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Three actions CEOs can take to get value from cloud computing

Leaders need to accelerate their journey to the cloud in order to digitize quickly and effectively in the wake of COVID-19.

If you are a CEO, you already know what the cloud can do for your business in a post-COVID-19 world. You’ve probably even told your organization to get you there already. So why is your move to the cloud 1 coming along so slowly, even though you may have been talking about it for years? It might be because you and your management team have yet to take a sufficiently active role, or provide the air cover your chief information officer (CIO) and chief technology officer (CTO) need.

CIOs and CTOs are on the front foot right now thanks to their crucial role during the COVID-19 pandemic. That makes this a good moment to further elevate top-team support for the cloud enablement needed to accelerate digital strategy, the digitization of the company, its channels of distribution, and its supply chains—all of which already needed to be moving more quickly than they were.

The CEO’s role is crucial because no one else can broker across the multiple parties involved, which include the CIO, CTO, CFO, chief human-resources officer (CHRO), chief information security officer (CISO), and business-unit leads. As we explain in this article, the transition to cloud computing represents a collective-action problem—one that requires a coordinated effort across the team at the top of an organization. It’s a matter of orchestration, in other words, and only CEOs can wield the baton.

To get to cloud more quickly, CEOs should ask their CIO and CTO what support they need to lead the organization on the journey. Chances are good that three interventions will emerge:

  1. establishing a sustainable funding model to support the investments required to get business value from the cloud
  2. developing a new business-technology operating model that exploits cloud for speed, agility, and efficient scalability
  3. putting in place the HR, compensation, and location policies required to attract and retain the specialized engineering talent required to operate in the cloud

By Chhavi Arora, Tanguy Catlin, Will Forrest, James Kaplan, and Lars Vinter

More: mckinsey-digital

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Rusza XXI edycja “Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe”

Ranking Deloitte szansą dla innowacyjnych firm technologicznych na ugruntowanie pozycji rynkowej

Od 21 lat firma doradcza Deloitte promuje innowacyjność, oferując firmom technologicznym z Europy Środkowej platformę do zaprezentowania swojej marki oraz ugruntowania pozycji w branży. Właśnie ruszyła rejestracja do kolejnej, XXI edycji „Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe”, rankingu najszybciej rozwijających się firm technologicznych w Europie Środkowej. Program jest skierowany zarówno do przedsiębiorstw o mocnej pozycji, jak i tych, które niedawno rozpoczęły działalność. Termin zgłoszeń upływa 14 sierpnia. Zwycięzców poznamy w listopadzie.

„Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe” to program, który plasuje 50 najszybciej rozwijających się firm technologicznych w Polsce i Europie Środkowej, publicznych lub prywatnych, w oparciu o procentowy wzrost przychodów w ciągu ostatnich czterech lat. W tegorocznym rankingu analizowane będą przychody w latach 2016-2019.

Tegoroczna edycja w pewnym sensie będzie wyjątkowa. Trwająca pandemia to dla wielu innowacyjnych firm duże wyzwanie, ale też okazja, by pokazać firmę i jej możliwości. Było to już widać po pierwszej reakcji rynków, czyli wzrostach sprzedaży technologii umożliwiających pracę zdalną. Wiele innowacyjnych firm zmienia też czy rozszerza swoją działalność po to, by pomagać w walce z COVID-19, mówi Agnieszka Zielińska, Partner w Dziale Doradztwa Finansowego, Lider Programu Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe

Od kilku lat firmy z Polski dominują w rankingu Deloitte. Na przestrzeni dwóch dekad wysokie miejsca zajmowały, m.in. CD Projekt, home.pl. eCard, Pracuj.pl czy LiveChat. W ubiegłorocznej edycji w głównej kategorii „Fast 50” uplasowało się 11 firm z Polski, z czego 3 trafiły do pierwszej dwudziestki: Semantive (14 miejsce), Polski Standard Płatności (17 miejsce) oraz TestArmy Group (18 miejsce).

Edycja 2020 obejmie dwie kategorie „Fast 50” i „Wschodzące gwiazdy”. Dodatkowo firmy mogą aplikować do nagrody specjalnej „Impact Stars”.

