The Coolest Digital Industry to Work in

It's ok - photo of the list of what's ok at GDS featured as bullet points in this post
How did government become the coolest digital industry?

Think of the top three industries that seem cool to work in. I’d be surprised if you are my age and listed government as a top three coolest digital industry. But working on digital government projects seems to have become cool.

So cool, that last week Matt Cutts of Google fame announced that he will be leaving Google for the US Digital Service. Matt Cutts was the head of Google’s spam SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) team, and built up a large following across social media channels from webmasters around the world. There are forums set up to discuss every detail of his speeches and YouTube videos, to try to outsmart the chief enemy of SEO spam. Continue reading The Coolest Digital Industry to Work in

Insurance Digital Transformation case studies

Insurance is perfectly positioned for a radical digital transformation over the next few years (or maybe months) – customers feel they don’t get value from insurers (unless something goes wrong, at which point they see the value); there is a general poor to dreadful customer experience of most insurers; there are still antiquated business models (why do we still have to buy annual policies? Why can’t we have subscription-based or pay as you go policies?); and then there’s the fact that most car insurers don’t make much profit in the first year of a new customer either.

Here is some insight from two recent insurance events where the main topic has been about digital transformation, disruption and innovative ideas. Continue reading Insurance Digital Transformation case studies

Book review: The Fintech Book

The Fintech Book, a paper version of a decent blog. Sticky bookmarks are mine and do not come as standard
The Fintech Book, a paper incarnation of a decent blog. Sticky bookmarks are mine and do not come as standard

The Fintech Book is a crowdsourced compilation of articles from 168 authors. It’s more of reference book for a reader to dip in and out than reading cover to cover.

The articles are a range of medium to long blog posts, often with accompanying graphs or diagrams. The design layout is well presented with a nice orange theme. Every so often there’s a graphic which has been pasted into the book in its original format, which breaks the nice theme.

It would have been nice to have seen some real heavyweight C-level managers from the big banks or financial institutions provide some ‘keynote style’ Fintech posts in the book. Or at least provide a review of the book among the other 21 endorsements on page one as you open the front cover to add some immediate credibility. Authors from Lloyds (twice), PwC and McKinsey have provided articles, and job titles like “Business Analyst” and “Senior Manager” appear regularly in authors’ descriptions. I don’t intend any disrespect to them – perhaps these are the thought leaders in these organisations. Continue reading Book review: The Fintech Book

Innovation from traditional car manufacturers

There’s lots of publicity from technology companies like Google, Apple and Tesla about their vision of the self-driving cars. Time for some research on what traditional car manufacturers are looking at…

I’ve looked at the manufacturers’ websites and YouTube channels to get their official view – rather than a sneak preview clip from a cunning motoring magazine.

Technology in the car industry seemed to stagnate for a few decades until Google and Apple shook up the existing manufacturers. We can now see a range of innovative ideas and themes across the industry.

“Two, three or four years ago we could not have imagined building such a complex vehicle which is capable of doing so much.

“We are driving backwards. Absolutely incredible driving because it’s now like sitting in a train or a private Learjet.

I think that’s a good comparison.”

BMW – the 7 series

Not a concept car here… the latest BMW 7 series with remote control parking… it can drive into and out of a garage without anyone inside. Plus gesture control (i.e. touch-less) for the dashboard. Not sure about the fragrance control though.

Continue reading Innovation from traditional car manufacturers

Agile London at CodeNode

ThisKate from CodeCamp giving an introduction to CodeCamp evening I went to the latest Agile London event. I’ve been to a few previous Agile London events including Thomas Cook and McKinsey Labs. Some of the Endava team liked the Agile London events so much that we arranged to sponsor tonight’s event at CodeNode.

Tonight felt like it had more people attend than any previous event – there were 120 seats and we had to bring more into the main CodeNode meeting room.

What is Code Club?
What is Code Club?

The event kicked off with Kate Wilsea from Code Club. The organisation was set up about four years ago to inspire more children to… code. Code Club now reach over 65,000 kids across 4,000 UK locations, and have now opened up to Ukraine and Brazil.

