chapter published on ILLUMINATION Book Chapters on medium
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What distinguishes this book from other books is that I provide an innovative thinking framework and a methodical approach to increase the digital quotient of my readers with insights from experience and hard-learned lessons. I’m not trying to sell or endorse any products or services. I mention some prominent technologies which enable digital transformation for digital awareness in the right context aiming to enhance your capabilities.
Definition and Fundamentals of Intelligence
Quite frankly, despite my diligent efforts, I have not come across a standard definition for digital intelligence so far. Even more, I have not seen an established body of knowledge with influential and cited publications directly researching the digital intelligence phenomenon.
A Thinking Framework to Unfold Digital Intelligence
This chapter aims to provide an overview of the structural thinking approach and its relation to digital intelligence. To make the framework digestible, I categorized them under ten critical topics. From my experience, architectural thinking can be used as a robust framework to gain digital knowledge, uncover the mystery behind digital intelligence, and enhance digital intelligence with a structured approach. This structured, coherent, and methodical approach can serve as a high-level checklist to measure our digital intelligence and validate our outcome.
Intelligence for Financial Aspect of Ventures
Let’s put it this way. Even if we create a pinnacle of architecture with impeccable designs, if the solution is economically not viable and does not produce compelling returns on investment, the business stakeholders will consider the venture a failure. Therefore, financial intelligence for any digital venture is mandatory. The financial aspect always gets priority at the executive level. In this chapter, I provide a high-level view of digital cost and value propositions. Understanding the financial aspects makes valuable contributions to our digital intelligence.
Innovative And Inventive Intelligence
In this chapter, I highlight the importance of a particular thinking mode as an empowering factor for digital ventures’ success. I also introduce some critical points that enhance and harm innovation and inventions in these ventures. Let me clarify what I mean by innovative and inventive thinking. My definition is the use of creativity and productivity for generating novel ideas, new methods, new approaches, new techniques, new processes, and new tools and improve the current environment to gain insights from existing capabilities.
In this half chapter, I touch on three critical points which require simplicity and clarity. They are communication, process, and technology. My focus is on why digital ventures must pay attention to simplicity. I divided this chapter to two sections to keep it at a reasonable size for my readers. The title of my chapter inspired me to do so.
Why designs and specifications require simplicity
In this condensed chapter, my purpose is to discuss how we can create a win-win position for service providers and consumers by simplifying designs and specifications. Design and specification simplicity are essential factors to consider carefully in digital ventures. They pose a tremendous impact on the subsequent phases of the modernization and transformation lifecycle, especially during service delivery and support phases. The simpler the design and specifications, the more effective the delivery and service support can be. Let me first introduce the importance of designs then touch on specifications. There are two core aspects to manage designs and design configurations in digital ventures in terms of simplicity.
Agile Thinking In Digital Ventures
Agility is a critical pillar in the digital intelligence framework. In this economic climate, digital venture leaders must think on their feet and act fast. Leaders capable of thinking and acting fast are more influential, credible, competitive, and productive in the market. Business organizations and customers expect these leaders to work in agility. These technology leaders relentlessly ask how they can make the technology footprint more intuitive, responsive, and nimble. This mindset is a foundational requirement of digitally modernizing and transforming initiatives. Whilst dealing with legacy technology footprint, they simultaneously create a vision of well-functioning solutions and put energies on rapid-pace and solutions.
Accelerated intelligence and a pragmatic approach in digital ventures
This chapter focuses on two critical concepts: accelerated and pragmatic approaches for creating and delivering sustainable solutions. Speed to market is the bread and butter of digital ventures. Some aspects of digital solutions pose the risk of delays in producing and delivering products and services according to the plan. The most challenging parts are architecture and design, as these phases require deep thinking, researching, and thorough planning. Due to these time consuming and essential activities, initiatives can be delayed and cause substantial financial loss to the ventures. As part of my digital intelligence studies, I proposed the concept of accelerated intelligence for digital ventures. Accelerated intelligence in digital ventures requires developing quick mental models on how technology users interact with their solution in each iteration and increment.
Collaborative Intelligence and Fusion Culture
Digital venture leaders survive and thrive with collaborative intelligence. Thus, collaborative intelligence is inescapable in their skill sets. Collaboration refers to a team of people working together to achieve mutual goals and to create synergistic outcomes. The terms like teams, mutual goals, and synergistic outcomes are essential entities of this simple yet powerful concept. Collaboration can occur at work and in our personal life. My focus is on the professional aspect of the collaboration rather than entertainment or hobbies. Collaboration may take place in different modes and formats. For example, two or more people share ideas for a project plan. They may also co-create a solution.
