Business Think Tank

By Mitch Betts | Insights about the future of business

Four paths to your digital transformation

March 24, 2017 – <i>by Joao Dias and Rohit Sood</i><p>You won’t find too many arguments in C-suites about the need to transform operating models to be more …

This bricklaying bot could be the architect of the future

Robots are being used more frequently in fields of design. Archi-Union's manufacturing bot is the latest example - a cyborg helper for architectural designers<p>If you want curves like this, you'll need a robot. Designed by architects Archi-Union, the undulating exterior of the Chi She Gallery in …

Robots

Foreign Robots Invade American Factory Floors

Vickers Engineering Inc. embodies the potential of American manufacturing. The New Troy, Mich., machining company supplies precision parts to clients including Toyota Motor Corp. and Volkswagen AG, and exports to Mexico and Canada. Its staff has risen fivefold and average pay has doubled over the …

Manufacturing

How Casper Disrupted the Mattress Industry

Casper cofounder and COO Neil Parikh talks about the company’s rapid rise, the hurdle that almost stopped its growth, and more<p>For a specific yet sizable market in the United States, Casper is utterly synonymous with the word <i>mattress</i>. Thanks to aggressive early growth in New York, Los Angeles, and …

Mattresses

Wal-Mart Unveils ‘Store No. 8’ Tech Incubator in Silicon Valley - Bloomberg

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is creating a technology-startup incubator in California’s Silicon Valley to help identify changes that will reshape the retail …

What’s ahead for industrials?

To stay competitive, companies need to sustain momentum while developing new capabilities, offerings, and operating models.<p><b>The industrial sector</b> is a …

Innovation

Inside the Race To Build Next Generation Battery Technology

To solve truly big and complex problems, we need to build new platforms for collaboration.<p>The garage startup has become as much of an American icon in the twenty first century as the automobile and the drive-in were to earlier generations. The idea that anyone with an idea can change the world is …

Innovation

Blockchain Will Transform Customer Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs have proliferated across travel, retail, financial services, and other economic sectors. The average U.S. household participates in 29 different loyalty programs, according to the 2015 Colloquy Loyalty Census. The result is a maze of point systems and redemption options, with …

Harvard Business Review

Intelligent process automation: The engine at the core of the next-generation operating model

Full intelligent process automation comprises five key technologies. Here’s how to use them to enhance productivity and efficiency, reduce …

Automation

Augmented Reality Is Already Improving Worker Performance

The relationship between technology and jobs is center stage in the policy and academic debate. The discussion reveals a fascinating, troubling contradiction. On the one hand, there is widespread fear that innovation will lead to a loss of jobs and rising income inequality — the “race against the …

Augmented Reality

Why the subscription economy is the future of business

Zuora aims to win the next IT stack war – but it’s probably not the stack war that’s comes most readily to your mind. Tien Tzuo, CEO and co-founder …

Big Data

3D-Printed Jewelry Ditches the Lab for the Boutique - Bloomberg

In college, when Mario Christian Lavorato and his brother started making jewelry to sell, they quickly learned that the business had kept one foot in …

3D Printing

IBM And Maersk Apply Blockchain To Container Shipping

IBM and Maersk are using a blockchain built on the Hyperledger Fabric to manage the supply chain for container shipping.<p>Maersk, the Danish shipping company, is the largest container carrier in the world with 18% to 20% of the market, did a proof of concept (POC) with IBM in September, tracking a …

Bitcoin

How to succeed in a slow growth economy

Published: 2 hours ago<p>Last Updated: 1 hour ago<p>For a century and a half, we’ve been unwittingly carried by the economic tailwinds of GDP growth. Even …

Innovation

3D Printing Is Already Starting To Threaten The Traditional Spare Parts Supply Chain

The race is on to use 3D printing to produce small-series parts, on demand and on location, for industries from aerospace to automotive. At stake is the shape of a $400 billion market for spare parts manufacturing and logistics. And those changes are not 20, or even 10, years out — they are …

3D Printing

How robotic delivery will disrupt the grocery industry

Groceries is a $650 billion market in the U.S., which is not overly surprising because, unless you are a robot, you need food. This probably won’t change, at least not in the foreseeable future. But what very well may change is how you get your groceries and prepared foods.<p>Currently, if you are an …

Robots

Mobile Charging Stations Keep Retail Consumers Spending Money In-Store

Each ChargeItSpot station has up to eight lockers. (Photo credit: ChargeItSpot)<p>Retail shoppers today rely heavily on their phones, even while in-store. According to research by Veloxity, 75% of shoppers make purchase decisions using their phones and 90% of that group use their phones for product …

eCommerce

Cobalt takes the wraps off its indoor security robots

Palo Alto-based Cobalt Robotics Inc. today introduced a new line of robot security guards for indoor use. The roving robots use the same kind of components you’d expect in a self-driving car to sense people and problems in a building. Cofounders Travis Deyle and Erik Schluntz, who are former …

Robots

Robots and drones: Coming soon to a construction site near you

The construction industry is turning to technology in a big way to enhance building processes.<p>Advancements in the robotics field are helping to …

Construction

How AI Is Changing The Way Companies Are Organized | Fast Company | The Future Of Business

Innovation

Walmart is going after Amazon's store of the future with no cashiers or registers

Walmart is testing a technology that would allow customers to skip checkout lines and pay for purchases with their smartphones instead, the Washington Post reports.<p>The so-called "scan and go" technology sounds similar to what Amazon is planning to implement in its new chain of grocery stores, which …

Walmart
Education

An Agenda for the Future of Global Business

For all of the uncertainty and anxiety in headlines today, the world is a much better place than it has ever been. In emerging markets, billions of people have moved out of extreme poverty. In the developed world, we enjoy better medicines, connectivity, and mobility than most of us could have …

Innovation

Tesla is already showing how the insurance industry will be disrupted by self-driving cars

Tesla just became the first automaker to truly show how the insurance industry is bound to change as self-driving cars hit the road.<p>Tesla has quietly been selling car insurance with its vehicles in Asia as part of its vision to one day include insurance in the final price of its vehicles. The move …

Driverless Cars

8 Hotels That Look Like They Belong in the Future

Vacations are all about seeing a new place, right? But what if you could also experience a new era? While we love historic hotels with old-timey …

Hotels

Bill Gates wants a robot tax to compensate for job losses

How would you deal with the likelihood that robots and automation will likely lead to many people losing their jobs? For Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, the answer is straightforward: tax the robots. In an interview with <i>Quartz</i>, Gates argues that taxing worker robots would offset job losses by …

Robots

Silicon Valley Tried to Upend Banks. Now It Works With Them.

SAN FRANCISCO — In 2011, Brett King was promoting his book, “Breaking Banks,” and creating a start-up that he hoped would do to the banks what Amazon did to the retail industry and Facebook did to media.<p>“We had grand ideas of being the Facebook of banking, and being a new form of bank account,” Mr. …

Retail Banking
Innovation

Nascar, Once a Cultural Icon, Hits the Skids

Nascar threw a bash at Kansas Speedway in October to thank Sprint Corp. for being stock-car racing’s top sponsor for 13 years. More than 800 Sprint employees received hot dogs, burgers and seats to a nail-biting race.<p>One thing was missing: a new sponsor. Despite knowing for two years that Sprint …

NASCAR