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“Doing Digital”: People&Computers Founder with Prof. Yesha Sivan and Raz Heiferman from i8 Ventures Talked on the 2018 e-Book

On Daily Maily’s Nov. 28, 2018 issue, a short article was published after Prof. Yesha Sivan and Raz Heiferman visited People & Computers Group headquarter to meet Peli the Tiger, the founder and Co-CEO (together with his wife Dalia) of the People & Computers Group. The group was founded almost 40 years ago, and has become an integral part of the growing IT and High tech community by publishing daily news, periodical magazines, organizing conferences, running many professional forums and more.

We told Peli about i8 Ventures company, a new company founded by Prof. Yesha Sivan at the beginning of 2018, that is focused on helping and supporting organizations throughout their digital transformation journey. The company employs several senior advisors and works with several organizations in Israel and China.

Here is the link to the summary of our visit, as published by Daily Maily.

As part of i8 Ventures consulting processes, the company has developed some knowledge sharing activities and materials. Yesha and Raz have written many articles, published in Israel and USA (by Cutter Consortium), run many workshops for different stakeholders and taught many academic courses.

The latest publication of Yesha and Raz is a new book “Doing Digital: Digital Transformation – Background, Theory and Practice, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Journey”, published in Hebrew in digital format. The book can be found on Ivrit application for e-books.

Here is the link to our e-book.

2018 Digital Summit Conference chaired by Prof. Yesha Sivan

The Yearly Conference of the Israeli Chamber of Information Technology

On Nov. 7th the yearly and main conference of The Israeli Chamber of Information Technology “Digital Summit 2018 – Digital for Growth” took place with the participation of hundreds of participants. Prof. Yesha Sivan, Founder and CEO of i8 Ventures, was the conference chairman and welcomed the participants.

In his speech, Prof. Sivan said “We decided on the name of Digital for Growth for 2 reasons: the impact of digital on organizations is growing all the time, together with the need of all of us, the IT professionals, to constantly learn and grow”.

Raz Heiferman, Senior Digital Transformation Advisor at i8.Ventures, was part of the conference organizing committee.

During the conference, which is one of the biggest professional conferences in Israel, many presentations were presented by speakers from Israel and abroad, a panel with several CIO’s from large organizations was held, 5 different Special Interest Groups parallel sessions were held, awards to outstanding CIO and projects were awarded. The keynote speaker that concluded the conference was Mr. Moshe (Bogei) Ya’alon, Israel’s previous Minister of Defense and IDF’s Chief of Staff, who spoked about Israel’s unique geopolitical challenges.

“Agilifying Your Digital Business”: New Article by Prof. Yesha Sivan and Raz Heiferman from i8 Ventures at Cutter Consortium

We are happy to update that our new article “Agilifying You Digital Business – 6 Steps to Get Started” was published by Cutter Consortium on the issue of Cutter Business Technology, Vol 31, Number 7, 2018 named “Architecture + Agile = The Yin & Yang of Organization Agility”. This issue contains some articles dedicated to the many faces of agility.

The issue of transforming the organization into an agile organization has become in the last couple of years a strategic issue. The business landscape has become very dynamic and competitive and organizations are having a hard time to establish their long term strategic plans. The new competitive environment forces organizations to move from the concept of sustainable competitive advantage to transient competitive advantage, a term coined by Prof. Rita McGrath from Columbia Business School in her famous book “The End of Competitive Advantage”.

Our article presents 6 steps that we recommend organizations for their transformation into agile organizations:

  • Recommendation #1: Appreciate the Mental Challenge of Agility as “Building Flexible Buildings”
  • Recommendation #2: Develop & Share “Visions” of What to Expect from Agility
  • Recommendation #3: Build “Abilities”, that allow for “Visions”
  • Recommendation #4: Initiate “Actions” that Build “Abilities”, that Allow for “Visions”
  • Recommendation #5: Master the Interplay among Leadership, Culture, Business Architecture, and Digital Architecture
  • Recommendation #6: Shift to Deadline-Driven Smaller Projects

We kindly invite you to download the full article from Cutter Consortium’s web site (requires registration).

