IT Transformation Best Practices

CEOs and CIOs are under constant pressure to improve operations and adopt new technologies.  The allure of “Cloud” and “Digital” can create excitement and executive approval to launch a project.  Success, however, is always a challenge, and there is no shortage of advice and thought-ware on the subject. David Frost, a Charlotte-based digital transformation leader, believes that new digital transformations can still learn from past technology transformation.  To learn more, Read the White Paper Here


Pervasive Computing 101

In a recent MIT Sloan Management Review article, Dr. Albert H. Segars from University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School outlined seven core technologies that are altering nearly every dimension of our lives and their implications for commerce, health care, learning, the environment and more.  According to Dr. Segars, pervasive computing is one of the core technologies that every business leader should become familiar with as the digital revolution rages on.

Pervasive computing, also called ubiquitous computing, is a concept where information, media, context, and processing power are delivered conveniently to us in all kinds of things. The Apple Watch’s ability to alert users of incoming phone calls and to allow users to complete calls through the watch, is an example of pervasive computing. The large network of connected microprocessors embedded in everyday objects allows access to information from virtually anywhere and at any time.

First pioneered in the late 1980s at the Olivetti Research Laboratory in Cambridge England, the development of the “Active Badge“, a small clip-on microcomputer employee ID card, enabled the company to track employee movement. This spurred articles by the The New York Times, ComputerWorld and other publications about George Orwell’s Big Brother prediction coming true.

Mark Weiser, considered to be the father of ubiquitous computing, soon began building early ubiquitous computing devices with his colleagues at Xerox PARC and popularized the term “pervasive computing” with the creation of IBM’s Pervasive Computing division.
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Today, pervasive computing generally involves wireless communications and networking technologies, mobile devices, embedded systems, wearables, wireless sensors, voice recognition, AI and more. According to a recent study report published by Market Research Future, the global market of pervasive computing technology is booming and expected to gain prominence. Technology advancements and the increased demand for Internet of Things (IoT) continue to drive the growth.
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Application of Pervasive Computing Technology:
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  • Communications
  • Logistics
  • Transportation (by air, land and sea)
  • Energy
  • Learning
  • Military
  • Banking/Finance
  • Production
  • Smart Homes
  • E-commerce
  • Security & Safety
  • Healthcare/Medical Technology
  • Media
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To learn more, read:
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Re-Envisioning the Future with Generative Design
Could the current manufacturing, distribution, assembly and maintenance processes become obsolete in the not too distant future?  Today, we take a look at generative design as an innovative approach to thinking outside the box when it comes to design and its implications to manufacturing.
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At Croixstone we are inspired by mavericks…those unconventional thinkers who can see past conformity and who can accomplish what others say can’t be done.  Generative design has the ability to generate unconventional design options that go beyond our imagination alone and can be used to create everything from running shoes, earbuds and airplane partitions, to a revolutionary approach to designing the office space and buildings of the future.
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So what is generative design? According to Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software, “Generative design is a technology that mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design. It starts with your design goals and then explores all of the possible permutations of a solution to find the best option. Using cloud computing, generative design software quickly cycles through thousands—or even millions—of design choices, testing configurations and learning from each iteration what works and what doesn’t. The process lets designers generate brand new options, beyond what a human alone could create, to arrive at the most effective design.”  To better understand what generative design is all about, click here for a short video.
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  • Learn how generative design and additive manufacturing (i.e., 3-D printing) is changing the manufacturing world here.
  • Check out how generative design could radically transform the look of our world here.
  • Delve into a new world of highly efficient products made by generative design here.
  • Take a sneak peak into the first large-scale generative designed office here.

Trends Shaping the Consulting Industry
In the 2017 Management Consulting Outlook report prepared by Greentarget, a strategic public relations firm focused exclusively on business-to-business organizations, the global management consulting market has been growing revenue approximately 4 percent annually over the past few years. As the most mature market, the U.S. market grew 7.7 percent in 2015 to reach $54.7 billion, up from $50.8 billion in 2014. The global management consulting industry is now delivering an estimated $150 billion in revenue, and the growth trend is expected to continue, with the U.S. accounting for nearly half (44 percent) of the global market.
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We at Croixstone know it is important to keep abreast of the many forces and trends shaping the consulting industry. Demand for change as result of disruptive technologies and competition from new market competitors continues to drive investment in consulting.  What else is new in the consulting industry?
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  • Learn more about the who’s who of the consulting world in 2017 here.
  • What makes a great consultant?  Here are 10 attributes required for long term success as a consultant.
  • Read here about five consulting technology trends in 2017 that are more than buzzwords.

Keeping Up With Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has by now made its way to nearly all industries, and therefore, it comes up in Croixstone’s conversations almost daily. Why is digital transformation so important? Quite simply, if organizations don’t modernize and become fully digitalized then they will be left behind and the threat of disruption becomes very real. With companies investing millions to digitalize their businesses, they are hoping for outcomes that will increase revenue, reduce cost, create more products and services, improve customer satisfaction, enhance differentiation, and ultimately mitigate the risk of digital disruption.

Regardless of your area of expertise, digital transformation will impact everyone. Companies are looking for change drivers to help them weed through the digital transformation myths, create a culture that makes data-based decisions, and sift through an avalanche of digital initiatives to reshape their organizations.

Read about a new practical guide to a successful digital transformation here.

Learn some insights into helping your C-suite understand digital transformation here.

See how three companies are thriving with digital transformation here.


Gaining the Competitive Edge Through Digitized Supply Chain

Just like everywhere else, digital transformation has impacted the optimization of supply chain efficiency.  Advances include crewless ship operations, new warehouse automation breakthroughs with robots, development of autonomous-vehicle supply chains, advancements in 3D printing, and the emerging role of blockchain.

Learn more about how a digitized supply chain can give you a competitive edge here.

Demystify 3D printing and its disruption in industry here.

Your roadmap to a digital supply chain is here.