Technology facets of a digital enterprise

Change is the only constant. Earlier, the currency which held high value is now only a coupon that can be exchanged at banks. And, the change is happening across different horizons from currency, business ecosystems to technology.

Talking of change, technology is an ever-evolving space. The way we communicate in itself has witnessed a sea change. To contemplate, we have come a long way from ‘Pigeons to Twitter’. And, with everything going digital, businesses need to rewire their technological frameworks.

The drivers of change

Business ecosystems are evolving and thus, creating need for innovative technology platforms. The key change drivers for businesses are:

Customer experience, a basic expectation – Customers today, want a great experience across various touch points. And, if this expectation is not met, they will not be hesitant to switch. Retaining customers has never been this difficult. Businesses whether big or small need to deliver a great customer experience.

Increasing millennial workforce – This digital savvy tribe inherently expects a modern and smart leverage of technology – as customer as well as workforce. These customers and employees are the agents of transformative change that enterprises cannot afford to ignore.

Changing business functions – Business ecosystems are going digital from revenue models, delivery models, payments, customer service, marketing, manufacturing to entire supply chains.

Workforce productivity beyond traditional boundaries – Operational efficiency and process oriented approaches do not suffice any more. The emphasis is on moving from repeatable workforce efficiency to collaboration and empowerment.

Truly global businesses – Unlike, the structures of the past, where organizations created hybrid global and local strategies with operations in a federated model, enterprises today have to act truly global at functional level and still be able to adapt to the micro context of the specific customer.

Building Blocks of a Digital Enterprise

Digital is the new normal. And, it creates enormous pressure on enterprises to emulate or adapt models to meet the increasing demands of the digital business environment. To transition in the digital phase, businesses need platforms that leverage technologies like mobility, digital sensing, analytics and robotic process automation (RPA).

Mobility – Business ecosystems have evolved from value chain to value webs. These value webs now allow customers and other stakeholders to participate as part of their business model. Leveraging mobility, enterprises can adopt such dynamic ecosystem. However, in the process of going mobile, organizations may just build another silos. To be truly mobile and boundary-less, organizations need to leverage the combined power of BPM platforms and mobility. This would empower knowledge workers to make intelligent business decisions on-the-fly and continuously support business.

Digital Sensing – While companies focus on developing the mobile and social capabilities, real leverage comes from being able to connect systems, processes, people and things of the organization and operate in the right context. Digital Sensing makes it possible by combining omnichannel, analytics, business rules management, content management, business process management and unified communication capabilities directed to tap such business moments.

Analytics – Organizations need to transition towards a digital business ecosystem that uses data and analytics as a tactical weapon. Hinging on analytics, organizations can effectively model differentiated processes that are the focal point today for delivering top notch services. This requires significant adaption in organizational culture, one that is driven by a data strategy and supported by a robust BPM based analytics platform. Process and context driven analytics as part of the BPM workflow complements each other to provide a 360 degree panoramic view of cases driving process and decision optimization.

RPA – RPA is the last mile task automation of human tasks in process automation. Parallel, sequential or tasks at any level (mundane) can be completely automated with robotic process automation, allowing knowledge workers to participate in more constructive processes. An effective RPA implementation works in conjunction with a robust BPM platform that supports structured as well as unstructured processes as it would allow for process orchestration at the business unit level.

The key to Digital transformation is ‘Connect’. It is not enough just to act digital, but organizations need to alter the way they behave and respond in the digital environment. Large enterprises carry years of legacy and experience that needs to leveraged. All the ingredients of the enterprise – people, processes, systems and things – exist for reasons that hold relevance in the enterprise context. Enterprise Technology decision makers need to look at the end-to-end value chain of their business processes and look for ways to connect various entities involved in delivery of this value.

Platforms like Business Process Management (BPM) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) offer capabilities to leverage existing capabilities and build solutions for tomorrow. It facilitates enterprises to embark a smooth transition towards a truly ‘Digital Enterprise’.

Virender Jeet, senior VP Technology at Newgen Software