In the Digital Transformation era, speed and scale are of the top essence

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digital transformation

In the Digital Transformation era, speed and scale are of the top essence

What do the likes of Mercedes-Benz, GE, Ford, Humana, Philips, LockheedMartin and Indian Railways have in common? Irrespective of the diverse domains they are posited, each of them is in a phase of transformation…Digital Transformation. As the convergence of algorithms, cloud, things, and data drives tectonic shifts across industries, bellwether companies are forced to break its shell of ‘too big to fail’ and undergo dynamic transformation to become faster, simpler and nimbler. If you take a hard look at transformations affecting Global markets, the following scenarios emerge:

  1. Volume shifts to Value. Case in point: Healthcare models are shifting from encounter-based services to outcome-based services. Car ownership models shift to ride-sharing models. Asset-ownership models are shifting from owning to renting. (Energy companies are taking a leaf out of AirBnB and Uber’s books)
  2. Piece-meal integration to Platforms. Case in point: Instead of procuring piece-meal solutions and spend 10x $ in integration efforts, customers procurement behaviours are progressively shifting towards one-stop shop experiences (debatable). This is driven by the likes of GE Predix, Siemens Sinalytics (Industrial Platforms) and IBM Watson to connect, extract and optimize customer outcomes.
  3. Need-based to Continuous Optimization. Case in point: Machine learning (ML) algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) assists. Amelia is an AI assist, developed by IPSoft and Accenture to help in the streamlined discovery of oil assets and vector a field-enterprise integration.

Clearly, the aforementioned key transformations would not be in existence, if not for Code/Software. Further cemented by Marc Andreessen famous opinion, ‘Software is eating the world’. Truly it is. This brings to the important part of my post. How are bellwethers digitally transforming? Whom are they partnering with? Like Akamai secretly powering the internet, there is a company that is quietly powering the pace of the digital transformation across a smattering of industries. The company that leverages open-sourced platform-as-a-service approach to revolutionize a customer’s journey towards digital transformation is Pivotal Software, Inc. Pivotal is a spin-out from EMC and VMware and now would also have the parental oversight of Dell (pending Dell and EMC merger). In short, Pivotal’s open-sourced cloud foundry platform strikes two birds with one stone. It helps developers deploy software/apps and engage with customers. On the other side, it allows operators to install software and deploy services. Makes sense? A simple use case: Mercedes-Benz utilized Pivotal’s cloud foundry platform to create the ‘Mercedes me’ app which gives access to its customers across a medley of information around vehicle status (heating, start/stop, etc.) through remote sensing devices (Apple Watch, iPhone). At the same time, Mercedes-Benz is able to deeply understand the customer experiences. Following on the same lines, is Ford’s co-collaboration with Pivotal to create FordPass and engineer the smart mobility experience.

Many might wonder, couldn’t have Mercedes-Benz or Ford Motor Corporation done it on its own? You bet! However, in dynamic markets such as the one we all live in, speed and scale are of the top essence. Further, the proven track-record of using agile software development methodologies is allowing companies to experiment with low-cost, high-scale innovation. At a juncture, where first-mover advantage is an imperative – the ability to rapidly develop, deploy and scale applications to meet changing customer requirements requires a different breed of partnerships. Hence, the analogy ‘Birds of the same feather flock together’ holds good. Despite differences in what each company makes, they are partnering or engaging with Pivotal to achieve one common goal: Digitally Transform.

This quote from Marcy Klevorn, Ford’s VP and CIO speaks volume of why CodePower and Code-as-a-Service makes a whole lot sense: “As we grow to become both an automaker and a mobility company, having leading software development expertise will be critical to delivering at the speed consumers expect. Customers today are used to frequent software updates on their mobile devices and expect them with all technology. This collaboration with Pivotal allows for quicker vehicle software updates and an even better user experience for Ford customers.”

Finally, whether industrial customers will buy machines or rent performance; cars achieve Level 5 automation (auto piloting without a driving wheel and pedals) is yet to be seen, but one thing is clear: CodePower is here to stay and with it comes a whole new world of customer experiences, alternative monetization models and never-seen-before efficiency scales.


This article was written by Muthuraman “Ram” Ramasamy, Industry Director.