Swarm Intelligence as an innovation booster and enabler for change management

Eric Monchalin

Vice-President, Head of Machine Intelligence at Atos and member of the Scientific Community

Purshottam Purswani

Chief Architect, Distinguished Expert and member of the Scientific Community

Do van Rijn

Bid Executive at Atos

Posted on: 22 January 2020

In the first article in our series on Swarm Intelligence, we discussed how Swarm Intelligence will be a game changer in tomorrow’s business and society, underlying several schools of thoughts like human, algorithms and automation.

Let us now examine these various schools, starting with the human one.

While many companies are already struggling today to attract and retain top talented millennials, another tsunami, potentially just as disruptive, is now hitting the market: the Gen Z.

Embrace the YOLO entrepreneurial spirit

But what’s Gen Z? Gen Z, people born from the mid-1990s to the early 2000s, is the first generation who has grown up with smartphones and does not remember a time before social media. More importantly, Gen Z is driven by YOLO: “You Only Live Once”.

Companies need to understand how to capture and embrace the YOLO entrepreneurial spirit, developing new models of lifelong learning, a combination of hands-on experience, training and mentoring.

Companies also have to continuously manage fundamental changes in the way they deal with customers, build their brands, design, process, distribute, market, analyze information, and in the way customers access their products and services. This data-driven hyper-competition is fueled by multi-dimensional and interlaced innovation capabilities, for new products and services on one hand and new business models on the other.

This new multi-dimensional competition for innovation as well as the Gen Z expectations are strong organizational challenges. Organizations need to build interdisciplinary teams beyond the established hierarchies, but also teams able to quickly act and react to unforeseen changes. These teams’ efficiency relies on peer-to-peer connections and self-organization. They will operate as swarms, continuously organizing themselves to adapt to changes in the environment. This model is quite different from the traditional vertical hierarchical structures, which are inherently slow in coping with change. A DevOps team can be considered as an example of such a swarm-based organization model.

Get ready for the gig economy

The macro-economic trend ‘gig economy’ also fits the swarm-model very well: workers hired simply as freelancers by companies for short term engagements.

Although the gig economy is not yet widespread, it is gaining ground with people, specially the Gen Z, having a different attitude toward work and for whom flexibility and independency are key drivers in seeking a new job experience. We could even consider blockchain technology with its smart contract capabilities associating freelancers and investment funds competing against classical companies on a deal-per-deal basis. In such environments, corporates would not face anymore a situation where the gig economy brings them advantages, but competitors with the best experts, great flexibility and agility, and backed by credible financial capabilities.

It’s time for you to ask yourself: Will your company be a disrupter, or will it be disrupted?

In our next blog article, we’ll explore how Swarm Intelligence can speed up the decision-making process.

Anxious and excited to hear more? Read our white paper to get all you wish to know and even more.

Download the Swarm intelligence – White Paper

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About Eric Monchalin
Vice-President, Head of Machine Intelligence at Atos and member of the Scientific Community
Eric Monchalin is Vice-President, Head of Machine Intelligence at Atos. He’s responsible for solidifying new technological and business directions for the Big Data and Security Global Business Line. Eric’s career has been mainly built on numerous R&D positions in several companies, with experience in leading 100+ people organizations and managing multi tens millions Euros projects in international environments. He is a technology-minded person who values wide range of skills and technological knowledge focused on customer wishes to turn them into reality.

About Purshottam Purswani
Chief Technology Officer, Atos Asia Pacific and member of the Scientific Community
Purshottam is a chief architect with more than 20 years cross-industry IT experience in the Telecom, Manufacturing and financial sectors. In his 20 year experience, he has fulfilled a variety of roles including Enterprise architecture, IT management, and program management. Purshottam is now responsible for the strategy and driving innovation for customers. In his role, he displays thought leadership with regard to using business technology to address the current and future challenges faced by organizations. A member of the Atos Scientific Community and part of Atos Distinguished expert, Purshottam is very passionate and works on digital technologies around IoT, Cloud, Machine Learning, Blockchain and AI. He is married with 1 child, based out of Mumbai, India.

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About Do van Rijn
Bid Executive at Atos
As a Bid Executive at the Strategic Sales Engagements team of Atos in BTN, Do van Rijn is responsible for managing bid teams with the aim to acquire new profitable business. Together with the bid team, the challenge is how to differentiate Atos positively from the rest of the pack. This requires, apart from understanding the drivers and issues of the client deeply, thinking out of the box and seeing how new paradigms, like Swarm Intelligence, can be utilized for this purpose. In other words, it is about looking for opportunities which are truly transformational to the client.