You are on page 1of 6

3/20/2016

Digitalconnections:Thesecrettobusinesssuccess:::DailyFTBeEmpowered
Sunday Mar 20, 2016

(https://www.facebook.com/dailyft)
(https://twitter.com/ft_srilanka)
(http://www.ft.lk/rss)
(http://www.ft.lk/apps)

(http://www.ft.lk/)
(http://epaper.ft.lk/)
ARCHIVES (http://www.ft.lk/archivepage)
CONTACT (http://www.ft.lk/contactus)

HOME (HTTP://WWW.FT.LK/) / IT / TELECOM / TECH


(HTTP://WWW.FT.LK/IT-TELECOM-TECH)/ DIGITAL
CONNECTIONS: THE SECRET TO BUSINESS SUCCESS

Digital connections: The secret to business


success
0
Comments/

258Views/Wednesday,9March201600:00

ByNeilSholay
Digitaltransformationisenablinganewclassofbusinessthatismoreagilethanitscompetitorsandasa
result,bettersuitedtocreatingnewandinnovativeservicesonesthatarecloselyalignedtowhatcustomers
actuallywant.Thesearebusinesseswithlightningfastinternaloperationsandcustomerservices
businesseswhichareabletoexploitalloftheirorganisationsassetsinrealtimetocreatemaximumvaluefor
customers,employeesandpartners.
Forestablishedbusinessesusedtoaslowerpaceofchange,theraceisnowontounderstandhowdigital
transformationcanapplytotheirorganisationsataskthatcanseemcomplexanddaunting.However,
whenreducedtoitsfundamentalsitbecomesclearthatdigitaltransformationistoalargedegreebasedona
relativelysimplepremiseandonethatallbusinessescangettogripswith:theabilitytofacilitatebetter
businessinteractionsbyconnectingpeople,placesandthings.
http://www.ft.lk/article/529994/DigitalconnectionsThesecrettobusinesssuccess

1/12

3/20/2016

Digitalconnections:Thesecrettobusinesssuccess:::DailyFTBeEmpowered

Theconnectedenterprise
Toexplainjusthowcriticallyimportantdigitalconnectisfororganisations,itisimportanttoframethedebate
inbusiness,ratherthantechnologyterms.Thisisbecausedigitaltransformationisnotonly,orevenprimarily,
atechnologyissue:itis,formostbusinesses,anexistentialone.
Asanydigitalleadercantestify:theabilitytofullyconnectenterpriseservicesanddataisintegralto
everythingfromproductinnovationandcustomerexperience,tooperationaleffectivenessandagility.The
connectedenterpriseisoneinwhicheverythingthatcanbeautomatedisautomatedwhereleadershipis
basedonmasteringthecustomerexperienceandwhereindustrialmassproductionisreplacedbytailoring
onanindividualscale.
Thesearebusinesseswherethethreelegsofbusinessoperations:people(customers,employees,
partners,etc.),places(stores,factories,offices,warehouses,etc.)andthings(plantequipment,products,
truckingfleets,infrastructure,etc.)areconnected,andthecompetitiveraceforsuccessisnotmerelyabout
launchingnewproductsorgettingservicestomarketfasteritisonethatcentresontheabilitytodeliver
entirelynewbusinessmodels.
Intheconnectedenterprisetherefore,notonlyarebusinessprocessesmadeinfinitelybetter(salesreps,for
instance,canimmediatelyaccessrichcustomerdatawhenoutinthefieldwhilecustomerscaneasily
accessandmodifythestatusoftheirordersthroughabrandsportal)butwhollynewbusinessmodelsare
launched,ascompaniesfromNetflixandUbertoAmazontoAirbnbcantestify.

Thedigitaldifference
http://www.ft.lk/article/529994/DigitalconnectionsThesecrettobusinesssuccess

