The Future is Here: Digital Management
3 min read
Which is better: the mechanical slide-rule or the electronic HP calculator? Today, that question is easy to answer. In the 1970’s however, the debates persisted. Today’s debate pits corporate knowledge, reporting and management analyses against products like T-K by CKM Analytix – an intelligence engine – that allows managers to make improved decisions in real-time.
Recently at one of our large clients, an internal “lean team” was able to identify a 10% impact solution and realized 6%. They then implemented T-K, and immediately identified 35% potential improvement to operations and realized 25%.
Which would you rather have: 6% or 25%? The choice is easy.
Quantum Improvements when Technologies Change
As a student in the 1970’s I recall a test, whereby our physics teacher used his slide-rule to compute successive arithmetic computations and one of my classmates used an HP electronic calculator to perform the same computations. After ten computations, our physics teacher was losing precision, and after 25 computations, the electronic calculator had won the battle. Intelligence engines such as T-K are essentially the HP calculators of our time, necessary for companies to remain competitive in an ever-changing environment.
Old Technologies and Methods
The old management model often relies on the use of reports, based on historical, manipulated and aggregated data. The main components include some key metrics, historical comparisons, and, sometimes, comments that have been added by analysts. This model is based on corporate knowledge complemented by selected data that either support or contradict human analyses. As long as the environment remains stable, the conclusions might be directionally correct.
However, when changes are experienced on an almost daily or hourly basis, most of the conclusions become haphazard. In addition, most data that is used in the old model is heavily transformed to fit the automated reports generated. When key metrics change, when a client’s needs evolve, when production environments are significantly modernized, old models need to be rebuilt to reflect the new realities. Then comparisons over time become hazardous as the components of the analyses have changed. At the end of the day, management often relies on measurements that have become more and more obsolete over time, until a new consultant rebuilds all the models to reflect current realities.
New Technologies and Methods
The digital management model that is now available is based on access to digital information, in a timely (sometimes, real-time) manner, the systematic application of mathematical models that are continuously tested and updated, the extensive use of tools that link structured and unstructured data in a meaningful way, the integration of new data libraries where the best knowledge is shared, the availability of faster and faster computers, and the understanding of data privacy and protection applied in a systematic way. The data used is as raw and complete as possible instead of being reduced to its lowest common denominator. The algorithms used can immediately show when new events and occurrences require attention, both in content and in form. The new systems can now generate recommendations that can be applied and tested almost immediately. If an opportunity for automation is identified, the impact of the automation can be understood before anything is implemented, and the results can be quickly proven or disproven, leading to a rapid expansion or a fast-fail abandonment. If a new process emerges, the changes can be immediately analyzed and combined with existing best-in-class processes to generate new processes. Workflows can be orchestrated based on the recommendations provided. Service teams can dynamically be redirected to address the issues that are genuinely the most important, not only the squeaky wheels.
Measuring Differences in Performance
Differences in performance can easily be obfuscated through the old reporting mentioned above and by separating (organizationally or by system) the performance of the work. Once all data are integrated end-to-end, inefficiencies are surfaced through the algorithms. There is nowhere to hide. The informed digital manager can make decisions and see the results immediately with complete transparency. The engines that can then orchestrate implementation can be directly linked to the automated recommendations and lead to accelerated impact combined with a learning, AI environment.
You Can Try to Hold on to Your Slide-Rule …
While cultural and engrained practices are still major hurdles, the future is clearly delineated as more and more organizations leverage AI-driven engines to continuously identify operational efficiencies, reduce risk and improve service. Stated differently, no matter how much our dear physics teacher loved his slide-rule, electronic calculators won the future. Today, T-K by CKM Analytix is the future for managers everywhere.