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The Frictionless Enterprise – eliminating frictions in business operations

Manuel Sevilla – Chief Digital Officer at Business Services – talks about how removing bottlenecks and frictions in your business operations not only helps your organisation run more efficiently to create a Frictionless Enterprise, but how it also creates better relationships with your business ecosystem.

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Hello, Manuel. Thanks for joining us. Could you start by introducing the Frictionless Enterprise?

Manuel Sevilla: Thank you for having me. The Frictionless Enterprise is a conceptual approach to enable the seamless and effortless flow of information and collaboration between employees, the departments they work with, and their relationship with suppliers, partners, and obviously customers.

An organisation that aims to be a frictionless enterprise works to eliminate frictions in its business operations by adapting and augmenting its technology and processes, as well as changing the culture and mindset of the organisation to reduce these inefficiencies to a minimum.

The Frictionless Enterprise is therefore best expressed as an attitude on how organisations can create best-in-class processes and services that deliver increased efficiency, faster time to market, and an enhanced user experience.

Why do organisations have frictions in their business operations, and how can our Frictionless  enterprise approach help?

Organisations need to look at the root cause issues of why frictions exist in their business operations. This is usually down to the way organisations have been structured, the way processes have been developed, and the way data is stored.

Most organisations contain certain elements of fragmentation, such as silos between departments that have adopted and developed different strategies in running processes and owning data. Depending on how close the team is from the customer and the competition, the time to market pressure is so different it generates a multi-speed organissation, which creates various levels of appetite for change, as well as communication and alignment concerns. All of this contributes towards driving inefficiencies in the way the organisation operates.

Over time, a whole series of workarounds have been built up to address these issues, which only serve to push them further apart. They don’t address the root cause directly and are therefore not able to eliminate the source of friction.

Our Frictionless Enterprise approach is based on five fundamentals that help identify and solve existing frictions while avoiding new frictions. These fundamentals are “Hyperscale automation” to focus on efficiency, time to market, and quality; “Cloud agility” to ensure the enterprise is prepared and equipped for change; “Data fluidity” to address future frictions; “Sustainable planet” to ensure frictions are solved taking into account the global context; and “Secure business” to avoid any unexpected consequences. You can learn more about these five fundamentals in the article entitled “The five fundamentals of the Frictionless Enterprise”.

How can the collaborative process between Capgemini and its clients help change the organisational mindset with respect to the Frictionless Enterprise?

If you’re not looking for ways to transform how things work, you can’t address all the issues or frictions. We’re not just talking about small improvements and small changes. We are also looking at creating significant transformations within organisations. This is why collaboration between Capgemini and its clients is mandatory in order to change how to design and approach these new processes.

To do this, companies need to be as agile as possible. Every time you address frictions, especially large-scale frictions, you generate new smaller frictions that need to be solved, covered, or reduced quickly – or perhaps even justified, because not all frictions have a negative impact. This sort of agility only happens when we collaborate closely with our clients as partners instead of the classic customer-supplier relationship, which is often the first silo that needs to be broken.

Manuel Sevilla, Chief Digital Officer, Capgemini’s Business Services-Quote1

What are some of the frictions Capgemini has experienced recently?

One example is the COVID-19 crisis and how Capgemini transitioned employees to work from home. This transition needed to be done in a very agile way and within a short amount of time. It wasn’t just about making sure everyone had the right hardware to work from home.

We also needed to look at the risk and compliance side, as some contracts did not enable people to work from home. We had to obtain temporary agreements or even rework some of our contracts to ensure we could continue delivering services or our clients, seamlessly, without disruption, and taking their requirements into consideration.

Another common challenge we experienced recently is when one of our customers went through a cybersecurity incident. We were able to demonstrate in just a few hours and with complete transparency that this incident didn’t affect us, which helped our customer reduce its scope of investigation.

Solving these frictions has demonstrated our reactivity, our sense of service, our transparency, and ultimately our collaborative behavior. It has enhanced the trust and confidence we continue to build with our customers, and has led to longer and stronger partnerships.

Finally, how does the concept of the Frictionless Enterprise help organisations support insightdriven decision-making?

The Frictionless Enterprise helps drive a much more proactive approach to operational management and insight generation to support decision-making than it has been able to do in the past. This enables organisations to become better equipped at making rapid decisions because they have the information needed to respond as effectively as possible.

Having access to this kind of insight and preventive procedures helps organisations interact holistically with their business ecosystem of employees, customers, partners, and suppliers in their supply chains, enabling them to control and prevent disruptions to their business operations in a meaningful and beneficial way.

Manuel Sevilla, Chief Digital Officer, Capgemini’s Business Services

Manuel Sevilla advises customers on moving to a new world with radically faster time-to-market, new business models, new ecosystems, and new customer expectations, through adopt domains such as cloud, cloud-native, AI, blockchain, and DevOps.