Article: Ray Wang on disrupting digital business

Strategic HR

Ray Wang on disrupting digital business

A view into the Oracle Open World India 2017 with a double click on disrupting digital businesses by Ray Wang, Principal Analyst and Founder, Constellation Research, Inc.
Ray Wang on disrupting digital business

Transforming India into a digital economy has picked up a rapid pace with the global organizations and government bodies shifting the focus towards the country. Supporting this vision, Oracle is organizing a two-day event, Oracle Open World India 2017 with the aim to bring together government and local enterprises through various digital initiatives crafted exclusively for India.

The event focusing on of what does digital transformation really mean, how can it disrupt business and how can it really be imbibed, started with powerful keynotes by Safra Catz, CEO, Oracle; Shailender Kumar, Oracle; Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra; Rakesh Barik, Partner & Consulting Technology Leader, Deloitte India and Ray Wang, Principal Analyst and Founder, Constellation Research, Inc.

Safra spoke about the awesome initiatives that Oracle is taking up including the launch of a suite compliant with GST, signing a MoU with the Government of Jharkhand and much more. Devendra Fadnavis shared his vision of building a digital Maharashtra and Rakesh spoke about sparking digital transformations within the organizations. But it was the keynote by Ray Wang that said it all about the opportunities that digital transformation presents for businesses.

In his session, Ray discussed how organizations can be successful in this age of digital disruption, the power of data in defining new digital business models and the digital proficiency of the talent. Here are the 5 things that he shared about how you can really bring in digital transformation:

  • Change of mindset – Digital disruption is beyond technology. It is not a technology shift but a business model shift that is impacting the way we engage and interact with each other.
  • SMAC is 2009 – While social, mobile, analytics and cloud are quintessential, what is really required for the business to grow is design thinking inspired user experiences. What’s trending for 2020 is Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics, blockchain technology and cognitive.
  • No digital leaders by 2020 – As per research, 37% of digital transformation projects today are led by Chief Digital Officer. By 2020, there will be no separate role of a technology leader as all CXOs will form the digital suite. 
  • How are you transforming business models? - It’s time to look at the power of IoT in monetizing network through insights. Ray shared an example of how adding sensors to showers in hotels is an IoT project that can generate opportunities for multiple business models.  Providing remote service contract to the sensors could be one. The second model could be to partner with competitors in areas where the competitors are that in turn, help helps you access customer usage data. Third business model is to actually provide a maintenance service probably through a network of plumbers. And the last one could be loyalty programs for customers based on the usage time of the shower. Imagine adding a simple sensor to showers can yield so many business models – remote service business, data insights business, operate marketplace and creating loyalty programs. 
  • Data to decision and aligning to business process – Data is the foundation and 60% of mission data is outside of your walls so how are you making sure you are counting on it? Data to decision paradigm allows us to create insights based business models. If 20% of the business revenue streams is not an insight stream then having a digital business model may not be possible. Data can provide nuggets of truth on new products forecast, what customers are looking for, whom to hire, how to fire and much more.

Future of big data-based business models lies in insight-driven experiences where even a little bit of information can lead to the addition of new products. And as you create products of mass personalization yet scale, here are a few things that Ray shared are critical from a design perspective:

  • Context is the first thing needed - Provide relevant, time, location, to be relevant to them and you have the permission to engage. 
  • Choose your own adventure – Humans like to make choices, so let them make choices. Every choice helps us learn more about the individual.
  • Create an intention-driven design – Design products based on anticipatory analytics. Start with some information giving immersive experience through a few choices and give value to the individual. Once the individual starts making choices, machine learning will take over and next time different set of offers will be made. 

At the end, it is about delivering brand promise via personas, processes and graphs. Today, there are 5 generations of digital people not by age but by digital proficiency, as categorized below:

  • Digital native – comfortable in engaging with all digital channels
  • Digital immigrant – moved to digital channels
  • Digital voyeurs – recognize the shift to digital but not ready to be active themselves 
  • Digital holdouts – resisting the shift to digital and ignoring the importance
  • Digital disengaged – understand importance but avoiding engagement on purpose, often for privacy reasons

While the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is well famous for motivation, Ray presented an interesting prevalent hierarchy for organizations where the focus is on margins and the bottom of the pyramid represents regulatory compliance followed by operational efficiency, revenue growth, strategic differentiators and brand on top. Growth in this digital disruption era, on the other hand, requires a flip in the pyramid with automation managing the regulatory compliance and operational efficiency and the major focus being on brand and strategic differentiators.


You will get a chance to meet Ray Wang at the People Matters TechHR conference in Singapore on the 28th of February 2019. Register Now!

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Topics: Strategic HR, Technology

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