“Technology is the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods and services to aid in the accomplishment of human objectives. When we assess new technologies and make sense of them, we need to make sure we attach the right importance to them and how they impact everything across the entire organizational and societal landscapes. We’ll need to qualify, and quantify it within useful timelines and spaces, then provide clear recommendations of how it will be used, built, deployed; what it will cost; how it will create or shift profits; how and why it will shift and disrupt current processes, methods, ideas, resources, people, and materials. They are the keys to transforming things so they work for you — building strategic advantage over all your competitors. That’s what we do! That’s what we can provide.” — Frank Sowa
How technology is looked upon strategically can make all of the difference in your organization
While most consulting firms showcase a more narrow view of technology consultancy as focused only on 21st Century digitization, and information technology (IT) advances; The Xavier Group Ltd. sees that to make clear decisions regarding your strategy and your leadership approach, you need a more holistic view that looks at that collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes and how they are used in products/services in these core areas:
More comprehensively, The Xavier Group sees that in order to see technology (and that includes digitization and IT) and how it interplays and interfuses with everything else in your organization and to a greater extent society (which impacts motivation and consumption) — one MUST examine more deeply anything that impacts the pure and applied sciences — physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. In doing this, scientists and technologists have experienced fundamental breakthroughs in their areas of specialty (i.e. when computer programmers looked at heathcare’s neuroscience studies and came up with ‘neural networks;’ or where regenerative bioscientists saw that additive manufacturing/3D printing could be used for creating much-needed frameworks upon which biologicals could grow into meaningful living organs, bio-materials, and organisms).
This exploration of technologies obviously has a DIRECT implication to the ways your organization performs — but it also (we’ve found) has a very critical INDIRECT implication as well:
“Exploring technologies outside your expertise fields draws unexpected insights and breakthroughs that improve technology within your area of focus”
We’ve also found what we believe is a better, more ageless, definition of technologies: “the conversion of resources into tools to aid humans in their ability to sustain themselves, defend themselves, move about and explore, take care of their health and welfare, communicate, build, and socialize.”
Thus, it is our belief that you, or your organization, will obtain a better view of your present and forecasted alternatives (for strategy, and leadership) if you do something to better understand the way technologies (or failures, or lack thereof) impact, interplay, and interfuse with what you are doing and what you desire to be doing as society progresses forward — two-years, five-years, ten-years, twenty-years from now, and beyond.
Technology’s impact as seen in “patterns”
In 1937, the American sociologist Read Bain, Miami University (Ohio), wrote that “technology includes all tools, machines, utensils, weapons, instruments, housing, clothing, communicating and transporting devices and the skills by which we produce and use them.”
He used this definition as part of a treatise entitled, “Theory and Measurement of Attitudes and Opinions” where he tried to address MOTIVATION in the interlocking and overlapping fields of sociology and social psychology as a part of his examinations of society. He stated, “It is apparent that human movements are possible at a time when only appropriate action-patterns exist and that these patterns must be either inherited or acquired. It is also apparent that the functioning of both human and non-human animals is largely motivated by action-patterns that seem to be products of germinal development.”
The key here is “patterns.” Bain saw appropriate action-patterns as key to what leaders need to infuse and motivate people, society, stakeholders, marketing/sales messages and so forth. In the 21st Century, that social science concept has already been integrated deeply into advertising/marketing/sales messaging, political rhetoric and campaigning, proposals, operational programs, governance, etc.
Can understanding patterns actually work to help in prioritizing technologies, technological functionality, strategies, leadership, operations, production?
The Xavier Group, in 1984, developed a proprietary analysis modeling and simulation tool on a mainframe-supercomputer which we called “Xavier Chronometrics™.” Xavier Chronometrics applied Einstein’s relativistic g-tensors to nonlinear analysis of scatter diagrams (patterning) thereby creating more plausible concepts for which alternative future scenarios would be more likely to occur when compared to others. (See “Analytics” for details.)
