Businesses can benefit from leveraging a larger, better-connected customer base than was previously available to them.
In the beginning of the pandemic, companies not only had to quickly set up a website, provide cybersecurity training, and implement Virtual Private Network solutions, but also digitize various business processes to optimise them for a post-pandemic world.
However, experts emphasize that, for a modern business to flourish, having the latest technology is not enough – companies need to stay vigilant and be able to adapt and react to ever-changing market trends.
We sat down with Garry Jones, CEO of NovaFori – a company specializing in digital marketplace development. Garry explains that to stay competitive, businesses need to closely monitor the market and adopt a data-centric approach that is tailored to their specific sector.
What has your journey been like since your launch? How did the idea of NovaFori originate?
Novafori was formed in 2021, as a relaunch of a previous company with over a decade of digital transformation experience. The name means ‘New Markets’ in Latin and we assist forward-looking companies to create and enhance new markets, looking to increase revenue, optimise costs and, very importantly, broaden global distribution.
We endeavour to realise this by building marketplaces and auction platforms, overlain with data science. Our clients are across many industries and include Christies, the global auction house, CarNext and LeasePlan in the automotive sector, and most recently Climate Impact X in Singapore to create a carbon credit platform.
Can you introduce us to your platform? What technology do you use to make data science easier?
The NovaFori platform is flexible, scalable, and modular, so we can tailor it to the specific requirements of a client’s business and sector. This helps them scale their business and maximise revenue across their marketplace, by matching the right buyers to the right products at the right time.
In addition, our platform combines the complex attributes of a B2B product with a B2C standard of user experience. Our machine learning capability tracks every bid on an auction platform, for instance, using the data to understand the market activity, predict future trends, and ensure that the marketplace improves continuously.
What are some of the worst mistakes companies make when handling large amounts of data?
One of the most difficult aspects of handling large amounts of data is prioritising interpretation. This will by no means come naturally to businesses that have been used to operating on an analogue basis and, while digitisation itself can deliver immediate benefits, there is a risk of a marketplace’s growth stalling without a continuous process of re-evaluation and refinement. It is this process on which the marketplace’s data should be set to work.
At NovaFori, we are experts at scaling the digital mountain, and we guide our clients every step of the way to achieving their successes as a business. As a data-centric organisation, we are committed to exploring new ways to leverage value data for impactful business decision-making.
How did the recent global events affect your field of work? Were there any new challenges you had to adapt to?
Covid-19 has of course catalysed the digital transformation of business, which has made markets more global at the very time that doing business face-to-face became far more difficult for obvious reasons. This has really highlighted how much businesses can benefit from leveraging a larger, better-connected customer base than was previously available to them.
Moreover, increasing interest in sustainability solutions has fomented demand for carbon credit marketplaces, such as the Climate Impact X (CIX) marketplace that we recently developed for a consortium of investors including DBS Bank, Standard Chartered Bank, the Singapore Exchange (SGX), and Temasek.
The key to enhancing carbon marketplaces is transparency. That is why we integrated CIX with third-party verification provider Verra, so that buyers can be sure that their purchases are of genuine environmental value.
What would you consider to be the most difficult challenges that new businesses face nowadays?
Establishing the most relevant business model and working out how to connect buyers and sellers in the most efficient way, given the global disruption to supply chains, is a core challenge to any new or established business. Engaging with NovaFori can add considerable insight to solving this problem.
Having the right IT Security standards iscritical for all businesses nowadays and working with NovaFori can allow your business to leverage the latest technology in intrusion protection and prevention and real-time network monitoring.
Besides data science solutions, what other technologies do you think would greatly enhance business operations?
Working with NovaFori to establish the right auction model for your business, in order to service your customers in the most efficient and effective manner. We can design auction models which not only account for the price but also account for quantity, ensuring your product achieves the widest possible distribution in the market.
In your opinion, why do certain companies hesitate to implement new and innovative solutions, despite all the technological advancements available nowadays?
Technological advancements have not taken place evenly across all countries or even all markets. Financial markets, for instance, have long been the setting for new and innovative solutions such as digital transformation. Many traditional industries such as commodities and logistics are hesitant to introduce new technologies for fear of disruption. In our experience, new technologies can work hand in hand with the traditional analogue business processes, with both benefiting each other.
In addition, the investment needed to embrace these new solutions is now lower than before, with data storage so interconnected and data science growing more mature all the time. As these conditions are put in place across more markets, implementing new systems will be easier and more popular than ever.
What kind of threats do you think organizations should be prepared to tackle in the next few years? What security measures are essential in combating these threats?
How staff interact with technology will remain the number one threat because of the human factor. Irrespective of which technical tools are being used, employees can always be attacked in similar ways via emotional manipulation and social engineering. As hybrid working has become more commonplace there is a higher reliance on the workforce to maintain their vigilance when working remotely, to correctly identify phishing attacks that are continually evolving and becoming more targeted.
Organisations will need to continue to implement and maintain appropriate security tooling to protect staff as much as possible. Threat intelligence will become more important to understand the threat landscape that is continually evolving. Implementing regular security training for staff is essential to maintain high levels of vigilance to reduce the risk of phishing attacks and social engineering being successful.
Tell us, what’s next for NovaFori?
We will keep striving to improve and innovate, just like our marketplaces. We will keep evolving to ensure that we can meet the needs of businesses looking to get the most out of their digital transformation. And we will do this with a strong sense of the changing landscape in our target industries, a mastery of the data at our disposal, and a commitment to improving the way that the world does business.