azure and AWS, delivering integration and development solutions since 2000.

We work with a number of the UK’s most respected financial institutions to deliver a range of innovative solutions. We have expertise in working with both established businesses as well as start-ups and extreme growth businesses.

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