Blog Feed Post

Transformation Play 1: The Performance Zone

In today’s uncertain political and economic climate, the ability to maintain business-as-usual should not be taken for granted. After all, an organization’s ‘status-quo’ business model is typically the source of more than 90 percent of its revenues and 100 percent of its profits.

It’s this “performance engine” that allows the ship to explore unchartered, potentially fruitful waters and steer its way safely back on course if things get choppy. Geoffrey A. Moore defines his concept of the ‘Performance Zone’ in his book ‘Zone to Win’.


But striking the balance between keeping the engine room running to make the annual number and scaling a new, riskier, high potential market is notoriously tough. Even more so when, like so many of the organizations to which I speak, these organizations are desperately trying to play catch up to defend yourself against more agile, digitally-centric disruptors in their markets.

How to focus your defensive course 

To these organizations, I say both can be achieved but it is essential to focus your defensive course: specifically, manage any self-disruption carefully – you can’t cannibalize your core revenue too quickly. But eventually if you don’t cannibalize your core revenue, one of your competitors will. You also need to make the most of your ecosystem of partners that adds value to your established offering; by entrenching your partner network with you, they can help amplify your efforts. Critically, focus your R&D efforts on neutralization, not differentiation –  you already have the power of a huge customer-base behind you. You just need to develop an initial offering that’s strong enough to retain them, so that each of your follow on offerings get better and better at providing a compelling customer experience.

The key is getting to market quickly; take any innovative assets you are working on in the “incubation” zone and put them into service straight away and focus on integrating them into your current offer.

Using data and analytics to steer the ship more accurately

Ultimately the engine room relies on data and the analytics. It’s all about the thoughtful prediction and management of the numbers to drive gradual, predictable and stable growth. You need to know what your numbers are doing in order to respond more quickly to any disruptive changes in your market places.

To use a maritime metaphor, if an iceberg damages the ship, you need to be able to determine why, how and when to replace any damaged parts, change course (and if so, in which direction). 

The average company can only steady itself from this kind of disruption once a year. This makes it all the more important to be able to couple internal and external data with advanced analytics in order to forecast the unseen as accurately as possible and prescribe corrective actions. It’s crucial to identify, validate, understand and either correct or nip underperforming assets in the bud as quickly as possible.

Critically, it’s about anticipating these icebergs BEFORE they emerge – and converting the enterprise into a predictive enterprise instead of a reactive enterprise. The new wave of insight isn’t going to come from looking in the rear-view mirror but will come from predicting disruption and change by looking ahead.

To put this into context, let’s consider a bank.

The bank may well assume, on the basis of historical insight and traditional hierarchy, that it’s most valuable customers are the largest depositors. These customers may get VIP access to exclusive services, and may get preferential rates and discounts. However, deep analysis of customer behaviors might identify three, much smaller groups of depositors who due to their banking and credit card behaviors, are more profitable for your bottom line. It’s only through deep analysis of vast amounts of customer and operational data that you can identify and quantify these situations.

And so big data in this context can drive the organization’s “performance zone” by not only helping with customer segmentation and allowing for more effective targeting of products, servicing and pricing, but it can also help mitigate risk and further produce margin by providing agile, real-time insight into potential hazards.

For example, this deep analysis might flag customers who are at risk of default, but could also predict likely fraud activity across its payments network. Historically fraud prevention measures were delivered in broad sweeps. Oh, that credit card isn’t usually in Taiwan, let’s block a transaction from Starbucks on Zhong Xiao Fu Xing road. However, now they can be much more heuristic, learning from each transaction and developing personalized analytic or behavioral profiles that are not only better at picking up genuinely fraudulent transactions but better also at avoiding false positives.

Unlocking true customer segmentation and targeting

Everyone wants to better understand their customers and those customers’ behavioral tendencies. Historically they’ve had a one-dimensional view based on structured (RDBMS) customer databases. Now they have the potential to also capture, integrate and analyze semi-structure and unstructured data: e.g. a customer calls in with a complaint about something they experienced, you can cross reference that with their Twitter gripes about it, their location data, and provide a much more personalized response. For example, if a false positive fraud prevention block does happen for a legitimate credit card purchase, you could provide a 5% cashback payment on the transaction by way of apology in real time.

This helps minimize customer churn by providing a real-time incentive for loyalty by addressing challenging situations in real-time as they emerge. This drives huge savings compared to the cost of recruiting new customers and further boosts margins in the performance zone.

Enabling the performance zone

The key to delivering this capability organizations involves circumventing the everyday pain-points of infrastructure management. Organizations need to undergo a data modernization process, migrating information off legacy platforms, and removing siloed access to that data for analytics systems. In addition, the platform needs to be elastic in nature – not only allowing for scaling, but to provide a 360 view of the customer and that individual customer’s behavioral tendencies and preferences at any given point in time. The keyword here is ‘predictive;’ it’s not enough simply to monitor the past better; we need to predict the future with real-time analytics to give meaningful guidance to the business.

