Quadra

Connecting Technology and Business.

Reduce the noise in your data to improve forecast

The cloud and big data


When the cloud came into being, it brought with it immense storage power at cheaper rates. It ushered in the era of Big data. As a result, it also raised expectation levels in the minds of statisticians - and decision makers who depended on them - that this would do wonders to their decision-making processes.


Boon or bane?


The sample space had drastically increased due to social media and IoT, leading to more data being made available now. Applying statistical models to this huge data would improve the probability of a predicted event occurring (or not occurring) or improve the reliability of the forecast by pushing the R squared value to near unity. Right? Wrong. The data deluge only added to more noise than dependable signals.

 

Illusion or disillusion?


As time went by, people became disillusioned by the failure of the system to aid them with reliable information in decision-making. So as their hyper-expectations were not met, they just drop off quickly without pursuing further this journey.


The signal and the noise


It was now the turn of the experts to come with their reasons as to why such huge data could not help them decide better. One significant reason is that while there is enough data - and more – for the model, it requires a great deal of cleaning – removing the noise in the data that could distort the results and predictions before this data can be put to any use at all.

 

Persistence pays!


Early adapters of technology gained over the long run. Microsoft and Amazon are examples of winners who persisted in their vision to make this big data the fuel to their decision-making engine. They soon gathered themselves up from the trough of disillusionment to the slope of enlightenment by applying scientific methods to the data gathered and adopting newer methods to remove noise and false signals from the data. This way, they could arrive at real signals that aided in building reliable data models. They have climbed to the plateau of productivity now with their data models helping them in better decision making based on information.

 

Here are a few points to ponder:


  • People expect a lot from technology today, but the problem is while we have a lot of data, there are not enough people who possess skills to make this big data useful and not enough training and skill building efforts being put to make data scientists out of this huge population of technology experts.
  • Cleaning up data is the first big problem in predictive analysis – there are many external factors that might tend to distort the data that has been collected.
  • If we are considering a correlation between two variables and don’t know what causes this correlation, it is better not to consider this correlation at all. (Star fish predicting the FIFA world-cup winner or a baseball team’s win or lose determining the movement of the share-market).
  • Seeking for signals desperately, people end up with more noise than signals – so they make decisions with their instinct / gut feeling / experience playing an 80% part and statistics playing the last 20%. Instead, we should be guided by statistics 80% and leave the rest to our instincts and that too only if there is a drastically negative indicator in the statistical model. 

Here are some suggestions to reduce the noise and arrive at signals:

 

Start with a hypothesis / instinct and then keep refining it as you go ahead with analysis – this might sometimes lead to reverse your hypothesis.


Think probabilistically


When predicting, consider the margin of error (uncertainty) of the historic data and then include that in the prediction to make a decision. The person that discloses the greatest uncertainty is doing a better job than the one who conceals this uncertainty to his prediction. Three things to carry with while predicting: Data models, Scientific theories that influence the situation and experience (learn from the number of forecasts made and the feedback about the forecast)


Know where you come from


Consider the background and the existing biases of the possible forecaster / decision maker and the situation the data is being collected / considered


Try and err


Companies need to focus on the 80% effort for the last 20% results to retain the competitive advantage – real statistics of a few customers would be better than hypothetical data of a huge number of customers.

 

Notes:

 

  • Large and smart companies especially Technology firms should dare to take risks in the competitive advantage area. Most of the risk-taking will pay off. As they are big, they can bear failures unlike small firms and individuals in which case this might be termed as gambling.
  • People make better inferences from visuals than just data presented as raw data. Charts must show simple essential info. Unless required to bring greater clarity, we must avoid showing more information that crowd together on the charts to create more noise.
  • People must become Bias detectors – raise business questions and be apprehensive about magic bullet solutions.
  • Analysts should disclose the limitations to their analyses.


