Blockchain Technology – A Cure for Pharmaceutical Counterfeit (2/2)

Big Data, blockchain, Blockchain, Business Model Innovation, Business models, Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT), Innovation, Inspiring, Leading Digital, technology, Trends, Trendwatching, Uncategorized

A few weeks back the first part of Marlou her article appeared on www.rickbouter.com. You can find the start of this article here: “Part I – Current status, Impact on the Industry

Part II – how/ practicalities

On the bright side, Blockchain is expected to totally transform the pharmaceutical industry far beyond compliance. In addition to eliminating counterfeit, reassuring patient safety, adhering to regulations, optimizing supply chain operations, and protecting revenue, Blockchain is expected to standardize and automate multiple procedures, making an intermediary party redundant.

The patient in the lead of the supply chain

The patient will be put at the lead of the supply chain, allowing a more direct patient-stakeholder interaction, and is thought to facilitate the trend of personalized medicine, by making real-time patient data accessible to pharmaceutical companies. Combined with optimal utilization of analytics, pharmaceutical companies can better meet the patient demand and more directly reach their target market. This not only eases entrance barriers of market penetration, but also provides the opportunity to restrict premium pricing. The ‘pay-for-efficacy’ principle allows the price of a pharmaceutical product to be set according to the – relative – efficacy of a pharmaceutical product. This shows similarity with the ‘no cure no pay’ principle, requiring pharmaceutical companies to even more deliberately invest in secure and stable R&D projects.

Long term vs. short term impact of Blockchain in pharma

The benefits of Blockchain for the pharmaceutical industry may not be directly reflected in their revenues, but for sure have a long term impact with the potential extension to the healthcare sector in providing healthcare of a higher quality and the ability to better shape healthcare according to specific patient needs.

Optimizing impact of Blockchain due to technological add-ons

The optimizing impact of Blockchain can be further utilized by technological add-ons such as smart contracts, sensors, artificial intelligence, and different applications of IoT. Cold-chain logistics is a concrete example of an extended concept of Blockchain, where the integration of sensors and IoT allow supply chain stakeholders to track and confirm the conditions to which the products were exposed. This strongly contributes to the ability to confirm product quality and enables the industry to specifically remove individual products in case of an error, rather than reclamation of entire batches. The bottom line of these improvements is a business case for the pharmaceutical industry, of cost reduction and increased profits, accordingly.

Blockchain: Tangible prove of potential business value

We can easily write a bookwork about the speculations of what Blockchain can and cannot do. However, what we need exactly is not found in speculations, but rather in tangible prove of potential and unlocking of the business value for the pharmaceutical industry. The industry needs to take big and concrete steps towards implementation if they want to benefit from Blockchain’s potential. A concept unknown is a concept unloved, and therefore a critical act is to increase awareness around Blockchain as a technology and break through Blockchain’s technological abstractness.

Penetrating the pharmaceutical ecosystem

Although the core concept of Blockchain has already, to a certain extent, penetrated the pharmaceutical ecosystem, the majority is still unaware of the far-reaching and innovative applicability of Blockchain in digitally transforming the pharmaceutical industry. There are several steps the industry is recommended to follow if they want to unlock the business value of Blockchain for the industry. Education is a primary aspect to address the often existing asymmetry in awareness, knowledge, and understanding of Blockchain as a technology and what it has to offer in terms of potential. Part of getting stakeholders aligned with each other is to get them on the same level of expertise and thus to provide them with the required information. In addition, stakeholder’s hesitative or negative attitude towards Blockchain is to some extent a result of their deviating or wrong perception of Blockchain’s potential and how it works, also in their advantage. A better understanding of the technology would help the industry to better grasp the concept and its application.

Stakeholders intrests at stake

To reach the stakeholders of interest and in the run-up to get them on board, a pharmaceutical consortium should be formed as a starting point. In order to create alignment across the industry, stakeholders will need to discuss their objectives, perspectives, and expectations regarding an implementation of Blockchain. A consortium creates solid ground to further build on a pharmaceutical Blockchain, step by step. Together, stakeholders can determine the pain points that deserve priority in exploring and testing and formulate a consensus as the basis of the Blockchain.

Formulating specific use cases in a fragmented industry

Generally, it is important to determine and formulate specific use cases beforehand. To prevent the industry to come up with a pain point merely to follow the Blockchain hype, there should be focused on the recognition and formulation of specific use cases in the pharmaceutical environment. Specification allows for focused testing of pilots and concepts, generating tailored outcomes rather than standardized parameters that need to be translated to a particular use case. For this to be successful, the operational processes of pharmaceutical companies need to be overseen and frameworked. Given the fragmented nature of pharmaceutical companies, let alone the industry as a whole, achieving adoption is a fairly complicated process.

Mobilizing the pharmaceutical chain

The pharmaceutical industry will need to better cooperate with each other, allowing for change in their processes and behaviors. However, this is not so much of a rational process as it might have been pretended to be. Proving business value and encouraging stakeholders to embrace Blockchain definitely are steps in the right direction, but do not provide a guarantee of the technology to succeed in the pharmaceutical ecosystem. Practically, the conventional, risk-averse nature of the pharmaceutical industry and their need for evolution over revolution may just be difficult to unify with the disruptive, revolutionizing character of Blockchain. This large gap between technology and business may strain industry-wide adoption, even though stakeholders are on board with the solution. Another aspect challenging the implementation of Blockchain, but is difficult to address, is the quality of the input and the data recorded onto the Blockchain. Despite the immutable nature of the technology, the quality of the Blockchain is only as good as the quality of the information that is entered. It will be extremely difficult to qualify the channel where the information enters the Blockchain, which impinges on the promised trustless character of Blockchain.

Conclusion: Blockchain: turning the inevitable into the desirable

All in all, the previously anticipated resistance coming from the pharmaceutical industry is better to be redefined as hesitation to get involved with what is uncertain and unknown. The pharmaceutical industry needs to put the blocks together and build a solid ground to embrace digitalization, which does not imply having to set aside their cautious, hesitative attitude nor their responsibility. A way to go is to invest in education, the formation of a pharmaceutical consortium, and additional testing in the act to unlock Blockchain’s business value for the pharmaceutical industry, to once and forever turn the inevitable into the desirable, and harvest the benefits. Nevertheless, the pharmaceutical industry should keep a critical eye on the anticipated challenges as well as on new emerging technologies that are on their way to overhaul the potential of Blockchain.

Biography

With a background in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Marlou is currently in the last stage of the Master’s program Science and Business Management, pursuing her passion of unlocking the synergy between life science and business. Her ambition is to improve and strengthen the collaborative relationship of life science and business development, through encouraging communication and cooperation between the different fields. After finalizing her graduate internship at Accenture Strategy, The Netherlands, focusing on the potential of Blockchain for the pharmaceutical supply chain, Marlou is starting a PhD in human psychopharmacology at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia, striving for the aspired career in the pharmaceutical industry.