Creating Trust And Credibility In Diverse Digital Ventures
The power of connected people from diverse backgrounds working for the same goal generates new ideas and insights for digital ventures. Some of these ideas and insights may touch people from different angles and further motivate them to take more responsibilities in these transforming ecosystems. With the ignition of the initial strategic leadership, this shift causes the emergence of new technical and technology leaders in transformative ventures. Innovation engenders a collaborative culture. Digital ventures highly desire to create new business opportunities and grow established business capabilities by modernising and transforming them.
Why The Cloud Services Matter To Digital Ventures
Digital Ventures Cannot Survive And Thrive Without Cloud Service Nowadays. The Cloud service can be an infrastructure solution panacea for start-ups. Let me explain. In this chapter, I provide an overview of the Cloud Computing requirements for digital ventures and introduce the reasons why these ventures need Cloud services in their organizations. Cloud computing became mainstream in many business organizations. Digital ventures depend on the Cloud services as their core technology infrastructure.
Big Data and Analytics For Digital Venture Leaders
Data and analytics are two related, complementary and vital technologies for digital ventures. The digital ventures leaders must understand and use data and analytics processes and tools to create insights and competitive market advantages for their businesses. Data has been the primary solution source for many types of businesses for decades. However, with the digital revolution, emergence of artificial intelligence, and cognitive computing, we come across a tremendous growth and complexity of data. Thus, a new kind of data, which is called Big Data, has emerged. Even though structurally similar to traditional data, Big Data requires a new kind of approach. It requires newer methods and tools to maintain and support it. The conventional data management processes and tools are not adequate to process Big Data.
Open-source Big Data and analytics tools for digital ventures
Even though executives usually do not go to the details for tools, they need to choose cost-effective and robust tools to empower their data and analytics practices in small and medium-sized ventures. Open-source is ideal for startup companies. Open-source is widespread in the technology sector; hence equally crucial for Big Data and analytics tasks in digital ventures. It is a type of licensing agreement that allows the developers and users to freely use the software, modify it, develop new ways to improve it and integrate it into larger projects. Open-source is a collaborative and innovative approach embraced by many business organisations and digitally intelligent consumers. Open-source tools are ideal for start-up companies and those with a tight technology budget, particularly business organisations struggling to have more flexible architectures for modernising and transforming their digital ventures.
Leveraging Ethical Hacking for Cybersecurity Requirements of Digital Ventures
Like any business organization, digital ventures need to include cybersecurity in their business vision, mission, strategy, and operational tactics to survive and thrive. This is a broad topic but I provide essential considerations for technology leaders responsible for the success of digital ventures. Every aspect of technology and online business relates to cybersecurity. It is a particular interest for Cloud Computing, IoT, Mobility, Big Data and analytics services. Even though this chapter is about cybersecurity, the principles also apply to overall Technology security. My aim is to create awareness for security and privacy that are tightly related topics. When security is compromised, privacy is most likely conceded too. For example, a minor security issue caused millions of Facebook account details to leak to the public domain recently. Cybersecurity is a massive security domain and touches every aspect of security management, including identity management, authentication, authorization, and several other areas.
Technical leaders of digital ventures leverage architectural and design thinking skills, established and emerging technology stacks, project management methods, and many digital enablement tools to create customer-focused solutions for digital transformation goals. These bespoke solutions can manifest as digital products or services depending on the purposes and the scope of the transformation initiative. In these bespoke solutions, there is one critical item that requires special attention from all stakeholders. It is data solutions. Particularly Big Data solutions pose distinct requirements. These solutions require additional expertise beyond technical teams.
Digital ventures revolve around mobility. Mobility concept relates to Ventures’ process, tools, technology, and people. Digital ventures use mobile technology and tools on a massive scale. Mobility is essential for people in the enterprise. The need and demand for mobile devices is rapidly increasing. Mobility tools and processes face considerable challenges to be able to meet the demands of growing consumers. Mobile technology and tools are proliferating. Mobile devices such as phones, laptops, tablets, and wireless networks are part of all digital ventures. They establish the foundational infrastructure for mobility. Dealing with proliferating mobile devices, technology stacks, and processes requires end-to-end lifecycle management, particularly in modernising and transforming ventures.
