Technology and AI
We see Technology and AI as four interlocked focus areas for our firm – An Expertise, A Market Focus, an Enabler for Many Business Processes, and as an Innovative Forcing Function for the future of most organizations. With these four areas capturing much of our time and imagination, we are working hard to help others fully understand the revenue opportunities. Just like the manned lighthouse above, which was replaced by remote oversight and then eliminated, many business processes and entire industries are being impacted by technology. In essence, our approaches involve ways to use technology and AI to benefit the customer – by exceeding their needs and desires, enhancing the future promise of products and services and increasing value. Things are changing fast in this area and we can help you understand the opportunities for your business.
Things are changing fast in Technology and AI - we can help you understand the opportunities for your business.
CEVOH is MIT trained and business savvy. We monitor, engage and help sculpt the thoughtful addition of technology and AI solutions to help you embrace the future. Our technology approaches are proven to benefit the customer but also scrappy and creative. We get energized when finding better and cheaper ways to do things. Many of our clients have benefitted from our passion in this area. Here is a partial list of our specific expertise in technology and AI:
Appraisal and scoring of your technology approach
Digital data capture from sensors, extracts and repositories in real time or near real time environments
Enhancement of traditional and crowdsourced data inflows
Parsing and machine learning techniques built on best practice human expertise
Use of sophisticated models to Improve digital data and predict future outcomes
Output of AI work product into integrated systems to enhance learnings and speed decisions
AI image parsing, visualization of complex data, and enhanced visual comparisons and scoring against benchmarks
Use of networked, secure communication to swarm technology inflows and speed insightful outflows
Use of technology to improve innovative product development – including proof of concepts, rapid product prototyping, iterative customer input and crowdsourcing of ideas
Prioritization and scoring of concepts in advance of go-to-market plans
Introduction of innovative technology and AI solutions to improve customer value
Inclusion of technology to improve sales team efficiency and performance
Integration of technology to improve the value chain
Use of technology to integrate (and improve efficiency of) customer facing, order processing and billing systems
Predictive modelling to improve product and service value metrics and future promise
Predictive and analytical modelling to improve pricing strategies and tactics
While many of our technology solutions are pragmatic and based on proven techniques, we are also working on larger macro and entrepreneurial projects. The broader strokes of these projects involve the new industrial revolution taking place. As you know, an Industrial revolution is a period that radically changes society, industries, economies and environments. These involve changes in manufacturing that begins with fewer things being made by hand but instead are made using machines in larger-scale factories. They also involve transportation and communication and other mass techniques that make it more efficient to deliver people, things and messages. A common thread of all industrial revolutions is that they involve technological advancements that amplify speed, quality and efficiency to set a new bar. And, they happened quickly. The industrial revolutions have shaped our world today into a global interconnected society which currently fuels the exponential growth ahead.
A New Industrial Revolution
CEVOH is embracing the fourth revolution. Even more powerful than the revolutions of the first (iron, textiles and steam engine), the second (steel, oil, electricity and mass production) and the third (computer, internet, information and communication), the fourth Industrial revolution represents new technologies in society and even the human body.
This newest revolution builds on the third but involves artificial intelligence, robotics, smart automation, advanced analytics, augmented reality, advanced materials, Internet of things, 6g communications, blockchain, bioinformatics, 3D printing, autonomous systems, nanotechnology, quantum computing and others. The biggest opportunities of the fourth revolution will be in its ability to use technology to connect us and help us communicate real time and in masse.
Technology and AI as a Market Focus
It all points to an opportunity for your business. Whether you are an established leading technology firm or a start-up we can help you take advantage of technology advances while pragmatically growing the business. We have found ways to maintain cashflow, annuity streams and successful unit sales run rates, while innovating to create new value streams for the business. There are some pragmatic ways to take advantage of the newest revolution with ‘ready now’ enhancements for your type of business. But along with pragmatic approaches, technology and AI solutions can help you and your clients to displace time and space. Think about this important concept and the advantages for your business.