Image credits: Image 1, Disruptordaily Image 2, UKRInvest Image 3, Statnews

Wat is de ethische, moralistische, christelijke impact van nieuwe technologie?

AI, Artificial Intelligence, data, digital transformation, Innovation, Inspiring, technology, Trends, Trendwatching

Het artikel: “Wat is de ethische, moralistische, christelijke impact van nieuwe technologie?”  is verschenen is de juni uitgave van: “De Banier” het ledenmagazine van de Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij (SGP) en is gepubliceerd onder de rubriek: “Politiek dichtbij” (pagina 24)

 

Wat is de ethische, moralistische, christelijke impact van nieuwe technologie?

We leven in een tijd waar versnelde verandering het nieuwe, maar ook het enige constante lijkt. Nieuwe technologische ontwikkelingen gaan snel, zijn vaak positief, maar kunnen ook negatieve gevolgen hebben. Naast allerlei praktische, sociale, culturele en economische vragen komen ook steeds meer ethische dillema’s naar voren. Te denken valt aan: ‘designer babies’, de relatie tussen robots en mensen

en de impact van bijvoorbeeld ‘blockchain’ en ‘kunstmatige intelligentie’. Een gesprek met SGPlid en deskundige op het gebied van innovatie en nieuwe technologische ontwikkelingen Rick Bouter.

De versnelling van de rekenkracht in de technologie, gezien in een overzicht vanaf 1900 tot en met de verwachte ontwikkeling in het jaar 2100.

Zijn er in de technologische wereld mensen die ethisch nadenken over de gevolgen van deze negatieve ontwikkelingen? 

“Gelukkig wel! Mensen als Elon Musk, oprichter van niet de minste bedrijven als Tesla, Solar City, Space X en andere, of wijlen professor Steven Hawking hebben zich kritisch uitgesproken tegen specifieke technologie als kunstmatige intelligentie waarnaar Musk verwijst als ‘een onsterfelijke dictator’. Dichterbij huis noem ik prof. dr. Marc de Vries in zijn boek Technologie, overal om je heen. Moderne ontwikkelingen in christelijk perspectief. Maar ook de schrijvers van het boek Meer dan mensenkennis geven mooie inzichten. Ondanks deze positieve voorbeelden, denk ik dat er, gezien de snelheid van de ontwikkelingen te weinig kritische kenners uit onze achterban zijn.”

Hebben politici en bestuurders (binnen en buiten de SGP) voldoende verstand van zaken als het gaat om technologische ontwikkelingen? 

“Met alle respect voor de ongekende inzet en kennis die onze bestuurders
hebben, denk ik van niet. De situatie binnen én buiten onze achterban beziend, denk ik dat we niet op de goede weg zijn. Persoonlijk vind ik dat de innovatieen technologieagenda van Nederland te laag gepositioneerd wordt. Als we bijvoorbeeld kijken naar een stad als Amsterdam die een eigen Chief Technology Officer heeft (en vele andere functies op het gebied van innovatie), geeft dat een bepaalde focus en richting aan. De Verenigde Arabische Emiraten hebben bijvoorbeeld een minister van Kunstmatige Intelligentie. Dat geeft de relevantie van en de focus op het onderwerp aan. Binnen Nederland mis ik dit. Het onderwerp ‘innovatie’ hebben we onder het ministerie van Economische zaken gestopt. Een uitzondering op de onderwaardering is het initiatief Smart Industry. Dat heeft als
ambitie dat Nederland in 2021 het flexibelste en het beste digitaal verbonden productienetwerk van Europa heeft.) Mijn mening is dat we, als Nederland competitief wil blijven, meer focus moeten leggen op technologische innovatie.”

Kan de Bijbel ons iets leren over dit onderwerp?

“Ik denk zeker dat de Bijbel ons genoeg te zeggen heeft over dit onderwerp. Dat
geldt trouwens voor ieder mogelijk onderwerp waarmee we dagelijks in aanraking
komen zowel privé als zakelijk. Persoonlijk denk ik dat we nuchter om mogen gaan
met innovatie. Kennis, grondstoffen en intelligentie zijn door God gegeven. Wij
mogen die middelen binnen de kaders van de Bijbel en onze grondwet ook
gebruiken ten goede en tot opbouw van mens, bedrijf en maatschappij. Het wordt
anders als technologische vooruitgang als een religie voor ons wordt, of als technologie onze kijk op Bijbelse normen en waarden verandert. God is nveranderlijk
en dat moet centraal staan. Overigens is het nieuwe Babel al wel door Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) voorspeld. Heisenberg is iemand die we kennen als
grondlegger van kwantumtechnologie. Heisenberg voorspelde toen al dat er een
moment zou komen waarop de mens zijn invloed op technologie zou verliezen en
waarop technologie zich zonder invloed van de mens onafhankelijk zou doorontwikkelen. Laten we zorgen dat technologie niet het volgende Babel wordt waarop we ons vertrouwen stellen en waar we vervolgens van afhankelijk zijn. Dat laatste is een zorg die zeker in onze de reformatorische gezindte alleen maar exponentieel zal toenemen.”

Wat zie je op landelijk, provinciaal en gemeentelijk niveau gebeuren omtrent
innovatie en nieuwe technologie?

“Wat ik zie is dat overheden intern steeds beter begrijpen dat alles digitaal wordt.
Overheden op de diverse niveaus zijn bezig met thema’s als ‘cloud’ en ‘digital
workplace’. Een goede ontwikkeling want om innovatie te stimuleren, is het verstandig om de positieve impact ervan te gebruiken. Laat me aan de andere
kant ook duidelijk zijn dat technologie voor eigen gebruik iets totaal anders is dan een overheid (zowel landelijke als plaatselijk) die mij als burger en bedrijf faciliteert door wetgeving, subsidies en initiatieven om competitief te zijn tegen concurrentie van binnen- en buitenland. Dit mag mijns inziens méér gebeuren en ik denk dat die terughoudendheid ook en voornamelijk komt door onkunde en onwetendheid. Dat is geen kritiek, want ik heb onze bestuurders hoog zitten, maar hier kunnen we ze wel bij helpen. Dat is dan ook ons plan.”

Welke aanbevelingen wil je (lokale) SGP-politici en bestuurders meegeven als het gaat over deze thematiek?

“Informeren, inspireren en experimenteren. Laat je als bestuurder informeren: zorg dat je goed beslagen ten ijs komt. Laat je inspireren: laat je ook verbazen over de ongekende impact en mogelijkheden van technologie. Ga ook experimenteren: ga het experiment aan met andere politici of met plaatselijke bedrijven om samen op te trekken om de impact van een technologie echt te begrijpen. Op deze manieren denk ik dat we ook op innovatief en technologisch vlak een betere agenda kunnen maken. De juiste dingen doen, maar ook de dingen juist doen. Natuurlijk snap ik dat je als bestuurder niet in alle domeinen goed onderlegd kunt zijn. Maar daarom is het juist belangrijk dat we niet onze ogen sluiten voor bepaalde thema’s, maar onderzoek doen en onszelf laten informeren van de ongekende mogelijkheden van technologie. Dat is ook belangrijk om onszelf te kunnen wapenen tegen de negatieve kanten ervan en de slechte invloed op het gebied van ethiek en religie.”