- Insights from a session by Nate Silver

Innovations in Excel that users love

Real-time collaboration—As with other Office 365 apps, you and your co-workers can securely work simultaneously within an Excel file from any device (mobile, desktop, and web). This allows you to know who else is working with you in a spreadsheet, see where they’re working, and view changes automatically within seconds, reducing the time it takes to collect feedback and eliminating the need to maintain multiple versions of a file. Live, in-app presence indicators through Skype for Business make it easy to connect with available co-workers in the moment.

Powerful data modeling—Get & Transform is one of Excel’s most powerful features, enabling you to search for data sources, make connections, and shape your data to meet specific analysis needs. Excel can connect to data sitting in the cloud, in a service, or stored locally. You can then combine different data sets from these sources into a single Data Model for a unique, unified view. Plus, you can create a Data Model to import millions of rows of data into Excel—keeping your analysis in one place.

Insightful visualizations—Excel is an inherently visual tool, giving you new perspectives through a variety of charts and graphs. We continue to enhance visualization in Excel—with geographical maps and waterfall charts—to provide easier analysis and a better, more impactful way to share insights across your company.

Dashboard creation and sharing—Power BI is the cloud-based data visualization tool that allows you to create and publish dashboards. We intentionally designed Power BI and Excel to work together, so you can surface the most relevant insights for the task at hand. Excel data can be imported into Power BI, while Power BI reports can be analysed in Excel for new perspectives. You can then easily share these dashboards and insights with others in your company.

Built-in extensibility—Like other Office 365 applications, Excel can be customized to meet the specific needs of your company. Excel’s rich ecosystem of add-ins and other tools can help you work with data in more relevant ways. Plus, the Excel platform is flexible enough for IT admins or Microsoft partners to develop custom solutions.

-Office Blogs, Dec 2017

Security Intelligence Report of Microsoft

Microsoft regularly aggregates the latest worldwide security data into the Security Intelligence Report (SIR), unpacking the most pressing issues in cybersecurity.

Here are some highlights:

Cloud Threat Intelligence

The cloud has become the central data hub for any organization, which means it’s also a growing target for attackers.

Compromised Accounts

Definition - Attackers break into the cloud-based account simply by using the stolen sign-in credentials of a user
Analysis - A large majority of these compromises are the result of weak, guessable passwords and poor password management, followed by targeted phishing attacks and breaches of third-party services.

Cloud-based user account attacks have increased 300% from last year, showing that attackers have found a new favorite target.

Drive-by download sites

Definition - A website that hosts malware in its code and can infect a vulnerable computer simply by a web visit
Analysis - Attackers sneak malicious code into legitimate but poorly secured websites. Machines with vulnerable browsers can become infected by malware simply by visiting the site. Bing search constantly monitors sites for malicious elements or behavior, and displays prominent warnings before redirecting to any suspicious site.

Taiwan and Iran have the highest concentration of drive-by download pages

Endpoint threat intelligence

An endpoint is any device remotely connected to a network that can provide an entry point for attackers––such as a laptop or mobile device. Since users interact with an endpoint, it remains a key opportunity for attackers and a security priority for organizations.

Ransomware

Definition - Malware that disables a computer or its files until an amount of money is paid to the attackers
Analysis - Ransomware attacks have been on the rise, disrupting major organizations and grabbing global headlines. Attacks like WannaCry and Petya disabled thousands of machines worldwide in the first half of 2017. Windows 10 includes mitigations that prevent common exploitation techniques by these and other ransomware threats.

Ransomware disproportionately targeted Europe with Czech Republic, Italy, Hungary, Spain, Romania, and Croatia being the top six countries with the highest encounter rates.

Exploit Kits

Definition - A bundle of malicious software that discovers and abuses a computer's vulnerabilities
Analysis - Once installed on a compromised web server, exploit kits can easily reach any computer lacking proper security updates that visits the site.

Many of the more dangerous exploits are used in targeted attacks before appearing in the wild in larger volumes.

