Digital transformation

The Expanding Knowledge Needs in the Age of Technology

 

As all areas of business move into digital technology, Ramesh Subramanian explains why the digital transformation requires infrastructure engineers to expand their software skills. 

Several years ago I started my career as a C++ programmer but to be relevant as a software engineer today would require many more software engineering skills. The same logic holds for Infrastructure engineers.

About 94% of enterprises (and 50% of Governments) use some form of cloud (private/public) today. And as per an estimate from Forbes, 83% of workloads will be in the cloud by the end of this year. These stats imply that infrastructure teams should be ready to:

Meet expectations of faster release cycles, with several releases per day becoming the norm

Provide application access at scale (millions of concurrent sessions, potentially across the globe) with 24×7 availability

However, only 30% of all infrastructure teams are using DevOp. This is even lower at 12% for Financial Services firms.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • Business enabling applications
  • Business critical applications
  • Infrastructure team training

 

Read the full article, Why Infrastructure engineers should start thinking like software developers, on LinkedIn.

 

Welcoming new member Christopher Rischard

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Christopher Rischard.  Christopher Rischard spent eight years as Digital Leader in the TMT practice at Booz & Company based in Paris and Madrid focused on digitalization, data and tech-enabled growth strategy. After several years as a Principal, he set off as an independent consultant in London in 2014. Prior to Booz and his MBA at INSEAD, Christopher lived in Washington DC where he was raised and he worked for 8 years in enterprise solutions sales at MCI Telecommunications. Christopher would be delighted to collaborate on digital strategy, digital transformation and digital value creation engagements for both corporate and private equity clients.

Welcoming new member Rijul Takkar

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rijul Takkar. Rijul Takkar is a Strategy and Operations Consultant specialising in the Metals and Mining sector. He worked with a boutique consulting firm, The Smart Cube, for four years where he led the business transformation programme for the largest steelmaker in the UK. He has extensive experience in setting up transformation offices, driving operations excellence and managing change in large-scale manufacturing organisations. He also worked as a Specialist Consultant with BCG in their Industrial Goods practice, helping drive operations improvement and cost reduction initiatives for the leading steel company in India.

He holds an Engineering degree in Manufacturing and is currently pursuing his MBA from INSEAD. Outside of work, Rijul is a Formula 1 fan and a fitness enthusiast. He is happy to discuss and collaborate on projects involving process and digital transformation, and operations improvement.

Welcoming new member Rodney Speering

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Rodney Speering with Primrose Strategy.  Rodney Speering spent 3+ years at McKinsey as an Engagement Manager and has been running his own strategy consulting firm since 2019. Prior to McKinsey, he worked for 7 years as a management consultant on a variety of heavy industry strategic and operational improvement projects, and 5 years as a mechanical engineer designing and managing large scale mining and oil & gas projects.

Although originally from Australia, he now lives with his partner in Germany – they are both keen hikers and enjoy the outdoors. Rod is happy to collaborate on strategic projects globally.

Welcoming new member David Uriarte

Umbrex is pleased to welcome David Uriarte with Horvent. David Uriarte, former BCG consultant, has an outstanding track record of achievement in customer experience, business management, digital transformation and development in travel & leisure and other service industries. Senior international advisor, entrepreneur and executive with more than 20 years of relevant experience. Digital and people passionate, optimistic, flexible, with a strong strategic vision and leadership in high growth business.

Managing Partner in Horvent Advisory Services and Partner of GuestPro (Leading new generation SaaS to manage hotels). He is also an Associate Professor in Service Management at Toulouse Business School and The Valley of Digital, Mentor at Conector Travel Tech, BTS, Startupbootcamp IoT & Big Data and at The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and Strategy Advisor at Hacks/Hackers Barcelona.

He previously held executive positions in PGI Management, Pierre Vacances Center Parcs and Barceló. David holds an MBA at IESE/ Georgetown University, a Business Degree in the University of the Basque Country.

David also paints horizons in his freetime. Do not hesitate to check his instagram page @horizontem.art

David is based in Barcelona Spain and is happy to collaborate on projects in Spain and travel industry worldwide.

Welcoming new member Swan Sit

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Swan Sit.  wan Sit is an independent consultant specializing in digital, marketing and strategy. Having spent the past decade of her career accelerating digital into legacy companies, she held two key roles as a Vice President at Nike — overseeing Global Digital Marketing during the Emmy-winning “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick, and running Digital Operations, Product, Supply Chain and Service for a $2B ecommerce business during the Air Jordan 11 Concord launch, the largest in online history. She led digital at Revlon and Elizabeth Arden, using it to pull them out of a turnaround, and ran online strategy for the Esteé Lauder Companies, increasing its digital footprint to 400+ sites across 50 countries in 5 years. From modernizing hundred-year-old brands and partnering with unexpected influencers like Chelsea Handler, Iris Apfel and Gigi Gorgeous, to launching augmented reality makeovers and driving double-digit growth, Swan has demonstrated both the left- and right-brain skills required for a marketer that drives revenue. She was selected as a Brand Innovators 40 under 40 and Marketing Woman to Watch, and took home both Best Social Campaign and Best in Show at the Glossy Awards. You might recognize her as one of the faces in Twitter’s national “She Inspires Me” campaign during the Oscars, or from judging the world’s largest hackathon in Saudi Arabia alongside Steve Wozniak.