Technology as an Enabler
When you take a look at the revenue value chain – many of the processes can be improved using technology. The key is to utilize technology to enhance value, not just to automate or save cost. Here are some examples:
Technology as an Innovation Forcing Function
Almost every day a new technology paper comes out that predicts the latest macro disruptors for business. The innovative properties of technology combine to make new products, new industries and is also a disruptor of established industries. A lot of these papers are written (it seems) by companies trying to sell the latest technology services. While it’s difficult to know for sure, CEVOH has assembled a good summary of safe bets for the future. Our perspective below is one point of view and we welcome debate.
predictions for technology as an innovation forcing function
Globalization for the little guy or girl
No doubt this disruption has been in progress for a while now, but it’s amazing to see how it continues to evolve and impact many businesses. New on-line marketplaces have impacted the way goods are bought and sold – and more efficient supply chain approaches have made it easier for smaller businesses to compete with traditional / box store brick and mortar. There are additional changes coming (we think) that will blend the tactile experience of a physical store with the compression of time and space. Think “real-time solutions from any location you prefer”. For example, an AR headset can be used to allow you to virtually place furnishings in your home before you buy. And new techniques like this will be even more powerful with 5 and 6G, allowing a family in remote locations (perhaps) to jointly select the details of a trip or event together. Lots of possibilities here that will help smaller companies reach a global audience and sell like a much larger company. In-turn, the disruptive properties here will continue to have potential negative impacts for brick and mortar.
Government regulation of technology
It’s inevitable we believe, for the government to become more involved in the security, privacy and regulation of big data, AI, and information collection. You are seeing this in Europe, and it’s likely to expand. We are active in the debate playing out now specifically with companies like Facebook, Equifax, Wells Fargo, Google, Microsoft and others. The issue at hand is the desire to use technology to customize outputs to match a user’s persona. But to establish this persona, data inputs must be collected, natural language processed and then prediction models are applied to help you with tailored choices. In theory it sounds great – in practice, it requires access to potentially sensitive and confidential information. While safeguards had been developed, cyber hackers have accessed these stacks with dramatic impact. A few wireless handset companies are currently under scrutiny for potentially recording voice and keystrokes. And, several of the voice recognition providers - while listening in and collecting user search terms for potential training data into their NLP engines - are experiencing public outcry and concerns about privacy. We are watching the regulatory and governance environment closely to see trends that may affect the revenue growth opportunities of several industries.
Perhaps one of the first transformational and disruptive processes for business, this continues to evolve quickly. The engines and predictive models have become faster and stronger, but the biggest change has been with the exponential increases in data inflows. Mining data has become easier using available sources to include machine logs and sensor data, still images, video, audio, biometric information, government research, and sentiment from social feeds. Parsing of data, images and contextual combinations of both are creating much stronger analytic stacks that can be more quickly processed. Best in Breed benchmark can then be assigned metrics and compared to these benchmarks and scored. The result is a rich field of analytical information that can be output as insight – speeding effective decisions.
This Includes machine learning, natural language processing, neural networks and AI. So much of this involves handing large amounts of data so that humans no longer need to process it all. A common misperception of AI is that it will replace humans, but in reality, most current AI efforts need humans to teach machines, refine processes and provide context. The implications for improved cognitive technology processes will continue to expand into all facets of business. Self-learning and computer-generated code is also expanding but (at this time) is really reinforced by humans and so the risks of computers taking over can be overstated. Computers trained properly can identify patterns in data and with visual assets as well. These can be further refined to make it possible to identify connections not previously noticed and the outputs can be visualized to help improve predictive tools. An enabler for the cognitive processes is with the improved quality and cost of many sensor types. This allows for swarming and crowdsourcing of tremendously large datasets. We believe the cognitive processes will become a disruptor touching virtually every business type.
This includes how we buy but also as importantly, how we sell. The salesforce function is changing dramatically for some industries – most notably how cars are sold. Technology is speeding more trusted information to the buyer so they can make an informed choice, find inventory, select best payment options and even schedule a delivery at home if they choose. Another example, Google, was formed in a garage with a promise to have ‘no selling function’, and many of their products are either sold direct (AdWords) or sold thru distributors. The primitive sales activity reporting tools are evolving and this may help some sales teams to remain effective – but there is a social trend here as well. Consumers just don’t want pressure sales and are willing to do their homework to make an informed choice. Technology is making it easier to obtain ratings, reviews and trusted third-party information ahead of a sale. Look for this disruption to continue and begin to affect other industries in the next 5 years.