This is where the data lake enters the equation. By providing a holistic repository for structured and unstructured data that supports both deep and real-time analytics, and which scales performance with capacity, you’re able to build the kinds of intelligent applications that provide and exploit this insight.

Of course, the process of migrating your data into a data lake isn’t necessarily trivial; applications will need to be migrated and you’ll need to assess where and what data you want to ingest to deliver value to your analytics applications. This is where a consultancy process to map your transformation data may be key, and provide you a route from where you are to the nirvana of the performance zone.

When you combine the three – scale-out data lake capacity, high levels of compute capacity and a plan for mining the data for business value – the performance zone will be within your grasp.


The post Transformation Play 1: The Performance Zone appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By William Schmarzo

Bill Schmarzo, author of “Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business”, is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service line offerings and capabilities for the EMC Global Services organization. As part of Bill’s CTO charter, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He’s written several white papers, avid blogger and is a frequent speaker on the use of Big Data and advanced analytics to power organization’s key business initiatives. He also teaches the “Big Data MBA” at the University of San Francisco School of Management.

Bill has nearly three decades of experience in data warehousing, BI and analytics. Bill authored EMC’s Vision Workshop methodology that links an organization’s strategic business initiatives with their supporting data and analytic requirements, and co-authored with Ralph Kimball a series of articles on analytic applications. Bill has served on The Data Warehouse Institute’s faculty as the head of the analytic applications curriculum.

Previously, Bill was the Vice President of Advertiser Analytics at Yahoo and the Vice President of Analytic Applications at Business Objects.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Daiya Industry will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Daiya Industry specializes in orthotic support systems and assistive devices with pneumatic artificial muscles in order to contribute to an extended healthy life expectancy. For more information, please visit https://www.daiyak...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Nihon Micron will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Nihon Micron Co., Ltd. strives for technological innovation to establish high-density, high-precision processing technology for providing printed circuit board and metal mount RFID tags used for communication devices. For more inf...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks, that helps your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions, has been named "Exhibitor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo ®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. As a premier telecommunications provider, Massive Networks is headquartered out of Louisville, Colorado. With years of experience under their belt, their team of...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Suzuki Inc. will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Suzuki Inc. is a semiconductor-related business, including sales of consuming parts, parts repair, and maintenance for semiconductor manufacturing machines, etc. It is also a health care business providing experimental research for...
"Our strategy is to focus on the hyperscale providers - AWS, Azure, and Google. Over the last year we saw that a lot of developers need to learn how to do their job in the cloud and we see this DevOps movement that we are catering to with our content," stated Alessandro Fasan, Head of Global Sales at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Enterprises are moving to the cloud faster than most of us in security expected. CIOs are going from 0 to 100 in cloud adoption and leaving security teams in the dust. Once cloud is part of an enterprise stack, it’s unclear who has responsibility for the protection of applications, services, and data. When cloud breaches occur, whether active compromise or a publicly accessible database, the blame must fall on both service providers and users. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben Johnson, C...
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
SYS-CON Events announced today that mruby Forum will exhibit at the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Pavilion at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. mruby is the lightweight implementation of the Ruby language. We introduce mruby and the mruby IoT framework that enhances development productivity. For more information, visit http://forum.mruby.org/.
Cloud-based disaster recovery is critical to any production environment and is a high priority for many enterprise organizations today. Nearly 40% of organizations have had to execute their BCDR plan due to a service disruption in the past two years. Zerto on IBM Cloud offer VMware and Microsoft customers simple, automated recovery of on-premise VMware and Microsoft workloads to IBM Cloud data centers.
Why Federal cloud? What is in Federal Clouds and integrations? This session will identify the process and the FedRAMP initiative. But is it sufficient? What is the remedy for keeping abreast of cutting-edge technology? In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rasananda Behera will examine the proposed solutions: Private or public or hybrid cloud Responsible governing bodies How can we accomplish?
Today traditional IT approaches leverage well-architected compute/networking domains to control what applications can access what data, and how. DevOps includes rapid application development/deployment leveraging concepts like containerization, third-party sourced applications and databases. Such applications need access to production data for its test and iteration cycles. Data Security? That sounds like a roadblock to DevOps vs. protecting the crown jewels to those in IT.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cedexis will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cedexis is the leader in data-driven enterprise global traffic management. Whether optimizing traffic through datacenters, clouds, CDNs, or any combination, Cedexis solutions drive quality and cost-effectiveness.
Elon Musk is among the notable industry figures who worries about the power of AI to destroy rather than help society. Mark Zuckerberg, on the other hand, embraces all that is going on. AI is most powerful when deployed across the vast networks being built for Internets of Things in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, retail, healthcare, government and other sectors. Is AI transforming IoT for the good or the bad? Do we need to worry about its potential destructive power? Or will we...
SYS-CON Events announced today that B2Cloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. B2Cloud specializes in IoT devices for preventive and predictive maintenance in any kind of equipment retrieving data like Energy consumption, working time, temperature, humidity, pressure, etc.