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:


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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Having been born and raised in India, I have had the opportunity to experience and marvel at some really quirky and very original works of design that uniquely cater to the Indian senses. From a steaming cup of 1 by 2 coffee served in South Indian restaurants (that allows you to pay for one coffee but serves two!) to the controversial marriage portal iitiimshaadi.com, which claims to unite people in matrimony, with a degree from a prestigious alma mater such as an IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) or an IIM (Indian Institute of Management), these enterprises have done their due-diligence concerning the needs and wants of their end-users and accordingly tailored their product/service. Going by their popularity, they are here to stay!

      Figure: “Design Value Index” as defined and analyzed by Motiv Strategies
      and Design Management Institute. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

Recollecting the definition of User-Centered Design, from Wikipedia:

User-centered design (UCD) is a framework of processes (not restricted to interfaces or technologies) in which the needs, wants, and limitations of end users of a product, service or process are given extensive attention at each stage of the design process.”

User-centered design tries to optimize the product /service/process around how users can, want, or need to use them.

To be noted in this definition is the fact that the end-users could be of a Product, Service or Process…and perhaps going forward, would include the entire ecosystem, given the availability of information and digitalization.This methodology of design is very different from designing to certain specifications handed to you.Here, you literally spend time in the end-user environment, understanding and relating to how and why the end-user would need your product/process/service and involve the end-user on an equal footing in the design and feedback mechanisms iteratively, to come out with an offering that is meaningful in the end-user context.

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Let’s face it - Today’s consumers are not deprived of options. They no longer like to be advocated to, by sellers. They are well informed, tech savvy and want to stay empowered. These increasing consumer expectations are reflected by a shift in their preferred mode of engagement with the seller, through digital channels whether it be online, over mobile, or through wearables. With this shift, organisations are being challenged to adapt, forcing Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) to look for competitive advantages outside the traditional business model, to implement newer, more creative strategies for customer retention and loyalty. CMOs are now being tasked with driving the top-line of organisations and not just making the most efficient use of marketing budgets. With this increasing bargaining power of consumers, organisations today are making ‘digital customer experience’ (DCX) their primary competitive advantage. CMOs now have the daunting task of constantly exceeding customer expectations while at the same time having to add more shareholder value by providing quantifiable results.

importance of Customer Experience

Figure 1: Importance of Customer Experience – Some Facts!! (Source of data: Gartner 2014, Ovum 2015)

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