Intelligent tech: what the Internet of Things can do for you

What is the Internet of Things?
The Internet of Things (IoT) is essentially a huge network of intelligent ‘things’…

What is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things (IoT) is essentially a huge network of intelligent ‘things’ – including devices that you might immediately associate with technology,such as phones and computers, but also people and more abstract or unexpected objects such as lamps, headphones, washing machines, and coffee makers. In fact, the list goes on and has the scope to incorporate almost any other type of device you can think of, including components of machines, both large and small.

But what makes these individual things part of IoT? They are connected in some way; they have forged relationships that see them communicate in ways that serve a technological purpose. That might be a connection between another thing (thing to thing) orperhaps a person (person to thing or person to person), it depends on what we want to achieve.

That’s what makes IoT such an exciting prospect – the possibilities are endless. IoT quite simply has the potential to reinvent how we use things, to transform what we can achieve with existing technology and to change the way in which we choose to do things. IoT is a force to be reckoned with and has immeasurable potential to directly impact on how we live our daily lives and conduct business.

IoT in life and business

The opportunities with IoT appear to be endless, with its full potential still currently being scoped out and explored internationally, right now. It is said that during the next few years IoT will have become so advanced that it will not only enhance the products we buy and the services we use but it will also help businesses identify and develop new streams of revenue, develop intelligent and refined production processes, improve employee productivity and streamline supply chains.

One important aspect, or rather consequence, of IoT that organizations and businesses worldwide must think about is the vast quantities of data that all ‘things’ within the IoT will generate. How will your organization collate, store, manage and analyze this new and plentiful data?

How we can help you

At ITCL we can help your organization embrace IoT by improving – or introducing – a new way to conduct business with connected devices. By doing this, your organization will be positioned, ready and able, to process data and transactions as well as realize a remarkable scope to improve essential business functions and make profit from connected IoT inspired solutions.As we continue to witness the rise of IoT and with significant growth anticipated, now is the time to get on-board and explore what IoT could mean for your business.

Using our exclusively developed ITCL proprietary tools we can offer capabilities that will take your IoT ambitions from the ordinary to the cutting-edge, as well as significantly accelerating the deployment and realization of your bespoke IoT solutions.

We have an expert team ready to help you begin your own IoT exploration and with our well-established ecosystem of industry leading partnerships we can guide and advise you on all aspects of IoT including the development of business cases, alignment of existing operational technology, managing the cultural and skill change requirements of your workforce, and creating robust, efficient and effective security solutions to ensure your IoT ambitions are successful.

We can take care of everything from creating and managing new data supply chains to the development of new analytical programmes and applications. Working across both shorter and longer-term IoT initiatives, we can help improve your operational efficiency, develop and realize new products and services, and develop outcome-based and autonomous pull economies. Our team can also develop advanced data collection tools to ensure your IoT analytics are accurate and useful to help you achieve your ambitious business plans.

Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help your organization realize its IoT ambitions.

Investing in data foundation

Taking a building block approach to data For an organization to become truly data-driven it must take a step back, deconstruct and analyze existing processes…

Taking a building block approach to dataFor an organization to become truly data-driven it must take a step back, deconstruct and analyze existing processes and procedures, and take the time to explore what they do and how they do it – essentially building from the ground up. It is only by working in this way that an organization can fully comprehend the steps it needs to take in order to fix data-related issues because it’s the only way to guarantee you’re working with accurate and reliable data insights that will subsequently open up a new world of opportunity; a world in which data is center to business performance – both current and future.

Data as an investment

We work with our clients to help them transform the way they use data and insights, enabling them to create opportunities to streamline data processes and embark on ambitious data monetization initiatives. This includes:

  • An assessment of the internal and external data a client currently holds and an evaluation of the data actually needed.
  • The reorganization of data to ensure all data is handled and processed correctly and sensitively.
  • Improving the ways in which internal data sources and technologies are organized – this can encompass everything from data clouds and lakes through to the very newest technologies on the market.
  • Working to data best practice by instilling a culture of trust, transparency and high standards across all elements of the data improvement project. This includes maintaining exceptional governance processes and ensuring we only work with the highest quality of data.

How we can help you

From developing a new and bespoke data analytics strategy to architecture, assurance, monetization, visualization and everything in-between we can advise, guide and collaborate with you to achieve the very best results.

