Archive for the ‘IT’ Category

Gamification in HR Summit

May 10, 2015

I spent the early part of last week in Vienna attending and speaking at the Gamification in HR Summit. My slide deck can be found on slideshare. It was an interesting experience for the two days that I spent at Vienna, meeting gamification experts from multiple organizations.

The theme seemed to be strangely similar – each one spent their initial time within their organization fighting against odds to convince their Management to invest in the concept of gamification. Their journey and struggles in the process struck a common chord with all participants. Hopefully, going forward, gamification will have a better say in every organization.

While the implementation changed from strategic games to specific solutions for groups, Gamification is here to stay. The gamification initiatives can be divided into three categories:

  1. External-focused – Initiatives for end-customers e.g. loyalty awards, customer support sites like that of Best Buy.
  2. Internal-strategic – Initiatives like the one presented by Maarten Molenaar of Rabobank.
  3. Internal-specific – Initiatives like the one presented by Guido Helmerhorst for KLM’s Onboarding process and Anthony Scarpino of Sodexo. The key message here was that Gamification was not about ‘gamification’.

The talks and conversations during the presentation were impressive given the stature of the speakers, providing all of us enough ammunition for new ideas. I am looking forward to the next year’s summit already!


Technology Predictions for 2015

December 21, 2014

Technology has been moving rapidly and every year there is a different set that gets the highest priority. Last year, my bet was on these – some have gained while others have not been so successful.

This year, my pick is straight-forward

  1. Application Modernization – In the wake of Digital Transformation, organizations want to finally get away from legacy systems instead of wrapping them with calls and services. Application Modernization software will be in big demand.
  2. Master Data Management – MDM as it is known, will help organizations develop the Single Source of Customer that is missing in many of them. Though the first pass will not guarantee 100% clean data, at least the consolidation will help organizations start the journey.
  3. Data Monetization – Many organizations have tonnes of data with them without even realizing that they could make  use of it (and make money out of it). Data Analysts have been around for a while now and they will start getting much-promised dollars for their bosses.
  4. Web Analytics – Yes, it has been around for a while but in its new avatar, web analytics will start offering more advise to organizations on the customer behavior when they are on  their site. Customer will see better targeted marketing than ever before.
  5. Wearables or more broadly Internet of Things – My favorite for a while now, wearables are going to take the world by storm in 2015 with new use-cases that you would have never thought before. IoT is going to be omni-present and organizations will start making sense out of it. There will be product organizations who will provide end-to-end IoT support-as-a-service.

Thoughts from your side?

Before I forget, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you…

Two great but contrasting personalities

March 22, 2012

Just finished reading two books back-to-back that are about two people, greats in their own areas.

One of them is a GENIUS – make no doubt about it – the book is the biography of  STEVE JOBS by Walter Isaacson. The other book is about Indian IT Leader Ramadorai – The TCS Story…and Beyond written by the man himself.

Two contrasting personalities who excelled in their field. It was an interesting exercise to read these books and learn more about the history of Information technology. One about the progress of Apple and the troubles it faced before reaching the high peaks it has attained today. The other book talks about how TCS grew from a small organization to become the IT Outsourcing Giant today.

The nature of the leaders are as similar as chalk and cheese. While the nature of Steve Jobs stunned many, Ramadorai would have hardly uttered a wrong word to anyone. Their nature worked for their respective organizations and themselves – no point in going over their achievements. Both of them would agree that their life Journey has been the Reward.

What did I like from Walter and Steve?

  • Steve was a complex person who was very difficult to be understood by his colleagues, friends, family but his clear thinking – companies are made to create great products; not to be built and sold off (as is the case today) – made him different
  • Jobs was very clear with his focus at work – he was persistent that the users did not know about products and thus avoided any market research
  • He was a tough negotiator – wonder if anyone could win against him in a one-on-one duel
  • Even though he was a genius, success did not come easily. Did someone talk about 99% perspiration?

What about Ramadorai?

  • Humility was the hallmark of Ramadorai’s career
  • Being recognized in an organization that already has Ratan Tata as the Group Chairman is no mean achievement
  • Delegation, big picture thinking and Intrepreneurship that was followed within TCS is exemplary

Very happy to read  about these two Greats – if you have not read it, time to pick up the copy.

My technology predictions for 2012

December 22, 2011

There are a number of technologies which will be in the limelight during the year of 2012. Last year, I struggled to pick one among 3 (Mobile payments, Web-TV, Check-in sites) technologies. Usage of check-in’s did not pick up as much as one thought. The first two reappear in the list below since they still have a long way to go. This year, I am hedging my bets on the six below that I feel will be discussed across the world.

  1. Cloud. Probably a no-brainer for most of us but I expect it to get mature in the next year and more standards to come in place. Hopefully the lessons learnt during the SOA-hype will be used by the Cloud vendors to ensure that they fall into a similar trap. With a not-so-encouraging financial climate, organizations will try and go for the cloud and fail (if they don’t read the fine print)
  2. Rise of the Consumer Devices. Not just the tablet, the television will occupy a higher status of attention from all the biggies. Apple and Google are in the race to release their internet TV‘s. Pay-TV model itself will move from the current package-based to a realistic model (not dissimilar to the mobile plans)
  3. Mobile payment will increase – Google (again) Wallet will increase adoption of payment by the hand-helds. Maturity in the NFC technology will be slow (2013 maybe) but a lot more sound-bytes will be heard
  4. Mainframe technology will make a big comeback when organizations will realize that there is so much capacity available within their existing hardware.
  5. Social Networking scene will have a consolidation. Maybe an acquisition of a big player?
  6. Analytics will pick up in a big way as organizations try to increase their sales by going through consumer behavior.

What do you think of these technologies? Do you see any other technologies that will overtake these?

Agile “Plus”

September 19, 2011

Agile methodologies typically talk about using communication tools that help the development teams collaborate and communicate in a better way. Google Talk, Skype and other tools were used all these days to improve distributed Agile development.

Enter Google Wave. One thought that Google had come up with a killer feature by which distributed development could be done. But, Google moved in to shut down Google Wave (even though it was promised to be open-sourced). Waves continue to exist till 2011-end but Apache Wave is in existence (though at a primitive level).

Enter Google Plus. This has all the features that I think are essential for Agile development across the globe. The Groups are great to have – one can easily create lists of developers that you want to share information with. The next killer-feature according to me is the Hangout. Multi-user video calling feature from Google which will ensure that one does not have to leave the browser at all. No need to have one tool for conferencing and another for wiki-like conversations – a wonderful all-in-one tool from the greatest Agile company across the globe!

With all these tools adding up to a great combo, I feel that it is Agile ‘Plus’ for all development teams. What do you think?

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