Orchestration: the secret ingredient for improving organizational agility

In science fiction movies, it often happens that robots or computers make decisions or advise the human on the best next action to take for a given situation. The technology is now made so, that reality surpasses fiction! For this last post about the Synergy project, I have decided to give you some concrete examples of what orchestration and smart decision-making can do for your organization.

As we have seen in previous posts, the first steps in using artificial intelligence are to make information and processes digital so that they can be used. However, have you ever asked yourself the following question: why doing that? What is the ultimate business value of artificial intelligence? The answer is quite simple: being able to determine the next best good action.

What does that mean in everyday life? I will give you two real cases to illustrate this value.

When nature gets involved

Imagine a manufacturing company with several plants across North America. The company has an integrated digital supply chain that gives it full, real-time visibility on the supply chain. One day, one of the plants had to close for a few days because of a hurricane approaching the coast (a situation that is becoming more and more frequent with climate change).

The digital tools in place allow us to predict the orders that will be impacted by this shutdown. A human must then look at the whole situation and determine how everything must be redistributed to minimize the impacts. However, what would you say if artificial intelligence was able to recommend an optimal action plan? What would you say if the computer knew your customers well enough to determine which order should be “sacrificed” to reduce the impact of the shutdown on your business results?

If you think I’m dreaming in colour, you just read about Watson Supply Chain Insight.

When an employee steels data

Now let’s imagine a large company in which an employee decides to steal data in order to sell it on the black market. You will tell me that it sounds like déjà vu… and you are right!

Within this organization, several digital tools are in place to detect fraud and abnormal behaviour. On the other hand, abnormal situations are simply reported on a dashboard and a human must then determine what to do with the alert. What would you say if an automated process was triggered to orchestrate the investigation and follow up on each of the actions taken to correct the problem? What would you say if this device learned from your past decisions to create customized and dynamic incident response recipes?

Again, if you think I’m dreaming in colour, I suggest you read more about IBM Resilient.

Are you interested in the topic?

You’re interested in the topic of orchestration and artificial intelligence, but you don’t know where to start. I invite you to contact me or follow us to learn more about our Synergy project!

Interested in making AI functional at your organization?

Schedule your FREE 30 minutes consultation.

What is digital reinvention?

When I meet with clients or when I have the opportunity to give lectures on the subject, I mention the term digital reinvention to describe the 4th journey of our Synergy project. Almost every time, I get the same look and the same question: “Did you mean digital transformation?”. I always say: “No, it’s not the same thing”. I wanted to take a few lines today to introduce the distinction.

From a theoretical point of view, digital transformation is the improvement of a company’s products, processes and strategies by using new technologies. Digital reinvention is about creating new business models using digital technologies. Digital reinvention is usually the next step after a digital transformation in a traditional business.

From a practical perspective, digital reinvention is about creating new experiences (customer experiences and employee experiences) to maintain your competitive advantage and stand out. About a decade ago, the strategy advisers were telling their clients to take a “business strategy first and then enabling technology” approach. Today, it’s the other way around! Technology has to be at the heart of the strategy, and that’s the idea of digital reinvention.

The imperatives of digital reinvention

As I said earlier, the heart of digital reinvention is creating new experiences. The idea is to allow different interactions in your processes to create commitment and action. However, what exactly does that mean?

For my part, I like to summarize it by saying: “If technology wasn’t an issue, what would you do differently?”. The analysts describe it according to 7 drivers. At a high level, it consists of:

  1. Focusing on new ideas to create new business models that will foster a stronger relationship with clients.
  2. Finding new ways to work by making better use of data and enabling business agility.
  3. Developing new expertise by creating a network of expertise and unleashing the collective intelligence of your organization.

Are you interested in the topic?

You’re interested in the topic of digital reinvention and artificial intelligence, but you don’t know where to start. I invite you to contact me or follow us to learn more about our Synergy project

Interested in making AI functional at your organization?

Schedule your FREE 30 minutes consultation.

Creating a true sense of trust for a successful digital transformation

Last week, I was discussing the operationalization of artificial intelligence with a major retailer in Quebec, and the subject of data (and more specifically its quantity) quickly came to the heart of the conversation. Indeed, it is possible to create intelligent services without data (for example, a virtual agent), but it is impossible to complete one’s learning without data.

