My name is Jacob Laurvigen, and in my work as chief innovation officer at the virtual robot company dexi.io, I get to work with some of the most innovative companies every single day. But it is not all joy, and in this article, I will try to cover some of the frustration that innovative and disrupting technology can cause for even the most well-managed businesses.
For most of us, discovering a new technology is a joyful moment, and if this technology can make your business perform better, it is an even more joyful moment. This has most certainly been the case with so-called Big Data technology, and in the forefront of the disruptive tool, we have external data (all the data connected to the World Wide Web). You can collect enormous amount of data and transform this data in your own personal data refinery that gives you a live datafeed with all the information you need on financial markets, your products, your competitors’ products and just about anything you can think of and put into an analytical process.
But with knowledge comes responsibility. Let me give you an example. If you are a company that produces consumer products, market insight is the most important thing. If you are in the consumer products industry, you want to know how many potential clients exist and where they are located; are they selling competing products and at what price? You want to know how your prices compare with your competitors’ prices and how your products are presented, along with a lot of other specific information related to your business segment. For most companies, this is a somewhat manual process and you won’t be able to cover all data. Instead, you will generate a report on selected products in selected territories. Every month, a new segment will be chosen and a report will be generated and sent to the managing team that then will adjust/optimise the business processes and hope that this will have remedied the issues pointed out in the report, and then they will wait. But what happens when a new technology (such as a robot from dexi.io) can give all the data all the time so your business has access to a live report with all KPIs built into the dashboard in solutions such as SAP, PowerBI and Tableau? Then you suddenly get multiple issues to deal with at the same time; you may even see that the world is no longer as you thought it was and if you apply a solution to a problem, you will instantly know if this solution is the correct one. You now need to accept that you can’t rescue the world, and you have to live with issues that are unsolved and start prioritising; maybe you even need to make big changes to the organisation as this will affect, or should affect, everyone in the organisation.
Most companies have been organised in a way where errors are not allowed, but in this transition, you simply won’t have a choice. This is of course a sales gimmick, but it is like the dental commercials you see where they interview random people and ask them if they think their teeth are clean; we all think so as we look in the mirror checking if we got rid of all the breakfast, but by applying ultraviolet light and a magnifier, you suddenly see all the dirt. You can either ignore this fact that you have dirty teeth and just go on and try to forget this or you can accept that this new technology gives you some predictable insight and slowly change the way you brush your teeth, paying more attention to detail and avoiding the future certainty of having to pay the price for fixing your problems!