Takeaways and Checklist:

  • The threats and risks of cyberattacks are constantly changing and growing. However, there are some practical steps you can take to minimize your exposure.
  • Reduce risk of credential compromise by educating users on why they should avoid simple passwords, enforcing multi-factor authentication and applying alternative authentication methods (e.g., gesture or PIN).
    Enforce security policies that control access to sensitive data and limit corporate network access to appropriate users, locations, devices, and operating systems (OS).
  • Do not work in public Wi-Fi hotspots where attackers could eavesdrop on your
    communications, capture logins and passwords, and access your personal data. Regularly update your OS and other software to ensure the latest patches are installed

India specific report

The statistics presented here are generated by Microsoft security programs and services running on computers in India in March 2017 and previous quarters. This data is provided from administrators or users who choose to opt in to provide data to Microsoft, using IP address geolocation to determine country or region.

Encounter rate trends

15.5 percent of computers in India encountered malware, compared to worldwide encounter rate of 7.8 percent. The most common malicious software category in India was Trojans. The second most common malicious software category was Worms. The third most common malicious software category was Downloaders & Droppers.

The most common unwanted software category was Browser Modifiers. The second most common unwanted software category was Software Bundlers. The third most common unwanted software category was Adware.

The most common malicious software family encountered was Win32/Fuery, Win32/Fuery is a cloud-based detection for files that have been automatically identified as malicious by the cloud-based protection feature of Windows Defender. The second most common malicious software family encountered was Win32/Vigorf. Win32/Vigorf is a generic detection for a variety of threats. The third most common malicious software family encountered was Win32/Skeeyah. Win32/Skeeyah is a generic detection for various threats that display Trojan characteristics. The fourth most common malicious software family encountered was Win32/Dynamer. Win32/Dynamer is a generic detection for a variety of threats.

The most common unwanted software family encountered was Win32/Foxiebro. Win32/Foxiebro is a browser modifier that can inject ads to search results pages, modify web pages to insert ads, and open ads in new tabs. The second most common unwanted software family encountered was Win32/ICLoader. Win32/ICLoader is a software bundler distributed from software crack sites, which installs unwanted software alongside the desired program. It sometimes installs other unwanted software, such as Win32/Neobar. The third most common unwanted software family encountered was MSIL/Wizrem. MSIL/Wizrem is a software bundler that downloads other unwanted software, including Win32/EoRezo and Win32/Sasquor. It might also try to install malicious software such as Win32/Xadupi.

Security software use

Nearly 18% of the computers in India are not running up-to-date real-time security software when compared to the world-wide number of about 12%.

Malicious Websites

Attackers often use websites to conduct phishing attacks or distribute malware. Malicious websites typically appear completely legitimate and often provide no outward indicators of their malicious nature, even to experienced computer users. In many cases, these sites are legitimate websites that have been compromised by malware, SQL injection, or other techniques, in an effort by attackers to take advantage of the trust users have invested in them. To help protect users from malicious webpages, Microsoft and other browser vendors have developed filters that keep track of sites that host malware and phishing attacks and display prominent warnings when users try to navigate to them.

The information presented here has been generated from telemetry data produced by Windows Defender SmartScreen in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.
  • Eight websites per hundred thousand URLs are malicious - drive-by download pages.
  • 420 websites per hundred thousand internet hosts are malicious - Phishing sites.
  • 890 websites per hundred thousand internet hosts are malicious - Malware hosting sites.
- Microsoft Security intelligence report, Volume 22

Digital Transformation - Sustaining the digital transformation

The challenge. Digital transformation is a journey with many predetermined milestones along the way for organizations to ensure that they stay on the intended path throughout, but the destination is not a well-defined spot. As technology changes are dynamic, unpredictable and quick, so is the digital destination. This might have to be redefined, moved further and prepared for further transformations dictated by newer disruptions that will arrive in future. It is essential that at least the foundational digital skills are laid strong enough for expansion and changes that would be required later in the transformation path.

