On October 3rd, Wednesday 2018 Anderson Group BPO Inc. attended their partner Telecom Provider, Eastern Communications’ Link 101 Workshop held in EDSA Shangri-La. The main speaker was Rhipe Philippines’ Business Development Manager, Paul Villena. The talk revolved around the shifting of business models from executing traditional practices to adapting to the digital age through innovation. So how exactly is the revolution defining the industry today? Read on.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution – Digital
The world of work is constantly changing. It’s been through the steam-powered revolution (1760), the electric revolution (1870), and the electronics and information technology revolution (1970). The next wave already started in 2015. It’s the digital revolution.
The revolution is redefining these six business concepts.
1. Brand Ambassadors, not customers
As markets shift to social media and e-commerce platforms, customers are now turning into brand ambassadors. In this media age, it is not the billboard ads or catalogs speaking directly to the customer — it’s the brand ambassadors and social media influencers who are stealing the show.
Word-of-mouth and social media network circles are at the forefront of marketing brand trust, loyalty, and engagement. Customers become partners in business relationship management, lifting brand marketing exposure and widening its digital footprint by brand-dropping, re-posts, and shares.
Thus, there is an emphasized shift in business focus from streamlining processes to improving customer experiences for brand loyalty and engagement, increasing relevance in the market community.
2. Dynamic Networks, not Static Hierarchies
Stiff hierarchies are costly for the dynamic business competition rising from rapidly developing technologies. In fact, the main action point for digital transformation is not making I.T. investments but in making a cultural shift. Here’s what’s at the top of the mind of business leaders today:
Organizations can’t transform unless people do. Technology problems are not due to lack of I.T. investments but lack of cultural flexibility. The most commonly cited barrier to digitization for Chief Information Officers (CIOs) is a skills shortage. This is not just dependent on the internal company composition, but also the community’s involvement in technology strategies. This is the digital ecosystem. It is central to any digital workplace initiative, from educational institution support to public infrastructure investments.
Embrace digital-first to fast-track information. CIOs are looking for people with both technology and business backgrounds; they are not looking for experience, they are looking for skill sets. In this data ecosystem, the most important decision for CEOs is making investments in data science development. The CIO’s challenge is to convince the entire enterprise that ‘secure by design’ is the utmost business priority.
Harness information to change the way you do business. As 95% of customer interactions will be powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) by 2025, 29% of business leaders believe that Internet of Things (IoT) initiatives and related machine-to-machine and telematics projects as new areas of spending. By 2020, 30% of business will begin monetizing their data assets, which is fuelling information-driven economy targeted at 156 Billion dollars.
3. Accessible Insights, not Scarce Information
Business intelligence is growing smarter, with faster, secure, and flawless data-collecting automated processes and modern tools for analysis and translation. First-hand data can now be collected from real customers for better insights in business decision-making, reports, updates, and monitoring.
4. Collective Value Creation, not Siloed Productivity
There are six trends, which we’ve compressed to five here, in the workplace. Millennials require these six things to keep loyal and engaged in their workplace, and all of it is closely related to collective value creation.
There are five (or six) trends in the workplace employees
- Works with a purpose.
- Limitless expertise.
- Works anytime, anywhere (6) from any device
A sense of purpose.
This sense of purpose is not joyously and consciously felt daily but remembered poignantly in past tense on pivotal moments. Meaningfulness in the workplace is purely based on the individual’s sentiments. It is not dependent on the easiness of tasks, the salary and benefits, the type of work (whether creative or academic), or even the management — it is mostly dependent on how the employee feels the work is significant for their work teams and their community as a whole.
However, managers can play a large role in killing this sense of work value by dampening employee morale with impossible expectations, unfair wages, stiff rules, divisive internal competitive team structure, and lack of work recognition. As the analog tasks of Human Resource functions are becoming automated, it’s focal function on employee management is becoming more and more crucial for modern businesses to maintain their talent.
72% of workers expressed wanting more space for creativity in their work. This calls for managers to give workers the independence to think of work solutions for themselves.
Provision of updated tools and technology also increases employee productivity by giving them space to explore and utilize new ways to streamline their process. In fact, out of every five workers, four admit they use non-approved Software as a Service (SaaS) applications for work.