Xavier Chronometrics (“Chrono-Metrics”meaning — event patterning in time, in geometric space) was used initially in technologies qualitative analyses (i.e., looking technologically at the fluid flow characteristics in a jet/rocket-engine nozzle for ‘most likely’ focused points in the nozzle (as the fuel flowed and was combusted) where metallic material qualities would chemically change from the focused heat of the combustion of rocket or jet fuels). That concept was then applied to patterning elsewhere on both a macroscopic and microscopic basis until we found evidence that it worked in futures studies (futurology). What it did was to create a better understanding of how, where, and when patterns would most-likely move in complexity and in chaos — and when the patterning was most likely to be able to cause “swarming” interplay and the potential for interfusing.
So, when we examine technologies, technology forecasts (dealing with characteristics needed for a technology) and assess technologies — (Technology Assessment = the study and evaluation of new technologies assuming a future-oriented global perspective to provide objective and authoritative analysis of the complex scientific-technical issues, and clearer policy, ethical/moral, and governance recommendations for organizations); we not only provide a holistic approach, but we also provide a comprehensive deep-dive examination of how it could respond, interplay, and interfuse itself to impact society, and your organization(s).
Problem-solving solutions with technologies
Today in the 21st Century, technology has so interfused itself with every aspect of society, that any credible organizational approach MUST include applications of technologies in any strategy. As technology evolves further becoming even more pervasive, it is critical for business to effectively apply and align the right technology “at all levels — core and above” to meet their objectives and continue to gain competitive advantage. It is often forgotten that technology is not merely a commoditized cost, but rather is a high-value enabler and should be applied as such.
Therefore, our approach, in regards to technologies, is to apply them using consistent, disruptive, and integrated enterprise-wide dynamic strategies that employ political, economic, social, psychological, and labor forces — so as to meet rivals under the most advantageous conditions — even in the face of conditions growing out of the increased velocity of change and convergence.
Over the past several decades product cycles and strategy formulation have changed. In manufacturing, technology is shifting from carving up materials (subtractive processes) to working with materials that adhere (additive processes). By 2025 84% of traditional Tool and Die will succumb to 3D Printing/Additive Manufacturing. Yet, few manufacturers have yet established strategies that address this technological shift. Why haven’t they?
Since 2006, the most advanced manufacturers have adopted some aspects of additive manufacturing methods (i.e. prototyping, custom-short runs, automation, software), streamlined via CAD/CAM/CIM/CNC. If you are in manufacturing and haven’t, you need to ask how does their adoption transform the future of your organization? Is your staffing being prepared/positioned/trained/and currently developing for this future? Are your suppliers? Your customers? Your processes? Your fabrication lines? Your use of materials? Your customer expectations? All of these WILL AFFECT your future profits and ROI — so what are you doing now, while you still have room for a corrective window? These new technologies may make your operation outdated very soon if you continue to choose to ignore them.
In the marketplace and service industries things are changing tumultuously as well. Few people really have a handle on how organizations like Cambridge Analytica and their use of big-data analytics for predictive and prescriptive approaches dramatically altered forever the politics in a number of countries — and how their approaches were used by Russian cyber hackers, as well as how they led to the election of the 45th President of the United States. But, Cambridge Analytica is first and foremost an “advanced marketing firm”. What happens when you release those advanced tactics on the consumer of products/services that compete with yours? Are you prepared? Will you stand a chance?
Are your enterprise resources, stakeholders, processes, feedback loops positioned properly to provide you instantly and in real-time the right information/data that can lead your organization to a better understanding of the organization you run, and what is needed to continue to succeed at what you do (so you won’t be kept up at night or be facing putting out fires rather than moving toward your desired outcomes)? What technologies should you be investing in to make that happen? How will those technologies interact with your organization and its customers to make things work right?