“Gone are the Days of Sustainable Competitive Advantage” says Raz Heiferman from i8 Ventures in an Interview for Vantiq

Raz Heiferman Interview on Agilification

Vantiq’s Global Partners Summit was held at San Francisco on October 2018. Raz had the honor to give a presentation at the conference on the importance of business agility in the new era of digital business and why tools like Vantiq support the new generation of development, deployment and maintenance tools as required by the digital transformation. Before the conference, Blaine Mathew, Vantiq’s Chief Marketing and Product Officer, interviewed Raz on this topic.

Vantiq has developed a new development and deployment environment designated for developing event-driven and distributed applications, developed quickly by using low-code and capable to run on-premise, cloud and on edge devices. Vantiq supports the full lifecycle of the distributed applications, from development to deployment and to ongoing maintenance, a challenge few (if any) tools support. Vantiq has quickly partnered with many local integrators in several countries to support their customers to efficiently use the tool to develop sophisticated the new breed of applications.

You can find Raz’s interview on this link to Vantiq TV.

Raz’s presentation was based on his latest article co-authored with Prof. Yesha Sivan, titled “Agilifying You Digital Business – 6 Steps to Get Started”, published by Cutter Consortium. The article emphasizes the importance of becoming an agile business and provides 6 specific steps an organization can follow in the journey of becoming an agile business.

The following link enables you to make your registration to Cutter’s web site and download our article.

Case Study: How China’s Wanda Group succeeded to merge physical with digital worlds

How Wanda Group, China’s largest shopping center network, succeeded to combine the physical and digital worlds and bring new value to its customers

This post is based on an article written by Prof. Howard Yu, a professor of business administration and innovation at the Swiss IMD business school.

The article presents the exciting case study of the Wanda Group, China’s largest real estate developer that specializes in shopping centers. The company is known for her excellent business performance and for understanding how to leverage digital technologies to support the group’s accelerating growth.

The shopping centers are facing competitive challenges from the e-commerce giants, like Alibaba and others, and therefore have to reinvent themselves to remain competitive in a world where the boundaries between the shopping experience in shopping centers and e-commerce are blurring quickly.

Wand Group operates a huge network of shopping centers that host and combine shopping, cinema, and children playing grounds, hotels and office spaces. Recently they have expanded into amusements parks, film production, sports, technology and internet.

To remain competitive, they decided to implement a two path action plan: improving the customer experience in their shopping centers and leveraging the power of digital technologies. Prof. Yu’s article shows how this business giant succeeded in this two path action plan and to continue to grow in this competitive business landscape.

Regarding improving the customer experience, they were one of the first shopping centers in China to include restaurants and by 2017 they have become the world’s largest cinema chain operators. Their shopping centers include spacious indoor playgrounds within the plazas where children can play on traditional slides, swings, ball pits and educational arcade equipment.

Regarding their digital systems, Wanda’s Group rapid expansion capabilities, is supported by their IT backbone that has enabled the company to carry out informed decision making, streamline operations, codify its knowledge and operate at scale.

Here is Prof. Yu’s article.

Wanda Group is a great case study of the digital transformation journey of companies, as described in our “Doing Digital” e-book. Using digital technologies has helped Wand Group to expand quickly and become one of the world largest shopping centers operator.

Here is a link to our e-book.

MIT Researcher Dr. Westerman: You Need a Strategy for the Digital Era

Dr. George Westerman, a Principal Research Scientist with the MIT Sloan Initiative on the Digital Economy, wrote an interesting article “Your Company Doesn’t Need a Digital Strategy”, published by MIT Sloan Management Review on its 2018 Spring issue.

As Westerman writes “…. the focus on technology can steer the conversation in a dangerous direction. Because when it comes to digital transformation, digital is not the answer. Transformation is….In the digital world, a strategic focus on digital sends the wrong message. Creating a “digital strategy” can focus the organization in ways that don’t capture the true value of digital transformation. You don’t need a digital strategy. You need a better strategy, enabled by digital

Technology by itself don’t bring value. The value they bring comes from the ability of organizations to do business differently, more effectively or optimizing the value in the eyes of the customer. As he writes ” Analytics is not about databases and machine language algorithms — it’s about understanding customers better, or optimizing maintenance processes, or helping doctors diagnose cancer more accurately. IoT is not about RFID tags — it’s about radically synchronizing operations or changing business models”.

Here is the link to the article.

In our book “Doing Digital” we referred to this article in chapter 3 paragraph 11 and emphasized how important it is for the organization to understand that digital technologies are enabling technologies and enable the business to reimagine and rethink the way they do the business.

