XAANX CONSULTANCYTHIS IS WHERE BUSINESS AND DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION BEGINS
ABOUT US AND OUR SERVICES:
We are a Business and Digital transformation consultancy that guide businesses of all sizes with interest in transforming how their company operates. The 21st century is already here and many companies have still not reached the digital benchmark that will translate into financial benefits to their company.
- DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION
- ORGANIZATIONAL DESIGN AND TRANSFORMATION
The Global Economy is Like a Roller Coaster Ride
Anyone following the economic news and reports will have a sense of uncertainty in where the global economy is headed. The economic crisis helped expose some serious structural issues among government institutions, corporations and the average person. The exposure of these structural issues have still not been addressed effectively. It is almost as if the various economic managers are not sure which direction to move. I guess we can say that sometimes just allowing nature to sort out the mess is an option. Especially when the key players involved seem reluctant to address the challenges facing their organizations.
These challenges will have to be addressed carefully but to address these challenges a new frame work will be required to get it done over a period of time. When the crisis hit a college instructor told us he estimates at least 10 years for the economy to get back on its feet. If we do not take care we might be looking at another crisis coming instead of a recovery. I am not a pessimist out there making reckless doom predictions.
For instance the last time I looked at the global debt to GDP ratio it was hovering some where around 200% plus. It is estimated that debt is growing faster than GDP and does not show signs of slowing down. There are countries that will go bankrupt without a bailout and international support and same applies to private business.
The current business environment is filled with a lot of disruptions. Startups and technology is really threatening to undo all old business models. Look at Sears and Radio Shack as recent casualties of ecommerce and by the way these are just among the many retailers out there facing bankruptcy. This means that thousands of jobs will be lost and which also goes on to impact consumer behavior in the over all economy. In a way we are all sitting at the edge of the seat and not sure about what will happen next. Let us not have our hopes too high on the so called recovery and instead make practical choices and long term decisions that will put us in a sound place.
THE AMERICAN ECONOMY AND THE ROAD AHEAD
Talk to policy makers and business veterans/leaders and some of them have no idea how to effectively respond to the new global economic reality. Most of us thought technology was not going to develop to the levels as we see today in our life time. Guess what we were proved wrong and I recently heard that even Moore’s law is not able to keep up with the pace of technological change.
The U.S economy is in limbo right now and for the reasons that I think could have been avoided if not for complacency on the part of policy makers and business leaders. Prior to the recession we witnessed a period were companies only cared about record revenues and profits which was of interest to wall street and not main street. As time went by Wall Street became detached from main street and the finance guys kinda got their wish which is to create a paradise for themselves where they made money rain or shine. They became more interested in shuffling paper and real investment took a back seat. This was topped with financial fraud and creative accounting which made companies appear like they were doing well. Not to mention that regulators took a back seat and watched this unfold like a movie until eventually the global economy was taken down into what almost became a depression.
Let us not forget that during these events there were issues such as technology replacing manual work routines. Outsourcing had become a new normal for companies looking to cut cost. There was a high level of college graduates and high school graduates around the globe unlike previous times. Most of these graduates were hungry and looking for opportunities in every corner of the world. Some of these college students will be involved in starting new companies during their time in college or after college. These realities where over looked as the global economy was being shaped. It used to be that people were told just go to college and earn a decent living and settle down in life. This approach is no longer realistic given the level of economic challenges in every region of the world regardless of education level.
This challenge is in the form of a lack of long term preparation for the structural changes caused by technological disruption. The old economy is being phased out faster than most policy makers, business leaders and ordinary people could anticipate. There are a few handful of countries that are able to meet the challenge and countries that have not yet taken off have a chance to catch up. There is no longer a high barrier to entry in many areas of commerce and this has leveled the field for just about anyone to try out their ideas and see how far it goes. There are companies staring at the digital opportunity and yet do not understand how to leverage it to grow their companies into the future. Government agencies have not yet developed effective IT systems that will help them serve the public and reduce their cost of operations.
This lack of creativity and imagination has only led to the carrying on of legacy overhead costs that is preventing companies from making the right decision about how to hire and grow their businesses. Lets face the reality today that starting a company no longer requires heavy staffing. You need an idea, computer with internet connection with a cup of coffee and a few sleepless nights. Thus with that you could be on your way to building a 100 million dollar company or even a billion dollar company. If anyone doubts it just read about the founders of google or Mark Zuckerberg and you will know what am talking about. Google came out of no where and replaced yahoo over night and same happened to myspace being replaced by facebook and there are many others out there who have been left in the dust. They are all fantasizing about their old glory which they will not get back.