One question then arises: how to collect the necessary data in order to make the service intelligent? It’s not really a technical question, because it’s relatively simple to collect information. It’s a legal and ethical question. Just think of Cambridge Analytica in 2018 that led to a very onerous fine for Facebook earlier this summer. And that’s not the only example. I could mention names like Amazon, Apple, and Google that have been in the news lately for similar problems. Forbes magazine even published a post in October 2018 on the breakdown of public confidence with its giants of technologies that use information in a more or less transparent way.

Transparency is the key to success

So is there a way to collect this information without creating a scandal? The answer is yes. The secret ingredient is transparency.

As a company, we want (and I would even say we must) to collect data from our customers and even from our employees. The objective of this collection is often very valid: to provide them with better service. So why hide it?

People are generally willing to share their information if the end result is a better service. But to do that, they have to have confidence. So how do we build that trust? The answer lies in transparency and in data protection.

Creating a transparent and secure business

The proposed “Trust and Business Security” pathway of our Synergy project, was created to improve process security and transparency.

This course offers our clients the opportunity to develop a complete ecosystem for preventing threats and protecting information. This immune system for their organization offers tools & services to stop threats & secure processes. We also go further by enabling the development of intelligent assistants for fraud detection, event analysis and incident response orchestration.

In terms of transparency, we offer our customers to integrate technologies such as blockchain (blockchain) that allow you to offer your customers complete traceability of their transactions and give you the agility to offer a different and enriched experience.

Are you interested in the topic?

You’re interested in the topic of digital transformation and artificial intelligence, but you don’t know where to start. I invite you to contact me or follow us to learn more about our Synergy project. This will help you get started!

Interested in making AI functional at your organization?

Schedule your FREE 30 minutes consultation.

Intelligent automation to create a WOW effect for your employees!

I don’t think there is a single day where I don’t hear about the labour shortage in Quebec. This shortage has brought the experience back to the forefront and has asked leaders to find creative ways to give candidates a “wow” effect in filling vacant positions. Human resources have thus become the superheroes of organizations that must find a way to exploit human capital in order to ensure the growth, agility and competitiveness of the organization. I was just reading an IBM publication on this topic (Recruiting 2020) which led me to reflect on the application of artificial intelligence in the field of human resources.

In my third post on our Synergy project, I chose to talk about intelligent automation, but from a slightly different angle than what we usually read. When I pronounce the words “intelligent automation”, people naturally think of scenarios such as the automation of invoice processing or the creation of intelligent robots to replace humans in your value-added tasks (the famous Robotic Process Automation). However, very few people are thinking about using artificial intelligence to provide a different HR experience, and that is what I have decided to talk to you about today.

Intelligent automation in HR

So how can we make artificial intelligence functional in the area of human resources? I suggest you explore a fairly classic process: the selection of a candidate.

Let’s start by looking at how we could automate the selection of a candidate to add a “wow” effect. In a traditional process, the employee must first find and apply for the position in question. Who said that this should happen this way? Why is it the candidate that needs to make all the efforts? Why not automate use artificial intelligence to reverse the roles?

Virtual assistant for candidates

So how do we do that? I suggest we look at the problem from a different angle and ask why the employer would not get to know the candidate in order to recommend THE best position for him/her. Easier said than done you will tell me? Not really! With intelligent automation technologies such as a virtual assistant (the famous “chatbot”), this becomes possible.

With IBM Watson technology, we are now able to offer a virtual assistant for candidates.

I suggest you try the following site that offers this personalized and different candidate experience… let me know what you think!

At SIA, we are also creating our own version of it and it should be available on our site in a few weeks… This means that even small organizations can benefit!

Are you interested in the topic?

You’re interested in smart automation and artificial intelligence, but you don’t know where to start. I invite you to contact me or follow us to learn more about our Synergy project.

Interested in making AI functional at your organization?

Schedule your FREE 30 minutes consultation.

