Agility begins with a vision for where new opportunities lie in the long term, knowing what to do about them and how to prepare for them.
Too often, enterprise software stands in the way of this response. But your core software should support long-term strategic change, rapid shifts in the market, variations in customer demands, and new ways of doing business. In fact, the bond between business strategy and technology investments should be one of the strongest in your company.
What are the biggest challenges facing your long-term enterprise technology investments?
Preparing for the unknown
Business today isn’t just about being ready for tomorrow. It’s about being prepared to deal with an increasingly unpredictable future. Elastic strategy, processes and infrastructure investments are essential.
Enterprise technology should not dictate a rigid path to a fixed goal, or involve paying for redundant capabilities to address scenarios that may never happen. Unfortunately, this is often exactly what enterprise technology does. Modular technology – built to easily add new capabilities or functions – sidesteps this problem. Modularity allows organisations to easily add new functionalities to address new markets, new products, and new processes when required. This could help a business quickly capture a market opportunity, integrate a company after acquisition or adapt to new revenue models or services.
Realising value from investments rapidly
Lengthy enterprise software implementations impede growth, and lead to technology becoming a determining factor in business vision, rather than helping enable it.
Again, modular technology comes into its own here. By adding specific elements as and when required, technology investment can keep pace with business vision, running in parallel and adapting to new needs, trends and delivering value.
Converting skills and knowledge
Too much organisational information sits beyond the reach of technology. And in complex, technical businesses, the knowledge of the specialist teams and employees is an organisation’s greatest asset.
A key challenge is how to convert skills, knowledge and ideas from individual human capital, into structural capital that benefits the whole business.
Technology can facilitate this kind of knowledge transfer. Whether providing access to centrally stored information like engineering and show order data, manuals on assets or repair scenarios or a single system to track project dependencies, the right software can ensure an organisation’s greatest asset – knowledge – isn’t lost when employees leave or structural changes occur.
Customer and supplier relations
The growing digitisation of everyday life has changed how consumers think, act and engage with organisations. Project- and asset-based businesses are under real pressure to transform how they serve and interact with customers, suppliers and partners.
Rapid access to knowledge about these relationships is only possible with systems that can manage and present a view of the whole interaction chain, from sales through to purchase and ongoing support.
New working cultures and practices
Adaptable people and culture are essential in enabling organisations to work towards a strategic vision that is itself constantly changing.
In order to capitalise on these changes to create business advantage, organisations must have the systems, processes and culture in place to facilitate transformation as and when it occurs. This could be small transformations like automating tasks for operational workers, or larger changes, such as adopting new technological policies like Bring Your Own Device – being driven by the new generation of employees.
Learn more about how to realise vision when facing these agility challenges in our white paper: Planning for Change.