  • Data discovery
  • Discovery is the audit phase of data improvement, an opportunity to identify significant business patterns and pool relevant data from organization-wide sources. We can then work from the select data, focusing on the most important data strands and begin to apply new analytical approaches. This is the first step towards creating an analytical infrastructure that will actively help you identify trends and anomalies to helpyou make informed and confident business decisions based upon solid and reliable factual insight.
  • Strategize your data approach
  • Without a clear and well-defined strategy even the most well-intentioned projects can quickly grind to a halt. We don’t conduct business without relevant strategies: sales, marketing and growth, so it doesn’t make business sense to attempt to build a new data foundation without having mapped out strategic goals and objectives, logistics, and business forecasts.
  • Our work on strategic development has seen us work with a wide range of clients to help them realize their business ambitions through tailored strategic planning. Our team brings a wealth of experience from a multitude of industries meaning we can offer incomparable insight and guidance to you and your team.
  • Achieving a data-centric culture
  • An integral part of every data strategy is to nurture a strong and accepted data culture. Working together, we will redefine your organizational approach and perspective of what data means, why it’s important and how to establish data as a core element of your business-wide strategy.
  • Effective data visualization
  • By investing in data visualization you are able to make data processes all the more efficient. Visualizations help make complex data easier to understand resulting in faster turnaround times and timely decision making. Trends and potential issues are visually highlighted to make all aspects of data review and examination more purposeful and lower risk. Visualizations help bring data to life, simplify the analysis stage and contribute significantly towards the trialling of new ideas.
  • Data architecture
  • Our clients are often looking for progressive approaches to data architecture, finding new and impressive ways to take the advancements of today one step further. For architecture that pushes the boundaries, improves data processing functionality, can handle a range of complex data components and lowers costs it is vital to fully explore how to store and share your data and how your teams utilize and access the data.
  • Data quality, assurance and governance
  • Do you know where all of your data originates from? Are you sure of its accuracy? Perhaps you aren’t even sure what data you currently hold. Where do you store your data?
  • By collating and reviewing your existing data we can create a new and improved analytics function for your organization. Our work also ensures we meet and maintain all data governance requirements, assessing risk and managing it appropriately. We firmly believe that by implementing solid data governance practice within your organization you not only protect the data but you establish your business as trustworthy and proactive.
  • Data monetization
  • You’ve created an impressive new asset: your data. And you know how to utilize it for maximum benefit, but have you taken the next step, a step towards data monetization?
  • Good quality data brings a world of opportunity. We can lead you through the data monetization process, identifying the value of data and taking the necessary steps to introduce cloud technologies to enhance your data management and integrate algorithms and AI to maximize profit and performance. New revenue streams will be identified and, with our expertise, can be put into action with great effectiveness.

Digital transformers: creating a new future for digital

Digital transformation is no longer a tool considered as simply existing to improve efficiency within a business…

Digital transformation is no longer a tool considered as simply existing to improve efficiency within a business, it has become something central to strategic planning and execution as businesses worldwide are investing time and money into driving their own digital transformation agenda forward at a rate faster than their peers and with vision and ambition greater than elsewhere within their industry.Are you a digital transformer?

Typically, digital transformers:

  • Set aside up to two times the amount of digital investment for future growth than their business competitors.
  • Exceed their competitors in multiple aspects of growth indicator including sales, new products and services, and customer experience.
  • Experiment with a wider range of digital technologies to achieve their growth goals and proactively plan for greater investment to accommodate such technology.
  • Have an expectation that investment in digital technology has the power and capability to deliver significant business transformation.

Now’s the time to transform

In today’s business world it’s fair to say that every organization, irrespective of industry, is fast becoming a digital business through a combination of two things: a desire to lead rather than follow and through pure necessity.

The difference in performance and success between those that choose to lead – the transformers – and those that don’t – the followers – is that digital transformers have developed an intrinsic understanding of the importance of centering growth as the firm focus of their digital strategy: they are the strategists placing growth at the center of their investment planning. To have such an understanding is invaluable. It enables an organization to perceive the full potential and impact of digital within their business setting.

Irrespective of industry or where in the world they are based, digital transformers are working hard to realize their digital growth and investment plans. They are pace-setters and digital explorers with the confidence to deliver on their brave new digitally driven business strategies.

