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When you go to any specialist, a doctor for example, the quality of the advice you’ll receive will depend on how much relevant information you share. If there is a level of trust between the two parties, sharing correct and up-to-date information will increase the chance of the best result.

open-data-infrastructure

As part of the case for Open Data as a part of the wider API based economy, it will not be enough to only share data with public bodies or commercial partners, but there will also be the need to verify the quality of data and to ensure that the correct permissions to access someone's data has been given and that these take into account where and when that data is used or combined with other sources of data.

A business collects many types of data from a customer and they may consider that to be their own asset, but that business may need to get permission to use and share that data, particularly when that is related to health or personal financial matters. This could be data that is generated by a customer over time through the usage of a service and from the interactions they have with different organisations, including recording their location.

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The telecommunication industry may seem like a giant making easy money, too big to be bothered by their modern rivals. The traditional Telcos have approximately five billion customers worldwide, equating to 70% of the world population (Mogg, Dahlke, Wimmer, & Hoffmann, 2012).

However, when you look closely, you will realise that Telcos globally are constantly battling to stay competitive. The challenges Telcos face have evolved through the years, and the battle for survival is only becoming harder.

Telecommunication companies today are struggling to find their identity. They are at a crossroad, with one path leading them towards becoming a sheer backbone or a pipeline and another towards adapting and playing a pivotal role in digital transformations. For the latter, Telcos find themselves in a unique position of competitive advantage, since mobile technology is the core of the digital ecosystem. Telcos have the most direct access to the consumers who are the most reliant participants of the digital ecosystem. While they have access to the voice of the customers most of them are still struggling to have a place in their hearts.

On the other hand, who would have ever imagined that a non-Telco, like Google, would launch its own broadband services in the US! Or that a company like Twilio would open up the Telco services as Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and piggy back on the network which is provided by the Telcos, eating into their revenues! Globally, the telecommunications industry is under pressure to rationalise players. OTT Players like Apple and Google are posing serious threats to Telcos, edging them into the abyss of customer ignorance. In an era where Mobile Wallet, Apple Pay and M-Pesa are posing threats to the BFSI Industry, and Netflix has disrupted the traditional CD/DVD industry, Communications Service Providers (CSPs) need to quickly identify the threats and act to build an ecosystem which enriches the customer experience and puts it at the heart of their digital evolution. Let’s try to find an answer as to whether the Telcos are really facing a lot of competition from unknown quarters by doing an industry analysis.

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Digitization or digital transformation is the most important element of any business evolution. When we use the term “digital” we refer to the term Digital Economy using APIs as a means. People often ask the question, “What is the revenue potential of APIs?” If we look at the numbers below, we will have a clear idea of the major role that APIs play in revenue generation:

API-Economy-APIs

Source: Harvard Business Review, Jan 2015

So, what will Digitization do for your business?

  • Digitization will help you change the arena of competition
  • Digitization will help you offer a bigger umbrella of services and products woven together by APIs
  • Digitization will help you be seen as a platform on which third-party businesses can add their products, services and customers
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Out of the 8 or 10 Jugaad solutions (simple work-arounds) I’ve seen in my immediate environment, I can vouch to have “actively contributed” to atleast one or two such unconventional fixes. Some of the bizarre but fit-for-purpose, creative (!) work-arounds include:

Torry Harris Jugaad Innovation
Image: Bike by day, motor by night (Modified image sourced from Scoop Whoop)

Around the house:

  1. Packing mango pulp and milk into an air-tight container and shaking it till it’s beaten into a juicy mango milkshake! This, in the absence of a blender or mixer when travelling.
  2. Using the room heater to dry out your hair, in the absence of a hair-dryer.
  3. Using the motor of a motor-bike to pump water to your fields by night, while using it as a bike by day.

In huge, tech-heavy projects:

  1. The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) by ISRO – The least-expensive (apparently cost less than making the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Gravity’) interplanetary, unmanned mission to Mars that was inserted into the MARS orbit in 2014. The Jugaad involved in this launch was well deliberated by top scientists and a very conscious decision was made on aspects like:

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Often, the CxO community of large multi-national firms approach THBS seeking help not just in planning for maintenance and life-cycle management of their IT estate, in other words - managed-services, but also in implementing such managed services using scientific techniques & frameworks that guarantee a phased RoI. A major part of such a managed-services initiative is constituted by ‘application support’, which forms the subject of discussion in this post.

Bank Branch
Figure: Bank Branch Counters Framework

Typically, we start with a ‘knowledge sharing’ initiative, to help our clients understand the relationship between support models and service levels. The idea is to clearly model the relationship between required service levels and cost, so the application owners take an intelligent decision on the service levels vs. cost. You will agree that the main cost for IT applications support today is directly proportional to the number of support staff deployed. This is very unlike a cloud hardware model, where resources can be ramped up or down based on real-time demand. In this article, we explore the characteristics of a support model and its similarities with that of a waiting line situation we face in everyday life. We apply queuing theory to help with optimal decision making.

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