Being intelligent: Leveraging tech & data by being agile

November 30, 2020 1:15 AM

Intelligent enterprises understand the promise that digitalisation holds for any given company

Being an intelligent enterprise is all about co-innovating and integrating.

By Sindhu Gangadharan

The Intelligent Enterprise strategy is a roadmap for the future of business. Intelligent enterprises run agile, integrated business processes and use powerful technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) to sense opportunities, risks and trends. They turn insights into actions by leveraging the data intelligence across every part of the business in real-time. In an intelligent enterprise, data-driven innovation, process automation, new business models and exceptional customer experiences are more quickly achieved.

Intelligent enterprises understand the promise that digitalisation holds for any given company. Every company that wishes to be profitable can do so by becoming an intelligent enterprise. Embedding intelligence into processes creates organisational agility and increases efficiency by providing insights to adapt to challenges. Business leaders need to create an environment where their employees can innovate, irrespective of challenges they face. In the new normal, developing a data mindset will differentiate leaders from the laggards. By leveraging data in the right way, businesses can be more proactive and anticipate future actions, customer expectations, deliver more, optimise processes and mitigate risks.

Co-innovation and integration

Being an intelligent enterprise is all about co-innovating and integrating. It is crucial to collaborate with industry partners, suppliers, customers and leverage current infrastructure and technologies, to bring in intelligent solutions.

Innovation is the core of an intelligent enterprise as it positions it uniquely as a high performing business. For example, if we take the Intelligent Enterprise framework for the industrial machinery and component industries, it would mean building equipment and machinery that are digitally enabled to help their customers improve their top-line revenue. But at the same time, it would also mean using that type of machinery for their operations and thereby reducing their bottom-line operational cost. To do this, companies in this space are pursuing five strategic priorities:

  • Focusing on customers to understand what they want and need and not what they are driven by
  • Serving the segment of one—meaning, customising products to meet the individual needs of the customer but at scale— mass customisation so that customers can get what they want
  • Substitute physical products with digital to provide offerings that can talk to each other and take decisions
  • Build products with next-generation supply chain and manufacturing processes so that they connect to all aspects of the business and act taking into account external factors, for example demand or supply fluctuations or changes in customer configuration orders
  • Explore ways to increase revenue, through new business models such as outcome as a service.

The Covid-19 pandemic has forced business leaders to re-look at the way they work and run their business operations. In an intelligent enterprise, HR leaders can play a vital role by improving business performance through a holistic talent strategy. Covid-19 has demonstrated that there’s nothing structured or sure about businesses and the marketplace. Organisations can, therefore, gain by adopting an intelligent enterprise mindset.

(The writer is senior vice-president and managing director, SAP Labs India. Views expressed are personal.)

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