Modernize your applications to ensure a competitive advantage

As explained in my last article, the Synergy project proposes a game plan for artificial intelligence. However, where do we start? This question is frequently asked by my clients. My answer is always the same: are your applications and data ready?

This may sound like a simple question, but most of the clients I meet will answer no to this question. In fact, many organizations are still struggling with silo applications where it is difficult to access or retrieve data. So, what do we need to do for that kind of application? Do we just replace them with more modern applications? Personally, I am not a fan of the big bang theory that some major manufacturers are promoting as it means to throw away what we have and replace everything. In the Synergy project, we are focusing on modernizing applications. This is the first journey we propose in order to bring the data “available”.

Why focus on application modernization?

The answer is simple: protect your existing investments and accelerate the achievement of results. Indeed, the application modernization approach has many benefits out of which some of them are immediate:

  1. Accelerate digital delivery and transformation. Modernization delivers improvements faster than major system replacement projects.
  2. Motivate your employees to embrace change. Speed of delivery motivates employees who are on the front lines and who reap the immediate benefits. This creates a stronger culture of change.

How to achieve successful modernization?

Several ingredients are needed for a successful modernization. IBM describes this quite well in a guide entitled “Application Modernization Field Guide”. If you do not want to read it in its entirety, here is a little essential.

The first ingredient is the toolbox: cloud computing. Easy to access and a pay-per-use model, cloud services make it easy and fast to integrate new technologies.

After the toolbox, you then have to follow a technique. Personally, I suggest the garage method. The idea is quite simple: refactor what is necessary, but do not necessary refactor. For more information on this technique, I suggest you visit the IBM Garage Method site. On this site, you will find everything you need around that proven methodology.

The last ingredient is a trusted partner that will offer you both advice and guidance through your transformation as well as tangible and quick business results.

At SIA, we created the Synergy project to help our clients achieve their digital transformation. If you have any questions or would like to see what the garage method really looks like, I invite you to contact me!

Interested in making AI functional at your organization?

Schedule your FREE 30 minutes consultation.

The Synergy project: is your artificial intelligence roadmap ready?

Indeed, in today’s world, it is not possible to think about digital transformation without artificial intelligence. However, what does that mean? How can we operationalize artificial intelligence? This may sound like a simple question, but I have not met many companies that have been able to answer it. To answer this question, SIA and NextBlue created the Synergy project. This project, of which I am very proud, proposes a game plan to operationalize artificial intelligence. This is the secret ingredient that will allow organization to know what to reinvent to increase their agility. In order to enable our customers to achieve this agility, we have divided the roadmap into 5 levels: The first three levels provide the basis for a real digital transformation:
  • Level 1 – Multi-cloud Modernization – At this level, we are modernizing the various systems to make their data accessible and ready for use.
  • Level 2 – Intelligent Automation – We automate tasks that can be automated and deploy tools that present information in the right context to humans performing complex tasks.
  • Level 3 – Trust and Safer Business – We protect information and digital processes and improve transparency about their use to create a sense of trust among users.
Levels 4 and 5 allow the organization to reinvent itself and orchestrate everything that goes on in its organization to allow it to achieve agility with a big “A”:
  • Level 4 – Digital Reinvention – We are co-developing new business models to create better experiences (customers, employees, suppliers) that will allow the organization to stand out.
  • Level 5 – Decision and Orchestration – We use the maturity acquired in previous levels to develop tools to take the “best next good action” in relation to the various situations that arise within the organization.
Only NextBlue can propose a viable plan to operationalize artificial intelligence. We have both the tools (with IBM Cloud), the expertise (with our partners) and the methodology (with our Expressway method) to help you define your path to agility. You’re interested in the subject and you don’t know where to start. Or you already have an opinion on the subject and want to assess whether you are on the right track. Do not hesitate to contact us. Our unique approach will meet your expectations!

Interested in making AI functional at your organization?

Schedule your FREE 30 minutes consultation.

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SIA is a co-innovation garage, and a technology consulting firm. As an IBM gold business partner, we deploy customized digital and cognitive solutions that enable Canadian companies to integrate technologies at the core of their business model and to derive numerous benefits in terms of operational agility, communication, corporate culture, customer experience and market differentiation.


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