Monthly Archives

March 2016

CIOs Need to Reconceive the Process Design for IT Support Services | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

I’ve been observing the end-user computing environment and believe it’s time for a complete rethink on how IT groups support their end users. What I usually find is that the support interactions are a lot like support interactions with cable companies – and most cable company customers feel that’s an infuriating experience.

Cable companies design their interactions with customers to be most efficient for the cable company. They seek to optimize or lower the cost of talking to their customers. They design the process to make the most efficient use of their installation and maintenance fees. They think about how best to maximize the revenue per customer and upsell.

That’s great for the cable company but infuriating for the customer.

Blockchain in BFSI: Beyond the Hype | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

Disclaimer: the following work of fiction has no relation to anybody living, dead, or yet to be born.

In the year 2248, the crash of the global economy quickly turned into an apocalyptic situation, with a complete breakdown of any form of order, leading to chaos and extinction-level events. At the same time, two brilliant scientists – a computer genius and an astrophysicist fascinated by the laws of space and time – were working on ways to prevent the crash from ever occurring. They were able to isolate the core reason for the crisis as extreme dependence on central clearinghouses and central banks of the world, which had become too powerful and systemic. The two scientists, determined to stop the end of the world, realized that it was possible to transfer data in any point of time as a base to create an intelligent digital personality that was just a combination of a series of billions of 1’s and 0’s. This digital personality was designed to ensure that the world’s central clearinghouses and central banks would not become too big to fail, per several key attributes: proposal of a virtual currency over a distributed ledger system; help building the system; and an auto self-destruct sequence to the digital identity once the currency found supporters globally (this to ensure the identity of the creator of this virtual currency remained mystery.) They sent this intelligent digital personality back in time to 2008 – when the world experienced a major economic crisis – and the rest, as we know, is another timeline that we live in!

Now, away from fiction and into facts about Blockchain – the distributed ledger technology – and the resultant wave of disruption in the financial services domain and beyond.

In 2015, no industry conference or trends forecast in the BFSI sector was complete without the mention of Blockchain technology and its potential benefits of reduced transactions and infrastructure costs, efficiencies, and financial inclusion.

In the last two years, we have witnessed major banks, financial institutions, technology companies, and even governments and international bodies presenting their views on whether they consider this technology revolutionary, and on their investment plans about adopting it.

Several firms have invested in Blockchain technology research to answer the questions on whether it will really transform the BFSI ecosystem and ultimately optimize middle- and back-office functions. And, if so, how they can prepare for that future.

Others are asking a broad range of questions about this distributed ledger technology, including:

• Will it reduce the time and costs of transactions and settlements to a fraction of what the current systems have to offer?
• Will it drive transparency and ease of global compliance?
• Will it break big banks?
• Can smart contracts automate transactions and create trust without central clearing parties?
• Can a combination of different forms of smart contracts, IoT, and Blockchain technology create a self-governing Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) that makes the need for human intervention redundant?

There is no doubt that Blockchain has a lot of potential. But it currently faces a lot of uncertainty and challenges. There are several different versions of the shared ledger technology, and they will evolve as rapidly as the technology itself. The future of these different Blockchains is uncertain, as is the final shape they will take, and whether they will work or not.

Everest Group’s just published report, “Blockchain in BFSI: Beyond the Hype,” removes the hype from all the facts, tells the story of key investments made to date, how Blockchain has evolved and predicts the trends that we will witness in the next 12 to 18 months, and the key implications it will have on enterprises and service providers.

What are your experiences with, or thoughts on, Blockchain?

Measuring the Effectiveness of Digital Initiatives | Virtual Roundtable

By | Webinars
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 |11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. EST

 

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Approximately 40% of digital initiatives struggle with implementation, largely because there is a mismatch between expectations and the metrics used to measure progress. Enterprises need to be clear on their digital objectives – and IT and the business unit must be aligned – in order to achieve success. As enterprises’ digital strategies mature, focus shifts from a traditional IT-centric view to a more “business process-centric” view. Along with that shift comes a need to establish business-appropriate KPIs.

This session will offer a brief overview of these new world metrics, followed by a discussion among participants around the what, how, and why of their digital KPIs.

Who Should Attend
Enterprise executives responsible for, or engaged in, digital transformation from various roles within the organization; this may include leaders across IT, marketing, sourcing, and operations.

What You Will Learn
Participants will share and gain knowledge around how they are thinking about, designing, and implementing KPIs for successful digital initiatives and driving innovative engagement models to align third-parties to these enterprise-level KPIs.

Presenters

  • Jimit Arora – Leader, Digital Research, Everest Group
  • Chirajeet (CJ) Sengupta – Leader, Digital Research, Everest Group

Request to attend

Are Your IT Performance Metrics Measuring the Right Things? | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

CIOs need to make sure IT metrics align with business users’ expectations.