A third of millennials feel that outdated collaboration tools hinder innovation. Modern work demands often require hybrid specialties so collaborating with inter-company departments and external partners is crucial.
With 61% of workers finding it difficult to collaborate, this is a problem. Difficulties in communication, especially for this fast-paced, always-on, always connected world, is unreasonable and possibly even costly for business.
Innovations in the healthcare industry are extending life spans, with the millennial generation expected to work well beyond the usual 65 year-old retirement mark to compensate for lack of retirement funds and benefits in the modern business compensation packages.
However, working past retirement is not significantly terrible as the work-life balance is blurring. Mentorships in this sharing economy are extremely popular, and education is moving beyond the academic field with the old and young learning from each other blending experience and innovation, foresight and ideas.
Expertise without boundaries.
People are determined to find the work they are passionate about, well-beyond the eight to five, Monday through Friday work setup. A huge factor to this thinking is the continuous learning culture the technology-driven career ecosystem is fostering. Flexibility is put in the spotlight as the skills needed today is not guaranteed to stay relevant tomorrow. Companies are adapting by providing in-house training for their workforce and partnering with schools to cultivate developing talent.
Working from anywhere on any device.
Almost two-thirds use their personal devices. This promotes mobility as the workplaces adopt accessible and secure cloud storages for any device, any time, anywhere. Millennials can work from home, at a café, in a coworking space, or at the beach. By 2020, 72% of the U.S. workforce will be mobile workers.
5. Systems of Intelligence, not Transactional Systems
Tools are growing smarter and faster. They are being developed to easily integrate with one another for seamless workflow productivity, specially built for teamwork in a cloud network, and secured for proper data regulation.
Emails are no longer transactional correspondence, but work conversations extended for collaboration and insights. There’s faster transmission of information and with it file protection. Additional features are made to supplement responsive interaction such as appointment-setting, calendar event syncing, cloud storage for data-sharing, email protection authorization, task lists, email analytics, and more.
Collaborative team tools are also being developed in four ways to become smarter, faster and secure across platforms and devices.
- User-friendly interfaces as creative workspaces.
- Seamless workflows through software integration.
- Cloud storage for mobile and remote team access.
- Secure data protection and identification systems
For customer experience, self-service transactions are also becoming more popular thanks to responsive artificially intelligent bots.
6. Security in the Boardroom, not Security in the Server Room
With all the hype about mobile working and cloud networks in the Internet of Things is the vulnerable connectivity of the networks in a data-driven world. As in the criminal world, “knowledge is power”; and for heroes it’s, “with great power comes great responsibility.”
Cybercrime is estimated to cost the economy 3 Trillion dollars by 2020. Three-quarters of network intrusions exploit weak or stolen credentials. The Philippines lead the ranks of the countries with the highest detected threats. These are not good numbers. It’s attacking sectors in multiple platforms in finance, commerce, government, technology, manufacturing, and health.
Security threats have evolved from simple pranking script kiddies of the 80s to serious phishing data breaches, ransomware, Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS), botnets, and crypto-miners (yes, even cryptic blockchain codes are not immune to these malicious hackers). In 2018, Cyber attacks are listed in the top 3 global threats by the World Economic Forum.
An anatomy of a cyber-attack requires knowing who the player or attacker is (level of skill), what they want (motivation), and how they will go about it (method). Ransomware and crypto-mining are popular attacks for financial gain. An anatomy of a cyber-attack usually starts with research.
An attacker looks for the weakest link in the system. A powerful method is through social engineering, which is a non-computer related technique wherein the hacker uses the human element to get into systems. For example, to get access to online library books, the hacker can pretend to be a student who just forgot his password for the librarian to hand him a password.
No matter how secure the systems are, the individuals in the company are the weakest links. One employee opening a bugged email could already lead to an infiltration of the entire company database.
Decisions to secure company networks need to cascade from top to bottom. The European Union has already responded to the recent cybercrime cases with the General Data Protection Regulation. It affected companies from all over the world that had dealings with European citizens. This includes the Philippines. The Philippine Government already set the Data Privacy Act of 2012. To know more about how to prepare your business for the digital industrial revolution and its security requirements, continue reading more about the four pillars to digitally transform your business. These were discussed in the Eastern Communications Link 101 Workshop.