The term digital transformation gets so much play these days that it’s almost become a cliché. But experts from Frost & Sullivan believe that for most organizations, there’s a sizeable gap between dream and reality. Digital transformation drives many IT investments, with a focus on adapting to new work models and customer expectations, increasing capacity to respond to higher demand, managing growth with fewer resources, enhancing eCommerce capabilities, and supporting security and compliance requirements. Yet most companies are unhappy with the level of success they’ve seen to date.
Integrating data to improve customer interactions and employee experiences
As organizations move toward a digital future, they must confront a vexing problem: enterprise applications reside in a large network of complex systems, with enormous amounts of structured and unstructured data that require processing to deliver meaningful insights and enable informed decisions. Organizations can mitigate this scenario by leveraging advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to build next-generation capabilities today.
This is especially important in customer interactions. For example, when a customer contacts the business via chat, email or social media, that text or voice recording is unstructured data that needs to be collected and analyzed as part of the interaction. At the same time, the customer’s history with the company is likely stored in a structured system. Only by merging the two data sets can companies deliver a complete, 360° view of the customer to agents (or automated systems), and only by acting on the two data sets can they deliver a truly personalized experience.
We see something similar in the supply chain, which has gone from a one-way, linear behemoth to an interdependent and intelligent web. That makes it more responsive and less prone to disruption, but only if your employees have real-time access to information and communication.
The best way to capitalize on the new technology is to let users access the new capabilities right from within the tools they use to do their jobs every day. That kind of frictionless integration makes it easy for employees to take up the new software and services, seeing the benefits without having to break stride or recreate their own business processes.
As companies embrace digital transformation, they are moving their enterprise applications to the cloud. Frost & Sullivan has found many IT decision-makers (who maintain responsibility for their company’s infrastructure and application management) consider moving to the cloud a key initiative, with some saying it is the top priority. Overall, they have seen clients consider the cloud to be one of the most important factors in helping them achieve their business goals.
But not all cloud solutions are created equal, and it’s important for IT and line-of-business teams to work together to find a partner that offers the services their business needs.
Helping companies accelerate business transformation and growth
Dublin-based Glen Dimplex has sales, manufacturing and distribution facilities around the world. Before engaging IBM Consulting, Glen Dimplex had each of its facilities running its own systems to drive day-to-day operations. The company decided to embark on a digital transformation by moving to a single, integrated set of business processes and data using SAP S/4HANA. To maximize the business value of its investment, Glen Dimplex engaged IBM Consulting.
OMV (one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies) produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions. Its three divisions had highly customized SAP ERP systems for daily operations, but when the company moved to SAP S/4HANA, it needed to tailor its deployment methodologies to each business unit. IBM Consulting recommended using a hybrid approach. For example, for the corporate business, a greenfield methodology building a new SAP S/4HANA environment made sense. For the downstream deployment, IBM Consulting leveraged its Rapid Move methodology, powered by CrystalBridge, to reduce the cost and complexity of bringing custom SAP ECC retail solutions into SAP S/4HANA.
By defining standardized, integrated processes, OMV is building a digital core that will make it easier to bring new acquisitions onboard. Moving to SAP solutions in the Azure cloud has reduced the company’s IT maintenance spend, improving cost-effectiveness and efficiency.
With the right support and guidance, it is possible to maximize business value and realize the dream of digital transformation.