The making of an intelligent enterprise

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Google has made searching for information such as good restaurants, schools, hospitals, and parks, plus the latest news and game scores, very easy. It can do this as it learns from its users, environment, local events and many other parameters by applying search algorithms and curating loads of data generated on the web, to give a seamless experience by bringing the right information to your fingertips.

Imagine this being applied to your business. For instance:

  1. Can you sense demand based on external parameters such as weather, local events, tweets?
  2. Can you ask your finance system to show cash collections for last quarter and forecast?
  3. Do your capital assets let you know when they need maintenance?
  4. Are you able to predict a customer’s preferences and decisions when s/he walks into your stores?
  5. Are you able to automate quality inspections of goods produced at manufacturing units?

All the above is possible if enterprise is intelligent enough to make best use of information generated within the organisation. With the above context, let me dive deeper into the subject of intelligent enterprise.

So, what is an intelligent enterprise?

First of all, let us define what an enterprise and intelligence mean:

  • An enterprise is a business or a company, which can think of new and effective things to do and do it better than others in return for a gain more likely in monetary terms
  • Intelligence is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills to the things that you do

Now let us define what an intelligent enterprise is.

Any enterprise which has the ability to make use of data generated by its people, processes and things in today’s digital world, convert it into insights and take actions to better its performance or get faster outcomes, but with less efforts and low risk, is an intelligent enterprise.

An intelligent enterprise uses data, evidence and behavioral patterns to:

  • Answer questions, predict outcomes, reduce risks & maximize process output
  • Eliminate errors and learn from failures
  • Develop insights and recommend best possible actions

Learn from interactions with people, process, technology and apply learnings to improve processes

To achieve this, an enterprise must think differently about the way it delivers its business functions and use the below technical pillars to make them intelligent:

Now let us understand how we can embed intelligence into business functions. Let us take three such examples of business functions, namely finance, supply chain and sales.

Finance

  • Connected systems leading to real time updates into financial systems allowing businesses to predict the outcomes, for example, gaps in month-end closing
  • Use of Robotic Process Automation to automate repetitive activities and use human efforts for value added activities e.g. automate invoice clearing process
  • Use of machine learning and artificial intelligence for predictive accounting, reduction in interest payments to vendors, smart cash collections, faster month-end closing

Supply chain

  • Connected supply chain to ensure end-to-end visibility of the process, and provide accurate time-sensitive information which will help plan and fulfill demand better
  • Use of blockchain to ensure traceability within the supply chain process and increase customer confidence about the origin and travel path of the product
  • Use of the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop flexibility in the supply chain and respond to unplanned circumstances

Sales

  • Use of intelligent personal assistants who provide right information to augment sales and improve customer experience
  • Use of artificial intelligence and chat bots in customer service for faster resolution of complaints
  • Use of machine learning to propose accurate discounts and alternate product proposals to customers based on past order data

Until recently, organisations were much more reactive and this was mainly due to the lack of appropriate tools and technology.

With the advent of new technologies available today, organisations can now make their processes much smarter by embedding intelligence into them – developing the ability to predict and prescribe actions to enhance not only their internal processes but improving customer experience across all touch points.

The time to transform the digital enterprise into an intelligent enterprise is right now.

At Capgemini, we have a very strong focus on intelligent enterprise with special focus on SAP. We have a dedicated Innovation Center in SAP Center of Excellence focused on building exciting solutions, some of which are SAP-certified industry accelerators. You can find the details here.

We can help you transform your enterprise into an intelligent enterprise. Please get in touch with me, Nathan Pearce or David Lowson.

Author


Sandeep Chavan

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