Digital Mastery Today: Companies Still Struggling with Digital Transformation

Why Companies are Struggling with Their Digital Transformation? 
Revisiting MIT and Capgemini’s Research After 6 Years

 

Capgemini, the global consulting company, published in 2018 a new and updated research “Understanding Digital Mastery Today: Why Companies are Struggling with Their Digital Transformation”. This is an updated version of previous joint research of Capgemini and the MIT Center of Digital Business Initiative, published in 2012 and named “The Digital Advantage: How digital leaders outperform their peers in every industry.” This research was the foundation of one of the most popular books on digital transformation and written by Dr. George Westerman, Dr. Didier Bonet and Dr. Andrew McAfee titled “Leading Digital: Turning Technology into Business Transformation” published in 2014.

Prof. Sivan & Raz Heiferman presented the Digital Mastery framework in chapter 10 of their e-book “Doing Digital” published in Hebrew, the chapter that described the Digital Maturity concept. The Digital Mastery framework is based on two capabilities required to succeed in the digital transformation: digital leadership and digital capability. Based on those two capabilities, the original research mapped about 390 organizations on a two-dimensional matrix and divided the organizations into four categories:

  • Beginners
  • Conservatives
  • Fashionistas
  • Digital Masters

The main goal of the new research was to provide an updated view of the state of digital transformation by using the same research methodology. 757 organizations participated in the 2018 research.

The updated report presents a cautious picture – the progress after 6 years was small and slow. In the customer experience area there was real progress but, in other areas like business processes, the progress was slow (if at all). Companies are still struggling with issues like defining a clear vision for the digital age, digital governance and IT-Business alignment.

The conclusion of the updated research is that slow progress has been made in 6 years of digital transformation. The main findings were:

  1. Companies are facing difficulties in adapting the new digital technologies due to the dizzying pace of the introduction of new digital innovations (e.g. artificial intelligence, IoT, automation).
  2. Organizations might have been over-optimistic in 2012 and, now they understand better the magnitude and challenges of the digital transformation.
  3. There are many business models disruptions in many industries, which are challenging the current business models and value chains.
  4. The expectations of customers, employees, and markets are rising and put significant pressure on the organizations.

So how could companies cope with these difficulties? Here are some tips from our e-book on the required activities to make sure your organization will transform successfully:

  1. Board of directors and executive management commitment – the top leadership of the organization must be committed and engaged to the digital transformation. This is a significant transformation, and as such should be steered by the top leaders. The vision and strategy should be defined and well understood by all the stakeholders. A digital roadmap should be defined and executed. Chapter 11 in our e-book defines the methodology and the steps an organization should follow.
  2. A Digital Leader should steer and lead the journey – the organization has to define clear responsibility for leading the journey. It could be a CDO, CIO or somebody else. Chapter 13 in our book explains the different alternatives for such a position.
  3. Your employees must be full partners of the digital transformation journey – Chapter 10 in our e-book elaborates on the Digital Maturity topic and emphasize the importance of employee engagement. We consider this engagement as the key to a successful journey. The management and the CDO should invest in sharing with the employees the message of the importance of this transformation, opening a two-way channel so they can understand the “why” and the “what.”
  4. You have to upskill your employees – trained and digitally skilled employees are key to a successful transformation. You have to invest in your human resources to make sure they understand the new technologies and business processes.
  5. Make sure data and analytics are a top priority in the transformation program – leveraging the data and using advanced analytics to convert the data into insights, is key to digital transformation. Chapter 7 in our e-book is dedicated to the importance of data and analytics in the digital era.
  6. You have to invest in your organization’s digital culture – digital culture is an important ingredient of the digital transformation. By digital culture, we mean agility and flexibility, innovation, and open culture. Chapter 5 in our e-book is devoted to innovation and how an organization should make innovation as a part of its DNA.
  7. Using advanced technologies – part of the digital transformation requires the use of technology to improve the customer experience and internal business processes. Chapter 2 in our e-book is devoted to present some of the advanced technologies that are part of what we call the “third digital age.”

To summarize, to follow the digital journey, successfully, organizations should mobilize their leadership, culture, talents, technologies, and processes to make sure they succeed in their transformation.

You can find Capgemini research here (registration required for the full report download).