7 items tagged "Social Media"

  • Business Intelligence nog steeds hot….

    Business Intelligence outdated? Niets is minder waar zo bewees het Heliview congres ‘Decision making by smart technologies’ dat afgelopen dinsdag in de Brabanthallen in Den Bosch werd georganiseerd.

    200 Klantorganisaties luisterden naar presentaties van o.a. Rick van der Lans, Peter Jager, Frank de Nijs en Arent van ‘t Spijker. Naast het bekende geluid was er ook veel nieuws te beluisteren in Den Bosch.

    Nieuwe technologieën maken heel veel meer mogelijk. Social media en, moderne, big data technologie stellen organisaties in staat veel meer waarde uit data te halen. Hoe organisaties dat moeten doen is veelal nog een uitdaging. Toepassing van de technologie is geen doel op zich zelf. Het gaat erom toegevoegde waarde voor organisaties te produceren. Of door optimalisatie van processen. Dan wel door het beter bedienen van de klant door productontwikkeling. In extremis kan data zelfs de motor achter nieuwe business concepten of –modellen zijn. Voorwaarde is wel een heldere bedrijfsvisie (al dan niet geproduceerd met intelligent gebruik van data en informatie). Belangrijk om te voorkomen dat we ongericht miljoenen stuk slaan op nieuwe technologie.

    Voor de aanwezigen was het gehoorde geluid soms bekend, maar soms ook een confrontatie met zichzelf. Een ding is zeker: De rol van data en informatie bij het intelligent zaken doen is nog niet uitgespeeld. Business Intelligence leeft.

    30 JANUARI 2015

  • Competitive Intelligence and Twitter: How to Monitor Competitors and Create an Awesome Strategy

    For a site that only requires 140 characters to get your message across, there is a lot of confusion about how to effectively use Twitter to monitor competitors, and how to analyze that twitterinformation to create an awesome social media strategy.

    Competitive Intelligence and Twitter:

    Why even use Twitter?

    Almost every major brand has jumped aboard the Twitter wagon, but just showing up is not enough. You’ve seen them in your newsfeed, possibly from a company, or perhaps from your Mom who just signed up to the service: the dreaded Pointless Tweet.  Pointless Tweets are messages that do not provide value to your reader. Repeating your marketing message or Tweeting inspirational quotes is not a way to engage your customers.

    Used properly, Twitter provides a platform for you to engage with customers and potential customers, provide instant customer service, and establish your company as an industry leader.

    How to find competitors through Twitter.

    To search for competitors, and discover who they engage with, simply type their names into the Twitter search. You can see the competitors’ Tweets by clicking ‘People’, and learn who is Tweeting about them by clicking ‘Tweets’.

    Want to get fancy?  Twitter also has an Advanced Search feature that lets you track by location, or search for Tweets with links from a specific user, or even for Tweets that are only positive or negative.

    What information should I track?

    1. Number of followers
    2. How frequently your competitor Tweets
    3. The engagement impact of each Tweet – How many retweets, replies, and favorites
    4. How often your competitor responds to customer inquiries
    5. What times of day they are Tweeting

    This should be tracked daily in an excel spreadsheet, or you can take the simple, automated route and sign up for Rivalfox’s upcoming beta release. Over time, the data will provide you with valuable insights, e.g. which type of Tweets create the most engagement and whether the time of Tweets correlates to more followers. Armed with this information, you can fine-tune your own awesome Twitter strategy.

    Creating Awesome Strategy

    When it comes to Twitter strategy, you do not need to reinvent the wheel.  Utilize what works for your competitors and change what doesn’t.  The most important goal is to share thrilling creative content, provide excellent customer service, and to engage potential customers by reaching out directly to their screens.

     

    Source: rivalfox.com, 13 oktober 2015

     

  • De blik vooruit: digitaal transformeren met Big Data

    blik vooruitHet ‘Big’ in Big Data staat voor velen alleen voor de grote hoeveelheden data die organisaties in huis hebben. Die data lijken in veel praktijkvoorbeelden vooral voedingsbodem voor aanscherping van verdienmodellen – zoals in de advertentie-industrie – of totale disruptie zoals de kentering die eHealth op dit moment veroorzaakt.

    Een eenzijdig beeld misschien, want data leveren net zo goed inzichten voor interne procesverbetering of een betere klantbenadering met digitale oplossingen. Het gesprek over Big Data zou vooral moet gaan over de enorme potentie ervan: over de impact die de data kunnen hebben op bestaande producten en organisatievraagstukken en hoe die helpen bij een eerste stap richting digitale transformatie.

    Big Data in de huidige praktijk
    De praktijk leert dat er voor ieder bedrijf vier manieren zijn om data in te zetten. Terug naar het realisme in Big Data: de mogelijkheden, voorbeelden en natuurlijke grenzen.

