This article is the fourth in a series on the Accenture Technology Vision for Oracle. The series explores five key trends discussed in the vision: Intelligent Automation, Liquid Workforce, Platform Economy, Predictable Disruption and Digital Trust. This article focuses on using Oracle technology to adapt to Predictable Disruption.
In the 1960s, few people could have predicted the effect that personal computers would have on business. The impact of the internet was just as unexpected. These innovations were "disruptive" at the time and impossible to predict.
Today, we are in the midst of another era of disruptive change. Never before have we been so connected to one another through technology. This introduces a new paradigm. To a significant extent, change can now be predicted and anticipated. Predicable disruption has become a practical reality.
|Why do ecosystems matter?|
Today, car manufacturers don’t just sell customers a car. Instead, they use the connected car to stay in touch with the customer throughout the lifecycle of the vehicle. Car manufacturers watch over updates and security patches and perform diagnoses, while an ever-growing ecosystem of supplementary products and services develops around the product. Think of mobile hotspots, emergency calls and car-sharing initiatives, for example.
What does that have to do with predictable disruption? When they are part of an ecosystem, companies are in a better position to predict the impact of disruptive developments. By closely observing and analyzing activity across the ecosystem, they can learn more about who their customers are and what drives them.
|Predictable disruption and the traditional company|
One example of predictable disruption is a groundbreaking company such as Uber. Uber is not only a disruptive transportation company, it has also moved into healthcare with UberHEALTH, which uses data to develop insights into the demand for flu shots.
However, it is the more traditional companies that stand to benefit from predictable disruption. That’s because they possess vast amounts of data and experience, which puts them in good position to identify and react to new possibilities in their ecosystems.
For example, Bol.com is a Dutch company that has built a flourishing ecosystem, which it has opened up to third parties, including second-hand sellers. The sellers profit from the trusted brand of the website. For its part, Bol.com benefits from the revenue and, especially, the data it collects from sales across a range of contact points—from purchase to service contacts to interactions in social media. This allows Bol.com to create 360-degree customer profiles.
|Get to predictable disruption in four steps|
Predictable disruption opens up endless opportunities, but how do you take advantage of them? Let’s look at a hypothetical car manufacturer that wants to track and predict market trends and keep innovating in order to compete. The following four steps can help it do so:
Create a single source of the truth
First, it is important to have one comprehensive pool of data. This can be created with a Business Intelligence solution such Oracle BI Cloud, which can also be used to analyze that data. Scalability of the solution is crucial, because analytics requires a significant amount of computing resources. A cloud solution can provide the ability to easily scale up or down.
With the Oracle BI Cloud solution in place, our hypothetical car company can start loading it with data and create connections with suppliers, customers and other parties. It could also connect with organization such as the ANWB (Dutch Car Assistance) to gather data about accidents and car breakdowns. All this data can then be uploaded from in-house servers to the Oracle BI Cloud solution. This can be handled by the Oracle GoldenGate service, which enables real-time data integration of the cloud solution and the company’s on premise production systems. This integration helps ensure that analyses are always using up-to-date data.
Prepare the data
Data needs to be prepared before it is used for analysis. Studies show that data analytics projects typically spend 90 percent of their time on data preparation. Thus, the speed of analysis depends largely on how quickly data can be prepared.
A service such as Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud can speed up data preparation dramatically, because it automates a number of preparation tasks. For example, it removes duplicates, masks sensitive data (e.g., credit card numbers), enriches data (e.g., by transforming postal codes to place and country) and recognizes errors using machine-learning algorithms.
Analyze the data
Now that the data is prepared, the company can begin to look for patterns that help predict disruption. For example, the car company might find that there is an increase in the number of home-based charging stations for hybrid cars after the government has offered tax reductions for people buying such stations. Or it might notice a change in customer service ratings after the release of a software update for a vehicle line.
These changes could be early warnings of developments that will have a much bigger impact on their business model. This is how Uber identified a correlation between the increase in taxi rides and a decrease in arrests for intoxicated driving. The company then used these findings to convince governments and municipalities of the social importance of a car service.
Imagine our car company using Oracle BI Cloud to combine data from 911 emergency centers with data from the ANWB (Dutch car assistance) data center. It finds that accidents are often not reported to the emergency center in a timely manner. This is unfortunate, helpful intervention depends on how quickly emergency personnel can arrive on the scene. In response, the company might create a car that automatically dials the emergency center when there is an accident. After implementing this solution, the company can monitor those vehicles and see whether they are involved in fewer fatal accidents. This is more than just a unique selling point—it’s a technological innovation that benefits society.
Because it is critical to provide the results of analyses to business management, Oracle BI Cloud makes it possible to share data and reports through mobile channels.
Taking steps like these—integrating, enriching and publishing data—can help companies see farther ahead and make better-informed decisions based on solid, timely data. For those that embrace this approach, predictable disruption becomes a daily fact of life—and a competitive advantage.
Is your company interested in predictable disruption? Have you found ways to take advantage of it? Share your thoughts with Alain at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ruben at email@example.com.