Tag Archives: Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation Final Summary

The world will look nothing like it did in the past, we are undergoing a period of digital transformation. The American Dream is no longer what it used to be; Capitalism is shrinking, and technology is taking the jobs of the working-class. Americans are having trouble finding their place in society because technology has taken the role of human physical presence. The past American Dream offered a pre-determined agenda that was simple to complete, founded on simple jobs like “factory worker”, “waitress” or “cashier”, but now these ‘stable’ positions are all disappearing. Navigating the former route of the American Dream is not an option because it is no longer so set in stone. Life proves to be unpredictable, and same with the direction of the American Dream. New jobs are emerging on the web, and we must adapt to this digital transformation, even if it means adjusting our American Dream. We can no longer settle for one job, rather settle when the jobs are done.

We must cope with the fact that there is almost no room to climb up the capitalist ladder anymore. We must work with the ones at the top in order to expand our overall potential for success. Platform companies control most of the IoT and technologies that come with it. They offer many opportunities for businesses to grow: Shopify, Amazon, and Facebook offer many services to help customers and sellers engage in business, Ziosk offers an easy-to-use food ordering service for dine-in customers at Applebee’s and other restaurants, and Microsoft Office changed the way we create and submit reports. Neglecting these innovations will leave you behind, there is much success to be gained by properly utilizing these technologies.

We must not learn a specific set of skills, rather a much broader set of technology skills that cover multiple fields. Being F.A.I.R. will help people transition into their new skills. F.A.I.R. people will always be innovating new products/services, so no longer can we restrict our skills, we must anticipate and adapt to change.

Achieving the American Dream is still possible, but it requires a new route to success. We must expand our knowledge in different fields rather than one to adapt to the never ending changes we will face. We cannot have a narrow focus to our next step in life when the future requirements to our jobs require us to think more broadly. Being able to adapt to change, “learn, unlearn, and relearn”, will help us reach the next chapter in our lives.

Link to our group presentation!

 

The Future of Digital Transformation

Over the past two months, I have researched the disruptive impacts of digital transformation and how they affect our society and the future. To me, I think the most important hypothesis that I discovered throughout my research is that most businesses and jobs that exist today are doomed in the future. Technology companies, specifically Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft, have become necessities to our daily lives and while in the process of becoming so important to us, other businesses have fallen off the radar.

There is really only one reason why this is happening and that is digital transformation. Really, only a few companies are leading in digital transformation and other than those leaders, other companies are only transforming in reaction to others transforming. Typical scenarios include technology companies creating software and platforms for other companies to use (Amazon Web Services, Facebook Pages, Square).

(For example, many restaurants in South Orange utilize online ordering, but back where I am from, that transformation has yet to be made. I assume in South Orange, once one small business took on the challenge, many others were forced to compete. The level of competition has not yet increased where I live, so for now, many businesses still use the phone to take orders until one business discovers the trend).

There is a lack of awareness when it comes to this issue, which may be a reason why there has not been more and/or faster transformation. However, digital transformation is not easy, which may be why it has taken companies awhile to get the ball rolling on this pressing issue. MITSloan lists three critical elements to digital transformation, including, transforming customer experiences, operational processes, and business models. In short, it looks like a complete business remodel, which most executives do not wish to undergo due to time and risk.

On the other hand, if companies do not wish to digitally transform, they will risk their own success. If companies wish to be successful, making processes more efficient is the answer, even if that means making harder decisions along the way. As result of these technologies, lots of business operations will become autonomous, and jobs will be lost along the way. Digital transformation not only affects companies, but their workers, since much of the new technology will overtake human tasks. Companies are being forced to choose between technology and human, and the better choice is clearly technology.

