Posts about Digital Experience

Can CIOs manage Digital Transformation while cutting costs?

Posted by Rajat Lal on Jun 3, 2019 5:50:00 PM

Early Encounters with Duality

Managing with Dual Strategies - a book by Derek F. Abell, was the recommended reading suggested to me early in my career - by a senior executive of ABC Consultants, India’s premier people management consulting company. I’d been in a pure sales representation role till then, moving into a new Corporate Planning function with my then company. This book was supposed to act as my Bible on the challenges faced by senior management.

I’ve forgotten most of the content I’d read then (to confess, I never read the book fully, save for a presentation I did to my Corporate Planning colleagues). But the book’s title has stayed with me all these years, and so also the subtitle Mastering the Present, Pre-empting the Future. I would see CIO equivalents in the 90’s struggle with early age technology initiatives, in a quandary whether to stay put in the air conditions environs where the Unix servers were hosted or go down to the business teams and figure out how to make life easier for them.

As was usual in that time, management wisdom then lay more faith on maximal utilisation of the former. The would-be CIOs had their KRAs quite clear - loads of report generation, and upkeep of the servers. And as it happens with most such concise pieces of wisdom that stick around in your head, I ended up applying this beyond work situations, to my personal life.

So ‘Mastering the Present’ became an early start to personal financial planning, on a self-generated spreadsheet. Jotting down all expenses each day, then doing ‘small-data’ analytics at the end of each month on where the money went. Over months and years, the sheet evolved to ‘Pre-empting the Future’ - tracking stocks, mutual funds and tax planning. The sheet is now an unwieldy behemoth with some 20 tabs, possibly tending to big-data proportions.

A blue pen pointing at a graph on a white sheet

The Contradicting Challenges Before CIOs

Coming back to work, and this dual strategy approach was applied more to my customers - largely CIOs or business-technology heads. The issues they’ve faced can largely be put under the ‘Present’ bucket of ‘managing’ Resources, or Costs. And the ‘Future’ bucket of all that goes in the name of Transformation, or ‘pre-empting’ its effects.

CIOs today deal with constant requests, expectations, demands, directives

The challenges CIOs face are essentially two - reducing or optimising  total cost of ownership, while creating Value via Transformation. But the contradiction between these two goals is perhaps as vast and unbridgeable for CIOs today, as they once did in Derek Abell’s book to a then greenhorn.

CIOs, today, deal with constant requests, expectations, demands, directives - to cut down on resources, merge functions or teams, pare down, or harmonise or consolidate vendor contracts. All the while launching into new digital transformation initiatives that seemingly come out of a parallel universe of meetings, conclaves, or business directives.

The CIO’s role seems to straddle the two universes, chasing one objective at the cost of the other.

Can Contradictions be Resolved?

Yet as a recent customer conversation revealed, this contradiction is not insurmountable. If the business goals and expected operational benefits of any initiative are clearly outlined - CIOs can bring about digital transformation and tie it in with reducing costs.

The CIO’s role seems to straddle the two universes, chasing one objective at the cost of the other


We undertook a focused study for a manufacturing company CXO whose remit was to ‘Optimise TCO in IT’:

  • we researched the company’s complete IT landscape
  • identified areas where costs were being sunk into servicing licensed software or infrastructure
  • identified where these were being deployed
  • and then came up with a list of business use cases → these licensed IT assets could be replaced by open source alternatives

 

In the process generating feasible options for mini, stand-alone digital innovation projects limited to a business unit or division - acting as a proof-of-concept for a larger transformation.

So what might ‘innovation’ mean, especially since ‘innovation’ and ‘transformation’ are heavily overused terms?

Being an Indian, I can’t help, indeed I guess I must be expected to, try to explain ‘innovation’ in terms of ‘jugaad’.

‘Jugaad’ vs ‘Frugal Innovation’ - What’s the Underlying Objective?