The approach. Enterprises must orchestrate their skills build-up around this transformation. It is essential that the organization has enough people who grasp the idea, can contribute to the cause voluntarily or otherwise and involve actively in the concentrated efforts towards the desired result. While it is desirable that the existing management and workforce in entirety come on-board, many organizations might not have enough people who would share the same vision and willingly stay on the well-defined transformation path.   In such cases, businesses must look outside for resources that are already skilled in technology and operations that align well with the transformation vision. Hiring might have to start at the top which in turn might help in identifying the right talent in the middle and lower levels. Some innovation might be required in the recruitment strategy and enterprises might have to cast their net wider for rare skills.

Training must be an integral part of the agenda to increase the digital awareness organization-wide. This will result in bringing employees up to speed in specific digital technologies. Organizing employee exchange programs across functions and locations and introducing reverse mentoring initiatives might yield quicker results. Building an enterprise-wide knowledgebase with documents, videos and do it yourself kits for existing employees and new hires would help enterprises simplify the learning path quicken the path for the staff to contribute to the efforts and results. A centralized digital platform that is accessible easily by the employees for any kind of corporate information and a seamless communication system that can bring people and information closer would make a big difference than the traditional approach.

A well-defined reward system must also be in place for sustaining the transformation and the structure might have to extend beyond corporate boundaries. Enterprises must also make sure rewards are more than financial - social recognition and executive-level appreciation might be other alternatives.

Partnering with organizations that might yield a synergic effect to the digital vision is one other option to be seriously considered by organizations that don’t have the required skillsets and resources ready. Acquiring businesses that already have skilled resources that can contribute to the organizational vision is another strategy.

It is also essential to build a close relationship between internal IT and the business so that they work in sync towards the digital goals. Results need to be measured, monitored, reviewed, course-corrected and iterated periodically to retain the pace and steer the efforts in the right direction. IT solutions need to be designed and implemented for such activities. Managing the enterprise strategic score card and driving the initiative-level business case and related KPIs are essential for sustaining the transformation.

Digital Transformation - Mobilizing the organization

The challenge. Motivating the senior management and driving the digital transformation is one thing but mobilizing the whole organization and on-boarding them in the journey is another and the tougher challenge. The enterprise needs to send clear signals and through as many channels as possible. The objective is to motivate the lower level employees to enroll themselves in this endeavor with zero or little force. Redefined policies and modified work practices must be clearly defined and enforced, and participation must be encouraged and rewarded. The goals and results of the transformation need to be transparently defined, and benefits clearly conveyed to the entire organization such that every team and every individual will contribute to the cause. 

The approach. The appointment of a CDO, a digital challenge thrown by the CEO that has a measurable result by a certain cutoff date, or the visible branding of the transformation in a large way across the organization such as declaring a digital year are some of the activities that will send clear signal to the entire organization that the business is serious about this transformation effort. The leaders must lead from the front engaging in digital transformational activities themselves and encouraging the team around them to adopt the new policies and newly set procedures. The transformation should be co-created with the teams shouldering the responsibilities together with the management.

New behaviors need to be standardized but enterprises must also allow the digital culture to evolve organically across the organization.  Digital champions who can liaison between the management and the end users must be identified in every department and team, trained and encouraged to help people around them to adopt the digital culture. Quick digital wins must be rightly identified, advertised and rewarded so that the whole organization is motivated and mobilized around the transformation efforts. Enterprises must make visible changes to work practices and institutionalize them. Adoption of solutions for transformation must be encouraged rather than just deployment.

Digital Transformation - Focusing investment

The challenge. Enterprises that aspire to transform digitally must have a keen focus on the things that are important, commit real money to fund initiatives and keep moving everything in the same direction. They need a clear vision and an action plan that highlights some of the major landmarks on their digital transformation journey while taking into consideration improved customer experience, increased operational performance and adaptation of the business model as the dominant objectives.