In the end, digital transformation will force us to choose between ourselves and the potential of technology, and it is likely that technology will be chosen. So what does that mean for the rest of us not running the few companies that dominate our everyday lives? If people want to survive in a digitally transformed world, people must not only learn new technologies, but more specifically how to be F.A.I.R. Being able to be F.A.I.R. maximizes the potential of becoming successful because in the world we enter, it is not all about being skillful, rather being able to change directions at a moments notice. Moving into the future, the only way to survive digital transformation is by embracing it in whatever way possible.

Is Online Streaming Finally Ready to Take Off?

The at-home experience of watching LIVE television has become more enjoyable over the years. Technology has provided us with many amenities to television including: colorful screens, higher resolution, WiFi, and even computer-generated graphics. My dad loves television, he “never wants to leave the couch” on Sundays because the NFL Red Zone experience is luxury: no commercials, access to every game, and perfect camera angles. However, many shows are no longer exclusive to television, their outlets to exposure have expanded. When my dad is not watching Red Zone on television, he is streaming from one of his mobile devices.

How People Watch Live Sports

As shown above, live streaming has become a popular way to watch sports, and this number will continue to grow with increased exposure and accessibility. However, the choice between television and live stream will result in intense competition, and could leave some broadcasting companies out of business.

What seems to have been attempted in the past has reemerged only a decade later. The first successful online broadcasting website was broadcast.com, founded by Christopher Jaeb, Todd Wagner, Mark Cuban, and Martin Woodall just a little more than 20 years ago. Broadcast.com brought television and radio to the web through innovative live streaming services, and this forced many companies into panic mode. Broadcast.com developed such a strong database of viewers that Yahoo.com decided to buy them out for over $5 billion. However, Broadcast.com would be worth nothing in a few short years due to Yahoo’s poor management. This would put a short pause on live streaming for a few years until more technology companies would grow.

Now we see the NFL and Twitter teaming up together to stream Football online, which will no doubt impact many broadcasting companies. NFL Sunday is the most watched event in America, if suddenly all of its viewers relocated, then CBS, NBC, FOX, etc. would lose profits. This is not only happening in sports, even services like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube are diverting attention away from television. In addition, the internet is being updated so frequently, it is almost impossible for television to keep up with internet content.

The Frightful 5, aka the leaders of digital transformation, will impact broadcasting companies as well. Services such as Amazon Prime Video, YouTube, Twitch, and Facebook Live, all pose serious threats to television companies. It is nearly impossible to stop this shift from television to streaming, because unarguably these services provide us with more efficient ways to digest information quickly.

There is nothing that can be done to stop these tech companies from beating their competition, but we can keep them from expanding too large. If these companies become too large, it can be dangerous the amount of control they possess over the market. Overtime, television will need to become more digitally interactive if broadcasting companies want to survive.

Digital Transportation Part 2: More than Autonomous

Over the past two weeks, I have talked about Amazon and Tesla dominating their markets through digital transformation. Over the past decade, these companies have developed into big name brands, and I think that has a whole lot to do with change. Until Amazon and Tesla came along, business models and consumer goods did not see a whole lot of change because it was not needed. There was no need for one company to outdo the other because competition was simple, but that changed real fast. Technologies such as Amazon Go, and autonomous driving, have forced other companies to compete and create their own technologies, or go out of business trying. Through improved products and services, Amazon and Tesla have been able to dominate their markets, and now, two more companies are trying to replicate their success through brand new modes of transportation.

In the future, it is probable that Hyperloop One, and The Boring Company, will compete for the top transportation service. In short, the Hyperloop One is a very fast train that will be able to reach speeds of 670 mph (much faster than the Amtrak!). If the Hyperloop One is able to reach this speed, then serious disruption would occur. Overtime, the speed of the Hyperloop One would make airports less useful. The amount of flights needed daily would decrease along with the workers needed at an airport. It would be much faster to transport a person or package by Hyperloop One than by flight. In addition to airports being disrupted, the Amtrak would quickly go off the tracks too. The only use Amtrak will have is for medium distances, distances public transportation (short) and/or Hyperloop One (long) will not travel. The Hyperloop will not take planes out of the sky, but it will at least derail the Amtrak. If not, The Boring Company will.

