Guest Blog: Michael Prager – Lessons from Lockdown: Accelerate Digitilisation

How to grasp the new normal by its horns and make it work for you.

Working from home hasn’t been all that bad has it? But it’s highlighted some wider challenges in the way we work. One is record keeping and filing and that leads inexorably to how do we reduce or eliminate paper?  The answer, digitise everything, as invoices come in scan them and shred the paper. Only keep digital files. There’s a cost to this of course but it’s less than rent.  It always amused me when I was working for the InterContinental Hotel Group, in palatial offices in Mayfair back in the 1990’s, that the space that my wastepaper basket occupied probably cost £50 a month in rent!

Digitalisation is a bigger agenda than paper elimination of course. By digitalising your working practises you create and own data rather than images.  Harness that mass of data to AI computing for instance and your ability as a business to mine the deep data that you now have – even this article could be analysed to find key phrases and thoughts that a smart marketer could play back to me in a new message that would almost certainly resonate with me since it’s my thoughts and language being played back to me. Apple, Facebook, Google and the other big tech players are already doing this.

Image: Shutterstock

But there are easier goals to achieve.  By using an AI platform to manage your energy data you can replace expensive and invasive hardware with software that will fault find and highlight opportunities for carbon reduction/energy savings just from analysing the data. The systems will use the data that was previously provided as static files to run deep analysis of usage patterns that would take expensive people an age to complete, so much so that fixing the problems they found was more costly than just letting them continue unfixed. The connected world, the Internet of Things will make everything available to be digitised and analysing that data will rapidly allow firms to tailor experience to the individual whilst at the same time reducing cost.

Think for a moment of a hotel room.  You will be able to pre programme the lighting mode from bright, get up and get at it colours in the morning to soothing soft shades that promote good sleep in the evening and that turn of the minute the room is unoccupied.  You will be able to vary the temperature by time of day and by knowing when the guest is in the building and heading to his/her room – and charge for anyone that wants a room temperature more than 5% above a standard 18-22◦C or the same against outside ambient.

Right now energy monitoring is moving from rules based to AI computing. It’s available today (we do it) and it is no more expensive than old fashioned energy AM&T was.  Everybody should be using it.

Collaboration, Sustainability & Digitisation. That is the new normal.

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