Każda spółka starająca się o udział w programie w kategorii głównej „Fast 50” musi spełniać następujące kryteria:

  • działać na rynku od co najmniej czterech lat, czyli co najmniej od 31 grudnia 2015 r.;
  • osiągać przychody operacyjne nie mniejsze niż 50 tys. euro w roku 2016, 2017, 2018 oraz przychód w roku 2019 nie mniejszy niż 100 tys. euro;
  • posiadać siedzibę w jednym z krajów Europy Środkowej (Albania, Bośnia i Hercegowina, Bułgaria, Chorwacja, Czechy, Estonia, Węgry, Kosowo, Łotwa, Litwa, Macedonia, Mołdawia, Czarnogóra, Polska, Rumunia, Serbia, Słowacja, Słowenia); 
  • być firmą technologiczną, a jej działalność musi zawierać się w jednej z kategorii: komunikacja, ochrona środowiska, fintech, sprzęt komputerowy, ochrona zdrowia i nauki medyczne, media i rozrywka, produkcja oprogramowania;
  • być właścicielem praw własności intelektualnej lub zastrzeżonej technologii sprzedawanych klientom w produktach, generujących większość przychodów operacyjnych spółki; 
  • posiadać strukturę własności, która wyklucza udziały większościowe zagranicznych inwestorów strategicznych.

W kategorii „Wschodzące Gwiazdy” mogą walczyć firmy młodsze, jednak muszą działać na rynku nie krócej niż trzy lata, a także osiągać przychody powyżej 30 tys. euro w każdym rozpatrywanym roku (2017 – 2019).

Firm ubiegających się o nagrodę specjalną „Impact Stars” nie dotyczą kryteria przychodowe oraz długość prowadzonej działalności. Kategoria została wprowadzona z myślą o firmach, które z powodzeniem łączą rozwój innowacyjnych produktów czy usług technologicznych z pozytywnym oddziaływaniem na co najmniej jeden z obszarów: społeczeństwo, biznes, innowacje, środowisko i różnorodność.

Każda edycja Technology Fast 50 Central Europe to wielkie wydarzenie i równie wielkie emocje. Choć to ranking firm z Europy Środkowej jego zasięg jest znacznie większy. Wszystkie firmy biorące udział w programie, mają szansę na wyróżnienie się w naszym rankingu globalnym oraz rankingu Fast 500 dla Europy, Bliskiego Wschodu i Afryki. To w oczywisty sposób zwiększa dotarcie marki do potencjalnych klientów i pomaga ugruntować jej pozycję – mówi Agnieszka Zielińska.

Do rankingu zgłaszać się można do 14 sierpnia 2020 r. poprzez stronę http://www.deloitte.com/fast50ce, gdzie dostępne są również informacje nt. kategorii i kryteriów rankingu oraz najważniejsze dane dotyczące jego poprzednich edycji. Wyniki Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe zostaną ogłoszone w listopadzie 2020 r.

Agnieszka Zielińska, Partner w Dziale Doradztwa Finansowego; Małgorzata Reif, Menedżer ds. komunikacji

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The eight essentials of innovation

It’s no secret: innovation is difficult for well-established companies. By and large, they are better executors than innovators, and most succeed less through game-changing creativity than by optimizing their existing businesses.

Innovation and creativity

In this engaging presentation, McKinsey principal Nathan Marston explains why innovation is increasingly important to driving corporate growth and brings to life the eight essentials of innovation performance.

Yet hard as it is for such organizations to innovate, large ones as diverse as Alcoa, the Discovery Group, and NASA’s Ames Research Center are actually doing so. What can other companies learn from their approaches and attributes? That question formed the core of a multiyear study comprising in-depth interviews, workshops, and surveys of more than 2,500 executives in over 300 companies, including both performance leaders and laggards, in a broad set of industries and countries (Exhibit 1). What we found were a set of eight essential attributes that are present, either in part or in full, at every big company that’s a high performer in product, process, or business-model innovation.

Since innovation is a complex, company-wide endeavor, it requires a set of crosscutting practices and processes to structure, organize, and encourage it. Taken together, the essentials described in this article constitute just such an operating system, as seen in Exhibit 2. These often overlapping, iterative, and nonsequential practices resist systematic categorization but can nonetheless be thought of in two groups. The first four, which are strategic and creative in nature, help set and prioritize the terms and conditions under which innovation is more likely to thrive. The next four essentials deal with how to deliver and organize for innovation repeatedly over time and with enough value to contribute meaningfully to overall performance.

By Marc de Jong, Nathan Marston, and Erik Roth

More: McKinsey; About the authors: Marc de Jong is a principal in McKinsey’s Amsterdam office, Nathan Marston is a principal in the London office, and Erik Roth is a principal in the Shanghai office.

