Wednesday, April 1, 2015

IT-enabled trends

The McKinsey article was very profound on how IT-enabled business trends are shaping the decades ahead. The article being published almost 2 years ago, we are now feeling some of the effects of the trends outlined in the article. I have outlined some of my thoughts and experiences with these tends.

Competing with ‘big data’ and advanced analytics & Automating knowledge Work.
I had the pleasure of doing an internship at Amazon for the past 2 summers of 2014 and 2013, both as a Software Developer Engineer and Technical Program Manager. What I saw was just an incredible investment towards machine learning and advanced analytics. Everything we did was fed through some kind of machine learning algorithm used to produce metrics in which could translate to real world corporate performance. While I was on the engineering and development side of things, I could see why such investments were necessary for companies such as Amazon. Machine learning proves to be extremely efficient and valuable due to its ability to identify patterns. These patterns can be used to detect and abnormalities with supplier/consumer behavior. For example, I worked with the fraud department and with the use ‘big data’ and advanced analytics, we were able to detect if a consumer’s account was compromised based on just consumer spending habits and login patterns. Another ongoing effort this is very interesting for Amazon is a mandate that the company must be able to detect terrorist activity based on ordering activities even if the suspect has gone through efforts to conceal their activity such as using multiple accounts, names, address, and so forth.

Offering anything as a service.
This trend is truly something that most people can say has proliferated in our daily lives. Less and less are we seeing thing as goods anymore but more as a service. Even goods we purchase at online or in-stores, organizations are viewing their interactions with consumers more and more as a service. For example, when we purchase an iPhone, Apple thinks of the many ways they can keep you as a customer. Not only do they provide intuitive operating systems but they also offer warranty and coaching services to go along with their product. Apple is not consumed with just selling you their good but to provide a customer experience that makes you wanting to come back. The same goes for Amazon, the company I worked for over the summer. We are constantly told, our objective not to sell the customer as many products we can but to provide exceptional customer experiences so they keep coming back.

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