“ Informeren, inspireren en experimenteren.”

Aankondiging denktank Techtics
Om de in het interview genoemde redenen is het idee opgevat om een denktank op te richten, “Techtics” genaamd.

“Techtics, onze bijdrage aan de discussie over technologie, ethiek & religie”

Tot de denktank behoren:

  • Experts uit het technologisch veld, voor wie innovatie tot een van de dagelijkse  werkzaamheden behoort.
  • Voorvechters voor het behoud en de borging van ethiek als religieus geëngageerd
  • Betrokken personen, als ook politici van zowel landelijk als lokaal niveau

Een afvaardiging van deze denktank zal jaarlijks tweemaal een kort ‘Point of View’ brengen waarin een technologisch thema geduid wordt en de impact wordt bepaald door mensen met diverse expertisen. Het doel van Techtics is het kritisch bezinnen op en het formuleren van een visie op de invloed van nieuwe technologie en innovatie op het gebied van ethiek en religie. Dit kan een thuishaven zijn voor constructieve gesprekken omtrent technologie en een kennispoort voor landelijke en plaatselijke politici.

Contact met geïnteresseerden
We zijn nog opzoek naar geïnteresseerden die willen meedenken over dit thema. Voor hen en ook voor geïnteresseerden naar de bevindingen van de denktank is er de contactmogelijkheid via de e-mail. Neem contact met ons op via de bestuurdersvereniging: bsv@sgp.nl.

 

*Wil je meer informatie over dit initiatief of wil je hier aan bijdragen kun je contact opnemen met techticscontact@gmail.com

De impact van nieuwe (Blockchain) technologie – RMU.nu

blockchain, Blockchain, Business models, data, Digital maturity, digital transformation, Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT), Innovation, Inspiring, technology, Trends, Trendwatching

Dit artikel is 15/06/2018 verschenen op de website van de RMU

Om relevant te blijven in een versnelde veranderende wereld, is er volgens Rick Bouter maar een antwoord mogelijk: Innovatie. En dat betekent dus ook kijken naar nieuwe technologieën. In deze blog legt hij uit wat Blockchain is en wat de potentie is van deze technologie.

Versnelde verandering lijkt in de wereld van vandaag één van de weinige constante elementen. Internetbedrijven schieten de grond uit als paddenstoelen en veroveren in elke maand of elk jaar complete markten die (soms sinds mensenheugenis) als gevestigde orde gezien werden. Hier kun je denken aan de bekende voorbeelden als Uber, die de taxi- en vervoersmarkt op zijn kop zet, Airbnb die dit met de verhuur van appartementen, huizen en kamers doet, maar ook aan Spotify en Deezer die de muziekindustrie in een compleet nieuw jasje steken. Verandering gaat dus snel, heel snel. Stilstand is vandaag de dag niet alleen achtergang, maar lijkt eerder op achteruitrennen. Een van de weinige vragen die overblijven voor bedrijven, organisaties en instellingen is: “Hoe blijf ik relevant in de snel veranderende wereld van morgen?”.

Innovatie is de enige manier om te winnen

Een concreet antwoord op deze vraag is even simpel als complex. “Innovatie is de enige manier om te winnen…” Als we deze vraag verder afpellen, komen we al snel bij de enablers van innovatie. Vandaag de dag is een van de grootste enablers en veroorzakers van innovatie het potentieel van nieuwe technologieën. Wanneer je dus wilt innoveren komt al snel het ongekende potentieel van nieuwe technologie om de hoek kijken. Internet of Things, Kunstmatige Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Nano technologie en Blockchain zijn veel gehypete en ook ‘over’gehypete technologieën.

Blockchain, een technologie met potentieel Laten we een van deze technologieën eens wat nader bekijken. Van programmeur tot boardmember: de term Blockchain geeft slapeloze nachten. Blockchain, de techniek achter de Bitcoin, kent veel meer toepassingsgebieden dan alleen cryptocurrency. Zo wordt gewerkt aan toepassingen in onroerend goed, containertransport, gezondheidszorg, muziekrechten, verzekeringen en pensioen. De technologie wordt door sommigen gezien als een innovatie vergelijkbaar met het internet. De grote vraag bij deze trend is: wat moet en mag je er nu mee?

Blockchain als digitaal vertrouwen

Blockchain is een technologie die het mogelijk maakt zaken te doen zonder tussenkomst van derde partijen. Bij deze derde partijen kun je aan allerlei organisaties en instanties denken. Van rijksoverheid tot gemeenten, van jurist tot ver¬zekeraar en van notaris tot kadaster. Deze derde partijen zijn ooit in het leven geroepen omdat wij, mensen, elkaar niet vertrouwen in het zaken doen of afhankelijk zijn van deze derde partij. We vertrouwen elkaar ten diepste niet terwijl dit een van de kernpijlers is van zakendoen. Een van de kernpijlers, net als andere belangrijke pijlers als een ruilmiddel (berenvel, goud, olie en bijvoorbeeld geld) maar ook het bewijs dat deze waarde maar eenmalig kan worden uitgegeven voor een bepaalde tegenwaarde. Blockchain als technologie waarborgt deze belangrijke aspecten van zakendoen en zou in potentie dus een belangrijke pijler in onze economie kunnen worden.

Hoe Blockchain werkt

Blockchain is de bekendste Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT). Deze gedistribueerde grootboek technologie heeft als belangrijkste doel om een consensus te bereiken over zaken die over dit netwerk komen. Laten we even zaken doen als uitgangspunt nemen. De kern van zakendoen is een transactie van waarde. Deze waarde kan een huis zijn, een verzekering, maar ook gewoon een valuta. Blockchain is kort samengevat een computernetwerk waarin elk onderdeel van het netwerk een compleet overzicht van transacties heeft en dit op een decentrale manier opslaat in databases. Deze transacties samen vormen een block. Het laatste blok is ‘de waarheid’ waaraan niet meer getornd kan worden, dit waarborgt het gedistribueerde netwerk. Dit laatste block is dus de input voor het nieuwe block en de nieuwe transacties. Door de tijd worden meer transacties gevalideerd en komen er dus ook meer setjes van transacties bij (blocks) en zo vormt zich dus een digitale keten van blokken, een Blockchain.