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AI, Robots, and Ethics in the Age of COVID-19

Before COVID-19, most people had some degree of apprehension about robots and artificial intelligence. Though their beliefs may have been initially shaped by dystopian depictions of the technology in science fiction, their discomfort was reinforced by legitimate concerns. Some of AI’s business applications were indeed leading to the loss of jobs, the reinforcement of biases, and infringements on data privacy.

Those worries appear to have been set aside since the onset of the pandemic as AI-infused technologies have been employed to mitigate the spread of the virus. We’ve seen an acceleration of the use of robotics to do the jobs of humans who have been ordered to stay at home or who have been redeployed within the workplace. Labor-replacing robots, for example, are taking over floor cleaning in grocery stores and sorting at recycling centers. AI is also fostering an increased reliance on chatbots for customer service at companies such as PayPal and on machine-driven content monitoring on platforms such as YouTube. Robotic telepresence platforms are providing students in Japan with an “in-person” college graduation experience. Robots are even serving as noisy fans in otherwise empty stadiums during baseball games in Taiwan. In terms of data, AI is already showing potential in early attempts to monitor infection rates and contact tracing.

No doubt, more of us are overlooking our former uneasiness about robots and AI when the technology’s perceived value outweighs its anticipated downsides. But there are dangers to this newfound embrace of AI and robots. With robots replacing more and more job functions in order to allow humans to coexist as we grasp for some semblance of normalcy, it’s important to consider what’s next. What will happen when humans want their former jobs back? And what will we do if tracking for safety’s sake becomes too invasive or seems too creepy yet is already an entrenched practice?

A New Normal Comes Racing In

After a vaccine for COVID-19 is developed (we hope) and the pandemic retreats, it’s hard to imagine life returning to how it was at the start of 2020. Our experiences in the coming months will make it quite easy to normalize automation as a part of our daily lives. Companies that have adopted robots during the crisis might think that a significant percentage of their human employees are not needed anymore. Consumers who will have spent more time than ever interacting with robots might become accustomed to that type of interaction. When you get used to having food delivered by a robot, you eventually might not even notice the disappearance of a job that was once held by a human. In fact, some people might want to maintain social distancing even when it is not strictly needed anymore.

We, as a society, have so far not questioned what types of functions these robots will replace — because during this pandemic, the technology is serving an important role. If these machines help preserve our health and well-being, then our trust in them will increase.

As the time we spend with people outside of our closest personal and work-related social networks diminishes, our bonds to our local communities might start to weaken. With that, our concerns about the consequences of robots and AI may decrease. In addition to losing sight of the scale of job loss empowered by the use of robots and AI, we may hastily overlook the forms of bias embedded within AI and the invasiveness of the technology that will be used to track the coronavirus’s spread.

More: https://sloanreview.mit.edu

About the Authors

Ayanna Howard (@robotsmarts) is the Linda J. and Mark C. Smith Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. She also serves as director of the Human-Automation Systems (HumAnS) Lab in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Jason Borenstein is the director of graduate research ethics programs and associate director of the Center for Ethics and Technology within the School of Public Policy and Office of Graduate Studies at Georgia Tech.

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ANTI-COVID-19 – Cluster anti-crisis shield

The Baltic Sea and Space Cluster has launched the BSSC ANTI-COVID-19 anti-crisis shield. This is a special website on the Cluster’s website www.bssc.pl, where members of the Cluster inform about their activity during the pandemic and offer for other maritime business participants. The portal is also available to other companies and institutions related to maritime economy, education and research of the sea.

Many institutions and enterprises operating in the maritime economy have not slowed their activity despite the pandemic. It changed the forms of operation, implemented security procedures, switched to remote work or activities in smaller teams. Ports and shipyards are still active on the international market. Additional requirements arise, as the clients of these enterprises are often people from outside Poland. The initiative works under the slogan: BSSC Anti-crisis Shield.

The main mission of the BSSC Cluster is to integrate maritime business, science, administration and the community. Cluster BSSC promotes cooperation, commercialization and positioning of our members on international markets. Therefore, the information is in both Polish and English. Members operate under the slogan: We help people and Maritime Business. Photo: Marek Grzybowski

More info: https://glosgdyni.eu/klaster-na-pandemie-anty-covid-19-klastrowa-tarcza-antykryzysowa/