    Excellentie: onderzoek toont aan dat de manager die zich puur door zijn gevoel of intuïtie laat leiden, kwalitatief slechtere beslissingen neemt en dus aanstuurt op een minder goede dienst of experience. Door de harde feiten uit gecombineerde data te benutten, zijn bottlenecks in processen te herkennen en zelfs te voorspellen.

    Zo kunnen Amerikaanse politiekorpsen sinds eind vorig jaar op basis van realtime data schatten waar misdrijven gepleegd zullen worden. Hoewel het al decennia gebruikelijk is om op willekeurige wijze door de stad te patrouilleren – de crimineel weet dan immers niet waar agenten zich bevinden en zou daardoor gehinderd worden – wordt die werkwijze nu losgelaten.

    Het algoritme van de analyticsoplossing PredPol belooft aan de hand van plaats, tijd en soort criminaliteit te voorspellen waar agenten met hun aanwezigheid een misdrijf kunnen voorkomen. In de film Minority Report werd het nog weggezet als voorspelling voor het jaar 2054, nu blijkt dat excelleren met voorspellende data in 2015 al de normaalste zaak van de wereld is.

    Productleiderschap: niet ieder bedrijf hoeft het nieuwe Spotify of Airbnb te worden. Wel moet er rekening worden gehouden met de disruptieve kracht van deze spelers en hun verdienmodellen.

    De leidende positie die Netflix heeft ingenomen heeft het bedrijf deels te danken aan het slimme gebruik van Big Data. De enorme hoeveelheid content die online beschikbaar is, maakt het mogelijk te grasduinen in films en series. Dat surf- en kijkgedrag vertaalt Netflix in dataprofielen waarmee het eigen product zichtbaar verbetert. De data resulteren in aanbevelingen die – voor de kijker – onverwachts bij iemand zijn smaak passen en waarmee het bedrijf je als klant verder bindt.

    De video on demand-dienst staat er bij gebruikers inmiddels om bekend te weten wat de kijker boeit en is in staat je meer te laten afnemen dan je van plan bent. Met de data die het platform continu verbeteren, heeft Netflix de entertainmentindustrie en de groeiende markt van video op afroep opgeschud.

    Het bedrijf heeft zelfs gezorgd voor het nieuwe fenomeen van binge watching, waarbij de kijker urenlang aan de hand van aanbevelingen van de ene aflevering in de andere wordt gezogen. De algoritmes die hiervoor zorgen zijn zo belangrijk dat Netflix een miljoen dollar belooft aan diegene die met een beter alternatief komt.

    Intimiteit: meer te weten komen over de klant is misschien wel de bekendste kans van Big Data. Sociale media, online tracking via cookies en open databronnen maken dat iedere organisatie diensten op maat kan bieden: generieke homepages maken plaats voor met gebruikersdata gepersonaliseerd portals, de serviceverlening verbetert nu er op de juiste plekken in de organisatie een completer plaatje is van de klant.

    Hoe ver die intimiteit gaat, bewijst Amazon. Het bedrijf zegt producten te kunnen bezorgen nog voor deze zijn besteld. Amazon kan op basis van locatie, eerdere bestellingen, zoekopdrachten, opgeslagen verlanglijsten en ander online gedrag voorspellen welke behoefte een klant heeft. De gegevens zouden al zo accuraat zijn dat het winkelbedrijf eerder weet welke producten daarvoor moeten worden besteld dan de klant zelf. Zo nauwkeurig kunnen data soms zijn.

    Risicobeheersing: als data eindelijk goed worden ontgonnen en gecombineerd, maken ze duidelijk welke risico’s bedrijven realtime lopen. Met dank aan Big Data zijn audits sneller en doelgerichter in te zetten.

    Schoolvoorbeeld daarin zijn financiële instellingen. De tienduizenden financiële transacties die deze bedrijven iedere seconde verwerken, genereren zoveel data dat door middel van patroonherkenning fraude snel kan worden opgespoord. Bestel je online een artikel waar bijvoorbeeld een ongebruikelijk prijskaartje aan hangt, rinkelt binnen no-time de telefoon om de transactie te verifiëren.

    En hoewel het kostenbesparende aspect geen verdere toelichting behoeft, is een groot deel van de bedrijven onvoldoende voorbereid. Volgens wereldwijd onderzoek van EY erkent 72 procent van de bedrijven dat Big Data belangrijk zijn voor risicobeheersing, maar zegt 60 procent ook dat zij daarin nog belangrijke stappen moeten zetten.

    De verzekeraar: Big Data als middel om te transformeren
    Van uitlatingen op sociale media tot aan sociaal demografische gegevens, van eigen data over koopgedrag tot aan openbare data als temperatuurschommelingen: hoe rijker de data hoe scherper het inzicht. Wanneer er een organisatievraagstuk ligt, is de kans groot dat data een middel zijn om tot de benodigde transformatie te komen. Met de aanpak wordt daartoe een belangrijke stap gezet.