Like any ventures, the vitality and success of digital ventures depend on the quality of team members. A digital business ecosystem can be consisting of many interrelated team members, including a wide variety of professionals covering various facets of business in harmony. Digital ventures require many roles and responsibilities. These roles and responsibilities need to be defined clearly and described in detail. Clarified roles and responsibilities can contribute to harmony in the digital team ecosystem. Understanding team structures and dynamics require a considerable amount of intelligence in the venture. The most critical aspect of high performing team is the identification of talent. Digital ventures cannot survive and thrive without the contributions of talented employees. Without talent, our digital initiatives cannot progress and meet the growing demands of the consumer.
Giveback activities are highly sought after and create the learning and skill-building backbone for flourishing ventures. Learning is a never-ending process in transformational environments. Digital ventures operate with constant transformation. Due to rapidly changing technologies, processes, and tools, technology leaders and employees must learn rapidly and efficiently. Their learning process includes both formal and informal modes. While college degrees, supplementary education courses, and short courses are considered formal and essential for gaining knowledge and skills, the tip of the iceberg relates to informal learning activities. There is a wide variety of learning styles in workplaces. Based on situations and conditions, leaders and employees can learn formally and informally. Leaders learn differently. They turn every possible interaction into a potential learning opportunity. They create learning opportunities for themselves and for team members.
Effective management and utilization of roles and responsibilities determine the business success in digital ventures. In this chapter, I introduce crucial roles and responsibilities in modern digital ventures. Digital ventures differ from traditional business organizations. The main difference is the flat structure as opposed to the hierarchical structure in conventional business models. The main reason for adopting a flat structure is the speed to market for tremendous consumer demands. Digital ventures implement this flat structure philosophy using agile methods. These contemporary methods encourage the team members to produce in parallel. Even though every venture has leaders, the leadership is also different in these ventures. Leaders are not necessarily formally authoritative figures like managers. Any team member can depict leadership traits. The three significant and broad job roles are architects, technical specialists, and business representatives.
In this chapter, I introduce IT service management, technical governance and compliance. My goal is to show the relationships among these crucial disciplines and critical considerations for technology and business executives responsible for the success of digital ventures. Digital ventures require a broad spectrum of Information Technology (IT) service management tools, processes, and people. IT service management as a discipline covers an extensive array of technology, process, and tools. IT service management includes processes and functions such as change management, problem management, incident management, service level management, capacity management, availability management, business continuity management, and security management. From a global standards perspective, one of the best representations of the IT Service model is implemented using popular ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library).
This chapter is about key traits of exceptional leaders in digital ventures. Technical leaders are expected to lead with excellence rather than perfection. Excellence refers to demonstrating outstanding quality for the leaders by making a noticeable impact on the followers. Since leaders lead the way, followers expect their leaders to be tolerant of uncertainty and ambiguity. Taking risk is one of the necessities in digital ventures. Leaders taking calculated and timely risks contribute to the growth of ventures. Dealing with people and leading others require vigorous emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence makes the leaders more self-aware with their fluctuating moods, changing emotions, and drives. They also understand the emotions of their followers. Emotionally intelligent and mindful leaders can cope with substantial stress caused by work issues, unpredictable business situations, and rapidly changing technologies effectively. Taking personal responsibility and being accountable for the situations, these leaders can leave better impressions on their followers. This cheerful and positive disposition creates trust for our integrity. Exceptional leaders act quickly, focusing on priorities. They don’t like delaying and procrastinating. Followers become happy when their leader addresses their issues in a timely manner.
IoT (Internet of Things) is a complex technology and business domain touching many aspects of technology infrastructure, business applications, and commercial services. Digital ventures use a plethora of IoT devices, process tools, storage, hosting, and consumer products, including customer services. IoT is rapidly growing globally and being a substantial contributor to the economy. When compared to all aspects of an IoT solution, Security comes at the top of the list. The perception of IoT systems being insecure and easily hackable require critical considerations. This perception and security concerns are valid to some extent. The consequences of hacked IoT devices and services can be life-threatening. We read bad news on media about them in the nascent stages of IoT. However, IoT service providers made substantial progress. In addition to Security, the other concern for IoT solutions is privacy. In IoT solutions, Security and privacy go in parallel. While we are analyzing and validating the security requirements, we also need to consider the privacy requirements.
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