Why business continuity after Covid will require a ‘data culture’

9 Oct 2020

Marcin Niczyporuk. Image: Intive

Marcin Niczyporuk, CTO at Intive, outlines why companies will need to become better acquainted with data processing as we continue to work online.

Marcin Niczyporuk is the chief technology officer at Intive, a digital transformation company that works with clients in the automotive, finance, media and communications and technology sectors, among others.

Here, he talks about the growing importance of investing in “data literacy” and “cybersecurity fluency” as businesses continue to pivot online.

‘Now everything is online, so we need effective written and oral communication with technology’

Describe your role and your responsibilities in driving tech strategy at Intive.

As the leader of the technology strategy of the company, my responsibilities are aligning tech decisions with the organisation’s goals, keeping up to date about new technologies, leading R&D projects on cutting-edge technologies (AI, big data, IoT, 5G, edge computing) and being the nexus between customers and our development team.

My focus is mixing the cutting-edge technology tools and our incredible innovation team to create the best digital solutions for our customers.

Are you spearheading any major products or IT initiatives you can tell us about?

As we all know, the pandemic is forcing companies to become 100pc digital and embrace remote set-ups. During this year we have been very close to our clients to support them with digital business continuity, embracing innovation and accelerating their digital transformation, from cloud computing to AI solutions.

In these challenging times, our focus is having better support with delivering value in the space of innovation thanks to our design-led engineering services. In addition, we started a new cloud partnership with Google Cloud Platform in order to improve our multi-cloud services for business continuity.

Last but not least, our new R&D AI team is helping customers to adopt AI technologies by embracing AI research and building AI solution accelerators to improve time to market for production deployments.

How big is your team? Do you outsource where possible?

The company has over 1,600 employees around the globe. The company’s operations include 12 development centres and six design studios in Germany, Poland and Argentina, as well as regional offices in the UK and the US.

We have international teams of software, design and business experts, and we operate in industries such as fintech, automotive, retail, media and telecommunications.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation? How are you addressing it at Intive?

Due to the current global situation, the importance of digital transformation is enhanced. Our lives have changed and remote working, virtual education and shopping online became the new normal.

Digital transformation is a necessity and companies need to become cloud and mobile quickly in order to search for new customers. With this in mind, our design-led engineering is creating digital solutions for business needs, from how to start digital transformation and why to implementation and support in next steps.

Our services include business and technical advisory and consultancy. Moreover, we make ideation and strategy remote workshops with all the team members involved.

We have tools to speed up cloud transformation, such as an AI and cloud centre of excellence. Furthermore, we built a solution accelerator, VoD, to improve time to market. These tools allow us to gain easy scaling, integration and product agility.

What big tech trends do you believe are changing the world and your industry specifically?

Firstly, I believe touch-free technology gained importance due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. In a contactless world, voice and gesture recognition are big trends, especially gesture recognition in cars.

On the other hand, we have conversational applications and interfaces. Now everything is online, so we need effective written and oral communication with technology. Voice-command devices like Alexa are a growing trend and bots for chatting with customers are a must for retail industries.

You can launch a chatbot, analyse historical conversations and figure out satisfaction levels. You can monitor every channel with your customers. Although at the present time chatbots are not so good at understanding algorithms and they need more time to conversate with you, the next generation of bots will have one-shot recognition in one sentence.

In my point of view, it is important to have a data-driven organisation with a data-driven culture. A digital transformation means basically more production and process of data, and businesses need to adopt this.

Edge computing is a big trend, too. Along with 5G and distributed clouds, it will speed up production of data and connectivity. Everyone will be data driven. We are talking about a big data revolution. If you are a fintech in a data-driven culture, you will have a better experience in point of sale, will have better connectivity and new technology will be on the edge, with synchronisation always on.

Edge computing means more and more powerful devices because AI needs strong devices. In regards to IoT, everything will be smart, so we will need 5G to have great edge computing and data processes. AI-based automation is another important trend. We are producing more data, so AI solutions will have better quality.

An important point to note is the need to improve data literacy. You need to build a data culture. Your employees need to understand information, dashboards, KPIs, etc. Your engineers need to understand data to create better integrations, the sales team needs to understand social media data to sell more.

Furthermore, we should expect to see the next generation of robotic process automation tools. They will be able to scan paper invoices, mimic user behaviour, automate web applications and use intelligent process automation. That means algorithms that can understand errors, automate the process and start conversations.

Finally, automotive could also transform into a new kind of business. The new business models include car sharing and renting cars with mobile apps. These applications will already have your profile and they can recognise your face, posture and style of walking. That means improved quality and security of systems.

In terms of security, what are your thoughts on how we can better protect data?

The current global and political situation speeds up technology adoption for cybersecurity. Nowadays, multi-factor authentication is a security standard in most companies, including face and voice recognition and pin codes.

Passive biometrics will be the new trend. They can understand your behaviour, trends of personality and detect anomalies. They are even able to detect personality and personalise security levels to better protect the data.

In terms of individuals, data should be anonymised with GDPR or other protocols. We need cybersecurity fluency: an improved awareness about security and ways to protect data. This includes training employees and using algorithms to stop you interacting with spam and check risky behaviour.

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