Omdat deze waarheid omtrent transacties vastgelegd is over het gehele netwerk kan die vrijwel niet gemanipuleerd worden en is frauderen ook bijna uitgesloten. Op het moment dat er een transactie gedaan wordt, wordt deze gevalideerd door alle onderdelen in het netwerk. Deze onderdelen bevestigen de principes van zakendoen. Is er een waarde? Wordt deze waarde een keer uitgegeven? Komt er een betalende waarde voor terug? Wat zijn specifieke kenmerken van de deal? (Hierbij kun je denken aan tijdstip, betrokkenen en andere items die specifiek meegegeven kunnen worden.) Zo zou je kunnen zeggen dat de Blockchain een open grootboek is waarin alle transacties terug te vinden zijn. Door de rekenkracht die het netwerk ter beschikking stelt worden deze blokken gevalideerd door ingewikkelde wiskundige formules die niet zo maar iedere huis- tuin- en keukencomputer kan kraken. Degene die als eerste de transacties valideert krijgt hiervoor in ruil Bitcoins. Dit principe wordt mining genoemd. Nu zijn er uiteraard diverse mogelijkheden van een Blockchain want niet alles kan en mag open zijn. Zo kun je een publieke variant op Blockchain hebben waarin veel informatie open en bloot staat, maar ook privé Blockchains waarin alleen bepaalde geautoriseerde personen/ instanties toegang hebben. Ook hebben al diverse consortia van partijen die elkaar vertrouwen samen een keten op willen zetten.

Bij mijn vorige werkgever hebben we een whitepaper* geschreven over Blockchain met een sprekend voorbeeld erin. “Stel u beheert een systeem met fietshuurinformatie. Een klassiek systeem zal in de database een record hebben staan waarin staat wie momenteel welke fiets gehuurd heeft. Een Blockchainsysteem zal echter een ketting van huurmutaties hebben waarin de fiets toegewezen wordt aan klanten en weer terugverwezen wordt aan de eigenaar. Al deze mutaties zijn ondertekend door de klant en de eigenaar. Zo weten we zeker dat de transactie heeft plaatsgevonden en kunnen we ook opmaken wie de fiets momenteel in bezit heeft. Blockchain is digitaal vertrouwen, maar hoe zorgt het systeem ervoor dat alleen geautoriseerde personen mutaties doen op de database? Hier komt cryptografie om de hoek kijken. Elke deelnemer aan het systeem genereert een set sleutels, een publieke en een geheime sleutel. De publieke sleutel is een controlemiddel voor andere gebruikers om te controleren of berichten van jou ook echt ondertekend zijn met je geheime sleutel. Deze publieke sleutel is daarom ook niet geheim, sterker nog het is vaak je identificatienummer, bijvoorbeeld je personeelsnummer, of in het geval van Bitcoin: je portemonnee-adres. Stel een deelnemer aan het systeem wil een mutatie doorvoeren op de database, dan ondertekent hij het mutatiebericht met zijn geheime sleutel. Andere deelnemers aan het systeem kunnen met hun publieke sleutel controle¬ren of dat bericht ook daadwerkelijk door hem is ondertekend.” Bron: Caesar Overheid whitepaper: Blockchain, de hype voorbij.

Tot zover deel 1: “De impact van nieuwe (Blockchain) technologie.” In het volgende deel hopen we verder na te denken over de impact van Blockchain technologie op ethiek en kijken we ook breder naar technologische innovatie en haar impact op ethiek.

Rick Bouter is consultant Emerging Technologie (opkomende technologieën) binnen Accenture’s consulting domein. Binnen deze rol helpt Rick bedrijven de impact van nieuwe technologieën te begrijpen en toe te passen om op deze manier te innoveren en positieve impact te creëren voor klanten. In zijn vrije tijd schrijft Rick artikelen over innovatie- en technologietrends als Internet of Things, Kunstmatige Intelligentie, Blockchain en Digitale Transformatie onder andere voor zijn website: http://www.rickbouter.com. In het bijzonder de impact van technologie op mens, maatschappij en ethiek zijn onderwerpen die Rick boeien. Om deze reden denkt hij met een aantal mensen na over het idee om een christelijke denktank te starten met een focus op nieuwe technologie en de im¬pact op ethiek. Mocht je over het voorgaande/ of eventuele andere vragen hebben, dan kun je Rick bereiken via zijn LinkedIn pagina: http://www.linkedin.com/in/rickbouter

 

Blockchain Technology – A Cure for Pharmaceutical Counterfeit (1/2)

Big Data, Bitcoin, blockchain, Blockchain, data, Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT), Innovation, Inspiring, technology, Trends, Trendwatching

Part I – Current status, Impact on the Industry

The use of Blockchain for the pharmaceutical industry has been speculated and discussed by many different entities and stakeholders for quite some time already. Blockchain is thought to address the burning platforms pressuring the pharmaceutical industry, and to possibly optimize its supply chain operations.

The burning platform in the pharmaceutical industry

The one big burning question in this context is whether the pharmaceutical industry is ever going to embrace the long awaiting digital revolution, or if they are going to bundle their forces in the act to avoid the inevitable? Although pharmaceutical R&D is driven by innovation, this feature is not so much blended into their general activities and operational processes. Already being one of the most conventional and traditional industries, the organizational hierarchy and strong fragmentation of the pharmaceutical industry only further strains the ability of companies to embrace novel technologies, such as Blockchain. Responsibility of patient health and safety carried by the pharmaceutical industry makes stakeholders rather hesitant towards novel technologies and rules out the opportunity of a trial-and-error-like implementation approach of technologies.

Blockchain in pharma, fighting the falsified instead of diseases

Regardless of their ignorance, the pharmaceutical industry has already been confronted with multiple burning platforms. Counterfeit is a continuously increasing problem across the pharmaceutical supply chain, conveying major consequences for patient health and company performance. Counterfeit products either contain a too high or too low concentration of the active ingredient, reducing the clinically proven efficacy of the product. Apart from a deviating dosage, counterfeit products may contain excipients being different from those displayed on the package, which may affect the efficacy of the active ingredient or cause unpredicted side-effects to patients after administration. Although in most cases this may only cause modest discomfort for the patient, in other cases counterfeit products can cause severe adverse events and lead to hospitalization or even lethality in its extreme. It is therefore necessary to eliminate pharmaceutical counterfeit, the sooner the better. To facilitate the pharmaceutical fight of the falsified, governments have enacted serialization regulations, obligating the pharmaceutical industry to make each individual product traceable along the entire supply chain. This allows every stakeholder to, at any given point in the process, confirm the authenticity of the product.

Trust, the challenge & the opportunity 

Circulation of illegitimate pharmaceutical products does not only put patient health and safety at stake, but also has a damaging impact on the business operations of pharmaceutical companies. As long as counterfeit keeps on existing, pharmaceutical companies are not able to assure quality and safety of their products. This has an eroding effect on their reputation as perceived by the patient as well as by other influential stakeholders, such as physicians, specialists, pharmacies, and regulatory bodies.

The inability of pharmaceutical companies to deliver product quality and safety has a direct effect on their revenue.

A decline in trust has a diminishing effect on sales. Additionally, sales of counterfeit products take away the incremental revenue of pharmaceutical companies. Thus, apart from protecting patient safety and product quality, the pharmaceutical industry is in an overwhelming need to safeguard and protect its reputation and revenue.

