On one hand, changes to the market have been consumer-driven. Consider everything from online shopping to banking apps to IoT-enabled wearables – in the new experience-driven landscape, users demand both personalisation and the most sophisticated, intuitive digital interfaces. Liquid expectations mean, moreover, that the benchmarks continue to rise – the best-in-class, hyperpersonalised experiences offered by the digital giants lead consumers to expect equally seamless offerings everywhere else.
Moreover, there are deep drives around integration. Promotion, service, purchasing and advertising were once siloed concepts – no longer. Today, end-to-end consistency is what drives consumers’ immersion in products and services.
On the other hand, increasing volumes of data, decreasing costs of storage, virtually unlimited cloud computing power, open source platforms, machine learning and more have also caused far-reaching ripple effects. These capabilities have not only led to the digitisation of more and more business areas, but the creation of entirely new business models – consumption is becoming dematerialised; ownership decoupled from both service provision and production.
According to Accenture research, the result is that many executives face a dilemma: investment in digital has become a clear business priority, yet a large number in the C-suite unsure of where, specifically, to invest to promote growth. This is despite the fact that 54% of executives cite digital technologies as the direction they would most likely reinvest cost savings. (Digital is followed by launching new products and services, at 46% and expanding into new product or service lines or customer segments, at 45%.) Yet, new routes to realising today’s digital imperatives are opening up. For consumer-facing industries, for example, tapping the capabilities of experience architecture is coming to redefine not only customer interaction, but the entire purchasing process.
One part creative agency, one part business consultancy and one part tech powerhouse, experience architects focus on integrating specialist skills across once-isolated domains spanning user interface, design, data and machine learning. The result is the ability to provide creative, engaging content of an agency standard backed by the data and artificial intelligence capabilities that only specialists embedded in digital are able to provide.
Recent Accenture research underscores the need for a rethink – particularly when it comes to marketing. The numbers reveal that a mere 18% of the consumers CMOs reach through digital and traditional channels are actually in-market. As such, less than a fifth of people reached by a marketing message are in fact the right people for the product or service on offer – four-fifths of marketing budgets are wasted spend.
Consumer-facing industries are not the only ones being remade. Other industry-specific solutions are also developing in both sophistication and ubiquity. Consider financial services institutions, for example, many of which now make use of a host of anti-money laundering, finance and risk tools. The communications, media and technology (CMT) space has seen growth through the rise of omnichannel customer service optimisation at the levels of both B2C and B2B. Within the resources space, intelligent retail solutions, upstream corrosion management, fuel retaining and predictive asset maintenance are seeing increasing uptake, as are niche solutions in health and the public sector. Meanwhile, in manufacturing, growth is being driven by Industry X.0.
Essentially, Industry X.0 refers to the application of new technologies including blockchain, machine learning, autonomous vehicles and ‘digital twins’ within a manufacturing or industrial environment. Under this new paradigm, everything from high-tech wearables to consumer staples to the manufacturing process itself becomes dynamic, reactive and responsive.
This approach to production allows real-time data from consumers, the supply chain and more to create not only ‘smart’ products, but an entire intelligent industrial ecosystem, capable of predicting and reacting to changing consumer tastes and trends and optimising operations on the plant floor. Although many executives face certain barriers to sustainable execution of growth-oriented programs, many remain certain that reinvesting savings in digital is the right strategic move, viewing digital as an enabler for both growth and advanced operating models.
With c-suite alignment and a willingness to operate at the digital-creative edge, forward-thinking companies may stand poised not only to access the growth they seek, but to drive industry-wide innovation.
Huawei Mate 20 Pro matches camera benchmark record
A benchmark by DxOMark sees the triple-cam handset tie with the P20 Pro for best smartphone camera on the market.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has come out top in a camera benchmark test that assesses all aspects of smartphone camera performance.
DxOMark, which conducts rigorous hardware testing and is trusted as an industry standard for image quality measurements, has just released the results of its in-depth analysis of the Huawei Mate 20 Pro smartphone camera.
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro is the Chinese manufacturer’s latest top-end device. Building on the P20 Pro’s camera technology, the Mate 20 Pro comes with a Leica-branded triple-camera setup, but swaps its stable-mate’s monochrome camera for a super-wide-angle module, offering a 35mm-equivalent focal length range from 16 to 80mm—the widest of all current smartphone cameras.
The handset is in direct competition with the Apple iPhone XS Max, the Google Pixel 3 XL, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, among other. How does it fare?
“With a total photo score of 114, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro ties the record-setting score of its cousin, the P20 Pro,” says DxOMark. “The overall Photo score is calculated from sub-scores in tests that examine different aspects of its performance under different lighting conditions.”
The Huawei Mate 20 Pro achieves a photo score of 114 points. In stills mode, the Mate 20 Pro’s triple camera captures images with good target exposure and a wide dynamic range, recording both good highlight and shadow detail even in difficult high-contrast situations. Noise levels are well under control down to low light levels, and the camera’s white balance system and colour rendering settings produce a pleasant colour response in almost all circumstances.
At 97 points, the Mate 20 Pro is very close to the best for video as well, thanks to a fast and smooth autofocus system with good tracking performance, accurate white balance as well as pleasant colour rendering, and low levels of noise, especially in bright shooting conditions. Our testers also liked the exposure system’s ability to adapt quickly and smoothly to changes in illumination.
It was not all good news. DxOMark also had some criticism for the device.
Click here to read about the drawbacks of the Mate 20 Pro camera, and other positives.
SA car wins
The final stage of Dakar 2019 drew to a close at the bivouac in Pisco, Peru, and saw Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa’s Nasser Al Attiyah and Mathieu Baumel bring home their South African-built Toyota Hilux for
The Qatari driver ensured his French navigator, who turned 43 years old on Thursday, 17 January, received a great birthday present, when the pair arrived at the final time control of Dakar 2019 with teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dirk von Zitzewitz in close formation. The two Toyota Hilux crews completed the entire stage together, as De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz waited nearly 55 minutes for the leaders to start the stage, in order to shadow them to the finish.
The emotions bubbled over for Team Principal Glyn Hall, who found himself without words as his two crews drove into the media area after the time control. “This victory was long overdue,” he finally managed, before being swamped in a sea of well-wishers.
The winning driver, however, was much more vocal: “We are so happy to win the Dakar – not only for ourselves, but also for Toyota and the entire Toyota Gazoo Racing SA team. Everyone has worked so hard for so long, and really deserve this. Thank you for letting us drive this car.”
Toyota Gazoo Racing SA led Dakar 2019 from the first to the last stage, with Al Attiyah/Baumel drawing first blood, before handing the mantle to De Villiers / Von Zitzewitz during stage 2. But then a disastrous Stage 3 saw the Qatari retake the lead – a lead he didn’t relinquish despite some of the toughest stages yet seen on any South-American Dakar.
“When we first heard that the rally was going to take place only in one country, we were skeptical,” said Hall after regaining composure. “But the organisers made sure that this year’s race will long be remembered as one of the toughest tests in the last decade.”
Al Attiyah / Baumel’s victory at Dakar 2019 means that Toyota Gazoo Racing has now won both of the world’s toughest automotive races – the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the DakarRally.
Click here to read Glyn Hall’s comment on winning the Dakar Rally, as well as the rankings.