    • Detectie – Op basis van een Big Data-analyse kan er zicht ontstaan op eventuele behoeften onder de doelgroep. Bijvoorbeeld: Maakt een zorgverzekeraar een digitale transformatie door, dan is het raadzaam profielen van klanten uit een specifieke generatie met onderzoeksdata te verfijnen. Hoe begeven zij zich door de customer journey en welke digitale oplossingen verwachten zij gedurende een contactmoment?
    • Doel- en vraagstelling – Creëer potentiële scenario’s op basis van de data. Bijvoorbeeld: de jongste doelgroep van de verzekeraar groeit op in een stedelijke omgeving. Welk (mobiel) gedrag is specifiek voor deze groep en hoe beïnvloedt dit de de digitale oplossingen waar deze jongeren om vragen? Bepaal waar de databronnen zich bevinden – welke interne en externe databronnen zijn benodigd voor beantwoording van de vragen? Denk daarbij aan interne klantprofielen, maar ook aan open data-projecten van de overheid. Sociale media – uitingen en connecties – in combinatie met demografische kenmerken en postcodegebieden verreiken de profielen. De gegevens vertellen meer over de voorkeuren en invloed die directe omgeving en online media hebben.
    • Controleer de data – Vergeet niet te kijken naar wet- en regelgeving en met name wat privacyregels verbieden. De Wet Bescherming Persoonsgegevens gaat behoorlijk ver: de wet is zelfs van toepassing op gegevens die je tijdelijk binnenhaalt ter verwerking.
    • Analyse – De data worden geïnterpreteerd door analisten. Zo wordt duidelijk dat er een aantoonbaar verband is tussen leeftijd, woonomgeving en gebruik van digitale oplossingen. Bijvoorbeeld: jonge stedelingen zijn digital native en willen een online portal met eHealth-oplossing. Hierin willen zij eigen Big Data uit apps kunnen koppelen voor een beter beeld van de gezondheid.
    • Verankering – Door klantprofielen te blijven monitoren wordt snel duidelijk of er toekomstig afwijkingen optreden. Indien nodig is de transformatie bij te sturen.

    Grenzen aan Big Data
    Het is vooral belangrijk te waken over realisme in het denken over Big Data. Want hoewel data veel antwoorden geven, zit er ook een grens aan de mogelijkheden. Zodra databronnen naast elkaar lopen, kan het zijn dat analyses elkaar beïnvloeden: uitkomsten die correleren blijken achteraf louter op toeval te berusten.

    De mens blijft ook in de toekomst een belangrijke schakel in de kansen die Big Data bieden. Cruciale kennis moet op persoonsniveau behouden blijven, alleen de mens is in staat de juiste interpretatie te leveren. Wat te doen met inzichten is aan hen voorbehouden: een onverwachts dwarsverband kan aantonen dat een groep consumenten een verhoogt bedrijfsrisico oplevert. Wat te doen met deze inzichten als die een groep mensen stigmatiseren? De ethische grens moet altijd worden bewaakt.

    In veel organisaties betekent de komst van data een ware cultuurverandering. Behalve dat managers te weten komen dát er iets verandert, weten zij door die data ook hoe en in welke richting zich iets in de toekomst ontwikkelt. Met Big Data kan de blik weer vooruit.

    Source: Emerce

  • De computeranalyse bepaalt straks of je perspectief hebt bij een bedrijf

    Moet de afdeling personeelszaken ook opletten wat de medewerkers allemaal zeggen en registreren op sociale media als LinkedIn, Facebook en Twitter? Moet dat opgeslagen worden voor de eeuwigheid? Het kunstmatig intelligente softwareprogramma Crunchr blijft daar nu nog allemaal ver vandaan, stelt oprichter Dirk Jonker van Focus Orange, de eigenaar van Crunchr, meerdere malen nadrukkelijk.

    Bedrijven zijn in de ervaring van Jonker ook zeer conservatief in het napluizen van sociale media. ‘Ze doen het nog niet, maar die discussie gaat er komen. Het lijken immers openbare data. Mensen geven heel veel data weg. Kijk naar de bonuskaart van AH: in ruil voor een beetje korting geven ze heel veel informatie aan het bedrijf.’

    Net als bij AH moet de werknemer er volgens Jonker ook beter van worden als hij bijvoorbeeld data over zijn arbeidsverleden ter beschikking stelt. ‘We moeten de werknemer in ruil daarvoor ook een dienst kunnen aanbieden. Daarnaast is transparantie over wat je doet, en waarom, het belangrijkste. Maar voorlopig moeten bedrijven eerst de data gaan gebruiken die ze al hebben.’