There are lots of books out there eulogising ‘jugaad’ but since I haven’t read any, I won’t refer them here. Also, the usual positive sense of the word - this or that entrepreneur finding a cheap alternative and making billions (they usually go bust soon after) - holds true less and less.

It's more likely to be in line with this comment (even if it's highly obnoxious) of the infamously sarcastic Prince Philip. While India has seen technology and economic boom since liberalisation in the 1990s and especially the last few years, a ‘we are like this only’ attitude prevails, and in many ways, the nation remains tied to its socialist past.

Despite recent efforts at a national level, this is the attitude that has spawned and nurtured a culture of circumventing laws, evading taxes, soliciting favours, lax service standards, and public litter...  

 … from being the stepping stone to ‘frugal innovation’, ‘jugaad’ has come to mean ‘finding short-cut ideas to cut costs/corners no matter if the objective is compromised’ as opposed to … what ‘innovation’ means - ‘translating ideas into replicable solutions at reduced costs, to help achieve the (customer’s) objective’

As long as the objective is remembered and respected - “the business goals and expected operational benefits” - and cost reduction scenarios worked out accordingly, we are on track with innovation. So CIOs/CXOs can manage with dual strategies, or indeed combine seemingly contradictory strategies into one.

Enterprise Transformation - Experiences, and Examples

Some examples to reference, on Digital Innovation and Transformation delivered using open source platforms, while reducing costs / TCO -

  • An Omnichannel CMS for a Telcos Digital Stores - with a global template framework enabling client teams in 21 EMEA countries to structure pricing & product information as per regional market needs. And an infrastructure solution for the client to shift their hosting to new servers cutting annual costs by hundreds of thousands of pounds  
  • A Video Analytics Solution for an Industrial Cleaning Solutions Company - a machine learning solution using Amazon Sagemaker, Lambda and S3 - on a scalable, pay-as-you-go model - analyzing scraped video feed data to log time-stamped asset performance ---> delivering cost benefits in terms of reduced costs of asset recall & repair, as well as reduced IT infra costs

And again, being an Indian, I can’t help but relate to some examples of successful, ‘frugal’  innovation - ‘jugaad’ gone right (or wrong..?) so to speak -  

We are yet to ‘Master the Present’ - inefficiencies still run dark and deep, many streets and lanes yet to sweep, and some more years to sow before we reap (my modest take on Robert Frost).

But we’ve made progress in ‘Pre-empting the Future’ - leaders globally in areas transformative in reach and scale - universal healthcare & insurance, digital payments and space technologies, for example. Things that might make us proud, and perhaps wake up Prince Philip from his sleep.

...

The views expressed in this blog are solely of the author and do not reflect, by any means, the view of Srijan Technologies. 

Topics: Digital Experience, Enterprises

Content Syndication, Staging, and Synchronization with Drupal

Posted by Akshita Rawat on Apr 8, 2019 5:31:00 PM

For the longest time, web content had one purpose - to get pushed on a web page. But everyone today wants content to be available across the board - on mobile devices, native apps, digital signage, and show up on third-party sites and social networks - if it is to garner the right audience.

However, making this happen is easier said than done. Some of the persistent challenges faced by large editorial teams involve:

  • Coordinating and approving content that’s ready to go live

  • Ensuring authors and contributors can access a central system to create/submit content

  • Publishing a number of content pieces on different websites/subdomains.

Introducing Content Staging, Synchronization, and Syndication

Between 2010 and 2016, the media consumption grew at a 2% rate. It makes one thing clear that people love to consume content and they will in the future as well.

This, in turn, puts a lot of pressure on content creators and marketers to create and push new pieces of content.

Here’s how you can ensure quality and quantity production:

Staging

Creating quality content involves a lot of work, checks, and approval. Big publishing websites might come across several challenges in the process, such as:

  • Publishing a number of articles at the same time, and doing it across different websites/ sub-domains

  • Getting approval in a centralized system

Intricate publishing workflow is a critical part of the content strategy for any organization that employs distributed management.  Editing the content on the live site can result in accidental publishing. To avoid that, a separate staging environment is needed in a robust workflow.