How we can help

By offering expert advice and guidance throughout a digital transformation initiative we work with clients to help them achieve the required repositioning of digital within their organization. It is always our recommendation that digital transformation be introduced, or realigned, to be integrated within the central business strategy. This helps to unify different strands of business priority and approaches and deliver greater clarity as to how to realize the digital transformation vision.

We encourage you to think about four key aspects related to your current business operations and the emphasis your organization currently places on digital. This will enable a more thorough and targeted exploration of transformation solutions. The four key aspects to consider are:

Your competitors

  • Are they digital transformers or followers?
  • How do they perceive and prioritise a digital approach?
  • Does digital pose any apparent threats to your business activity or reputation?
  • How could digital capabilities pull us ahead of our competitors?
  • Which of your competitors are digital successes, and why?
  • What digital technology opportunities can you identify within your organization?

Your place in the business world

  • Can you identify any new business trends and technologies that represent potential opportunity for your organization?
  • What scope and flexibility do you have regarding digital investment?
  • Consider how you manage and benefit from external partnerships that might enhance your transformation plans.

Your customers

  • Do you prefer to see your digital strategy as a way to further develop your marketing initiatives?
  • How do you identify new markets and value, specific to your industry?

Leadership and planning

  • Within your management team who should take responsibility for digital development and how will you distribute that responsibility?
  • How and who will liaise with internal and external parties regarding your new digital transformation ambitions?

Get in touch with a member of our team today to begin a discussion about how we can help you begin your own digital transformation

Taking digital capabilities to the next level

Digital technology is at the heart of everything we do. Our international client base, cross-industry experience and established relationships with…

Digital technology is at the heart of everything we do. Our international client base, cross-industry experience and established relationships with leading organizations and innovative new start-ups alike position us uniquely to consult on a myriad of digital technology projects.We have built a reputation as one of the leading independent providers of digital transformation capabilities. Our clients come to us for the delivery of cutting-edge capabilities that fully meet their specification and timeline – without compromise.

Redefining digital

Now is the time to redefine how your business connects with key stakeholders and customers, but how do you achieve that? We work across multiple industries to help governments – local, regional and national, as well as organizations and private businesses, to rethink how they approach digital.

Our expert teams produce bespoke, integrated and sophisticated new technology solutions covering everything from analytics and strategy development to digital marketing, digital process and procedure, and mobility. With our help organizations worldwide have seen impressive improvements and proven results for their digital operations.

What digital means to us

Using our digital expertise we are able to provide consultancy on a range of current and progressive digital issues. This means we are able to assist clients across a full spectrum of digital priorities. We know that every organization is unique with individual needs and requirements and it’s why we never use a ‘one size fits all’ approach. To us, your digital journey should be as unique as the business you operate. So, wherever you are on your digital journey our team of experts can tailor a solution to ensure all aspects of your digital presence are not only covered but performing as well as they possibly can, including: how you connect with your digital customers, channels and market, as well as helping you establish your very own digital enterprise.

How we can help you

Interactive
Interactive

Mobility
Mobility

Analytics
Analytics

Welcome to Blockchain: A new era of technology

Digital technology is at the heart of everything we do. Our international client base, cross-industry experience and established relationships with leading organizations and innovative new start-ups alike position us uniquely to consult on a myriad of digital technology projects.

We have built a reputation as one of the leading independent providers of digital transformation capabilities. Our clients come to us for the delivery of cutting-edge capabilities that fully meet their specification and timeline – without compromise.

Redefining digital

Now is the time to redefine how your business connects with key stakeholders and customers, but how do you achieve that? We work across multiple industries to help governments – local, regional and national, as well as organizations and private businesses, to rethink how they approach digital.

Our expert teams produce bespoke, integrated and sophisticated new technology solutions covering everything from analytics and strategy development to digital marketing, digital process and procedure, and mobility. With our help organizations worldwide have seen impressive improvements and proven results for their digital operations.

What digital means to us

Using our digital expertise we are able to provide consultancy on a range of current and progressive digital issues. This means we are able to assist clients across a full spectrum of digital priorities. We know that every organization is unique with individual needs and requirements and it’s why we never use a ‘one size fits all’ approach. To us, your digital journey should be as unique as the business you operate. So, wherever you are on your digital journey our team of experts can tailor a solution to ensure all aspects of your digital presence are not only covered but performing as well as they possibly can, including: how you connect with your digital customers, channels and market, as well as helping you establish your very own digital enterprise.