Prior to beauty, Swan was a management consultant at Bain, owned an ad agency focused on emotional branding, was a product manager at Newell (she launched a factory in China during SARS) and created infamous marketing campaigns at Trilogy Software during the dotcom boom. Swan graduated with a BA in Economics from Harvard and an MBA from Columbia.

Swan does speaking engagements around the world on Marketing, Digital Transformation and Leadership in the Digital Age. She is a Board Director of a publicly-traded pharmaceuticals company, advises a variety of businesses and sits on the boards of industry and philanthropic organizations including AdWeek’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, L2 Digital Think Tank, Women in Retail, Consumer Goods Technology Council, Impact Network, Foundation Rwanda and Worldview’s space think tank. Having traveled to 85+ countries, her favorites include Antarctica, North Korea, Mongolia, Rwanda, Bhutan, Myanmar and Tanzania for Kilimanjaro. She can often be found smashing a volleyball and chasing restaurant openings, or flying around on skis and horses – her two newest hobbies.

Welcoming new member Richard Cho

Umbrex is pleased to welcome Richard Cho with Growing Abundance Mindsets.  Through his time at Gartner, Bridgewater, and McKinsey Richard developed a set of tools, frameworks and practices that have been adapted from leading business thinkers and applied across multiple Fortune 500 company teams to successfully drive new initiatives.

Often times technology problems are usually business engagement problems, and he has a track record of getting these initiatives on track. Richard is passionate about building world-class cross-functional digital teams that go after big goals by developing a culture of meaningful trust-based relationships and continuous learning.

Digitization in Commodity Trading

 

This in-depth article from Boris Galonske explains how digitization helps improve resilience in commodity trading.

Commodity trading suffers from shrinking margins and in some commodity classes also from low price volatility. At the same time operating environments struggle with manual routines, legacy processes and systems resulting in high cost income ratios (CIR).

How can this challenge be addressed and how can the profitability and the resilience of trading businesses be increased?

Situation today

Commodity trading exhibits still several manual routines in its workflows, given the physical nature of the business and established processes in the industry. At the same time margin pressure increases as the inherent profitability of several trading businesses decreases. How can this be addressed?

Commodity trading business characteristics

Commodity trading businesses are typically lean by nature. Several years back, high performing businesses exhibited cost-income ratios (CIR) in the range of high 30% – medium 40%. These days these ratios are significantly higher. Large European commercial banks – as a comparison –  even exhibit cost income rations in the range of 70 % – 90% +.

In order to tackle the profitability gap, analytics and middle office activities have been scaled down.

However parts of the trading process have remained untouched.

 

Points covered in this article include:

  • How digitization can help
  • Reservations about digitization
  • How to approach trading digitization

 

Read the full article or download the PDF, Monetizing Digitization Levers, on the Silverberg Partners website.

 

How to Ensure Successful Digital Transformation 

 

C.V. Ramachandran discusses what it takes to institute digital transformation successfully by engaging a holistic approach that provides support for every part of a company’s value chain.

Big data, machine learning, connected vehicles, industry 4.0, robotic process automation, blockchain … No matter what industry you are in, you have surely come across these popular buzzwords in recent years. These are the phrases that define digital transformation, a modern industrial revolution that has the potential to dramatically transform companies and economies all over the world. 

A variety of companies are leading the way, with Amazon, Netflix, and Walmart being some of the first to spring to mind. But these are major corporations in information intensive industries, who have been leading the charge in digital disruption. More broadly, according to a recent McKinsey survey, only about 30% of digital transformations actually succeed.

 

Read the full article, Digital Transformation: It Takes a Village, on LinkedIn.

 

How to Organize for Going Digital

Stephen Redwood provides a post that addresses a common problem most companies face when shifting to a new system: how to organize all the moving parts to prepare for the transformation. 

 

Not since the world went from moving around by horse and cart to the use of steam engines, has the pace of change accelerated as much as it is now. So, when back in February 2018 Forrester published a paper entitled Digital Rewrites the Rules of Business it quite rightly focused on the need for companies to think transformational, rather than incremental when figuring out how to adapt to the digital world.

Many of my clients are on this journey and have asked me the question: “How should we organize for digital?”

 

Points covered in this article include:

 

1: The right reporting line for digital

2: Capabilities within the digital function

3: How to resource digital

4: The readiness of company culture

 

Read the full article, How Should We Organize for Digital?, on LinkedIn.

Put Flexibility in Place to Prepare for a Pivot

Kaihan Krippendorff provides three signposts that can direct your organization towards a successful pivot.

 

If people try to tell you that pivoting is the new thing, that it’s the fresh Silicon Valley approach to business designed for today’s fast-paced digital world, don’t believe them. Consider Fairfield University, a private school founded just outside of New York in Fairfield, Connecticut, by the Catholic Church – a 2,000-year-old organization.

In 1941, the society that runs the Jesuit school system had acquired two properties and were finishing renovations on them. One would become a university for college students and the other a preparatory school for younger boys, both on the site of what would become Fairfield University. The plan was to open the university first while renovations on the prep school were still underway.

But then, on Dec. 7, just before the university was scheduled to open, Pearl Harbor was bombed, pulling the United States and nearly all of its college-age men into war. Concerned that they would have a school with no students to fill it, the priests engineered a classic, Silicon Valley-style pivot. They moved the prep school (for younger boys) into the finished building and opened it first.

 

The signposts are:

-Have a purpose

-Create optionality

-Encourage proactivity

 

Read the full article, If a 2,000-year-old Organization Can Pivot… So Can You, on Kaihan’s website.