5 Ways to Build a Smarter Business

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The original SMART system was designed in the 1990s to help computer users avoid unexpected hard drive crashes. In the following decades, this idea of ​​”self-monitoring, analysis and reporting technology” has blossomed and expanded well beyond the 1s and 0s on magnetic dishes. The concept – and the small version of the name – is now being applied to everything from coffee makers to buildings and sustainability efforts.

Smart devices are easily assimilated into consumers’ lives, but enterprises often make efforts to integrate this approach into organizational processes and practices. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and machine learning make smart devices and systems even more powerful and effective. The complexity hinders the organization’s efforts to become the smart enterprises needed to compete and be successful in the long run. However, best practices have been developed to help tame the complexity.

1. Establish guiding principles

Companies risk wandering aimlessly if they don’t create a map to lead them in the right direction. This step is particularly critical for smart technologies, as they rely heavily on interconnection. One wrong turn can throw you completely off course.

An organization’s guiding principles should include:

Build —Incorporating sustainability into every step of the process; prioritize efficiency in all areas; secure the needs of the users; adapt to changing preferences; and engage with the user and the community in a meaningful way.

Technology — Secure and protect all entry points through advanced cybersecurity; learn from data to anticipate user and facility needs, and ensure accessibility and interoperability across the organization.

Experience — Create inclusive persona experiences for all stakeholders involved, from employees to customers to executives to communities; personalize user experiences; remove friction and barriers for users; and develop an environment conducive to productivity.

2. Take a system design approach

A new model is needed to solve complex problems such as sustainability, taking into account the multiple systems in which a problem exists. System design allows you to solve real problems rather than temporarily alleviating symptoms. Companies can break down problems into their constituent elements. Big, seemingly unmanageable problems are turned into a series of more manageable problems. Frameworks then help sort through the tangle of interactions that affect how the entire system works.

In this case, organizations are looking holistically at the systems, processes and personas that need to be addressed – rather than focusing on individual systems or use cases. Applied systems design considers interfaces, architecture, and data points based on problem type and context.

Ultimately, this approach leads to practical solutions that are accepted by users and society as a whole.

3. Prioritize Privacy

The principles of privacy by design enable organizations to go beyond existing policies and regulations. In this approach, privacy is a core consideration during the design and architecture phases for all business processes, applications, products and technologies. This is especially critical in increasingly interconnected systems.

Privacy by design encompasses a variety of concepts, including:

  • Privacy — Make this the default mode.
  • Functionality and data privacy — Appreciate both equally.
  • End-to-end security — Integrate into the entire information lifecycle.
  • Transparency and visibility —Provide to all stakeholders.

4. Define and enforce clear security guidelines

Like privacy, security should be considered at all stages to ensure user trust. Security by design offers a way to develop clear guidelines.

Identity Services are needed to authenticate users in a centralized or federated model. These fundamental services should cover key stakeholders – employees, customers, partners – and provide flexibility anytime, anywhere.

Architecture without trust is needed to fill gaps in traditional perimeter-based security, which were not designed with today’s hybrid cloud and edge systems in mind. This approach allows an enterprise to apply security controls and controls to all architectural layers and interactions.

Multicloud and data security require different tools and strategies. Enterprises can take advantage of autonomous techniques that maximize security as code, policy as code, and monitoring as code.

5. Adopt a micro-change strategy

Companies often struggle with change because the barriers are too high – or at least it seems that way. However, more Agile approaches make more progress than trying to climb a mountain in one jump. A series of small, irreversible changes can generate compound effects and produce exponential results.

Long-term goals are broken down into achievable waypoints, where employees are encouraged by nudges instead of pushing. Each success builds on the other. Barriers to change management are beginning to fall.

This philosophy is critical to smart technology and sustainability efforts. The rapidly evolving nature of technology, such as AI, IoT and cloud, lends itself to smaller and more frequent advancements. In addition, sustainability goals are often long-term goals, with many steps in between.

This strategy can also counter common change management problems, where employee fear and resistance undermine potentially effective plans.

Corey Glickman is infosys‘ Head of Global Sustainability and Design Consulting Services

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