If you like the sound of Code Club, you can help support them on JustGiving. Continue reading Agile London at CodeNode

Smart IoT 2016 Day Two

Today was the second and last day of Smart IoT London. Read here for Day One’s report.

The presenterless presentation... a very odd presentation at Smart IoT
The presenterless presentation… a very odd presentation at Smart IoT

I went to a few of the presentations, but only two of them are worthy of any mention (one, which I won’t name, didn’t have a presenter… the technical support guys simply played a video in the theatre – it was one of the oddest ‘presentations’ I’ve seen).

I recommend the organisers arrange fewer presentations next year, aiming for quality over this year’s huge quantity.

And please, supply more power sockets for visitors to recharge their phones and laptops (especially to help visitors cover Smart IoT on social networks). Continue reading Smart IoT 2016 Day Two

Smart IoT 2016 Day One

Smart IoT 2016 exhibition panoramicI went to the Smart IoT (Internet of Things) event today in London’s Excel centre. The programme of presentations over the two days looked great, so I signed up a while ago. This post is to share with my colleagues and for anyone else who couldn’t make it today.

I’ll start with a summary and then go into detail, because I made lots of notes during the presentations.

Summary of Smart IoT 2016 Day One

On the content:

  • There were some thought provoking content (which I’ve covered below) mixed in with some below-par presentations.
  • I didn’t see any presentations where payments were discussed. I.e how IoT devices will transact with one another/ a service/ a person.

Continue reading Smart IoT 2016 Day One

Are printed newspapers dead?

Printed newspapers: "It ain't over yet" - if you stick your head in the sand much longer it will be
Printed newspapers: “It ain’t over yet” – if you stick your head in the sand much longer it will be

Last night I went with some colleagues to a Media Society event called “Newsprint – It’s Ain’t Over Yet?” After listening to the panel and some of the questions, I think the end of printed newspapers could be nearer than previously thought.

The panel consisted of two academics, Professor Roy Greenslade and Professor Jane Singer both from the City University London; Sarah Baxter the Deputy Editor of The Sunday Times; Christian Broughton, Editor of The Independent; and Alison Phillips, the Editor of The New Day. Professor Greenslade was the chair, and Alison sent him a text half way through the event to say she couldn’t make it. Continue reading Are printed newspapers dead?

Book review: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

The original WhatsApp conversation with Ben Innes' "selfie"
The original WhatsApp conversation with Ben Innes’ “selfie”

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is a fast paced, easy-to-read book that highlights the power of group behaviour on social media.

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed is the latest book from Jon Ronson, the journalist from the Guardian. Jon Ronson is the English equivalent of America’s Malcolm Gladwell, combined with Louis Theroux’s modus operandi. Jon Ronson’s books cover those sections of society that are either taboo or push us slightly outside of our comfort zone, and it’s here that Ronson often defends those people the most.

The book is about the public shaming that some people have been subjected to on social media. He provides some case studies of people whose lives have been significantly changed by a single post on Facebook or Twitter. These individuals aren’t always celebrities – some had just a couple of hundred followers. These case studies set the context of the post right up to modern day consequences for the user. Continue reading Book review: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

Robot Assistants: Google Inbox v. Microsoft Office 2016

The infamous paper clip - the first robot assistant (we just didn't know it at the time)
The infamous paper clip – the first robot assistant (we just didn’t know it at the time)

Last October, one of Gartner’s predictions for the digital future was that we will have robot assistants helping us perform work – not mechanical work, but office-based work such as content creation:

By 2018, 20 percent of business content will be authored by machines.

This is a bold claim – two years isn’t a long time, and 20% of office productivity is a lot of… documents and spreadsheets and presentations.

I’ve long been a fan of Google Inbox, the alternative interface to Gmail. Inbox recently announced that 10% of email replies using Google Inbox are now written by the built-in SmartReply feature – probably the biggest current implementation of a robot assistant. Continue reading Robot Assistants: Google Inbox v. Microsoft Office 2016