Staging and publishing without requiring the editor to log into the target site is what content staging would help with.

Synchronization

Once the content is approved on the different environments, it must be automatically updated for other website environments. Synchronization helps you keep your environments in perfect sync by automating the secure provisioning of content, code, templates and digital assets between them.

Drupal Content Sync

Source: content Sync

Administrators can create and schedule multiple synchronization tasks to automatically occur in the future. It will target different destination servers and websites, or manually execute synchronization tasks through the user interface.

Developers can leverage the API and event handlers to automatically synchronize any type of staging tasks according to custom requirements.

Syndication

The web is big and noisy. So much so that even though you are targeting a niche audience, chances of them landing on your blog depletes with each day. Syndication gets your content in front of a different audience who might not be aware of your website otherwise.

“Syndication is important because it generates brand awareness and more traffic.”

content_syndication_staging_and_sychronization_with_drupal_srijan  technologies                                          Drupal websites often syndicate content from Drupal planet

In simple terms, content syndication is republishing the content on a third-party website. Syndication works great for national and international media and publishing websites. There is no restriction on the kind of content that can be syndicated. The list can include blog posts, articles, infographics, videos and more.

It is a low-cost strategy which media and publishing websites like Huffington Post, CNN,  and NYTimes often use to garner a new audience. Syndication brings free exposure, backlinks, and greater organic traffic.

the_syndicate_image_srijan technologies

However, syndicated content is ultimately duplicate content. And duplicate content can create havoc with your SEO because Google loves unique content.  

While ranking the content it will only index the version that is original and larger, high-traffic website. You can make your syndicated content SEO-friendly by ensuring it is indexed correctly, on your site and on your syndication partner’s site.

Drupal Solutions for Content Staging, Synchronization, and Syndication

Drupal’s digital experience platform knows that your content must reach more than just websites. So yes, of course, it has modules for staging, syncing and syndication.

1. Workflow

Workflow, as the name suggests creates arbitrary workflows. Creating different workflows for the content saved as ‘draft’, ‘review’ and ‘published’, it can be assigned to the story node type.

  • Only users with role 'chief editor' can set stories to the published state. It also allows to set up workflow to alter states from form, page, comment, a special block, and a special workflow tab.

  • For content editors, it allows managing the view/edit/delete permissions for content types per user role and workflow state with its sub-module Workflow Access.

  • Another action it allows is the transition from Review to Published so that the node's status is set to Published (and becomes visible on the website).

This module is available for Drupal 8.

2. Deploy

The Deploy module lets users to easily stage and preview content. It can manage the dependencies between different entities, like node references, automatically.

Designed to have a rich API which can be easily extended in a variety of content staging situations, Deploy can be used for both single and cross-site staging.

It should be noted that the Deploy module doesn't provide any settings or configuration pages, and the user must ensure that the target workspaces and/or remotes are configured correctly (workspaces configuration pages are provided by Workspace module).

For UI, Deploy provides just a link to run a deployment between current active workspace and its target.

This module is available for Drupal 8.

3. CMS Content Sync

CMS Content Sync provides content synchronization features between Drupal sites using a Node.js based Sync Core. It is built to support the synchronization of a huge amount of data, including content and media assets between many Drupal sites that can't be handled by Drupal itself.

Drupal Europe - Content Syndication, Staging and Synchronization in Drupal

Source: DrupalEurope

The three use cases for the CMS content sync are:

Content Staging: Content Sync allows you to test code updates with your content and publish code and content simultaneously. It further allows editorial review processes to ensure consistent quality of content.

Content Syndication:  For distributed teams, it allows the content to be updated and deleted centrally. It pushes content and media items at any of your sites to publish them on any targeted remote site automatically.

Content Pool: This feature lets you update and delete these items from the source site or allows you to completely customize it on the remote site. Further, you can connect the remote sites. Each content item comes with a preview and link to the source site that makes it easy to identify and select.