This covers augmented reality (AR), virtual (VR), mixed reality (MR) and the Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies have the power to dramatically change how humans interact with data, technology and each other. Smaller and more powerful processors and have accelerated the hardware breakthroughs and this will dramatically continue. The devices are amazing, but often the connectivity, software and experiences are going to dominate progress. Visual, auditory and haptics can come together to provide an experience that is more intimate, lifelike and natural. These devices and software will continue to make interesting impacts in a number of industries including retail, medical, entertainment, aerospace and defense and others.
Connectivity speed and advancements will continue to enable cloud technologies to become mainstream. Remember when we all said “what is the cloud and what are the benefits”? Now we know. With many advantages, this is set to become the foundation of how other technology innovation is achieved. Using the massive computer power of the cloud will continue to facilitate innovative transactional mechanisms, new products and entirely new IT services. Many businesses will be more aggressively tapping into the cloud to integrate their systems and improve efficiency. All this will disrupt the proprietary mainframe business model and continue to speed IaaS, SaaS and other variants. Cloud technology is also a facilitator to the other technologies including digital experience, blockchain, quantum computing and digital reality.
This can be thought of as the counter to cloud – but it is so much more. Certainly, the use of cloud and other computing approaches has required better encryption and security features and this will continue. But added to this is an entirely new and virtual technology opportunity that involves proactively managing risk – even before a computer process has even started. Each business will need to explore risk and security measures that protect against attack and integrate these into traditional processes. Most common is the loss of confidential data to include customer records and personal information, but also trade secrets, intellectual property and key process roadmaps. Prototype drawings, images and technical information are also at risk. Every bit of the company details and future plans can be compromised by a third-party domestic or international in nature. What makes cyber so scary is that the techniques are expected to become more sophisticated in the next few years. As a disrupter of your business, there may not be a bigger threat – working with outside specialists to build a prevention plan, and then working with a team of professionals to outline an action plan in the event of a successful attack is a prudent course of action
Digital Life – or sometimes called digital experience.
It seemed that this revolution started with the internet and specifically with the publishing industry. Talk about a disruption - - virtually all publishing concerns still struggle to keep their monetized business models humming as before. Case in point – the publishing industry was often dominated by large concerns, but with digital transformation, everyone with a smartphone could immediately become a video journalist. This important information industry has seen some remarkable changes and challenges such as reductions in subscriber revenue and fake news. But there are other industries affected as well. Health care is not a market focus for CEVOH, but we have been interested to watch the digital transformation taking place there. The stakes are enormous. On one hand is better health care with a free flow of information thru doctor portals and health care organizations. This information can meet in the middle where it should – the patient. Never before has there been so much upside potential to share information quickly and efficiently – so that one-person benefits. On the other hand, there is regulation and privacy. A simple misdiagnosis or bad typing could cause employment problems, or social bullying. The privacy issues are real. And with genome research, how devastating would it be if this information became recklessly shared with others? The potential (and the $) of digitizing health care are enormous – from using AI to second opinion a MRI scan and underlying cause to remotely seeing germy patients without exposing others. Switching to food services, the digitization of the restaurant world will make people taking menu orders obsolete – eventually automated prep and custom meals will become tablestakes. And how about autonomous driving and delivery? The industries of mass transit, ride sharing, and even automobile transportation are in for some real disruptions (and enhancements). Computing to a digital life is well underway as a technology forcing function.
CEVOH continues to monitor and add value in four specific umbrellas of Technology and AI. As an Expertise, we can provide advice, facts and supporting metrics, insight and consulting to guide your technology path forward. As a Market Focus, we work with specific technology and IT firms to help them dovetail into the latest business approaches while helping them understand how their industry and competitors are changing. As an Enabler for Many Business Processes, CEVOH will make technology recommendations to make your revenue plans stronger and improve revenue growth. And as an Innovative Forcing Function for the future, we are assertively embracing technology to speed innovation and to improve and create new products, services and even new industries. With these four areas capturing much of our time and imagination, we are working hard to help others fully understand the revenue opportunities and growth potential technology brings.