McKinsey: Digital strategy and COVID-19
McKinsey & Company is a leading global consulting firm helping businesses across the private, public and social sectors to allow them to create “change that matters”. The consulting company has been leading the industry for over 90 years and has recruited over 30,000 experienced employees in 130 cities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit many businesses hard, it has accelerated the digital transformation of every business in a very timely manner, even the world's largest corporations have been rushed into a whirlwind of remote working. The pandemic will leave long lasting effects on all of us, both negative and positive.
The pace of digital transformation and the technology industry was already fast, now factoring in a pandemic, the industry is changing in a way we have never seen before, from breakthroughs in artificial intelligence to combat the virus to providing the healthcare industry with the most in depth and detailed medical tools.
Businesses that had planned a digital strategy over the next few years have been swept off their feet and need to transform in just a matter of weeks. According to McKinsey, a crisis demands boldness and learning. The company’s research shows that bold moves to adopt digital technologies early and at scale and at scale, combined with a heavy allocation of resources against digital initiatives and M&A, correlate highly with value creation.
McKinsey suggests four key areas of focus to become bold, the four key areas are to innovate entirely new digital offerings, deploying design thinking and technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) at scale across your business, and doing all of this “at pace” through acquisitions.
The global consulting company says that it is imperative to reinvent your business at its core. The way to do this is through making changes to; Supply chain transparency and flexibility, data security and finally remote workforces and automation.
McKinsey’s website hosts a COVID-19 case tracking system to keep customers up to date and knowledgeable about the pandemic. It contains an interactive map colour coded by the population of age groups, it also contains a table of how many cases are in each geographical region.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”