At the beginning of the new year, what is the picture before the Chief Operating Officers (COOs)?
Organizations are currently working to maintain the momentum of transformation gained during quarantine and to strengthen the resilience that has allowed them to survive so far. This is a great opportunity and a significant risk at the same time. If they succeed, they will receive a rich reward – increased productivity, a renewed organizational culture, new relationships with new customers. It is worth fighting for these benefits. But if they fail, they will lag behind competitors and become less and less relevant in the marketplace. So the stakes are pretty serious.
Opportunities at the crossroads of the physical and digital worlds
The COO plays a key role in this process. It has not only a role to prepare the organization for its current operations, but also to assess future needs. How can the supply chain be put on a new footing so that the same bottlenecks do not re-emerge? How can the complexity of a rapid response to a crisis be overcome? How to adapt to future changes and alleviate uncertainty
While the task may seem enormous, COOs start with a good foundation. From backend to frontend, plenty of physical processes are already built on a digital background. And the crisis has broadened the range of opportunities by accelerating the deployment of cloud services. COOs can now take a strong position to seize each of these opportunities to create something more significant than the totality of the parts.
In order to achieve this at the necessary pace, the operational, senior IT and technology executives need to work closely with the IT team to develop a unified vision. The technology strategy must effectively support the business model. This collaboration started even before Covid19 had radically transformed the relationship. According to a March 2020 survey , 19% of companies involved the operational function as a partner in the redesign of the transformation . The only surprise in this is why not the remaining 81%.
More tasks still need to be done with less resources
Examine how to make operation more resilient. There is a need for shorter, more agile value chains and faster product development. Analytics, MI, and IoT can make system monitoring more automatic (and efficient). More committed employees provide a better customer experience across all channels. Strengthening the sustainability of business operations is also a key priority.
Whether or not these changes will take place in the midst of a global economic recession is difficult to predict. But it doesn’t matter so much, given that the challenge remains the same: getting more done with less resources. The changes made so far have probably already yielded some benefits – teleworking is a good example of this. The OECD recently published a survey on the complex relationship between telework and productivity. Elsewhere, others have reported other concrete benefits. For example, 60% of companies are at least as effective if they do not consider distance selling models to be more effective than traditional channels .
But what about teleworking? Can you analyze their performance in real time? And would you be aware of which needs of their supply chain or services require immediate response? Can they squeeze out manual tasks so their employees can focus on more value-creating work? Consultants at McKinsey & Co recently calculated how much productivity gains a “corona virus reboot” would allow in a single industry: healthcare. Estimated to be $ 400 billion by 2025 . Maintaining this level of agility is likely to be an important business goal in the future.
Data is at the heart of any digital transformation
So there is only one deceptively simple question left: how do we do it all? As with any crisis, we face a new reality. And that means re-evaluating the way we use data and digital technology. We need to create new data sets and quickly discover and validate modeling techniques. We need to look at whether we are using the cloud, our applications, artificial intelligence (and other technologies) as rationally as possible. Companies that are moving in the right direction in these areas will be successful in the future.
Data is at the heart of any digital transformation. Organizations need to innovate and take advantage of new business and revenue generation opportunities by using the amount of data at their disposal to generate revenue. However, without a systematic framework, data is worth no more than an incoherent set of information. The challenge lies in their interpretation: value can only be gained by first rationalizing and integrating data across the organization and the value chain. Flexible, agile and efficient foundations are needed for data science and MI to live up to their promise.
This requires a data-driven transformation that
Fujitsu helps its customers implement data-driven transformation
In our experience, most organizations initially struggle, even though they are aware of the value inherent in their data. The task seems insurmountable: identifying relationships, developing information management for different locations (office, cloud, possibly both), protecting against data loss, implementing appropriate internet security measures, and applying MI and data science to the company for analysis
This was also the case for Akademiska Hus. Sweden’s largest real estate company wanted to digitize every element of its IT operations to increase efficiency and flexibility. He wanted to move to a private cloud environment that could easily be further expanded toward the hybrid cloud. Another important aspect was the provision of scalability and real-time information services.
Fujitsu has developed a “plug-and-play” PRIMEFLEX for VMware Cloud Foundation solution for its customer, which today It supports 450 users in 16 locations based on VDI. The solution halved costs and doubled performance and efficiency. Akademiska Hus saved 40,000 euros in energy consumption in a single year. The solution also supports mobile operation, as the full-featured virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) is also available from a smartphone. Additional VDIs can be commissioned at the touch of a button, allowing the environment to be further scaled as needed, while resources can be monitored from a central console, from any location.
These transformations can be performed by COO -s who take on the task of rethinking day-to-day operations. Given the pace of change last year, much remains to be done in terms of integration, security and coordination of operations. In order to carry out a real transformation, we believe that data needs to be at the center. Somehow, as the example of Akademiska Hus shows. If your organization needs such a change and is ready to get started, visit our data-driven transformation page !
Author of the article Karl Hausdorf, Head of Customer Experience, Data Consultative Sales, Product Sales Europe, Fujitsu
Karl has been working in IT for more than 10 years in various positions and areas (eg marketing, transformation and project management, management consulting). In his current role as Fujitsu’s head of customer experience, he focuses primarily on data and advising customers. It helps clients to carry out complex data projects and create the ecosystem needed in the future.