This must also translate into strategic goals that will guide them in building a roadmap of initiatives. These goals should not just be about financials but also in terms of customer experience, operations and building organizational capabilities. A strategic scorecard incorporating all these goals would be the basic template and a point of reference for the entire team. Recognizing the entry point is crucial. Enterprises must engage practitioners and operational specialists early in the design stage to minimize the traditional vision-to-execution gap. Design must focus on business outcomes, not technology. This roadmap can become the canvas of the transformation, but it must make allowance for iterations and course correction as the journey contains many unknowns.

The approach. Gartner recommends enterprises take a dual mode – continuing the traditional on one side while experimenting on the transformational model on the other, however, in small measures; a series of sprints – not launching out into marathons.

Building the right governance model is another area of focus. Appointing a digital transformation owner – a Chief Digital Office - who would steer all the efforts in a common direction amid a broad cross-functional set of stakeholders would make a significant difference.  The CDO can decide on the coordination and sharing of resources, technology platform, talent and data that will be needed among teams involved. The CDO would encourage standardization but also simultaneously encourage innovation. Other governance mechanisms like steering committees, digital champions and shared digital units would also help. Such units centralized with shared infrastructure like unified customer database, enterprise wide platform, advanced analytics teams or innovation labs would drive synergy across the firm.

Building the right governance model is another area of focus. Appointing a digital transformation owner – a Chief Digital Office - who would steer all the efforts in a common direction amid a broad cross-functional set of stakeholders would make a significant difference.  The CDO can decide on the coordination and sharing of resources, technology platform, talent and data that will be needed among teams involved. The CDO would encourage standardization but also simultaneously encourage innovation. Other governance mechanisms like steering committees, digital champions and shared digital units would also help. Such units centralized with shared infrastructure like unified customer database, enterprise wide platform, advanced analytics teams or innovation labs would drive synergy across the firm.

Funding the transformation is the decider. As most of the digital transformation journey would be across uncharted territory a pragmatic approach is needed. Doing a diligent cost benefit analysis that incorporates digital skill building, organizational change, communication and training would reveal the cost of the journey versus the business benefits projected. Foundational investments for core systems, platforms and tools needed for the launch, maintenance investments that are RoI driven and early stage innovation investments must be considered during the analysis. As these investments are speculative and returns are highly variable enterprises must take a test and learn approach.

Ignore these 9 tips to stay safe online at your own risk!

The risk. More and more hours are spent online by us as there is proliferation of devices, availability of internet connectivity and usage of apps for everything – from official work to personal use, social networking and entertainment. These require a login so that we can have a better experience. The devices and apps require creation of an account most of the time to log in so that we can enjoy a better experience – downloading files, accessing premium features or content or moving to higher levels in a game. We need to be doubly careful with our personal information so that none of it is accessed by the device builders, app developers and hackers.

Here are some tips to keep ourselves safe from risks to our information that lie online.

