The fourth industrial revolution is upon us, bringing exciting new opportunities. It builds on the third revolution, where IT and electronics automated digital processes. Today, there is an emerging fusion of physical, digital and biological data. This is disrupting every industry. It is also leading to the transformation of working processes.
As a low-code software provider, MatsSoft is at the forefront of change. Our MATS platform helps companies to interpret the reams of data they generate. It lets clients improve efficiency, as well as their understanding of customer needs. Yet it’s vital for firms to know what digital data they ought to collect. They also need advice on what to do with it.
Embracing the potential of change
MatsSoft recently sponsored a financial services event at the London Market Forums. The keynote speaker was Professor Roger Maull, a lecturer at the University of Exeter. He also advises companies on the digital economy. The London Market has been slow to embrace the potential of digital transformation. Yet as Roger pointed out, that needs to change. He cited a cup of coffee, which used to be sold by volume. Today, sensors can analyse its weight, its ingredients and the origin of its materials. They can even work out calorific and nutritional values. This data is available anywhere in the world, in real time. A humble cup of coffee now generates a wealth of digital data. It also offers health, spending and lifestyle insights on the person drinking it.
Biometric devices and data sources turn the physical world into a digital world. Wearable fitness trackers record our heart rates, tracking variations and spotting patterns. That supports personal healthcare quotes, based on each person’s wellbeing. It could support job descriptions tailored to a candidate’s mental/psychological capabilities. It might even give early warnings of health issues like diabetes.
Selling services, not products
Roger described a cultural shift from selling products to selling access to services. He cited Rolls-Royce, whose aerospace engines are now being paid for by the hour. Fridge manufacturers are giving appliances away, because their sensor data is more valuable than the hardware itself. Despite growing concerns about personal data privacy, personalisation is on the rise. Yet it’s crucial to use consumer data to deliver superior service. Exploiting and exploring digital information sets the market leaders apart from less insightful rivals.
Tackling legacy issues
The second speaker at our event was Paul Bermingham from Advent Insurance Management. A London Market expert, Paul talked about the role of technology in transformation. Advent offer consulting services for implementing technology, as change becomes necessary. He used the example of legacy systems that need replacing. Yet years or decades of investment can lead to inertia, and even fear of change. Optimising customer experiences requires tackling these legacy systems by embracing new technologies.
Paul discussed ways to overcome inertia. Change is a challenging subject, so companies must decide if it’s justifiable to staff. Transformation project failure rates rise if end users aren’t engaged or informed. It’s vital to optimise solutions for each unique business. Choosing the right platforms involves detailed analysis of corporate services and needs. It’s not about installing technology for the sake of it. After all, change is not a one-off project. It needs to be happening throughout a company, as part of a corporate ethos.