How we can help you

Interactive
Interactive

Mobility
Mobility

Analytics
Analytics

AI: the future of profitability?

One of the most talked-about technologies today is artificial intelligence (AI). Although much of the discussion is still theoretical, the technology is developing rapidly, and it has already begun to transform how some industries operate. In the past, capital investment and labour have been used to increase production and profitability. These tools have become significantly less effective over time, raising the question of whether our economic system should change, and how. Some believe that AI will be the innovation which kicks off a new industrial revolution. A forecast by Accenture suggests that AI could boost overall profitability by 38%, adding US$14 trillion in gross value added by 2025. The rise in profitability could be as much as 50% ten years later. And, although predictions are never certain, many business leaders seem to agree. The BCG and MIT Sloan Management Review has reported that 85% of global executives believe AI will give them an advantage in the marketplace. In this article, we’ll discuss exactly what AI is, and what possibilities it offers. We’ll also review who stands to benefit, how to prepare your business, and some of the emerging ethical and legal issues around AI.

What is AI?

The essential goal of AI research is to create devices which can think and adapt. Traditional automation meant building a machine which could complete specific tasks. What makes AI different is that the machines and software involved are capable of learning by themselves. They have the potential not just to automate processes, but to improve, develop and even redesign them.

Insight: AI business boom

  • AI will be responsible for 85% of customer service interactions by 2020, driving up to US$33 trillion of annual economic growth.
  • Information and communications, manufacturing, and financial services will all see the biggest real-terms growth as AI becomes more integrated into their day-to-day processes.
  • Education, construction, and accommodation and food services will earn the greatest relative profit increases.

Most researchers talk about two different kinds of AI: narrow and general, also known as weak and strong. Weak AI is designed to complete a single task, such as automating a factory process, or understanding and responding to voice commands. Some tasks which used to be considered weak AI – such as computers recognizing and recording text – are now so commonplace that they are not really a part of AI research. Strong, or general, AI would be able to learn and think in a holistic way. It would not be restricted to single tasks. There is a wide range of estimates about how long it will take to develop this technology: some researchers expect general AI to exist by 2060, while others predict that it will take hundreds of years.
How can AI boost profits? According to a recent Accenture report, AI can transform industries in three ways. There’s intelligent automation, as we’ve discussed briefly above. Better automation frees up time and money – this is described as labour and capital augmentation. And finally, AI makes innovation faster and easier to implement. Automation has long been used as a way to increase profits. It can save on time and labour, helping to reduce overheads and increase productivity. Intelligent automation builds on these benefits and takes them even further. AI makes it possible to automate more and more complex processes – even in tasks which we once thought could only be performed by humans, such as teaching or customer service. It also offers the opportunity to improve automation where it is already in use, by harnessing the power of new AI technology to learn and adapt. Labour and capital augmentation is a more subtle benefit of AI, but it could still have a large impact. More and more tasks can be delegated to intelligent automation, freeing up human workers to work on more interesting and innovative projects – and increase profits overall. Thirdly, the innovative potential of AI could lead to a wave of new products, capabilities and revenue streams. By integrating AI into research and development, all industries have the opportunity to speed up change in how they operate.
Who will the big winners be?

“AI has significant implications for business managers and leaders, too. To succeed in the AI economy, businesses will need a clear, future-proof AI strategy. With new modes of working, new roles in the workplace, and new innovations powered by AI, businesses will need new ways to measure their performance. AI is going to require a fundamental change of mind-set and smart businesses will monitor its progress and think creatively.”