  1. Password. First and the foremost is to have a strong password – a different one for each of our accounts or a single strong password under a single sign-on system that cannot be easily guessed. Avoiding dictionary terms and easily guessable words or a combination of words and figures would be good methods when choosing passwords.
  2. Multifactor Authentication. We might have multiple email accounts – one or more official and many personal too. Most email service providers also provide a second authentication mechanism apart from a login name and a password. Making use of this multi-factor authentication feature will require the user to provide an additional authentication factor in the form of an OTP (One Time Password) received in a mobile device or in an alternate email or a phone call. This available in also most of the social networking apps too.
  3. Apps. We are enticed by a lot of apps that keep asking for permission to access our content – contacts and personal information in our devices. We must be discerning as to whether we need to allow these apps to access such information unless the situations warrant it. If we had not been paying enough attention here, it is high-time we revisited our apps and removed such privileges to the respective apps.
  4. Social Networks. Almost every information we provide when we create our social networking accounts and subsequently post in our name are at risk of being misused by the service providers and sellers interested in pushing their goods and services. Even our likes or comments to others’ posts are at risk of being monitored and accessed for dubious usage like targeted advertisements and offers. There are also recommendations from various sources that we remove our Facebook accounts so that we can protect our privacy. Others would have to go to Ad preferences option in such accounts to minimize risk of being spied by intruders.
  5. Personal devices. We must be careful when we allow others to use our devices in which we not only store a lot of our personal information but also login to access our various accounts. It is better to log off and allow them to login with a different profile / account in the same device. This will keep them from away from our information.
  6. Browsing history. Our browsing history and stored cookies must be deleted as frequently as possible to keep our personal information private. This will delete our search history, passwords and other vital information we provide in web sites and apps - probably for file downloads or registering for events and webinars. It will also be better to use the in-private browsing option in browsers when we know that we might have to provide personal information or search for confidential information.
  7. Temporary files. All files and content of temporary / short term value must be deleted as soon as it loses its relevance so that any private content is inaccessible from these sources. Files of permanent value and longer relevance must be backed up and stored in secondary storage devices or cloud services locked up with strong passwords.
  8. Phishing and Ransomware. Anti-phishing tools and software that will guard us from zero-day attacks and ransomware are essential these days to help us remain protected from hackers and attackers who are after not only our information but also information about others stored in our devices like phone numbers and email addresses.
  9. Wi-Fi. While connecting to Wi-fi networks, we must be very careful as to who is the Wi-fi provider and whether it is a public network. Public networks that allow you to connect without a password or those that are provided in railway stations and airports are risky connections. They come with an added risk of exposing our content to others connecting to that network. Deny permission to make your device visible to others in the network if you are connecting to unknown networks.

Digital Transformation - Framing the digital challenge

The challenge. Building awareness in the enterprise is the starting point to any digital transformation initiative. Transformation drivers from the top must put digital transformation at the top of the enterprise’s agenda. It is essential that people in the organization understand the scale and pace of the digital impact their industry is undergoing because of the disruptions brought in by the nexus of forces – Social media, mobility, information flow pattern and analytics and the Cloud. The creating awareness drive can gain momentum if this awareness process is made experiential.

The approach. It is essential to build a coalition of believers who can understand the potential impact of digital technologies on the business and the need and the urgency with which this transformation has to be pursued. Align the top team with this temperament will make things easier for the enterprise to drive this sentiment down to the last rung of employees whose participation would hasten the transformation.

Businesses need to identify potential threats and opportunities that they possess as an organization that will either contribute to or hinder the endeavor. Creating a risk profile containing the consequences that the business would have to encounter in the absence or slow pursue of this transformation journey would contribute to the overall support of the executives towards this strategic change in the business model. In most cases the CEO is responsible for roping in the senior leaders into the transformation team.

It is also essential that enterprises know their starting point in the journey. They need to measure how mature their digital competencies are, and which strategic asset will help them to excel amidst the competition.  Assessing the strategic assets of the enterprise and defining those that will be relevant in a digital world and those that won’t – physical assets, competencies, intangible assets and digital assets like data which in most cases would turn out to be a high value currency can set the framework for further acquisition, development or realigning of the resources.

It is also essential that enterprises know their starting point in the journey. They need to measure how mature their digital competencies are, and which strategic asset will help them to excel amidst the competition.  Assessing the strategic assets of the enterprise and defining those that will be relevant in a digital world and those that won’t – physical assets, competencies, intangible assets and digital assets like data which in most cases would turn out to be a high value currency can set the framework for further acquisition, development or realigning of the resources.

