GE Chief Data and Innovation Officer Mano Mannoochahr discussed emerging digital technologies and their potential during his keynote presentation to Argyle’s CIO membership at the 2018 Leadership in Big Data & Analytics Forum in Atlanta on April 26. In his presentation, “Emerging Digital Technologies Are Shaping the Future of Work – What Can You Do to Prepare?”, Mannoochahr offered insights into some of the key emerging digital technologies that companies are deploying and how businesses can prepare to incorporate these technologies into their everyday operations.
Emerging digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and blockchain are becoming exceedingly important to businesses around the globe. These technologies often empower companies to improve their day-to-day operations, build meaningful customer partnerships, accelerate revenue growth and much more. Yet not all emerging digital technologies are created equal, and it is crucial for businesses to evaluate these technologies to determine the value they can provide over an extended period of time.
Ultimately, a company’s approach to emerging digital technologies may dictate its immediate and long-term success. If a business is willing to allocate time and resources to invest in digital technology innovation, it may be better equipped than its rivals to integrate best-in-class technologies into its everyday operations. On the other hand, a company that ignores emerging digital technologies risks falling behind its rivals in a fierce global marketplace.
To prepare for emerging digital technologies, Mannoochahr recommended businesses learn about these technologies and establish goals. This approach enables companies to understand how certain technologies can drive automation and increased productivity. And as a result, the approach may enable a company to maximize the value of its investments in emerging digital technologies.
“We need to define how we can improve our business through automation and what steps we need to take to drive productivity,” Mannoochahr stated.
“We need to define how we can improve our business through automation and what steps we need to take to drive productivity.”
At GE, the company wanted to use emerging digital technologies to increase its productivity. The business previously prioritized efficiency, but new digital technologies helped GE shift from an efficiency mindset to an optimization mindset.
“We’ve laid out a vision to drive more productivity … and move away from being all efficiency-focused,” Mannoochahr said. “We wanted to do more with less … and I think the next stage is switching from an efficiency mindset to an optimization mindset.”
How a business uses data and analytics can have far-flung effects on its ability to leverage emerging digital technologies as well.
Merely using the latest and greatest digital technologies is insufficient. Instead, a company must collect data and analytics to understand the effectiveness of these technologies. With data and analytics at its disposal, a business can get the most out of digital technologies and speed up the process of achieving its immediate and long-term goals.
“With data and analytics, there is an opportunity to optimize the business,” Mannoochahr noted. “And we can now use [data and analytics to] improve outcomes.”
“With data and analytics, there is an opportunity to optimize the business.”
Moreover, emerging digital technologies empower companies to drive transformation at the front lines of their everyday operations. As such, these technologies can help businesses lay the foundation for long-lasting success.
“We’re starting to pick projects that have scale and pick projects that change things on the front lines,” Mannoochahr indicated. “We also want to make sure we have a solid foundation in place.”
Creating a culture built on data can provide significant benefits for a company. This culture enables a company to use data and analytics to analyze customer behaviors and trends, as well as everyday processes and systems. Furthermore, a data culture ensures a business can use all of the information that is available to make the best-possible decisions.
A data culture should extend across all departments within a business too. If employees at all levels understand the value of data and analytics, they may be able to uncover innovative ways to drive improved business outcomes.
“We want to cultivate a data culture,” Mannoochahr said. “Leadership has to understand how to phrase the right questions and how to interact with data scientists and the data itself.”
Emerging digital technologies are difference-makers for companies of all sizes and across all industries. But companies sometimes struggle to integrate these technologies into their everyday operations. Perhaps even worse, some businesses fail to optimize the value of emerging digital technologies.
A company that identifies the ideal digital technologies based on its employees, customers and everyday operations can deploy and use these technologies effectively. This business may be able to differentiate itself from the competition, as it will understand the opportunities provided by digital technologies and can tailor its day-to-day efforts accordingly.
“You have to know how you’re going to change your business [with emerging digital technology] … and your targets,” Mannoochahr stated. “You need to know the opportunity.”