On the search for digital happiness


(Published in The Produktkulturmagazin issue 2 2015)

Digitalisation is the search for nirvana, when the right products and the right people converge at the right place and at the right time. Companies are going increasingly digital. They hardly have any choice.

In the recent past, several companies have caused significant disruption in the industries they operate with their digital beginnings or their digital transformation from the physical world. A few well-known examples are Amazon, Geico, Google, Netflix, Uber or Vonage, who have operated disruptively and will continue to do so as they grow and advance development. They are in the position to effectively utilise technologies and concepts of social, mobile, cloud, big data, analytics and information management to cause these disruptions. This article examines the topic of information management as a key enabler of digital transformation.

What does it mean to go digital? And in what way is information management a prerequisite for doing so?

Companies that go on the digital transformation journey have to check a number of prerequisites before they set off. For example, demand must be assessed in real time and reacted to in real time. Reach must be global and feedback should be returned without delay. If we take a look at product research, concept design, production, packaging, marketing, sales and delivery aspects, then the above-mentioned factors also have to be taken into consideration. This calls for micro-segmentation through a combination of real-time information and insight into demographics as well as social and psycho-graphical data.

The basis for all of this is information management: the method, processes, organisation, control and technologies for processing, administering and distributing data, information and insight. Information management must evolve continually if it wants to address the new digital era.

It used to deal predominantly with structured data, which generally came from within the four walls of the company. In addition, quality and control of information had to take already known data and sources into account. The challenge lay in mastering the volume of data and information.

Information management in the digital era now has to get to grips with structured and unstructured data - with information that comes from both inside and outside of the company walls. This includes known and unknown data; the speeds at which it can be processed also vary. The data also has to be channelled differently depending on the target group.

Therefore, there is quite a number of aspects of information management that need to be rapidly further developed in this new digital age, e.g. data storage and infrastructure. This particularly concerns on-premise and cloud (private and public). A particular focus on data consumption and data management brings even more issues to the light. The procurement of data from different sources, combined with the quality and control of information in order to be able to deal with new and unknown content plays a key role. This is causing integration requirements to become more complex, if new sources and targets are to be realised. We subsequently refer to this as master data management, the administration of internal and external master data. Side issues, such as data storage, business intelligence and big data management suddenly become more pressing. We have to address precise process definitions in the areas of data analysis and campaigns. Finding out more about micro-/nano-segmentation, machine learning, cognitive computing, insight into real-time, prediction and prescriptions is a logical consequence.

The question we now have to ask ourselves is how are companies reacting to this digital trend? Firms are beginning to realise the necessity of going digital and the benefits of effective information management and are supporting this trend. This can be seen in different ways. The establishment of new departments and positions such as Chief Data Officer, VP of Digital Transformation, etc. or pilot projects and new initiatives that address this trend.

Service providers, especially those that operate in the area of information management, have started to increase and market their digital offerings. They are positioning themselves, by developing new products and solutions, so as to remain relevant.

IT consulting and service companies are forming new digital practices, they are training groups and have combined various skills under the digital services umbrella, such as cloud, mobility, big data, analytics and information management, artificial intelligence and robotics. They are also looking at the digital story for IP creation and non-linear growth through new business models and markets.This is taking influence from the new information management paradigm. The ability of organisations to keep up with the digital age and further develop their information management functions will enable them to stay ahead of the competition. This will not only positively impact their final result but also facilitate customer dependency. In addition, it will enable them to explore new business models that use data and/or analyses as a service, creating new information-based ecosystems with existing and new partners and also data monetisation as possible additional sources of income.

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Riversand offers leading solutions in the area of Master Data Management (MDM) and Product Information Management (PIM), enabling major companies such as Liebherr, Nordstrom, VF Corporation etc. to manage their master data across multiple domains. Riversand solutions facilitate accelerated time to market and increased revenues. 

Riversand Technologies, Inc.  

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