|By Adrian Bridgwater||
|July 12, 2014 04:00 PM EDT||
We talk a lot about so-called ‘business transformation', but what do we really mean by this expression and how does it change the way (as workers) now operate on the shop floor?
Read any history of the industrial revolution and you will understand the massively impactful swings that our workplace went through from the 1800s through to the introduction of the automatic lathe around the turn of the last century.
As ignominious and dull as it sounds in the age of the digital revolution, the arrival of the auto-lathe was a defining moment in business transformation; it enabled the precise machining of screws and metallic component parts which opened the door to many of the machine tool technologies that we still use today.
Business Management 3.0
This was a moment in industrial history and, very arguably it appears, we can be said to be on the verge of another business transformation as a result of what we will call Business Management 3.0 and the data-driven workforce.
Business Management 3.0 means that we no longer sit at the helm (of the business) and simply look ahead for stormy seas. Ready to steer the business through choppy waters and cycles in demand if they occur, even the most progressive firms of old would always wait to experience change, then think about it, then react to it and finally do something about it.
Today, things are different.
Today, the intelligent 3.0 business uses mechanisms including predictive analytics to capitalize on the amount of information coming in from its departments, subdivisions and business units (or however you want to classify the component parts of the firm) and so can be said to be a "data-driven" business from the start, if it gets it right.
As insipid and broad-brush as this data-driven term sounds, it does have relevance; the data-driven business is a ‘business transformed,' one that uses dashboards for competitive advantage to make high-precision decisions.
Information tools like dashboards are used to constantly monitor how strategic business plans are lining up against actual results and so lead on to what should be proactive decision making.
The data-driven business is a business transformed where predictive analytics is brought to the masses and moves its use beyond the realm of data scientists so that now business users grasp these tools.
The argument here states that if businesses work to put the appropriate levels of investment into developing a total data-driven workforce that operates along a path dictated and prescribed by true data-driven decisions (in terms of how processes are executed and how applications are aligned) - that firm can accelerate its performance, reduce decision latency, unlock new global markets and uncover new revenue opportunities.
Or so the theory goes at least; this is no simple overnight business transformation to pull off.
But that being said, the market for predictive analytics software is already estimated to be worth US$2 billion today and this is a figure that is expected and predicted to exceed US$3 billion in 2017.
Key enablers for the data-driven business transformation
A key enabler in this field will be cloud computing and its ability to push widespread access to corporate enterprises (many times from mobile devices) outwards so that predictive analytics tools can be (as we have already said) extended beyond their use by data scientists to Line-of-Business users and analysts in the workplace.
This is some of the new reality of business encapsulated here. Would that it were a catchier single mouthful, but unfortunately we need to say "data-driven business 3.0 transformation with predictive analytics" in all its 21 syllables out loud if we are going to conscientiously express the scope of the technology at hand here.
If the "industrial digital revolution" suits you better, then you are welcome to use it.
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