Curing the pharma counterfeit

Counterfeit products are incredibly difficult to identify by the naked eye, making it complicated to reveal and eliminate these products by human efforts solely. A technological tool with the capacity to enable end-to-end traceability could cure this pain point. Technically, Blockchain has the capacity to completely revolutionize the pharmaceutical industry, its processes, but above all to address the burning platforms and cure counterfeit. Its immutable character makes mutual trust and the need for intermediary parties redundant, while safeguarding secure storage and exchange of sensitive information.

Practically, however, unaligned objectives of industry stakeholders, a lack of trust in the technology itself, and the absence of willingness and often the guts to further explore the opportunities of Blockchain stagnates the utilization of these capacities.

As clearly described in Enterprise Blockchain: Are We There Yet? by Sebastian Wurst (Accenture Strategy, Munich), the unique value and at the same time the challenge is in developing a Blockchain solution that perfectly fits an enterprise setting. The abstractness and technical complexity should be converted into a commercial concept, in order to fully unlock Blockchain’s business value for any industry, and the pharmaceutical industry here in specific.

Blockchain in pharma: No success until mass adoption?

Along the way of praising Blockchain’s potential, we should not forget to touch upon the expected – disruptive – impact of Blockchain on company business models. Given the comparatively low extent of industry digitalization, current business models of pharmaceutical companies do not inherently support the implementation of a highly complex and abstract technology as Blockchain. Although some believe that Blockchain-enabled business models are on the rise, others recognize the need for only small adjustments to be made by the industry to successfully integrate Blockchain in their processes.

The largest adjustment required is said to be targeted at the mindset and core values lived up to by industry stakeholders and employees.

Cooperation, interoperability, and transparency are not naturally fostered by the pharmaceutical industry, being in an almost direct opposition to the core concepts of Blockchain. Additional education on Blockchain would increase the understanding of the technology, and possibly mitigate the risk anticipated to come with implementation. Altogether, the pharmaceutical industry may expect to be confronted with many different challenges along the way to adoption, making the successfulness of Blockchain an uncertain parameter. To address these challenges, it will require strong incentives to encourage and solid recommendations to point the pharmaceutical industry in the right direction and unlock the synergy between business and technology.

Biography

With a background in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Marlou is currently in the last stage of the Master’s program Science and Business Management, pursuing her passion of unlocking the synergy between life science and business. Her ambition is to improve and strengthen the collaborative relationship of life science and business development, through encouraging communication and cooperation between the different fields. After finalizing her graduate internship at Accenture Strategy, The Netherlands, focusing on the potential of Blockchain for the pharmaceutical supply chain, Marlou is starting a PhD in human psychopharmacology at Swinburne University, Melbourne, Australia, striving for the aspired career in the pharmaceutical industry.

 Image sources

Image 1, Wharton: ‘Trying to Recapture the Magic’: The Strategy Behind the Pharma M&A Rush

How Blockchain & the Internet of Things leverage and benefits each other

blockchain, Blockchain, Business models, Distributed Ledger Technologie (DLT), Innovation, Internet of things, IoT

Blockchain & Internet of Things (IoT), two very promising and big (r)evolutions in the digital world. Where Blockchain is promising us less interference of third parties, governments and institutions to provide almost the level of real trust in the digital world. Internet of Things on the other hand is giving us the insights we did never have and now can steer on. Insights that now give us real insights on the state of an external environment or the internal state of men, animal, application or whatsoever. Let us first have a quick look on the pro’s and cons of these two technologies before we dive into the content.

Blockchain key promises

First let us take a closer look to the key features and promises of Blockchain:

  • Digital Trust

Think about all possibilities of doing business and creating productivity without the interference of institutions and other third parties. The power of Blockchain at large is that we create an environment of digital trust to increase productivity. You even don’t have to trust the person you are doing business with because you both trust the technology.

  • Transparancy & decentralization

Blockchain is a system of decentralized and distributed databases. Everyone can have a copy of the data. Blockchain for that reason is promising for getting: the right person getting the right insights at the right moment.

  • Double spending

Value cannot be double spent in Blockchain. You cannot sell a house twice or spend the same banknote twice. Blockchain guaranties in its algorithm that double spending is impossible. You can be sure that you are the only one that owns the value.

  • Ownership

As a consumer of the Blockchain you want to be sure that the sender is the owner of the value. The cryptography that is used assures you that only the person with the private key can send the value to the receiver. So, it is very important that the private key is stored securely, ideally in an offline vault.

  • Smart Contracts

Most of the Blockchains support Smart Contracts. This is a very powerful feature. It is now possible to program trust and money. We found a quite good definition of smart contracting on Investopedia we would like to share.

Smart contracts are self-executing contracts with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network. Smart contracts permit trusted transactions and agreements to be carried out among disparate, anonymous parties without the need for a central authority, legal system, or external enforcement mechanism. They render transactions traceable, transparent, and irreversible.

Smart Contracts Definition | Investopedia

 

Questions around Blockchain

Now let us have a look at some questions we have around Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology:

  • Security & privacy

There are a variety of questions that can be asked regarding security and privacy. How do I know that the Blockchain cannot be hacked? What is the impact of quantum computing on security? The right to be forgotten, how is that implemented? If everyone can read the data how do I secure that? Where is my data stored? How can I trust the data that is on the Blockchain? What are the possibilities of an Identity Provider? The list goes on and on, but we just wanted to give you an impression of questions related to security & privacy and Blockchain/DLT.

  • Regulations

A lot of people are focusing on the fact that there is less interference of third parties, and that is correct. The other fact is that they are replaced by others sometimes. Take the example of having your insurance via Blockchain, you still must trust the insurance company as an (e.g.) regulator in the process and an institution with the role to… You get the point.

Internet of Things key advantages

Now that we have discussed some of the many pro’s and con’s of Blockchain, we will dive into Internet of Things (IoT) and do the same with this technology:

  • Insights

The biggest advantage of Internet of Things is that we can steer on insights we never had before. Before the era of Internet of Things, sensors, Industry X.0 we steered on company data which quite often was incomplete, not accurate or not interpreted right.

  • Real time data

Another big advantage is the shift from historical data to (near) real time data. Internet of Things is helping us big time to steer on data of ‘this’ moment. That is also why IoT is one of the main drivers for elements like preventive and predictive maintenance.

  • Open data

Internet of Things is also a big driver in open data like weather and government data. Using this type of external and Big Data we can make data driven decisions and act on information we were not able to dream of a few decades back.

 

Questions on Internet of Things

After we have discussed the pros of the Internet of Things, let us have closer look at the downside of Internet of Things.

  • Privacy

With sensors, camera’s and other items on every street corner the question is how we can manage our privilege and right called privacy. One example how the Internet of Things is enabling for example a surveillance state is what is happening in China now.

“The Chinese government plans to launch its Social Credit System in 2020. The aim? To judge the trustworthiness – or otherwise – of its 1.3 billion residents”

The text above is the header of the article which appeared on Wired, called: “Big data meets Big Brother as China moves to rate its citizens

  • Security

Another item that comes to mind is the very unsecure state of IoT nowadays. With an increase of connected machines and products how can we manage a secure data storage and transport from (local) gateways to the cloud? With the definition of value changing from material & physical items shifting to data, cyberattacks and hacks are increasing and getting more and more damaging and larger at scale.