If your enterprise manages a large volume of content over a multi-site architecture, staging, syndication, and sync are crucial. Srijan’s expert teams can help you optimize these processes and follow industry best practices. Just drop us a line and our team will be in touch.

Topics: Drupal, Planet Drupal, Digital Experience

Acquia Engage APAC, 2019: Unravelling Digital Customer Experiences with Srijan

Posted by Gaurav Singh on Mar 5, 2019 5:58:00 PM

At Srijan, we are all about creating ambitious digital experiences. And we are always excited to share our insights and project learnings with rest of the community. This year’s Acquia Engage APAC brings us this opportunity and we are proud to announce that Srijan is sponsoring the Morning & Afternoon tea at Acquia Engage APAC, 2019.

The event brings together some of the brightest minds in digital transformation to share ideas, make connections, and inspire. This year, it is being held at The Glasshouse, Melbourne, Victoria on Thursday, 7th March, 2019.

Success in this digital age, requires a futuristic, and well planned strategy and hat is what the conference aims to drive. The Acquia Engage event allows industry leaders to share their insights and experiences, success and learnings, when it comes to delivering best-in-class digital experiences.

Srijan at Acquia Engage APAC

The Srijan team at Acquia Engage APAC will have technology experts and leaders with years of industry experience:

Ashish Goyal, CEO at Srijan, is an experienced technologist with a keen eye for applying emerging emerging technologies for better business outcomes. With over 20 years of experience across industries, Ashish leads Srijan’s endeavours into a new era of enabling digital transformation for enterprises.

Arijit Dutta, Technical Architect at SRIJAN, is a skilled IT professional with 7+ years of industry and technology experience. He leads Srijan’s operations in Australia across all service streams, and is an avid contributor to the Drupal community.

Gaurav Singh, Business Head - APAC, is tuned in to the evolving needs of the region’s enterprises. With keen business and technology acumen, he helps drive digital transformation for enterprises with robust and scalable solutions across Drupal, API Management and AWS capabilities.

So if you are attending Acquia Engage APAC, make sure to connect with the Srijan team. We would be delighted to learn about your work around creating digital experiences, and some of our insights with you.

Topics: Drupal, Community, Digital Experience

Webinar on 'Digital Marketing for Customer Acquisition'

Posted by Nilanjana on Feb 11, 2014 3:51:00 PM

Don’t get swayed by a limited view of your objectives when it comes to digital marketing. Figure out your final objectives, devise metrics to measure success and monitor them closely -Pradeep Chopra

Pradeep Chopra, CEO, Digital Vidya, was the speaker at Srijan Wednesday Webinar*, last week. He spoke on how to best deploy digital marketing for customer acquisition. Pradeep specified that digital marketing is not a specific activity, but an umbrella term that includes a host of activities. He elaborated the significance of specific digital marketing activities, depending upon one’s business requirement.

Decoding the digital marketing landscape

Pradeep decoded the digital marketing landscape, highlighting various digital marketing activities, supplementing each with an example.

Remarketing on Google

Remarketing provides a huge opportunity to marketers. He gave the example of how he came across a remarketing effort from goibibo.com, while searching for a flight ticket from Delhi to Raipur. Before he could go off the website, he received a discount offer on buying a return ticket from Raipur to Delhi.

Effective SEO

Organic SEO is different from SEM and PPC, which are paid activities, while organic SEO is not. To explain the power of organic SEO over paid activities, he gave the example of cardekho.com. Powered by effective SEO, this auto portal company managed a surge ahead of comparatively well-funded competitors. This happened because cardekho.com developed the right SEO strategy, and backed that with good, relevant content.

Facebook marketing

Facebook offers a definite advantage over Google, Pradeep said. Unlike Google, Facebook allows marketers to target prospects based on their personal information-age, location, gender, interest, relationship status, social connections on Facebook, education, and email, phone or userid.

