September 13, 2023 By Melanie Turek 3 min read

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

IBM Consulting™ and Microsoft bring out the best of SAP and modernize the enterprise.

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.

Now Glen Dimplex is putting real-time insights into the hands of its employees, enabling them to make better decisions, faster. Customer service teams have reduced the manual workload in the order-entry process by 43%, and new streamlined processes have contributed to a 20% increase in on-time and in-full deliveries.

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.

Explore the report to apply IBM, Microsoft and SAP expertise to your business
Was this article helpful?

More from Business transformation

Rethink IT spend in the age of generative AI

3 min read - It’s the burning question for today’s CIOs: what do you spend your IT budget on? Cloud costs were already a challenge—in a recent survey, 24% estimated they wasted software spend. The explosion of generative AI makes it critical for organizations to consider frameworks like FinOps and technology business management (TBM) for visibility and accountability of all tech spend. But what does this all mean in practice? How can organizations shift to a more disciplined, value-driven approach to IT spend? What…

6 hard truths CEOs must confront in the generative AI era

5 min read - The rise of generative AI is a make-or-break moment for CEOs. All eyes are on them and the decisions they make now to steer their organizations into the future. There is an exciting canvas of opportunity ahead with generative AI: improving productivity across virtually every enterprise function, delivering exciting new kinds of customer experiences, and powering the development of new digital products and services—all underpinned by transformed technology delivery. To turn these opportunities into reality, IBM’s recent AI Academy episode…

Immutable backup strategies with cloud storage

4 min read - Cyberthreats, once a mostly predictable risk limited to isolated incidents, are now pervasive. Attackers aided by advancements in AI and global connectivity are continually seeking out vulnerabilities in security defenses so they can access critical infrastructure and customer data. Eventually, an attack will compromise an administrative account or a network component, or exploit a software vulnerability, ultimately gaining access to production infrastructure. These inevitable attacks are why having immutable offsite backups for both application and customer data is critical to…

IBM Newsletters

Get our newsletters and topic updates that deliver the latest thought leadership and insights on emerging trends.
Subscribe now More newsletters