Businesses gain edge in digital world with high-tech consulting

My company, Sopra Steria, is a digital transformation service provider. Our 40,000 employees offer consulting, systems integration, software development, infrastructure management and business process services across 20 countries. This gives us considerable insight into the competitive issues facing enterprises in today’s lightning-fast digital world.

Those of us from the IT industry used to having IT-related KPIs will notice a change. Business executives no longer care about solving IT problems. Their concern is resolving critical and complex business challenges, which have three main components.

The first challenge is speed–companies have to be very fast and nimble. Secondly, they must react not just to the moves of traditional competitors, but to new digital players that bring fresh approaches. Third, they have to modernize legacy systems and processes that are still central to operations.

We address these challenges by abandoning a purely vertical vision to offer solutions that integrate advanced technologies, technical know-how and business consulting expertise. Technologies we often integrate include AI, blockchain, the IoT and the cloud. All can add intelligence to legacy systems to create more agile and adaptable processes.

Capitalizing on IBM’s strength

Sopra Steria counts on IBM’s leadership in these technologies to help our customers digitally transform.

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We put customers on the IBM Cloud and believe in the open source Hyperledger blockchain fabric that IBM supports. As blockchain technology matures, we expect it to become a significant part of our business. Blockchain helps to make people, companies and industries work in a collaborative, community-like mode, and soon it will be linked to existing processes.

Some years ago, we bet on IBM Watson as our AI technology. In fact, we were the first IT service company to join the IBM Watson Ecosystem program and in 2015 launched a cognitive Center of Excellence in Europe. That bet has paid off now that Watson is a leading technology in the AI market.

We frequently embed AI in customer solutions and utilize Watson’s natural language understanding to power chatbot solutions for virtual assistance. We also developed a kit to help clients build their own Watson chatbots.

Embedding business intelligence

If your company is considering a digital transformation project, here’s my best advice: assemble a multi-disciplinary team whose members have diverse backgrounds and experiences. Because digital transformation affects every strata and function of a company, a team consisting of consultants, engineers, developers, integrators and business experts will most likely create new value.

Be sure, however, to measure the value your solutions deliver. You may think the value is there, but you won’t know until you measure. As an example, success doesn’t come from creating an elegant chatbot. It comes from increasing the productivity of employees and processes.

Digital transformation requires embedding intelligence within your systems and processes. It also benefits from a strong partnership model, as exists between Sopra Steria and IBM. We complement each other to the advantage of our mutual customers.

Listen to Mohammed Sijelmassiis discuss digital transformation to help customers: