By Sateesh Seetharamiah – CEO, Edge Platforms, EdgeVerve
With digitisation accelerating at break-neck speed, more and more data is moving from the smorgasbord of our digital lives to enterprise analytics engines. But while the widespread digital transformation initiatives of the past two decades have led to a tremendous increase in structured business data, the vast majority of digital information remains unrefined and fragmented.
This, however, hasn’t deterred organisations from attempting to harness unstructured data to impact their bottom line positively. In fact, among the world’s most valued companies, a solid 70% have adopted data-driven strategies as the driving force of their business growth plans.
But today, being a data-driven, connected enterprise means more than just using an analytics suite to power your insights. It means leveraging every scrap of data available to create larger, richer, more detailed views of your customers, processes, workforce, and success roadmaps.
Why will future enterprises necessarily be powered by data?
The value of this approach to enterprise leadership is rooted in the ability to respond faster to changing market conditions, innovate more rapidly, and deliver experiences that are a ‘win-win’ for every stakeholder. The modern connected enterprise will be able to:
- Digitise – Leverage data and insights from a vast array of sources, including edge device networks, customer interactions, employee tool usage, process throughput, and more.
- Augment – Quickly deploy a workforce trained to use AI and data tools to rapidly solve challenges that would take months via traditional methods.
- Automate – Simulate business outcomes and operational processes under different conditions using AI & machine learning alongside automated data extraction and processing platforms.
- Connect – Link partner, vendor, and customer data inside value networks to create seamless visibility and data sharing among all stakeholders within an ecosystem
How do organisations make the leap from digitally-enabled to data-driven?
For many, the answer lies in creating a connected enterprise.
Openreach is one of the largest telecom entities in the UK, maintaining nearly all the public digital infrastructure in the country. During the pandemic, they were looking to upgrade their internal processes to ensure always-on connectivity for every customer. For each customer, Openreach staff used multiple individual applications, often interspersed with time-consuming manual processes. To find a fix, they created detailed process and task maps and automated over 200+ processes using thousands of bots. Openreach also integrated a machine learning (ML) engine into its robotic process automation (RPA) to accelerate the discovery of new automation opportunities.
Their approach helped Openreach slash their average customer handling time by over 65%, eliminating the need for 90% of their process documentation. This meant they could re-assign their customer agents from troubleshooting to cross-selling and up-selling roles, amplifying the potential of their workers. And the data they captured from this transformation helped their teams quickly match solutions to specific customer needs.
Openreach’s success isn’t an isolated case of visionary thinking.
Royal Philips implemented a similar transformation roadmap to automate its entire finance & accounting function, saving over $16 million and 770,000 person-hours. Mars deployed a value network platform to break down distribution data silos and reduce inventory traceability time from 4 days to a mere 2 hours, vastly reducing the impact of product recalls. A global American multinational brand in footwear, apparel, and accessories uses AI/ML demand sensing to give their sales network 90% visibility into demand and inventory data across ten countries.
How can your enterprise get started?
For enterprises, the race to tap into data-driven differentiation is well and truly underway. And the winners will all likely have three things in common.
- They recognise that the data extracted from AI-driven cognitive operations is at the core of future process and productivity optimisation.
- They amplify human potential via AI and ML tools that assume the burden of mundane tasks and deliver relevant real-time insights to every member of the workforce.
- They invest in technology-enabled value networks that improve supply resilience and maximise value for the customer and ecosystem participants.
By doing so, business leaders can lay the foundation for a connected enterprise where the rewards far outweigh the risks. Today, data-driven companies grow at an average of 30% faster than their traditional counterparts – a significant statistic in markets where disruption is the norm and even decades-old brands struggle to keep pace with customer expectations.