    Anoniem onderzoek

    Een tussenstap die bij verschillende klanten al wel heel veel kwalitatieve informatie oplevert, is een jaarlijks anoniem onderzoek onder het personeel. 'Stel ieder jaar veertig vragen over beloning, sfeer, management, chefs, trainingen', zegt Jonker. 'Daar haal je een schat aan informatie uit. En doe consequent exitinterviews als mensen vertrekken.’

    Focus Orange adviseert ook regelmatig bij het ontwerpen van cao’s. ‘Daar zetten we Crunchr ook in. Het blijkt namelijk dat ondernemingen vaak onvoldoende weten wat het personeel echt wil. Als je dat meet, kun je een pakket voorstellen dat effectief en aantrekkelijk is.'

    Consortium

    In mei heeft Jonker het People Analytics Consortium opgericht om het vakgebied verder door te ontwikkelen. De TU Delft, het Centrum voor Wiskunde en Informatie (VU/UvA), Randstad, Wolters Kluwer en ASML nemen hieraan deel. Binnen het consortium worden technieken ontwikkeld — nadrukkelijk niet met data van de betrokkenen bedrijven — om nieuwe vraagstukken te kunnen beantwoorden. Welke vragen moet een bedrijf stellen om patronen te kunnen herkennen en wat zijn de beste technieken om de vragen te laten beantwoorden?

    ‘Er worden bijvoorbeeld 40.000 lappen tekst in het systeem gestopt. Dat moet dan technisch ontleed worden. We trainen ons algoritme bijvoorbeeld op de hele correspondentie rond het Enron-schandaal. Dat is allemaal openbaar.’

    Naast deze vrij ingewikkelde techniek kan Crunchr ook worden ingezet om inconsistenties in bedrijfsdata te vinden. Bijvoorbeeld of iemand teveel verdient voor zijn functie. Bij grote bedrijven die in alle delen van de wereld werken, is zo’n 'uitschieter’ geen uitzondering. ‘Daar komen soms dingen uit die je met het blote oog niet ziet’, zegt Jonker. ‘Wij kunnen in zeven seconden 40.000 records doorakkeren. En met de uitschieters die we vinden kunnen we ons systeem weer kalibreren.’

    Opvolging

    Bij opvolgingsplanning maakt personeelszaken voor senior management en kritieke posities een plan wie deze personen kunnen opvolgen als de positie vacant komt. Voorselectie ligt gevoelig, het kost veel tijd en de plannen zijn beperkt houdbaar. Zodra een belangrijk persoon vertrekt, is de helft van de kandidaten ook al weer in een andere positie, of inmiddels ongeschikt gebleken.

    Crunchr gebruikt de opvolgingsplannen als input voor het algoritme, dat zelf moet leren wat iemand tot een goede opvolger maakt. Als er in de toekomt een positie vrijkomt, kijkt het netwerk in het hele bedrijf naar opvolgers. Het bedrijf is flexibel en niet meer afhankelijk van verouderde plannen. Iedereen komt in beeld en als een bedrijf meer vrouwen in de top wil, dan kan het daar op sturen. Door dit eindeloos systematisch te oefenen is Crunchr getraind.

    Een grote internationale onderneming maakt al snel decentraal een paar duizend plannen, die het regionaal bespreekt en waar personeelszaken op corporate niveau op stuurt. Een getraind algoritme geeft binnen enkele seconden elk plan een realiteitsscore. Een pas afgestudeerde Nederlander opvolger laten zijn voor een senior managementpositie in de VS is bijvoorbeeld onwaarschijnlijk.

    Risico's mitigeren

    Met de bekende ‘grafentheorie’ uit de wiskunde laat Crunchr zien of binnen het management iedereen denkt een aantal opvolgers te hebben, maar als dit veelal dezelfde toppotentials zijn, is het risico niet afgezwakt. Daarnaast kan het bedrijf de opvolgingsplannen gebruiken voor het voorspellen van ‘global mobility’. Hoe bewegen toekomstige leiders over de wereld, waar zitten leiders nu en waarheen verhuizen ze. Beide inzichten zijn volgens Jonker bijzonder waardevol voor de top van het bedrijf.

    FD, 3 oktober 2016

  • Information Is Now The Core Of Your Business

    DataData is at the very core of the business models of the future – and this means wrenching change for some organizations.

    We tend to think of our information systems as a foundation layer that support the “real” business of the organization – for example, by providing the information executives need to steer the business and make the right decisions.

    But information is rapidly becoming much more than that: it’s turning into an essential component of the products and services we sell.

    Information-augmented products

    In an age of social media transparency, products “speak for themselves”– if you have a great product, your customers will tell their friends. If you have a terrible product, they’ll tell the world. Your marketing and sales teams have less room for maneuver, because prospects can easily ask existing customers if your product lives up to the promises.