Is your enterprise architecture, your digitized approaches, and/or your IT collecting the right data in real-time to make wise and unambiguous snap strategic decisions? Flying by the seat-of-your-pants without the proper use of strategy and analytics metrics, leads quickly to perdition in the 21st Century, because the product/service cycle has moved from 20 years to just 7 weeks. Call us if you want to know more. What does that say for your strategy, your leadership?
Are you really exceeding your customer’s current and future expectations, or are you losing them to your competitors? Why? … And, what technologies can help you and your organization overcome these obstacles?
Operationally, are you struggling with particular operational problems that may or may not be repetitive? How are you archiving and using feedback loops to examine and understand the data that explains these problems? What new technologies should you be employing/deploying to get your operations under control, and back to advancing your visions and purposes? How much of this can be explained off by using traditional methods without much thought or examination of the situation? How much of this can be explained off by using latent and familiar systems and technologies rather than upgrading?
Technologically, the actual core of any enterprise is its vision. For a vision to “work,” the vision must be initiated through a stable strategy that is shared, unambiguous, and permanent. It must be a reference that all enterprise stakeholders can use as a roadmap to ensure common success and shared core values. And, it must be executed and implemented within an embedded core enterprise architecture that makes use of operational IoT sensors and analytical devices positioned optimally throughout the organization, that report in instantaneous real-time feedback loops back to leadership, and to governance bodies of organizational units as deemed necessary for smooth, effective, and productive customer-driven operations.
Vision, like this, is among the most coveted and discussed leadership qualities that an organization can have. This much sought-after trait allows leaders to guide their organizations by creating meaning and purpose. When applied strategically, this translates into growing profits and revenues with practical plans and meaningful work.
Attaining this critical skill comes from two internal sources — the use of foresight (analytics, forecasting trends and identifying relevant opportunities that are emerging and deciding how to make the most of them today), and maximizing the smart intelligence (R&D, operational forecasts, sales forecats, and feedback loops) that passes through every organization, every second of every day through the flow of data and information.
The first source — foresight through analytics — is artful, creative, innovative, and disruptive means to improve upon or radically alter of the status quo.
The second source — managing the flow of data and information — is pragmatic, analytical, mechanical, proactive, competitive, and volatile. It strengthens the unified focus of the vision. Both provide the critically needed balance required for any organization to succeed.
Managing data/information flow with good EA
The management of that flow of data and information thus becomes a key factor in assuring that the vision succeeds. It is essential that the flow is readily available, current, accurate, and relational coinciding with the business processes that drive the strategic initiatives of the organization. Management of the flow of data and information is NOT an IT function, even though many technical products, software, hardware, and tools are used. Xavier Communications has found this to be one of the most common areas where businesses fail to secure a stable enterprise approach when it comes to planning for this.
Organizations manage data and information flow by translating organizational visions and strategy into an effective enterprise process of change by creating, communicating and improving the key requirements, specific principles and unambiguous models that describe the enterprise’s future state and thereby enable its evolution from the current state to that future state. This process is referred to as Enterprise Architecture (EA).
The scope of the EA includes the people, processes, information and technology of the enterprise, and their relationships to one another as well as to the external environment. Enterprise architects operate independently of the organizational process (engineering) sector, the leadership (C-level) sectors, and the IT sector (technologists). Rather, enterprise architects compose holistic solutions that address the organizational challenges of the enterprise and support the governance needed to implement them correctly. Enterprise architects use the EA process to discover the target state that the organization wishes to invest in and then helps the organization understand its progress toward the desired state.
In the 21st Century, we no longer need to succumb, nor should we continue to operate based on the 20th Century standards of economic scarcity. The Internet has created potentials for a new 21st Century economy (and it will begin to be realized when the Internet of Things takes its initial shape 2018-2020), a globalized economy of abundance.
Today, technology is readily-accessible, an it can increase the value of your organization exponentially. For this to occur though, the technology and the processes/patterns surrounding it need to be easy-to-use and seamlessly integrated/interfused into your entire enterprise so that it supports your visions and strategies at every level.
If you do NOT feel this is occurring, you may need outside assistance.