Just this year alone we have seen old and new companies filing bankruptcy and most of these companies had a common theme underscoring their filing which is inefficiency. There are even some in the pipe line that are reported to be heading to the bankruptcy court some time next year or the year after. There is no way a company will survive without efficiency in this hyper dynamic business environment. So seven years into the global recession and it is obvious that some business leaders and policy makers are like a dog chasing its tail.
Sustainable growth well into the future requires planning ahead of time that takes into account the reality of technological change. This will allow companies to decide how best to invest in both people and technology to create a vibrant company. Employing so many people is not the answer to growth and development. If anything the dawn of the industrial revolution and the transition to a service economy should provide some perspective on how to look into the future. The future is not going to be like the past and it is time to quit trying to make it like the past. Once upon a time people worked and lived for themselves before we had the industrial revolution and that might be the new normal as we move forward. It’s going to be exciting for those who are able to figure out what to do with it and it is high time politicians stop acting like they are taking care of everyone. Instead they should make the necessary investment in infrastructure that will allow people to take care of themselves.
Digital Disruption Is The New Reality:It’s No Time To Chicken Out
The information technology age brought lots of excitement about what the Internet and the future had to offer. The 90’s saw lots of IT jobs being created as well as the formation of new companies. A lot of money was made and then we had a bust after all the excitement and jubilation. However very knowledgeable people spoke about what we saw about the internet then as just the tip of the iceberg. It took me a while to come to terms with that thought. Guess what they were right in saying that internet was bigger than we thought.
The internet of things(IoT) is the word being used to describe it today. There are more possibilities the internet is currently offering and will be offering as time goes by.There are businesses and entire industries that are being disrupted and it’s nothing to laugh about. If you find your self loosing your job or business because of disruption then tough luck! Anyone reading business news is very much getting a real time info about the structural change the entire global economy is going through.
Governments and policy makers have been caught off guard not because they did not see it coming but they were not prepared nor did they have an answer to the inevitble. Well having said that we are already living in the middle of the action and depending on the side you find yourself it could be bitter sweet. This is life as we have come to know it and regardless of how we feel there will always be winners and losers. I have heard big corporations crying like babies about some guy with an office in the garage or the dorm room making their lives a living hell. I find it funny when i hear big corporations crying like babies when business is no longer as fun as it used to be. It only tells me that most of them are sitting on their laurels hoping things were going to stay the same.
Being a big company comes with lots of liabilities now because they are slow to respond to changes in the market. Before they are done rolling out a long term strategy it might be too late and by the way I recently heard that Sears is hoping for a turn around(i think a turn around should have started 10 years ago or even 7 years ago). Problem is that there are lots big corporations out there with no long term strategy on how to transform their companies so they are able to compete effectively now. Agility is the key word for companies trying to stay on the cutting edge because they need it more now than ever.
Read annual reports of some of these struggling big brand corporations and you will realize the lack of a digital strategy. Just imagine how long the internet as we know it today has been around and yet this companies do not have a coherent digital strategy that will lead them into the future. Developing a digital plan is crucial to a companies survival and it has nothing to do with buying servers and internet bandwidth. It has to do with having the right team who are digital savvy and posses the right technical skills and experience to deliver substantial results. Some organizations have equated investing in heavy tech hardware and hiring techies and paying six figures to build a website is the panacea to being competitive online. Even tech companies that miss the essence of what made them great will face death sooner or later.
There is a certain drive and understanding of serving the customer that compels a startup to deliver the product or service people want. Take a company like Yahoo in its early days it did something that no one was doing early on which is search engine and online chat/forum. At some point Yahoo stopped developing cutting edge algorithm that will offer its site visitors the kind of digital experience they wanted. It left the void to be filled then google came along and took it from there and the rest as we say is history. Even microsoft is scrambling to stay relevant in the lives of its users. Its just a matter of time before they find themselves packing off the global stage.
There is a myth that all these companies keep peddling around about a lack of talent. In fact there are lots of talent but without clarity and a forward looking plan for seizing the future companies will keep floundering and loosing grounds. The question now is how do you create the right culture that will shape the psychology of the work force for the better.
For instance a struggling brick&mortar retailer can no longer adopt a mediocre digital plan and some how expect to get far. Instead it has to realize that it’s future success lies in ecommerce. So rather than build new brick & mortar stores it will rather invest in its ecommerce platform and logistics that will provide a wonderful customer experience. Some government services can be delivered more efficiently online rather than requiring physical presence. Hospitals can do the same by using telehealth to interact with their patients and perhaps prevent them from having to use the emergency room for non emergency matters. Go to some public hospitals and the congestion is nothing to right home about especially for people that are uninsured. The future can be realized now if corporations and organizations go back to the drawing board and develop a coherent digital plan to delivering results rather than taking the lets wait and see what happens approach.