    And customer expectations have risen. We all now expect to be treated as VIPs, with a “luxury” experience. When we make a purchase, we expect to be recognized. We expect our suppliers to know what we’ve bought in the past. And we expect personalized product recommendations, based on our profile, the purchases of other people like us, and the overall context of what’s happening right now.

    This type of customer experience doesn’t just require information systems; the information is an element of the experience itself, part of what we’re purchasing, and what differentiates products and services in the market.

    New ways of selling

    New technologies like 3D printing and the internet of things are allowing companies to rethink existing products.

    Products can be more easily customized and personalized for every customer. Pricing can be more variable to address new customer niches. And products can be turned into services, with customers paying on a per-usage basis.

    Again, information isn’t just supporting the manufacturing and sale of the product – it’s part of what makes it a “product” in the first place.

    Information as a product

    In many industries, the information collected by business is now more valuable than the products being sold – indeed, it’s the foundation for most of the free consumer internet. Traditional industries are now realizing that the data stored in their systems, once suitably augmented or anonymized, can be sold directly. See this article on the Digitalist magazine, The Hidden Treasure Inside Your Business, for more information about the four main information business models.

    A culture change for “traditional IT”

    Traditional IT systems were about efficiency, effectiveness, and integrity. These new context-based experiences and more sophisticated products use information to generate growth, innovation, and market differentiation. But these changes lead to a difficult cultural challenge inside the organization.

    Today’s customer-facing business and product teams don’t just need reliable information infrastructures. They need to be able to experiment, using information to test new product options and ways of selling. This requires not only much more flexibility and agility than in the past, but also new ways of working, new forms of IT organization, and new sharing of responsibilities.

    The majority of today’s CIOs grew up in an era of “IT industrialization,” with the implementation of company-wide ERP systems. But what made them successful in the past won’t necessarily help them win in the new digital era.

    Gartner believes that the role of the “CIO” has already split into two distinct functions: Chief Infrastructure Officers whose job is to “keep the lights on”; and Chief Innovation Offers, who collaborate closely with the business to build the business models of the future.

    IT has to help lead

    Today’s business leaders know that digital is the future, but typically only have a hazy idea of the possibilities. They know technology is important, but often don’t have a concrete plan for moving forward: 90% of CEOs believe the digital economy will have a major impact on their industry. But only 25% have a plan in place, and less than 15% are funding and executing a digital transformation plan.

    Business people want help from IT to explain what’s possible. Today, only 7% of executives say that IT leads their organization’s attempts to identify opportunities to innovate, 35% believe that it should. After decades of complaints from CIOs that businesses aren’t being strategic enough about technology, this is a fantastic new opportunity.

    Design Thinking and prototyping

    Today’s CIOs have to step up to digital innovation. The problem is that it can be very hard to understand — history is packed with examples of business leaders that just didn’t “get” the new big thing.  Instead of vague notions of “disruption,” IT can help by explaining to business people how to add information into a company’s future product experiences.

    The best way to do this is through methodologies such as Design Thinking, and agile prototyping using technologies should as Build.me, a cloud platform that allows pioneers to create and test the viability of new applications with staff and customers long before any actual coding.

    Conclusion

    The bottom line is that digital innovation is less about the technology, and more about the transformation — but IT has an essential role to play in demonstrating what’s possible, and needs to step up to new leadership roles.

     

    Source: timoelliot.com, November 14, 2016

  • United Nations CITO: Artificial intelligence will be humanity's final innovation

    uncybercrime2012genevaThe United Nations Chief Information Technology Officer spoke with TechRepublic about the future of cybersecurity, social media, and how to fix the internet and build global technology for social good.

    Artificial intelligence, said United Nations chief information technology officer Atefeh Riazi, might be the last innovation humans create.

    "The next innovations," said the cabinet-level diplomat during a recent interview at her office at UN headquarters in New York, "will come through artificial intelligence."

    From then on, said Riazi, "it will be the AI innovating. We need to think about our role as technologists and we need to think about the ramifications—positive and negative—and we need to transform ourselves as innovators."

    Appointed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as CITO and Assistant Secretary-General of the Office of Information and Communications Technology in 2013, Riazi is also an innovator in her own right in the global security community.

    Riazi was born in Iran, and is a veteran of the information technology industry. She has a degree in electrical engineering from Stony Brook University in New York, spent over 20 years working in IT roles in the public and private sectors, and was the New York City Housing Authority's Chief Information Officer from 2009 to 2013. She has also served as the executive director of CIOs Without Borders, a non-profit organization dedicated to using technology for the good of society—especially to support healthcare projects in the developing world.

    Riazi and her UN staff meet with diplomats and world leaders, NGOs, and executives at private companies like Google and Facebook to craft technology policy that impacts governments and businesses around the world.

    TechRepublic's in-depth interview with her covered a broad range of important technology policy issues, including the digital divide, e-waste, cybersecurity, social media, and, of course, artificial intelligence.

