How do you “Fail Fast” in Interdependent EcoSystem?



Connected agriculture, connected cities, smart homes, smart airports, and the list goes on when it comes to technology enabled people and process automation in a world of Internet of Things. Digital technology is becoming more and more of a key investment opportunity that can create a long-term competitive advantage in such interdependent ecosystems. Use of telematics, wifi mesh networks, robots in the outdoor rugged environments has facilitated several companies to reduce workplace accidents, increase productivity and drive predictable workflow. Collection of data at the core and at the edge has facilitation improved decision making at each step, thus empowering the floor managers, and department heads make real time decisions towards improving asset utilization, value chain portfolio, safety and compliance on heavy machinery, and several other business critical functions. Caterpillar (CAT) is a great example of digital innovation in this space.


Similarly, connected agriculture is an evolving opportunity in digital innovation. Use of mobile technology to improve agricultural productivity among the agricultural stakeholders and value chain is a fast growing practice with several integrated service companies worldwide. Examples of airports, smart homes, cities all are indicative of a very complex and interdependent eco-system when it comes to digitization.

Unlike digitally enabled business models like Uber, AirBnB which are B2C, strategy for digitization in such industries is very complicated. Its one thing to have a dream like vision on the impact of such technology enabled process, decisions and disruption of the business models, and a completely different beast to beat down this vision into strategic chunks of projects. A starting point would be to define a clear bounded strategy that will give way to a set of design principles for organizational alignment and execution. Decision support services will be embedded into such structural change to enable the key tenents that are important for success. Focus on improving the customer experience, enablig faster time to market on products and services, and finally on automation and agility of operations. Internally, the organization needs to focus on building the key talent at leadership and functional level, developing a culture and operating model that supports digital success with the metrics and developing capabilities to bring data and analytics into everyday process and decision making.

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Analytics can boost Customer Success


The mission of any customer success organization is to help your customers derive maximum value from your product. The more you know about your customers business goals and operational challenges, the better you can serve them.

Its tremendously valuable to retain existing customers and drive intimacy with their business and workflow. For this, you have to know how your customers engage with your products. In SaaS business models, success is often measured by subscriptions and not by customers. There are many reasons subscriptions is great for a business, it not only improves the lifetime value of a customer and smooths out the demand, but also drives on time bookings. In addition, subscription models are hugely suitable for data ingestion and analytics. All this makes it possible to drive integration of the workflow, and drive stickiness with the customer base.

Adoption and usage data analytics provide the intelligence for the customer success managers and enable them to be proactive. Therein lies the secret sauce of customer success.. proactive instead of reactive. Customer support plays a vital role in the reactive realm of being attentive, and agile in providing timely assistance.

Understanding usage analytics of a customer uncovers product related feedback that’s vital to improving the core value of your product. Intelligent level of usage analytics can be used to parse complexity of usage, user experience metrics, integration into the workflow of sales and business operations.

Data from User adoption and Usage analytics when integrated into the CRM makes it directly relevant to the business operations for the SaaS client. Understanding the workflow for Pre-sales, marketing lead generation and post sales support, can create the most important list of the first few digitization priorities.

Several off the shelf tools make most of this possible, all the way from Data integration to Visual Analytics interfaces. The differentiating factor is the knowledge of the workflow, creating the business metrics, articulating the OKR, and developing skills at all levels of the organization to create, use and report back on the results. The iterative development and adoption of the Analytics will drive incremental revenue, reduce churn and elevate customer satisfaction.

In summary, any customer success organization which prioritizes proactive customer engagement through smart analytics and workflow automation is well on its way to driving incremental revenue to the enterprise!

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Why automate when you can digitize?


Business process automation, workflow automation, and all other types of automation have been defined and deployed for many years. Key value proposition is always hinged around productivity gains, simplifying process, eliminating human error, improving collaboration and reducing cost and expediting the time to market. Digital methods of storing and retrieving data have lent themselves well to many industries including media, computing, and many other service oriented economies. Processes currently done manually become efficient and cost-effective when automated, thus allowing knowledge workers to focus on innovation. Automation goals are largely focused on saving time and money.


Digitization is about doing different things and connecting people, process and technology in a different way, thus creating new business models and creating transformation. Because we are already in much automated world, we are able to create this digital transformation. Deep insights generated by analytics applied to big data generated from various sources creates opportunities to constantly analyze, monitor and improve any business process. Such digital transformation can create insights to create an inclusive workforce environment that includes perspectives and ideas from everyone while augmenting the decision making process with ubiquitous analytics. As mentioned in book Digital Vortex, combinatorial disruptors are all around us. Just as the lines between software and hardware is blurring when you drive a car enabled massively by the latest technology- Tesla, we are on the cusp of the retail industry, fitness industry blending with technology, like UnderArmour, Nike and Apple, amongst others.


This digital disruption is not automation, but truly a transformation of how we can drive, workout, modify food intake, monitor health, connect with loved ones, etc.

We live in exciting times, with many opportunities. Disrupt or be disrupted.. tick-tock, tick-tock………

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