Enterprises should focus on their potential and the distance between where they are and their potential – not the distance between them and their competition. The executive sponsors who have grasped the reality of the digital transformation mandate would have to digitally challenge their current business model by craft the transformative vision and charting out the transformation journey. Unifying the company through a strong IT vision of the company’s digital future would be a sure step towards a successful digital transformation.

Digital Transformation - The strategy for transformation

The challenge. Digital Transformation is not a linear process. Many enterprises have already kickstarted a number of digital initiatives. Business compulsions and competition from outside might have been the factors for such initiatives but a coordinated and concerted effort to transform the enterprise from the traditional to a customer-centric organization requires much more than such disparate initiatives. Such a transformation would touch the vital organs of the business – Executives and employees, business processes and operations and even products and services.

Many business decision makers as well as technical influencers do not see the urgency to transform yet. The top management has settled down in the traditional style for too long and many decision makers are quite seniors in their field who had seen success in the traditional way that the mandate to transform gets little attention. It is an elephant in the room that nobody dares to deal with. They keep reacting to threats many of the times instead of shaping the future for their enterprise themselves.

The reality. Enterprises that aspire to transform use technology better than their competitors. They build not only digital capabilities but also leadership capabilities to stay in the right path during this journey so that the desired destination is reached with minimal obstructions. They may need to build skills in different areas and redirect their efforts from time to time. A joint research program between Capgemini Consulting and the MIT center for Digital Business recommends a comprehensive strategy for this transformation in enterprises.

Enterprises must first realize that the business scenario that they have been thriving on for so long is fast transforming into a digital oriented one. They must sense the real threat from outside in the form of startups and fast movers who are already enlightened on the role of digital to transform the way businesses are forced to go. The disruption created by digital technology is real and here to stay so that there is no choice but to jump into the bandwagon of digital transformation. They must do a deep dive into their existing capabilities and skills that would need course correction, development or rebuilding.

Enterprises must also focus on investment in the right areas for the digital transformation to be put on the right path so that it takes off and stays at the right pace. The whole organization needs to be mobilized towards the achieving of the pre-determined goals with the digital initiative from the top and percolating to the lower levels. Taking the organization together in the digital journey is essential and leadership skills are mandatory for this journey to be successful. While there might be various milestones in the way, enterprises should have a clearly defined destination in this journey. Some of the milestones might be reached sooner than the others but sustaining the transformation throughout and well beyond the perceived destination is essential as the business environment is set to see more disruptions than ever.

Digital Transformation - Uncover new revenue models

The challenge. There is a real undeniable threat by startups to the established businesses that have been ruling the market for centuries. The traditional business models are losing relevance today. Businesses can sell products that they don’t produce, can provide customers with services that they don’t directly offer, and many are moving away from selling products to selling product based services.

Customer preferences keep changing and the value they expect from goods and services that they consume is increasing. Technology is contributing hugely to this shift in customer sentiments. They want to connect to their brands through the smart devices that they hold in their pockets. They are willing to pay for the additional value they get from such systems that bring them closer to their service providers.

The reality. Thankfully, technology is contributing heavily in adding greater functionality to improve the worth of products and services that enterprises offer today. 50% of new business processes and systems will incorporate IoT in their products by 2020 and 25 billion connected “things” will be in use by then. There is also a change in the way employees look at this transformation in customer expectations. 41% of employees say mobile business apps are already changing the way they work. 40% of survey respondents say predictive analytics held the most potential to predict business events.

Enterprises can now create new revenue opportunities with intelligent technology that spans across systems. The Cloud offers larger avenues for innovation and holds the power to uncover possibilities that remained dormant all along. Data that once used be stored for compliance purposes are now being put to greater use through analysis and interactive visualization for decision makers to create new roadmaps for products and services like never before. Predictive analysis helps them look ahead and track market dynamics and change in customer sentiments.

Digitizing the enterprise can transform business practices and enable re-designing of business processes to stay ahead in the marketplace. Businesses need to re-invent products and services and deliver new market offerings that caters to customer needs.

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