    The Digital Divide

    TechRepublic: Access to information is essential in modern life. Can you explain how running IT for the New York City Housing Authority helps low income people?

    UN CITO: When I was at New York City Housing, I came in as a CIO. The chairman had been a CIO and within six months most of the leadership left. He looked at me. I looked at him. The board looked at me. I knew to be nervous, and they said, "you're in. You're the next acting general manager of New York City Housing." I said, "Okay."

    New York City Housing is a $3 billion organization providing support to about 500,000 residents. You have the Section 8 program, you have the public housing, and a billion and a half of construction. I came out of IT and I had to help manage and run New York City Housing at a very difficult time.

    When you look at the city of New York, the digital divide among the youth and among the poor is very high. We have a digital divide right in this great city. Today I have two eight year olds and their homework. A lot of [their] research is done online. But in other areas of the city, you have kids that don't have access to computers, don't have access to the internet, cannot afford it. They can't find jobs because they don't have access to the internet. They can't do as well in school. A lot of them are single family, maybe grandparents raising them.

    How do we provide them that access? How do we close the gap so they can compete with other classmates who have access to knowledge and information?

    In Finland, they passed a law stating that internet access is a birthright. If it's a birthright, then let's give it to people right here in New York and elsewhere in the world.

    All of the simple things that we have and we offer our children, if we could [provide internet access] as a public service, we begin to close the income gap, help people learn skills, and make them more viable for jobs.

    E-waste

    TechRepublic: Can you help us understand the role of electronic waste (e-waste) on women and girls in developing countries?

    UN CITO: E-waste is the mercury and lead. Mercury and lead contributes to 5% of global waste. They contribute to 70% of hazardous materials. You have computers, servers, storage, and cell phones. We have no plans on recycling these. This is polluting the air and the water in China and India. Dioxin, if you burn electronics you get dioxin, which is like agent orange. The question to the tech sector is, okay, you created this wonderful world of technology, but you have no plans in addressing these big issues of environmental hazard.

    The impact of electronic waste is tremendous because women's body looks at mercury as calcium. It brings it in, it puts it in the bones and then when you're pregnant, guess what? It thinks, oh, "I got some calcium. Here it is."

    Newborns have mercury and lead in their blood, and disease. It's just contributing to so many children, so many women getting sick and because women pass it on to the next generation, [children] are impacted.

    Where is the responsibility of the tech sector to say, "I will protect the women. I will protect the children. I will take out the lead and mercury. I will help contribute to recycling of my materials."

    The Deep Web

    TechRepublic: While there are many privacy benefits to the Deep Web, it's no secret that criminal activity flourishes on underground sites. I know this is the perpetual question, but is this criminal behavior that has always existed and now we can see it a little better, or does the Deep Web perpetuate and increase criminal behavior?

    UN CITO: I wish I had enough insight to answer correctly, but I can give it from my perspective. The scope has changed tremendously. If you look at slavery and the number of people trafficked, there's 200 million people trafficked now. You look at the numbers and you look at how much the slaves were sold [in the past]. I think the slaves were sold for [hundreds] of... today's dollars. Today, you can buy a girl for $300 through the Deep Web.

    Here's the thing. To the child trafficking, human trafficking has exploded because we're a global world. We can sell and buy globally. Before, the criminals couldn't do it globally. They couldn't move the people as fast.

    TechRepublic: If we're putting this in very cynical market terms, the market for humans has grown due to the Deep Web?

    UN CITO: Yes. The market has grown for sex trafficking, or for organs, or for just basic labor. There are many reasons where this has happened. We're seeing tremendous growth in criminal activity. It's very difficult to find criminals. Drug trafficking is easier. Commerce is easier in the Deep Web. All of that is going up.

    Humans and 99% are good but you've got the 1%, and I think we have a plan to react to the criminal activities. At the UN we are beginning to build the cyber-expertise to become a catalyst. Not to resolve these issues, because I look at the internet as an infant that we have created, this species we've created which is growing and it's evolving. It's going through "terrible twos" right now. We have a choice to try to manage it, censor it, or shut it down, which we see in some countries. Or we have a choice to build its antibody. Make sure that it becomes strong.

    We [can] create the "Light Web," and I think we can only do it through the use of all the amazing technology people globally want to [use to] do good. As a social group, we can create positive algorithms for social good.

    Encryption and cybersecurity

    TechRepublic: In the digital world, the notion of sovereignty is shifting. What is the UN's role in terms of cybersecurity?

    UN CITO: It's shifting, exactly, because government rule over a civil society in a cyber-world doesn't exist. Do you think that criminals care that the UN or governments have a policy, or a rule? Countries and criminals will begin to attack each other.