Although applications of AI are almost endless, some industries will reap bigger benefits than others. In addition, some countries will enjoy the advantages of AI more than others. Information and communications, manufacturing, and financial services will all see the biggest real-terms growth as AI becomes more integrated into their day-to-day processes. The benefits of augmented labour and capital, as well as innovation, will be felt strongly in these industries. Education, construction, and accommodation and food services will earn the greatest relative profit increases, as intelligent automation reduces the overheads traditionally required to operate. According to one prediction, AI will be responsible for 85% of customer service interactions by 2020, driving up to US$33 trillion of annual economic growth. The national economies with the most to gain from AI are all in North America or Northern Europe, with the notable exception of Japan. The United States, Finland and Sweden are predicted to have the biggest increases in gross value added and labour productivity with AI.
New ideas, new problems Transparency and data The development of AI goes hand in hand with the revolution in big data. Many AI programmes use a technique called “deep learning”, where they are shown a huge library of data, and taught to recognize and reproduce patterns. For example, some famous AI computers have learnt to play chess by reviewing hundreds of thousands of games. Another AI, known as Aiva, has learnt to compose music after listening to many hours of classical music. Although these might sound like party-piece demonstrations, the deep learning method can be applied in very practical ways. Collecting data about customer service interactions can teach AI how to talk to customers or predict what choices they are likely to make. Crowdsourced data and customer data could be used to super-power deep learning for specific industries and even individual businesses. However, the use of data instantly raises issues of transparency and privacy. Legislation around the world is slowly beginning to catch up to modern technologies – as with the recent introduction of General Data Protection Legislation in the European Union. It remains to be seen whether AI and data usage for AI will be covered by existing laws, or require new legislation. As well as the legal aspects, businesses must also be ready to explain their data usage and AI strategies to customers.
Jobs for people, jobs for AI Many people have raised concerns about AI replacing human workers in the economy. In the past, automation has led to job losses; intelligent automation could lead to many more. However, there are many different opinions about how significant the real impact will be. Some observers point out that after the first Industrial Revolution, new jobs developed which could not have been imagined in the days before factories. Later, the same advances in technology which made widespread automation possible also created new fields, industries and roles for workers. It seems likely that intelligent automation – and the innovation and augmentation which it brings – could deliver new opportunities for human workers. It must be said that not all forecasts are so optimistic. Some well-known figures in the world of technology, such as the computer scientist and philosopher Jaron Lanier, have warned that AI could transform our current model of employment beyond recognition. Some industry leaders and experts have suggested that governments may need to introduce a Universal Basic Income to support people whose roles have been filled by AI. Another suggestion has been Bill Gates’ so-called “robot tax”, a levy on companies using AI which would be used to fund social care.
The sci-fi scenario The final question on many people’s minds is safety. If AI is intelligent, can it be trusted? While science-fiction writers love the idea of a malevolent, all-powerful AI, most researchers think that’s an unlikely scenario. Instead, there may be in a risk from AI which is programmed to do something destructive, or which develops a destructive way to complete a task. For example, some experts have warned of a potential new arms race in “smart weapons”, such as autonomous drones which could use AI. However, other ethical problems in AI could be more subtle and mundane. In a recent experiment, a Google AI chatbot, which was using Twitter to learn about language, began to produce violent and offensive content within 24 hours. (Google has already released its own AI ethics guidelines, and the bot was quickly shut down.) Microsoft has taken the lead in discussing diversity in AI. If AI is taught to recognize faces and voices, it’s important to make sure that all faces and voices are treated equally. The risk of deep learning built on data from people is that it could reproduce biases which people have, such as racism or sexism.

Adapting to the AI reality

New leaders The advent of AI won’t just change life for ordinary workers: it has significant implications for business managers and leaders, too. To succeed in the AI economy, businesses will need a clear, future-proof AI strategy. Senior roles will change to include both managing humans and supervising AI – and this will require a mix of communication and technical skills. Finally, the data needed for effective AI makes a whole new role necessary. Accenture describes this as the “chief data supply officer”, responsible for providing, securing and monitoring data.
New metrics With new modes of working, new roles in the workplace, and new innovations powered by AI, businesses will need new ways to measure their performance. For example, processes operated by intelligent automation will still need to be supervised. Workers who are freed up for different roles by labour augmentation will have different needs in terms of supervision, evaluation, and training and development. Of course, navigating all these complex changes is justified by the potential financial benefits of using AI. Smart businesses will develop metrics to measure just exactly what those benefits are, compared to the profits and growth that would have been achieved without the introduction of AI.
New methods AI is going to require a fundamental change of mind-set. Its power to disrupt traditional ways of working means that we have to look at labour and capital assets with fresh eyes, and be ready to exploit them in unexpected ways. Technologies which allow businesses to collect and manage data on a huge scale have already transformed many industries, enabling them to target strategies and streamline operations. AI can speed up or even automate the process of interpreting data. It has the potential to work alongside humans in analysis and planning. It can also be used to take care of more mechanical tasks, freeing up human brain power and communication skills for where it is really needed. As AI develops, smart businesses will monitor its progress and think creatively about how each innovation could be applied to their own work. They will be prepared to consider original or unexpected changes to their business strategies, and they will be conscious of the balance between AI and human skills.