The strength of combining these two powerful technologies

There might rise a few questions when reading through this article. Why should I combine two technologies where I doubt items like privacy, security and safety? Here are a few applicable answers:

One of the big questions is: how can data on the Blockchain be trusted? This is where the power of IoT and Blockchain come together.  If the data generated by the IoT device can be used as an input for the transaction on the Blockchain then the input can be validated. But then the next question is raised, how can I trust the IoT device? Do you have to trust the IoT device? Off course most of the time the answer is yes. But for now, let us look at the point after the data is generated. We have summed up three reasons why the combination of the Internet of Things & Blockchain has so much potential and why it is worthwhile to dive into:

  1. Encryption and distributed storage

When the by sensor and actuator generated data is stored and encrypted on Blockchain technology this raw data can be transported to a distributed network. The question is however which data needs to be stored. A solution is to store all the data in a decentralized distributed cloud storage environment and add the hash of the raw data on the blockchain. You can therefor never alter the data because the hash will be different. Also, your transaction size is very low because it only contains a hash. You also can do this with complete documents or images.

  1. The perfect audit trails

With a growing number of networks and data the question of, what is real and what is not, is getting more and more valid. For that reason, Blockchain can be put into place to create a perfect audit trail to locate the source of, and connection between data.

  1. Trusting IoT devices

How can I trust a company? How do I know if a B&B is any good? Through ratings. Can I trust the ratings? Many times, not. The same question arises when consuming data from IoT devices. It is very likely that IoT devices get rated in the future. And yes, the ratings are on the Blockchain, so you can verify the if the rating is authentic. Another solution is to store all the valid public keys of the trusted IoT devices on a Blockchain.

 

Experiment and iterate to the moon and back

We would like to close the article with the following advice. All technological breakthroughs start with knowing the true potential of specific technologies. How often do you think that inventors were successful by ‘accident’? For that reason, it is important to give people the trust and budget to experiment with new technology and find out what the true potential is. When we know the true potential, we have a starting point to conceptualize the impact on tomorrows business (models) and we can start realizing the dream. That brings us to our last point, moonshots. Moonshots are often referred by as:

“A moonshot, in a technology context, is an ambitious, exploratory and ground-breaking project undertaken without any expectation of near-term profitability or benefit and, perhaps, without a full investigation of potential risks and benefits.” Source: TechTarget

So.., the big question, after reading this article is:

 

What moonshot are you going to take in combining the potential of Internet of Things & Blockchain?

 

Biographies of the writers

Martin Aarnoudse – is an IT Professional working at OVSoftware with specialization in .NET and Blockchain. For him Blockchain is the next big thing. He has given a few internal sessions on Blockchain and external sessions for developers are planned later this year. He also supervises two graduates on this topic. Want to know more about his vision on Blockchain or share your own? Get in contact with Martin via his  LinkedIn page

Rick Bouter – is a consultant Emerging Technology within Accenture’s Consulting practice. Within his role, Rick helps companies to understand the impact of new and emerging technologies and how to apply them to create impact for their clients. In his spare time Rick writes articles about innovation and trends such as, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and others which can be found on his website: www.rickbouter.com. The impact of new technology on human, ethics and economics are topics that appeals to him. You can contact Rick via his LinkedIn page.

Sources & images:

Forbes

Image 1 – TNW

Image 2 – Datamining4u

Image 3 – Adage

The next big thing in Real Estate: ‘As a Service’

digital transformation, Dutch, Innovation, Inspiring, Leaders, Trends, Trendwatching

On a website about innovation, trends and new technology, a blog about Real Estate is not the first topic you would expect. Over the last decennia we’ve seen that the real estate industry is one of the most controversial market which is not chancing really fast.

 

Previous innovations in the real estate market

If we take a closer look to the market there are some changes visible already. These changes started in the last 10 years. Trends like BIM, LEAN, 3D printers and sustainability are already a trend for a while but during the credit crisis from 2008 it all speed up. When we take a closer look to BIM, LEAN and 3D printing in the real estate market we see the following:

  • Building Information Modelling (BIM) an digital presentation of the constructional and functional characteristics of a building; an effective way to create an building which ideally suits the customer.
  • LEAN, a management philosophy to create the maximum value for the customer focussing on less wasting
  • 3D-printing; an digital presentation and construction of (parts of) buildings; an effective way to create an building which ideally suits the customer.

All trends are really focused on an effective way to satisfying the customer.

 

Lack of innovation due to ‘provider markets’

Since the crisis also the rent and rental market is changing. In years of ‘provider markets’ innovations did not have big stimulations. The customers had to deal with the real estate which was available in the market. Long term visions of the real estate owners where not really focused to keep the users with longer contracts. When customers during the crisis stopped renting meters, a lot of real estate owners became in trouble. A huge amount of offices became empty and a change in management strategy was forced.

 

But then, the change kicked in

The providers market changed into a customers market, so the real estate owners were forced to think along with their clients. The products needed to fit the customers wishes otherwise they would have choose for someone else, a positive site of the crisis I would say. Flexible rental contracts with less square meters became the new standard. Since a few years the crisis in the real estate industry is fully over, but if you ask me, this movement has just started and is gaining more and more momentum.

 

Real Estate as a Service

One of the ‘products’ from the change into a customer market is real estate ‘as a service’ Over the last years, we see that companies are coming up which offer a working place with fully services.

 

“Real Estate as a Service can be observed as the shift from renting an office to renting a working place.“

 

Customers sign a contract for a kind of ‘all inclusive’ working spot for mostly a short period. Services like internet, cleaning, catering, office supplies are arranged by the real estate owner. Reservations are made on an internet platform and is it possible to rent already for a period of a few days.  It is a nice way to turn big, unattractive offices into attractive a fancy workspace for different companies. The buildings are besides a working place also a meeting place that can stimulates the cooperation between different companies in one building.

 

Real estate as a Service conclusion & outlook

The trend real estate ‘As a service’ fits completely in the current economy and suits the new generation. People like to have easy, fully service and want to be flexible.  This same culture is currently developing at companies. We’ve seen that companies can change really fast. Especially young companies and start-ups can grow fast, shrink fast or change philosophies which can change the need of real estate. People and companies want to focus on core businesses and they don’t want to carry about the non-core businesses. For the new generation the offices are also less relevant. As mentioned earlier in my opinion this trend has just started. The current ‘flexible’ generation is taking over the economy in the upcoming years. Companies will shift more and  more to an flexible part of their organisation. When we look to Real Estate as a Service I predict that this will become the standard for working places. Real Estate creators should already keep this in mind when construct an building. It should be possible for offices to ‘grow’, ‘shrink’ or change with their customers

 

If you have questions on this topic, please do not hesitate to reach out to me,

Best Jacco

 

Biography

Jacco Casteleijn is advisor project control at a consultant company. In this role Jacco advise project organisations to keep track on time, risk and money for big projects. Furthermore, is Jacco an entrepreneur in real estate an co-owner of Heica Vastgoed B.V. This company is an creator of turn-key buildings for rent or sell. If you want to catch-up with Jacco, you can contact him via his LinkedIn profile.