The Boring Company is Elon Musk’s latest project with a goal to transport cars through tunnels at high speeds at least 130 mph. It is not too much different from the Hyperloop One, it is just a more personal way of traveling. Rather than board a Hyperloop One with hundreds of other people, you can board the Boring Company with a few others in the comfort of your own vehicle. Even though both of these modes of transportation sound luxurious and fast, they both will come at the cost of other services and companies. If the Hyperloop One does not hurt Amtrak, then the Boring Company definitely will. The Boring Company is direct competition with Amtrak, they both will travel the same distances at the similar speeds. In addition, The Boring Company will have wait times instead of scheduled departures. Instead of having to worry about missing the Amtrak, with the Boring Company, you can travel whenever you please. The Boring Company should certainly draw in some business.

Clearly these companies share disruptive qualities and both of them will shift the economy. Going into the future, it is important to pick up on the trends that coincide with digital transformation: quickness, adaptation, and innovation. These are two prime examples of products that have been digitally transformed for efficiency. The Hyperloop One is a faster train, and the Boring Company is a building block to cars. Digital transformation of some products and services just go to show that nothing stays the same forever. Life is always changing and all about catching onto the trends. As technology continues to improve, it is important to improve with it.

317 – Digital Transportation

In last week’s blog post, I discussed how Amazon is impacting markets through digital transformation. Their easy online services and innovative technologies, including Amazon Go, make it difficult for large department and grocery stores to compete. However, there is one market Amazon has left untouched, and that is the transportation market.

Over the past few decades, transportation has become much more advanced. New technology has brought new ideas to the market, and companies implementing these new ideas are the ones coming out ahead. One of the major new players to make a splash in the automotive market is Tesla, and their development of high-performing autonomous vehicles is one ought to pay attention to.

Tesla is America’s top Electric Car company creating disruption in the automotive market. In recent years, car companies have adopted Tesla’s innovative ideas to create green and autonomous vehicles. The shift from gas to electric is basic, but developing brand new technologies for cars is more complex and challenging to work with. Therefore, car companies are forced to make a leap of death in order to compete: either roll out autonomous vehicles or go bankrupt trying. However, this technology will not come without controversy.

There are many reasons why autonomous driving is disruptive, minus the fact that it will take over millions of driving jobs. Overlooked problems of autonomous driving are the accidents that take place on the road. What if two autonomous vehicles get into an accident? Who is liable when neither person had control of the car? These are issues that need to be addressed legally.

Another problem with autonomous driving is that many people are going to want to take a nap when they hit the road, and that just cannot happen. Tesla has technology that can detect whether the driver is asleep behind the wheel or not, so no one can drive with both eyes closed. I do not see this feature going away anytime soon, and I hope legislation does not change that.

Finally, the last problem I see with the brand new vehicles coming out is the WiFi feature. I really do not think it is smart to put a ton of wireless access points in cars when it is really easy to hack into them. I saw this video below some time ago, how a few hackers were able to control a person’s vehicle while in use through WiFi connection.

This must be prevented from becoming a common occurrence.

There is missing legislation in regards to autonomous vehicles, and many hiccups will come with drafting this legislation. Will it be ethical for there to be autonomous taxis in a world where you cannot fall asleep behind one (an autonomous vehicle)? Should steps be taken to limit the power of autonomous vehicles? Questions like these will all have to be answered in time, but should be answered sooner rather than later. Before we eliminate manuals and automatics, we need to understand autonomous first.

317 – Digital Transformation Update

A few months ago, Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion, one of the largest amounts paid to acquire a company. This is all apart of Jeff Bezos’ strategy to bring cheaper products to the consumer market. This acquisition may be great for consumers, but Bezos’ purchase will force other companies to digitally transform.