    From our perspective, our mission is really peace and security, development of human rights. The UN has a number of responsibilities. We have peacekeeping, human rights, development, and sustainable development. We look at cybersecurity, and we say that peace in the cyber-world is very different because countries are starting to attack each other, and starting to attack each [other's] industrial systems. Often attacks are asymmetrical. Peace to me is very different than peace to you.

    We talk about cybersecurity. Okay, then what do we do? This is the world we've created through the internet. What do we do to bring peace to this world? What does anyone do?

    I think that we spend a lot of money on cybersecurity globally. Public and private money, and we are not successful, really. Intrusions happen every day. Intellectual property is lost. Privacy, the way we knew it, has changed completely. There's a new way of thinking about privacy, and what's confidential.

    We worry about industrial systems like our electric grid. We worry about our member states' industrial systems, intrusions into electricity, into water, and sanitation—things that impact human life.

    Our peacekeepers are out in the field. We have helicopters. We have planes. A big worry of ours is an intrusion into a plane or helicopter, where you think the fuel gauge is full but it's empty. Or through a GPS. If your GPS is impacted, and you think you're here but you're actually there.

    Where is the role of encryption? Encryption is amoral. It could be used for good. It could be used for bad. It's hard to have an opinion on encryption, for me at least, without realizing that the same thing I endorse for everyone, others endorse for criminals. Do we have the sophistication, the capabilities to limit that technology only for the good? I don't think we do.

    TechRepublic: What is the plan for cybersecurity?

    UN CITO: Well, I've been waiting. I think that is something for all the member states to come together and talk about cybersecurity.

    But what is the plan of us as homosapiens, now we are connected sapiens and very soon we are a combination of carbon and silicon? As super intelligent beings, what is the plan? This is not being talked about. We hope that through the creation of digital Blue Helmet we'd begin a conversation and we'd begin to ask people to contribute positively to what we believe is ethically right. But then again, what we believe is ethically right somebody else may believe is ethically wrong.

    Social Media

    TechRepublic: The UN recently held a conference on social media and terrorism, particularly related to Daesh [ISIS]. What was the discussion about? What takeaways came from that conference?

    UN CITO: Well, we got together as a lot of information and communication professionals, and academics to talk about the big issue of social media and terrorism with Daesh and ISIL. I think this type of dialog is really critical because if we don't talk about these issues, we can't come up with policy recommendations. I think there's a lot of really good discussion about human rights on the internet. "Thou shalt do no harm."

    But we know that whatever policies we come up with, Daesh would be the last group that cares whether you have policies or not. There's deeper discussion about how does youth get attracted to radicalism? You have 50% unemployment of youth. You have major income disparity. I think if we can't begin to address the basic social issues, we're going to have more and more youth attracted to this radicalism. There was good discussion and dialog that we need to address those issues.

    There's some discussion about how do we create the positive message? People, especially youth, want to do something positive. They want to participate. They want to be part of a bigger thing. How do we encourage them? When they look at the negative message, how do you bring in a positive message? Can governments to do something about that?

    Look at the private sector. When there was a Tylenol scare or Toyota speeding on its own, when you went online and you searched for Tylenol, you didn't get all the bad stories about Tylenol. You went into the sites that Tylenol wanted you to go. Search is so powerful, and if you can begin to write positive algorithms, that begins to move the youth to positive messaging.

    Don't try to use marketing or gimmicks because it's so transparent. People see right through it. Governments have a responsibility to provide a positive information space for their youth. There was a lot of good dialog around that.

    On the technology side, I think this is a two year old infant, the internet is amoral, and we can use it for good and use it for bad. You can't shut down the internet. You can't shut down social media. There's a very gray space because, as I said, somebody's freedom fighter is somebody else's terrorist. Is it for Facebook or Twitter to make that decision?

    Artificial intelligence

    TechRepublic: I know you are quite curious about artificial intelligence. Is there a UN policy with respect to AI?

    UN CITO: AI is an amazing thing to talk about, because now you can look at patterns much faster than humans [can]. Do we as technologists have the sophistication of addressing the moral and ethical issues of what's good and bad?

    I think this is what scares me when it comes to AI. Let's say we as humans say, "we want people to be happy and with artificial intelligence, we should build systems for people to be happy." What does that mean?

    I'm looking at the machine language, and the path we're creating for 10, 20, 30 years from now but not fully understanding the ethical programming that we're putting into the systems. IT people are creating the next world. The ethical programming they do is what is in their head, and so policies are being written in lines of code, in the algorithms.

    We look at artificial intelligence and machine learning, and the world we see as technologists 20 years from now is very different than the world we have today. Artificial intelligence is this super, super intelligent species that is not human. Humans have reached our limitation.

    That idea poses so many questions. If we create this artificial intelligence that can do 80% of the labor that humans do, what are the changes? Social, cultural, economic. All of these big, big questions have to be talked about.