Image credit 1

Image credit 2

 

 

Human Centric Design: “How to turn new technology into new money?”

Business Model Innovation, Business models, Design thinking, digital transformation, Human centric design, Innovation, Inspiring, technology, Trends, Trendwatching, Uncategorized

New technologies are flooding the world, AI, VR, Blockchain, bots, edge computing and so on are regularly featured in blogs, articles and more. If you look at the Gartner Hype cycle you can’t but help thinking that the technological development is outrunning our imagination. When you take a closer look at those articles and blogs you see applications of new technology that you would have never foreseen. A question that is keep popping up is the value add for clients and end users. But besides all the technology wanderlust, in the end there is only one real question left…

“How to turn the meaning of new technology into new money?”

Today’s tech challenge

In a lot of boardrooms, this is a very big challenge. Because: “How do you use new technology in products and services that are beneficial for our clients and they are willing to pay for?” One key element is the need to question yourself on the following: “Are we client driven or technology driven?” Many companies these days are tech driven and, often fail in first instance. The problem with companies that put technology as their main driver, is that applying new technology is a goal in itself. The point of that is that it is not serving any company or customers issues or ambitions.

Today’s tech opportunity

The companies that do succeed, typically apply techniques that are derived from organisations that have an extreme customer focus (customer obsessed) and apply techniques like strategic design (design thinking, customer journeys, etc.) to reframe their thinking. The main driver to use these techniques is that the focus is more and more towards human centric design (HCD). But what is Human Centric Design. We would like to quote a line our of a brilliant piece from the Guardian called: “Why Human Centric Design matters”

“Steve Jobs once asserted, “True innovation comes from recognizing an unmet need and designing a creative way to fill it.” While he may not have been specifically referring to human centered design, you’d be forgiven for making the assumption. After all, the purpose of human centered design is to create innovative products, services and solutions through creative and collaborative practices.”

So how can digital transformation tools help you discover new applications for all these emerging technologies to apply Human Centric Design?

Building ground zero

The first step to apply Human Centric Design is by applying Digital Transformation tools to build ground zero. By applying the key principles of Design Thinking (Empathise, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test) you put yourself in the shoes of the customer/ end user and force yourself to reframe the initial question/ problem/ issue. It helps you identify why and for whom you are designing. Doing this from multiple viewpoints (reframing) will provide you with new insights and (sometimes) unexpected views of the initial problem.

Get ready for impact…

The second step is to point every single resource in putting Human Centred design to work. This method, originally developed by IDEO (ideo.org), turns imagination in to real solutions. By going through Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation steps you turn deep insights into human needs (empathy) in to multiple ideas, designs or prototypes to life and eventually to market. A key aspect to this is continuous learning in all of the phases.

Human Centred Design resulted in Impact

By applying deep learning and understanding your customers from the start, you maintain the ability to quickly adapt these learnings to what you are designing and building. As a result you will build a successful product or service since you have, throughout the process, kept the people you are doing this for at the heart of the process. By doing that the meaning of Human Centred Design is applied and you created meaningful innovation. Innovation, not driven by technology but driven by the people who are using it every day, using it to increase welfare and that is innovation as well companies as humans are willing to pay for.

Happy innovating, Bob & Rick

 

 

Biographies of the writers

Bob Ickenroth – Is lead digital consultant at inspearit Netherlands. In this role, Bob is responsible for assisting companies in their transformation towards a more digital self. He is a coach, consultant and trainer in topics such as innovation, business and IT alignment and value creation with the customer at heart. Bob has over 20 years of international experience bridging the gap between business and IT. More information about Bob can be found on his LinkedIn page.

Rick Bouter – is a consultant Emerging Technology within Accenture’s Consulting practice. Within his role, Rick helps companies to understand the impact of new and emerging technologies and how to apply them to create impact for their clients. In his spare time Rick writes articles about innovation and trends such as, Blockchain, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence and others which can be found on his website: www.rickbouter.com. In particular, the impact of new technology on human, ethics and economics are topics that appeals to him. You can contact Rick via his LinkedIn page.

Image credit 1

Image credit 2: Source: IDEO

Image credit 3: Source: Stanford.edu

 

                                                                                                     

Caesar Experts & a.s.r.: IoT concept to prototype in no time

Innovation, Inspiring, Internet of Everything, Internet of things, IoE, IoT

This blog originally appeared on the Caesar Experts blog

 

“Help us to learn about the business potential of a new technology”

This incredible question was asked at the beginning of this year by a.s.r. It was the start of a trajectory in which an a.s.r./Caesar Experts team set out with each other to implement the area of the Internet of Things for the non-life insurance of a.s.r. In this blog, I will outline how we moved from concept to prototype in only a few weeks.

 Inspire & experiment

With our joint team from a.s.r. and Caesar Experts we started with an inspiration session about the Internet of Things, followed by a hands-on session in which all team members began with the Internet of Things very practically. That allowed the team to see several applications and opportunities for the technological development of IoT very quickly.

Concept

After getting to know IoT, a case the whole team was enthusiastic about was selected, mowburn! The mowburn case was mainly chosen because it is a process in which the customer interaction is increased and because it can measure a lot from an IoT perspective. It is nice that everyone was enthusiastic, but what is mowburn? Mowburn are bacteria that raise the temperature, which leads to self-ignition. This does not only apply to hay, but also other organic materials. By speaking to experts from a.s.r., we figured out what the characteristics of mowburn are. It also became clear how the process of inspection works nowadays and what the added costs are to a.s.r. as an insurer.

Realise & Validate: prototyping & platform

With this information, Caesar started selecting sensors, logic, the network and other essentials. After this phase, the prototype is realised by Caesar and validated with a team from a.s.r. At the same time, Caesar started realising a platform which gives real-time insight into the current situation of the hay and its deviations. Several triggers and actions are built in to signal deviations early on, which made the system go from reactive trade to preventive trade.

 

“Caesar Experts added specific IoT knowledge to the project. This knowledge is not available in our organisation at this time. This lead to a positive impulse upon the realisation from paper to prototype.”

                                                   Chiel Kuijpers improvements adviser a.s.r. care

 The result

Adding more value to the customer dialogue is an essential marker for a.s.r.’s future. With this trajectory, we inserted the power of new technology to show a new, proactive form of customer interaction. We did this by showing the technical operation of an a.s.r. customer process and lift a corner of the veil to see the potential.

Internet of Things: From reactive to proactive

As you can see, Internet of Things can help to make processes, customer interaction and other operating items proactive. An increasing amount of businesses struggle with questions about their purpose and the added value of their business in the future. Added value: a value that might be increasingly difficult to realise but is essential to the existing of the companies in the future.

Do you want to think about the added value of new technology and how it can have a positive impact on your company? Contact us, and we will contribute ideas. From concept to prototype that you can validate with your business, to the management of the solution.