Once your IT organization aligns with business users’ needs and commits to the journey of achieving those business objectives, you can then determine how to do that. After determining your strategy, you’ll then establish metrics to measure IT’s performance. As Winston Churchill advised, “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.” But if yours is like most organizations, the probability is high that your metrics will measure the wrong things.

The CIO community invented service levels to measure performance. And for the last 20 years, organizations systematically established IT metrics and implemented the disciplines that reflect the promises IT made to the organization. Good intentions, but here’s the problem: Almost all IT service levels or metrics measure the performance of functional disciplines.

Read more at CIO online

Analytics Is Booming in Business Process Service Market, Clocking 40 Percent Growth | Press Release

By | Press Releases

Big Data, Internet of Things, machine learning and automation will drive future growth as service providers adapt through convergence and by developing productized solutions.

The tremendous interest in analytics has set the global analytics Business Process Services (BPS) market on fire. Analytics BPS clocked one of the fastest growth rates in the sourcing industry in 2015, growing by 35 to 40 percent to reach approximately US$4.5 billion, according to new research from Everest Group, a consulting and research firm focused on strategic IT, business services, and sourcing.

In particular, 2015 saw explosive growth as buyers experimented with advanced analytics solutions and technologies.

“We expect to see advanced analytics, particularly areas such as Big Data, Internet of Things, and machine learning and automation, driving growth in the analytics BPS market in the future,” said Rajesh Ranjan, partner at Everest Group. “We also expect the market to change shape as solution providers adapt and evolve, specifically in terms of convergence—with providers making investments in prescriptive and predictive analytics to meet the growing demand—and the development of productized solutions.”

Other findings in the research:

  • While the United States will continue to be a key buyer geography, going forward, Europe and Asia Pacific will be the key growth drivers for the analytics market
  • Currently, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and retail as well as banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) are the leading adopters of analytics BPS, but industries such as healthcare and hi-tech/telecom are exhibiting high growth
  • Traditional BPO players, such as Accenture and IBM, dominate the market, but smaller specialists have witnessed higher growth based on their innovation and analytics focus.

These research findings are summarized in a set of high-resolution graphics available for complimentary download here. These Market Insights™ illustrate key takeaways from Everest Group research on the global analytics BPS market, including detailed analysis of market size and growth, buyer adoption trends, analytics BPS value proposition and solution characteristics, and service provider landscape. The graphics may be included in news coverage, with attribution to Everest Group.

The graphics include:

  • 5 emerging themes in analytics business process services
  • The global analytics BPS market is expected to grow 35 percent+ through 2018
  • The Internet of Things and big data analytics go hand-in-hand
  • Machine learning: the next frontier for intelligent analytic solutions
  • Analytics BPS: Market maturity = high impact

***Complimentary Download of Report Preview*** The research supporting these Market Insights graphics is summarized in a preview report, “Analytics Business Process Services (BPS) — Analytics Goes Mainstream—Scope Expands Beyond Traditional Clients and Offerings,“ available for complimentary download here.

Amelia is Stunning | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

By | Sherpas in Blue Shirts

For those of you who don’t know who or what Amelia is, she is IPsoft’s cognitive agent or, in other words, an Artificial Intelligence agent that can converse with people and act as an electronic call center agent. She can do what I would say is at least 30 percent or more of the work currently performed in today’s call centers.

When I met Amelia, she read a Wikipedia article and had a conversation about it with us. She effectively operated similar to an eighth-grader’s ability to synthesize what was in that article and answer questions.

She went on to show how she could converse with us to open bank accounts, help us file insurance claims, or sell us a homeowner’s or car insurance policy. It was natural English and included handling sarcasm, implied questions and answering in a way that was both natural and complete.

As someone who has seen a lot of automation and a lot of neat technologies, I’m truly impressed with Amelia. In terms of usefulness, I put this up there with my experience when I met IBM’s Watson. The difference between the two experiences is that it’s much easier to see how Amelia can immediately take over functions and jobs that I see in everyday life with very little programing and interfaces; whereas, Watson looks to be very powerful (smart) but requires substantial up-front investments to implement. In the use cases where I watched Watson perform, he was a companion to a knowledge worker enabling that worker to perform at a level that, unassisted, the worker would never be able to do alone. Both are very powerful; Watson enables more analytical work, and Amelia eliminates mundane tasks.

Mark me down as a believer that as Amelia is adopted across the industry, this AI technology will transform the customer service industry as we currently know it. I’m a converted fan for both Amelia and Watson and can’t help wondering whether, in some use cases, the two of them should get together and complement each other.