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trends 2020

Digital Transformation in 2020, No Trends, No Code, No Design, No Email, No Consumers.

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Trend predictions are for Fendi, Gucci, and Chanel. Even Louis Vitton opening their new restaurant in Osaka is a trend for luxury brands, following Burberry, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany’s. But, in digital transformation, there are things that, if you aren’t already doing, you should be doing. And what you should be doing depends on your particular business and who your customers and employees are — not trends.


Partner at DYDX, formerly Head of Digital Marketing at Investec Group, Templar Wales explains how you should approach digital transformation in 2020.


No Email — & the Future of Work


Email might always have a small role for formalising agreements, just like paper still has a small role but we find that in workshops on team behaviour, most agree that emails (asynchronous) should be replaced by something like Slack because its synchronous, organised, and the right people are in the right channels — no “who should I CC?” issues.


But what’s important is that the people in the team agree on new behaviours (even if just by majority consensus), commit to trying, and don’t lapse to old ways when they’re stressed or under pressure. And even if they do lapse, that they just get back on the bus again.


The Future of Work is not about selecting and implementing new software. Successful transformation is about shifting teams’ behaviour and skills to use the software and continuously measuring and improving the systems and processes.


No Code — & XaaS


Yes, there will always be some code to be written but most of the functionality we need is readily available as a service. This means faster implementation, more flexibility and manageable costs. All the time you save building services should be spent on defining the customer or employee experience from end to end, weaving the services together into a more seamless journey and automating anything that computers do better and faster than us mere mortals.


By the time you scope, build and test your Metropolis it’ll be out of date.


Transform at the speed of life.


No Design — & Better Design


There is still lots of design and the experience is vital to the use of a product or service. But with the rapid adoption of voice commands and apps that communicate with us primarily through audio, and minimising visual engagement, we need to consider how people experience brands and their services without aesthetic cues. All of the design decisions you made in the past need to be accounted for in audio.


In both visual and sound design, less is better — don’t let your ideas and brand get in the way of a good user experience.


No Consumers, No Users — & the Rise of the Human


AI, machine learning and automation feel like they could threaten our jobs and our security but in most cases they free us up to be more human — giving us more time to do the stuff we’re good at and neural networks aren’t (for now).


Digital transformation is all about improving the human experience, about solving human problems. Service Design and Design Thinking are rooted in Human Centred Design. The person you’re solving for is at the centre of the solution, not your very, very clever engineering.


So, we need to stop thinking of people as ‘users’ and ‘consumers’ and start seeing them as customers, employees and partners. It might sound like semantics but the language we use changes the way we see experience things.


While I’m on this point, stop saying ‘Millennials’. People of all ages, colours and shapes have certain emotions and behaviours. Capture those feelings and behaviours and design for them but seeing Millennials as a segment is just laziness.


No end


Transformation is not an end goal, it’s not a project, it’s an approach to ongoing improvement. It will become as normal as IT which used to be a ‘thing’. In 2020 transformation will mature to be more pragmatic, more measurable and more achievable.


“When digital transformation is done right, it’s like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but when done wrong, all you have is a really fast caterpillar”.

George Westerman of MIT


DYDX moves Susu from concept to customer within 18 months

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Rapid innovation in healthcare.

DYDX, a digital transformation practice based in Cape Town, partnered with Beninese-French visionary Ms Bola Bardet to create and launch Susu Healthcare. This first-of-its-kind full-service digital healthcare company was taken from concept to launch in less than 18 months with the help of the experts at DYDX.

Susu, that recently won the Sanofi in Africa Health Challenge at the Vivatech 2019 Conference in Paris, provides a combination of insurance coverage and medical services to the families of the African diaspora in Europe.

“DYDX used a service design process to develop Susu’s products and services,” said Nevo Hadas, managing partner at DYDX. “We focused on the different needs of the customer in Europe and the beneficiary in West Africa to design a system that delivers on both.”

Rolling out in Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, Susu is meeting a real need for the Ivorian community living in France. “The African diaspora takes pride in providing financial support to their families left in their home countries, predominantly ageing parents and those with chronic diseases,” explained Bola Bardet, Susu’s founder and chief executive “Money sent back to Africa for healthcare amounts to US$8 billion per year, yet quality healthcare, medication, and insurance is still unavailable in many African countries.”

With this problem in mind, Bardet approached DYDX (then &Innovation), to support her to understand this problem better and co-design a solution.

“Susu healthcare is a game-changer in the world of healthcare services and health insurance,” Hadas concluded. “We built a cutting-edge digital platform to enhance all its operations and customer experience, but this is just the enabler. Its strength isn’t in superior artificial intelligence or crypto currency, but in its dedicated focus on the markets and people that insurance companies ignore or overcharge.”

&Innovation evolves into DYDX

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Transforming for the future.

&Innovation, a globally recognised product and service design firm, is repositioning under the new name DYDX.

“The term ‘innovation’ has become a buzzword and most importantly, people confuse innovation with ideas – which are really only 10% of any project” says Nevo Hadas, Managing Partner at the Cape Town-based practice. “While we help our clients create new shareholder value, our practise’s strength is fundamentally rooted in change – helping businesses thrive in the new digital market. This is why DYDX was chosen, from the mathematical formula for calculating change.”

Rebranding to DYDX signifies a change in pace of growth, as they expand the global team of consultants and clients with three core offerings: Product and Service Design; Culture and Future of Work; and Digital Sales Optimisation. The practices help clients with digital transformation, both to gain new clients and revenue models, and to improve internal ways of working.

Founded in 2014 by Nevo Hadas and later joined by Geoff Cohen and Templar Wales, the business expanded rapidly to work with global and South African clients such as Vodacom, Woolworths, Travelex, Old Mutual, Pam Golding Properties, Honoris United Universities, Daily Mail, Ericsson, Sage, Visa, Smollan, Spice, Phillip Morris, MTN, Uber and many others.

“Over the past five years we have been fortunate enough to partner with clients on large projects through word of mouth, but mostly stayed under the radar,” Hadas concluded. “now we’re looking to accelerate our growth into Europe and across the African continent.”