Towards the end of August, Amazon began dropping the prices of Whole Foods products by significant amounts. This acquisition has clearly impacted grocery stocks, which have struggled since the merge. A main reason why Amazon is successful is because they minimize their profits as much as possible and reinvest capital back into the company. By doing this, Amazon will continue dropping prices so that customers will run into their inexpensive services.

At the moment, Amazon/Whole Foods is competing at the same level of competition as other grocery markets, but this is unlikely to last for long. Eventually, Amazon will implement their new Artificial Intelligence that will make shopping simpler and faster. However, there is a huge down side that will come with this new technology. Although this technology will eliminate store lines, and allow the option to pay for items later, the technology will displace millions of cashier jobs across America. Eventually, this AI will be found in every store, and the near future may include different variations of this technology for small businesses (unless you are paying in cash).

Many companies are struggling to compete with Amazon’s advanced technologies and strategic business decisions. Toys R Us, Sears, and Macy’s are just a few companies that are being affected by Amazon’s success, and they are running out of ideas to save themselves. The reason why these companies fail to compete with Amazon is because they do not offer the wide range of services that Amazon does. Amazon competes in almost every market, and none of these companies can make the expansion into multiple markets like Amazon already has.

Additionally, Amazon has outperformed these companies digitally. Amazon has disrupted many businesses through their innovative technologies and AI. There is a lot of good that has come out of Amazon (such as Amazon Go) which is why I believe the government has not stepped in on their monopoly yet, the government would not want to hinder their incredible progress. On the other hand, what Amazon is doing is arguably illegal. Although the technology Amazon has come up with is considerably brilliant, it cannot mask the fact that it will destroy millions of jobs and hundreds of multi-million dollar companies.

Given the Whole Foods deal has been approved, there are no signs of Amazon slowing down. Something needs to be done in order to prevent companies like Amazon from expanding too large. The outcomes will impact the economy more negatively than positively. In the near future, Amazon’s innovative ideas like Amazon Go will be embraced, but not unless it is shared among other businesses. If Amazon grows too large, there will be no room for other companies to grow, no competition, and fewer jobs. For now, companies need to focus on keeping up with Amazon so they do not fall behind. I believe Amazon will be stalled eventually, but until then, the market MUST adapt to technological advancements.

Amazon and Groceries: How Amazon can put the hurt to supermarkets.

Amazon is poised to take the super market industry by storm, when it revealed late last year that it was test running a grocery store. This grocery store utilizes technology called “Just Walk Out” technology, which is a combination of computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion. What this does it allow for the artificial intelligence do scan your phone when you enter the store, and keep up with the items you take and put back onto the shelves in real time. So even if you take an item and then put it back, you will not be charged. Then instead of waiting on line, you just have to walk out of the store and your amazon account will automatically be charged and a receipt sent to you phone. This is new type of store has the potential to utterly destroy not only super market chains, but almost every kind of brick and mortar store available. Companies like Amazon will only need a fraction of the employees to fully operate the store as the previous need for cashiers will be gone. The only people needed will be janitors, people to restock the groceries and an overall manager to address any issues. And as this spreads to other stores like game stop and other kinds of retail, people will begin to lose jobs at a very fast pace as more and more jobs are simply no longer needed because of technology simply being better.

So one question remains, how do new comers compete with giants like Amazon. Well the short answer is they have to have everything connected to the internet. To describe this best i suggest going to 5:30 in the video above. What Taylor does to solve the problem of having to turn away walk ins, is symbolic of what the age to come is going to bring, utilization of the internet and adapting it to your needs. Taylor describes how he has a button at his place of work that they press every time they have to turn away a walk in customer. This builds a map for them of when they need staff as opposed to when they don’t. This allows them to place they employees on the clock when they are needed most and have less people on when work is slow. Adaption and thinking like this will allow smaller stores to compete with larger companies like amazon. And both are going to be the future of retail around the world.