Tag Archives: innovation

Weekly news round up 2 November 2017

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.

Finance

There might be fewer [free] ATMs in the UK soon. Link, the banking organisations who fund 70,000 UK-based, free UK cash machines, want to cut their contributions by 20%. https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/31276/link-plans-could-slash-number-of-free-atms

McKinsey wrote a report about banks needing to create their own platforms and new business models as Alibaba, Amazon and Google start competing with them. McKinsey said that banks need to capitalise on their consumer trust and wealth of data. I agree and wrote a comment on the article which then spawned an online debate. https://www.finextra.com/news/fullstory.aspx?newsitemid=31251 Continue reading Weekly news round up 2 November 2017

Weekly interesting news round up

Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.

Sport

NFL notebook
The NFL is a good indicator of where the English Premier League is commercially heading

I’ve always said the Premier League is commercially 5 years behind the NFL. To anyone who thinks Premier League TV revenues or player salaries are too high, do not read this article on the latest NFL commercial numbers. Some examples:

  • The Raiders are building a new stadium in Las Vegas at a cost of $1.7bn. Tottenham Hotspur is building a stadium in London for £800m.
  • Roger Goodell is the commissioner of the NFL. He earns $30m per year, compared to Richard Scudamore, the head of the Premier League, who earns £2.5m including bonuses.
  • The Premier League does win on salaries though. The NFL has a team salary cap of $167m per team. Compare this to Manchester City’s wage bill (last year) of £225m. Put another way, the top 5 teams in the Premier League has a wage bill higher than the NFL’s cap.

Continue reading Weekly interesting news round up

Tips for creative or innovative thinking at work

This isn’t the ideal environment for creative or innovative thinking. Photo: Michael Loke on Flickr 

During some recent presentations on innovation and technology trends, I’ve been asked for day to day advice, techniques and tips for creative or innovative thinking at work.

In summary, creativity or freshness comes from breaking habits, which are often unconscious behaviours – those things we do without even thinking about it. So here are 10 ideas for breaking habits to foster more creative or innovative thinking at work:

1. Meet customer facing staff, e.g. sales, front line support. Carefully listen to their anecdotes. If you don’t usually speak directly to customers, you’ll probably find the stories revealing. I’ve seen CIOs’ jaws drop when listening to customer service staff.

2. Read different publications. Whether it’s news websites, social platforms, newspapers, even the trade press of a different skill (e.g. legal press if you work in IT). You’re seeking different opinions to your usual ones. Continue reading Tips for creative or innovative thinking at work

Our visit to Plexal, London’s latest innovation area

"The Totem Pole" (real name) by the entrance to Plexal - impressive in reality
“The Totem Pole” (real name) by the entrance to Plexal – impressive in reality

Plexal is an innovation area based in part of the former Media Centre originally built for the London 2012 Olympics. This morning I went on a tour of the facility with a few colleagues from Endava.

The CEO of Plexal, Claire Cockerton, took us around. Claire founded Innovate Finance after working at Level39, the Fintech accelerator.

Plexal has been designed around the metaphor of an ‘Innovation High Street’. You walk in half way down the ‘High Street’. The reception desk transforms into a bar in the evening. The High Street has several glass fronted offices on the ground floor, intermittently separated by open desk areas acting as communal areas. Offices range from large (a couple of dozen desks) down to one-person pods the size of old public telephone boxes.

Communal areas also serve as fixed, large desks for organisations wishing to rent a permanent desk and leave a few monitors in place. There are coffee machines and kitchens dotted around, essential for start-ups. The whole place is designed and finished immaculately (the offices which are not still under construction). Once finished, it will cater for 800 people. At the moment it’s just over half full. Continue reading Our visit to Plexal, London’s latest innovation area

How to improve all your business metrics through digital best practices

This article is a summary of the keynote presentation I gave at the Nimbus 90 Ignite event in London on Monday.

Modern businesses need to become more engaging, responsive and efficient. To achieve this, they need to focus on stronger digital deliverables, agile processes and automate much more than they do today.

Many businesses still struggle to define what digital really means, so we have come up with 12 “best practices” which include:

  1. Business Focussed Solutions (not technical)
  2. Self-service (for everyone)
  3. Try stuff (Fail fast/ learn quickly)
  4. (Very) regular releases
  5. Easy to use and regular multi variate testing
  6. Value dashboards
  7. Easier integration (e.g. APIs)
  8. Multi-device
  9. New business models (e.g. marketplace, sharing economy…)
  10. Culture of Innovation
  11. Bots/ automation
  12. Two way conversations

When we start a workshop with a customer, we focus on each of these digital best practices. We then challenge existing processes or applications. For example, we might ask the sales team how customers can self-service themselves, or how many customers are frustrated that they can’t use a specific app on a mobile or tablet device. Continue reading How to improve all your business metrics through digital best practices

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

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

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

The future of mobile

The Future of Mobile at MobOS. It probably won't be like an iPhone 4
The Future of Mobile at MobOS. It probably won’t be like an iPhone 4

I’m in Romania this week presenting a variety of speeches, including the keynote of MobOS entitled The future of mobile. It’s been a challenging speech to prepare for – and was considerably harder than I originally thought. Not least because in technology terms, “the future” means different things to different organisations. One organisation might think some future of mobile concept is way-out-there while another may have already been using it for a year.

I promised the audience to post the script of the keynote here…

I’m going to talk about four areas on the future of mobile – context, the number of devices we use, mobile user interfaces and the central hub concept. That will set some foundation for some ‘left field’ concepts that we have for the longer term future of mobile. Continue reading The future of mobile