    I'm hoping that's the United Nations, but there's so much political opposition to those conversations. So much political opposition because we are holding on to our physical borders, and we have forgotten that those physical borders are gone. The world is virtual. We sit here as heads of departments and ministers and talk about AI. We discuss the moral, the ethical issues that people are going to confront with AI technology—positive and negative.

    Source: TechRepublic

  • What Can Retailers Do To Elude Extinction?

    ExtinctHere's what you didn't learn in school about the disruption affecting retail today. A recent article by consultant Chris H. Petersen, "Seven disruptive trends that will kill the bigstock-Extinct-150-79929610-copy'dinosaurs of retail'" discussed the fate of "25 retail dinosaurs that vanished in the last 25 years" which was the subject of an Entrepreneur article. Those retailers included giants such as Circuit City, Comp USA, Blockbuster, Borders, and Tower Records, companies which literally dominated their category or channel. Others named in the article were retail innovators in their own right until new disruptors outgunned them. The point is that neither longevity, size, or specialization guarantee retail survival today. So how can today's retailers avoid being extinguished by current disruptive innovations?

    Disruptive innovation refers to any enhanced or completely new technology that replaces and disrupts an existing technology, rendering it obsolete. (Picture how we went from the Model T to the KIA; from giant mainframes to personal computers; or from fixed-line telephones to cellphones/smartphones).

    Disruptive innovation is described by Harvard Business professor Clayton Christensen as a process by which a product or service takes root initially in simple applications at the bottom of a market and then relentlessly moves up market, eventually displacing established competitors.

    Today's major disruptive retail trends have led to the rise of the consumer, the rise of technology to help retailers best serve the consumer while wrestling with competitive forces, and the demise of "the old way of doing business."

    I. The Consumer.

    Evolving, innovative, disruptive technology has led to consumer-dominated behavior that reaches across many channels. As we know, today's consumer now shops any time and everywhere using a variety of helping tools.

    The consumer is capable of having a personal, seamless experience across their entire shopping journey to explore, evaluate and purchase, tempered by how retailers DO business, provide service, deal with their competition, etc.

    * The consumer journey starts online, although stores remain a destination for experience.

    What can retailers do? The successful retailer of the future needs to not only master online and offline, but how to connect with the consumer across many touch points, especially social media.

    * Mobile juggernaut. The latest stats show that there are now more cell phones in use than people on this planet. Smartphones now exceed 4.5 billion. Mobile is the majority and will be the preferred screen for shopping.

    What can retailers do? Retail survivors must optimize for mobile engagement, and also broadcast offers and connect with consumers wherever they are. The store of the future will not only have beacons to connect, but to track traffic via mobile as well.

    * Stock availability / Virtual aisle / Endless shelf. More than 50 percent of consumers expect to shop online and see if stock is available in store.

    Omni channel consumers now fully realize that stores can't begin to stock every model, style and color. While consumers can see hundreds if not thousands of products in store, they know that there are millions online.

    What can retailers do? The survivors are literally creating a seamless experience between online, store and mobile apps so the consumer can "have it their way" anywhere, anytime.

    * Consumer experience still rules. Consumer experience still needs to come down to senses: Tactile, visual, and psychological.

    What can retailers do? Virtual dressing rooms, better in-store experiences, and adoption of new disruptive technology to address and satisfy these issues.

    * Personalization of products and services.

    What can retailers do? New survivors are emerging with "mass personalization" opportunities to custom tailor your clothes or curate your personal wardrobe assortment and send it to you.

    * Social Connections and the influence of the opinions of others. Social has become a primary source of research and validation on what to buy. Today's consumers are 14 times more likely to believe the advice of a friend than an ad.

    What can retailers do? Today's major brands are giving much more attention to and spending more dollars on social media than traditional media.

    II. Technology

    Disruptors share the common purpose to create businesses, products and services that are better -- usually less expensive and always more creative, useful, impactful -- and scalable.

    What can retailers do? Put into use as soon as possible disruptive technology solutions such as price and assortment intelligence, behavioral economics, customer experience analytics, predictive analytics, and more to help understand, meet, and outgun the competition and service the customer.

    A Note on Predictive Analytics.

    Dr. Christensen subscribes to predictive analytics as, "the ability to look at data from the past in order to succeed in new ways the future." Predictive analytics solutions, the capability to forecast consumer purchase trends in order to sell the most products at the best prices at any given time are coming on strong.

    Bottom Line For Your Bottom Line

    There's never been a time of more disruptive change in retail. Retailers who are the most adaptable to change -- and not the strongest nor more intelligent of the species -- will be the ones to survive.

    It's a case of keeping yourself on top of the tsunami of change through the mastery of today's and tomorrow's new disruptive technologies.

    *Thanks to Chris H. Petersen, PhD, CEO of Integrated Marketing Solutions, a strategic consultant who specializes in retail, leadership, marketing, and measurement.

    Source: upstreamcommerce.com, February 8, 2015

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