During times of crisis, businesses must be ready to respond to market changes if they want to stay competitive. Resilience is a core digital capability that will get organizations through today’s tough market challenges and is a tenet to stick to even in stable market times. To develop this core capability, operations executives will have to shift their focus from efficiency and throughput to market response.
61.3% of CEOs view the pivot of operations from throughput and efficiency to market responsive as more or significantly more important in the next 5 years (Source: IDC Doc # US46201920)
To become a resilient operations organization under the Future of Operations, the two traditionally separate groups of IT staff and operations subject matter experts will converge into formal groups with a single reporting structure. The groups will see additional operational application responsibilities such as operational data governance, analytics life-cycle model management, and robotics support. IDC is calling this fully converged organization digital engineering.
Here are five benefits to underscore when it comes to resilient operations and the digital engineering organization:
- The integration of advancing technologies provides a better means of measurement, and the enterprise can expect to be able to more effectively measure KPIs tied to business outcomes, including ROI
- The digital engineering organization will have subject matter experts and IT working together in near real time to build custom applications that support their business needs, for agile and timely responsiveness to market changes when it comes to decision-making
- Data from the large operations data stream is able to be contextualized with integration of machine learning technology, allowing for more refining of the customer in order to deliver on the tailored, personalized experience
- Intelligent technology will support the integration of data insight into workflows and processes for more value extraction from the data
- New software-defined infrastructure models for operations are able to adapt rapidly to changing business requirements and support scalability
Responding to the Call for Resilient Operations
When it comes down to it, a top goal for operations in the digital economy is to scale learning further to create economies of operational intelligence. To reach that goal, operations executives must acknowledge and act on the urgency for a digital engineering organization that will be able to handle large amounts of data and that can also synthesize information, increase its capacity to learn from the data, and then share insights out to the edge of operating arenas. Simply put, the digital engineering organization will be able to proactively predict and respond to customer and other stakeholder expectations.
So, what are some success stories of resilient operations in the COVID era?
We can look to Tesco, a UK grocer that addressed panic buying head-on. Tesco was using a dedicated cloud environment for its highly-connected supply chains which allowed it to quickly alter product stocking policies, adjust online ordering procedures, and manage a changing delivery scheduling system to minimize panic buying.
Another example of operations transformation success is Rescale, a cloud simulation platform company. They partnered with leading cloud SPs to deliver high performance compute capacity available at no charge to researchers developing test kits and vaccines for COVID-19.
How Technology Partners Can Support their Customers
Customers taking steps to transform their operations and build a digital engineering organization will be looking for providers with a more hands-on approach. They will need solutions and services that will include helping them to:
- Deliver on achieving higher ROI on technology spending
- Understand and integrate rapidly evolving digital technologies and platforms
- Integrate of globally distributed disconnected assets
- Deploy best practices for their domain
- Refine their operating model to stay competitive and be relevant to their customers
Eventually, customers will be seeking a single provider that owns all partnership responsibilities to complement their internal infrastructure. Services providers must be ready to offer the entire life cycle for all “digital era” services that include scalable capabilities such as consulting/design, automation, analytics, digital engineering services, cloud, monitoring, and managing operations.