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The Exponential Organisation – algorithms

3 minute read

In the first and second posts of this mini-series, we talked about two pillars featured in Salim Ismail’s book, ‘Exponential Organisation.’ These two pillars, Staffing on Demand and the Communities and Crowd, resonate highly with the work we are doing at ten80. To a degree, they are the backbone of our platform. The next pillar that resonated highly with me was the reference to Algorithms.

An important fact on algorithms in business

Before everyone rolls their eyes and loses interest, I think it’s important to re-iterate this…
Every single one of the S&P500 or FTSE250 uses some form of algorithm to run their business to gain an advantage over competitors. Whether it’s a logistics tool planning optimal routes for trucks or an airline automatically adjusting pricing to fill an aircraft, a customised social news feed, discount vouchers at your favourite supermarket, or even law enforcement and crime detection, algorithms are everywhere.

You cannot avoid them.  Fundamentally, they drive big business.

Out-performing the market

The more business activity that can be drawn into an algorithm, the better.

Algorithms are predictable and automated They work 24/7/365 and, thanks to machine learning and AI, can significantly improve efficiency and effectiveness, not to mention, provide better results over time.  So, in a nutshell, algorithms remove risk and uncertainty, and lead to a more efficient business with more advantage over competition. Those businesses operating under the most algorithms actually tend to outperform the market.

It’s a matter of time

Everyone, regardless of size, should be striving to digitise their offering. Dropping your digital product into something driven by an algorithm or machine-based process generates efficiency, converts a business to a 24/7/365 one and, ultimately, allows for round-the-clock sales and lead generation.

I hear countless business owners, some who lead organisations of £500m+ plus, try to tell me that what they do is so special they cannot possibly digitise and automate some aspects.  These organisations have a limited shelf life.

I do believe that someone, without doubt, will create a digital version or some form of algorithm and replace the incumbent.  It is just a matter of time!

The future of work

Now, before the comments come in regarding the removal of people and specific jobs in the workplace, please understand...  This is purely a shift in the type and style of jobs.

Yes, some roles will be replaced by clever mathematics and machines, but this is because no human can possibly process more accurately, consistently, precisely and quickly.  It is genuinely quite impossible.

Remember we have seen this throughout history:

  1. Cotton mills in the 1800s were disrupted by steam engines, only to be disrupted further by electrification.
  2. Henry Ford’s production lines shifted the job market in the 1920s.
  3. Robotics and machinery iterated this further and took it to a new level.

Algorithms, AI and machine learning will do the same again. But, just like every iteration and disruption prior to it, the common thread is the shift of the style of worker and roles they fulfill in the workplace. There will be an influx of new roles that machines and their algorithms will not be able to compete against…
and that will be the future of the workforce.

Algorithms are efficient

I’d like to give you an idea of the scale and speed of algorithms. In the time it has taken you to read this article, we have evaluated every SAP contractor on our platform (roughly 10,000 or so) over 418,842 times each.

We have also changed their rating and matched each one specifically to the new tickets that have been generated by our clients.

The algorithm we use will have also identified a few improvements. Those have been automatically pushed to our development team for investigation, implementation and testing.
Whether a fan of algorithms or not, you have to admit… that’s pretty cool :-)

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