Having access to all these information increases the chances of conversion. Two good examples he shared were of Kaya Skin Clinic and Eristoff Invasion Festival.

Kaya Skin Clinic generates 20% of all sales through Facebook alone. In the case of Eristoff Invasion Festival, their FB ads drove more ticket buyers than television, radio and outdoor advertising put together.

Creating a Customer Acquisition Framework

Pradeep talked about having a customer acquisition framework to help you develop your digital marketing strategy. This strategy will serve as the ready reckoner, helping you engage with your prospects in the right manner, at every juncture.

Different digital marketing activities like SEO, Ads, Email and Social Media work towards enhancing your reach. Some of the activities like email marketing and forums like Twitter help in aggregating those who might want to do business with you. You can expect to source your leads from this aggregated audience. But, be cautious in segregating leads from your audience. Qualify only those who show definite interest in your services as leads. Then comes the turn of conversion, in which digital marketing practices play a vital role.

Conversion optimization is a key factor in this context. This is a full-fledged process that involves analytics – creating the right metrics, and using the right tools to measure the results.

Conversion optimization and analytics

One of the best examples of conversion optimization is that of KISSmetrics, said Pradeep. They share customized emails with their prospects, at every key stage of customer acquisition lifecycle. The prospective customer receives the first mail, a welcome mail, after signing up for the KISSmetrics trial. This mail introduces the prospect to KISSmetrics, and suggests steps to get started with the tool.

Thereafter comes a mail that suggests the best way to use the KISSmetrics tool for your business. After this mail they share two evangelizing mails with you. These mails try to address different business challenges through various KISSmetrics features. By this time, the relationship between KISSmetrics and you is established, prompting them to share their blog with you. The blog mail is followed by mails that seek your permission and offer opportunities to get into deeper engagement with KISSmetrics.

Pradeep also said that having the right analytics practice along with conversion optimization strategy is critical.

The first step in this direction is to create the right metrics to measure the efficacy of your digital marketing activities. Analytics helps you to pinpoint the areas in which you need to put in more effort. There are many analytics tools available, both free and paid. Having the right analytics will enable marketers to modify their strategies. The objective is to improve the conversion rate, and maximize revenue.

Key Tips

He ended the talk with three key, good-for-every situation tips to those who aspire to utilize digital marketing for customer acquisition.

  1. Don’t get swayed by a limited view of your objectives when it comes to digital marketing. Figure out the final objectives – it can be increase in sales or lead generation or something else. Once you have done that, devise metrics to measure how you are doing and monitor them.
  2. Don’t underestimate content. Though, marketers are recognizing the importance of content, they still prioritize content lower than other aspects of digital marketing. One of the key reasons behind HubSpot’s marketing success is their ability and commitment to create contextually relevant content.
  3. Don’t rely overly on tools. Tools can’t do everything. Be ready to look beyond tools, and take intuitive calls at times.

To get more insights on Pradeep's view of how to implement digital marketing, and improve your conversion rate,watch the full webinar here.

*Srijan Wednesday Webinars is a community initiative by Srijan Technologies. Through these webinars, the company plans to start a dialogue and continue the learning interactions within the web community. Speakers from different domains like front end technologies, UI/UX, mobile apps, media, entrepreneurship, community building, digital marketing, share their knowledge with listeners. Sessions end with a lively question and answer session, furthering sharing and growing of a community of learners across platforms.

Topics: MarTech, Digital Experience

Making websites business ready

Posted by Nilanjana on Feb 10, 2006 3:14:00 PM

An article on how Indian businesses can get the most out of moving their websites to open source Content Management Systems, such as Typo3. The article has been published in BenefIT magazine, part of the Linux For You (LFY) publication group. Read the article: Making Websites Business Ready Read the published article in BenefIT magazine: http://benefitmag.com.w3snoop.com/

Topics: Digital Experience

Discussion

Write to us

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms Of Service apply. By submitting this form, you agree to our Privacy Policy.

See how our uniquely collaborative work style, can help you redesign your business.

Contact us