 

 

 

Internet of Things: “from buzzword to differentiator”

Business Model Innovation, Business models, Caesar, Digital maturity, Digital Strategy, digital transformation, Innovation, Inspiring, Internet of Everything, Internet of things, IoE, IoT, Uncategorized

This blog originally appeared on the Caesar Experts blog

Internet of Things as a buzzword – The Internet of Things (IoT) is a buzzword which cannot be removed from our trend scene recently. Everyone is talking about the Internet of Things or one of the many synonyms of it, but what is IoT exactly? In the upcoming blog series of three articles, I will elaborate on IoT as a trend, several concrete examples will briefly pass by, and we will see how your organization can start concretely. In this article, “Internet of Things 1/3 – from buzzword to differentiator” I will elaborate on what this technological development is and we will point to the IoT as a trend.

What is the Internet of Things? – The Internet of Things is a technological development in which machines, building, people & other objects can be connected to the internet or another network. By providing the above objects with sensors & actuators, you can quickly generate data through these objects. Through the internet or another network, the data will come towards you, which gives you a lot more data about the internal processes of an object or the external processes, the environment. This data can be of incredible importance to creating a strategy whether it is for realizing new revenue models, reducing costs or optimizing company processes.

Image 1: IoT Business DNA

 Getting back to the term Internet of Things. What does this technological trend include? There are many definitions & synonyms described on the Internet of Things, in this article I want to engage how we, at Caesar, use the Internet of Things, in two parts:

Insight – Under insight, we count the measuring through sensors, the collecting of data and the analyzing of collected data.

Influence – Under influence, we understand the communicating to users/decision-makers, a different way of interacting than we have seen up until now and the automating of processes.

From data to wisdom – Nowadays the Internet of Things wins its popularity because we live in a world which has engaged in a complete ‘run’ on data. That is only logical! With data, you can make choices for your company by using correct and complete information and offer the customer services that they want.

Image 2: Insight & Influence

 The intertwining of an old and a new world – Where you can optimise processes, production, assets and logistics with the Internet of Things, you can also influence the business of tomorrow. For example, you can use the Internet of Things to work with entirely new business models which strengthen customer relations, apply other revenue and payment models, change the ways of dealing with upselling & lock-in and have data function as an extra source of income.

 Summarized we can say that the Internet of Things makes it possible to collect more data, which gives you a better grip on your business of today and give you the insight and influence of tomorrow.

 

“Have you thought about which impact this trend has on your company and which chances this brings for you?”

 

Knowing more about the Internet of Things – Could your organization use some help to start with a case concretely? We like to help to work towards your goal using the examples above. For more information, you can get in contact with me here to talk about an IoT inspiration session or IoT brain game.

 Do you want to know more about how your organization can use the Internet of Things? Let me know and maybe I can help you.

Image credits

5 tech trends within Recruitment Marketing that you will often meet

Digital maturity, digital transformation, Innovation, Inspiring, Recruitment, technology, Trends, Trendwatching

Opinion of Malique Steenbrink about the possibilities of technology within Recruitment Marketing that make HR processes more human.

5 tech trends within Recruitment Marketing that you will often meet

What influence does technology have in my field? A lot! When Rick asked me to write a guest blog I did already have some ideas. There are many technological trends that affect almost all industries, but certainly also within HR & Marketing, the cutting edge that I am involved in. You can think of optimizing your business processes, content distribution through smart algorithms, complete your data overview, but also new functions that you will encounter a lot in the future. So, I want to take you through a number of trends!

# 1 Virtual & Augmented Reality

In the construction and healthcare industry VR & AR has already adopted. Within recruitment it is an ideal way to give a glimpse into the kitchen. Think of company culture, the brand story, workplace, offices, cool projects, dress code, the delicious coffee machine, virtual tour, colleagues and person’s of interest that you will face in your first working week anyway. Curious? A few nice examples are (in the Netherlands): 360-degree VR experience makes Alliander stand out among many technicians, the use of the Hololens in healthcare at Omring. How did I use this directly by myself? During a kart hackathon for IT students and as a guided tour in an onboarding app.

# 2 Chatbots

The latent jobseeker is often not immediately interested in applying for jobs, but may be curious about you as an employer. It can therefore be a good idea to include your frequently asked questions (FAQ) on your career site and to give a candidate the opportunity to enter into a low-threshold conversation with HR or a colleague or the bot is given a suggestion. For example, Intercom is frequently used on the website for customer communication & support. Why don’t we just do this for HR as well?

# 3 Pre- & onboarding app

Where the first two trends can mainly support in the pre-hire phase, we can use apps during the onboarding and training period. Just as a virtual tour can replace a physical tour, an app can serve as a replacement or addition during the onboarding session and during the onboarding process. Technology ensures consistency in content, centralization of the process and also ensures two-way traffic with the new employee from the first moment. Want to know more about the app? Check it out!

# 4 Big data and smart algorithms

The company is growing and HR needs to hire a new employee. Where is the target group active? Which soft skills are we looking for and how are we going to test these skills? How would the candidate react in certain situations? In short: will we speak of a cultural fit or not? There are more and more companies that are focusing on data of target groups and making a business of it. Within the tight labor market targeted job marketing is important, because who doesn’t want this data of their target audience? After all, the goal is to fill that vacancy as quickly as possible with the right talent.

# 5 The internet and social platforms

Yes, we will almost forget this trend as it is so obvious. But no less important! It starts with attention to SEO, to ensure that your vacancies can also be found. In addition, a candidate will also visit you as an employer, think of LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Indeed or directly through their network. Transparency is central, so ensure a good candidate experience.

Use technology smartly, but don’t forget the candidate experience

For those who think HR would not be human enough due to all those trends, is wrong. Thanks to the use of these technologies, we know much better where we can find each other, whether we will like each other and whether we see a long-term partnership. It remains human! Before you have an interview, you often have contact with HR beforehand and once at the table you and possibly your new team want to see if there is also a real-life match. So we will continue to use technology to optimize (administrative) processes, which means that we have more time for the human aspect. That is why we will face in the coming years more functions as professional happiness expert, onboarding specialist, employee experience manager, happiness officer and learning & development manager. Read more about it in the articles HR positions with a golden future (Dutch).

Also relevant, the article that appeared last week at Werf& about 9 ways in which AI in recruitment already proves its worth (Dutch) and 5 Fascinating uses of AI in Recruitment in 2018 (English).

Biography: Malique works as an Employer Branding Specialist at Appical – the app for new hire success. She is responsible for the content around the Employer Brand and the entire employee experience. Her mission is to tell stories from the heart of the organization and she closely follows tech trends in her field.

Would you like to know more about how you make a magnet from your employer brand? Ask her! She often says:

”Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world”.

Want to read more from Malique? She writes about Content Marketing, Social Influence, Employer Branding, Candidate Experience, Employee Journey and she shared a blog last month about her own onboarding experience.

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Appical blog (Dutch)

Appical blog (English)