2/12

3/20/2016

Digitalconnections:Thesecrettobusinesssuccess:::DailyFTBeEmpowered

Adigitallyconnectedbusinessisbynatureagileitcanseamlesslyconnectallitscustomerandbusiness
applicationsacrossthevarioustypesofenterpriseITinfrastructureinusetoday:publicandprivatecloud,
andonpremise,aswellaswithmobileandotherconnecteddevices.Intheconnectedenterprise,all
servicescancommunicateseamlesslyandinrealtimeregardlessofwheretheyarehoused,whichchannel
theyserveandwhichdatasourcestheyrelyupon.Thisisimportantbecausetheconnectivityinplaceinthe
digitalenterpriseinturnenablesinnovationandoperationalefficiencies.Asaresult,businessservices
performbetter,arefasterandaremoreconvenientthananythingwehaveseentodate.
Thechallengebusinessesmusttacklewhenlookingatdigitaltransformationisthereforeclear:tofindaway
tobringwidelydistributedandheterogeneousassetsandservicestogethertocreatedigitalinteractions
betweenconsumersandbusinesses.CompaniesthatareadeptatrapidlyconnectingtheirownITsystems,
processesanddataandalsoconnectingvirtuallyanythingexternallyaretheonespullingawayfromthe
pack.
Take,forexample,JapanExchangeGroup,Asiaslargestfinancialinstrumentmarketinfrastructureprovider.
Itsnewmarginsimulationsystemprovidesrealtimeinterestrateandtradingpositioninformationandenables
customerstooffermoreaccuratederivativespricingtoinvestors,whilstreducingwarrantydeposit
payments.Throughthisdigitallyconnectedsystem,ithasgainedacompetitiveedgeintheinternational
stockexchangemarketbyincreasingmarginsimulationaccuracyandattractingmorecustomerstousethe
systemforOTCsettlement.Crucially,byseamlesslylinkingthecoresystemwithexternalapplications,
JapanExchangeGroupremovedtheneedtorebuildtheentiresimulationsystem.
Anditsnotjustprivatebusinessesthatarebenefittingfromdigitalconnectionsthepublicsectoristoo.
ArgentinasMinisteriodeSeguridad,forexamplehasestablishedanewUnifiedControlCenter,which
consolidatestheoperationsofthecountrysfourpoliceforcesoptimisingdecisionmakingatthe
administrativeandexecutivelevels.Thenew,connectedsystemshaveenabledtheforcetodoeverything
fromcreatenewandmoreeffectivepatrolplans,decreasewaitingtimesforemergencyresponseandbetter
forecastcriminaltrendswiththecreationofdetaileddashboardsprovidinginsightintoprecinctmaps,
patternstructuresandsituationalstatistics.
http://www.ft.lk/article/529994/DigitalconnectionsThesecrettobusinesssuccess

3/12

3/20/2016

Digitalconnections:Thesecrettobusinesssuccess:::DailyFTBeEmpowered

Enablingtheconnectedenterprise
Intheconnectedenterpriseintegrationiscritical,butitcanstillprovideachallengeforbusinesses.The
integrationchallengesthatbusinessesareusedtofromonpremisesystemsremain,butinaddition
businessesmustalsointegratetherangeofnewapplications,deploymentstrategies,interfaces,and
businessrulesfundamentaltocreatingatrulyconnectedbusiness.Notwointegrationchallengesarethe
same,anddependingonwhattheintegrationisforandwhoisexecutingittheintegrationwillrequirevastly
differenttoolsandprocesses.Integrationisrarelyasimpleprocessandtraditionallyagreatdealoftimeand
effortgoesintoprovisioning,configuration,andadministration.Inanenvironmentwherebusinessesare
underpressuretobemoreflexibleandagilethanever,thisisfarfromideal.
Thecloudprovidesaclearsolutiontothischallengeenablingtherapidandseamlessintegrationof
enterpriseapplicationsanddataacrosscloud,onpremise,mobileandintelligentdevices.Inthecloud,
productdevelopmentcycletimesareshorter,customertrendscanbespottedmorequicklyandtop
performerscanmoreeasilydriveinnovativeideas.Thisisbecausethecloudautomatesmuchofthemanual
processesthatwereassociatedwithintegration.Italsoprovideshighlyintuitiveuserinterfacessothat
almostanyoneintheenterpriseiscapablerunningintegrationprogrammes,eventhosefromanontechnical
background.
Taketheintegrationofservicesasanexample.Throughthecloud,lineofbusinessmanagerscantake
controloftheirapplicationsandcustomisethemtobettersuittheirbusinessrequirement.Onecustomerof
oursreducedcustomisationsforitspartnermanagementapplicationby80percentasaresultof
implementingthisapproach,whichalsobroughtabouta30percentreductioninassociatedcosts.
AnotherexamplecomesfromtheInternetofThings(IoT).Themarkettodayoffersamultitudeofincreasingly
powerful,connecteddevicesatlowcost.Byusingthecloudtointegratethesedeviceswithcustomer
applications,lineofbusinessmanagerscancreatenewandtransformativeapplicationsandservicesthat
http://www.ft.lk/article/529994/DigitalconnectionsThesecrettobusinesssuccess

4/12

3/20/2016

Digitalconnections:Thesecrettobusinesssuccess:::DailyFTBeEmpowered

addtothebottomline.
Cloudenabledintegrationalsoensuresbusinessescanexploitfullytheirdatacapital.Leveragingtechnology
forrealtimeandbulkdatamovementanddatamanagementservices,thecloudensuresthatbusinessdata
isaccurateandavailablewhereveritisrequired:bethatforanonpremisebusinessapplicationoracloud
basedcustomerwebservice.
Thecloudalsomakesiteasierthanevertoconnectenterpriseapplicationswiththoseofthirdpartiesby
simplifyingtheprocessformakingandsharingAPIs(applicationprogramminginterfacesthecodethat
allowsdifferentpiecesofsoftwaretocommunicatewitheachother).Thisallowsbusinessestoexpandtheir
relationshipswithpartnersandacceleratebusinessgrowth.
Finally,thecloudhelpsbusinessesmanagecapitalexpenditurebyofferingintegrationasaservice.The
cloudcanhelpfreeCIOsoftheirnumberonebudgetarychallenge:thefactthathistorically80percentofIT
spendisconsumedbylowvaluemaintenanceandintegration(Source:Gartner,2006),ratherthanonvalue
addinnovationthatdrivescustomerengagementandgrowth.
Inshort,thecloudmakesallofacompanysapps,dataandprocessesavailableasservicesandableto
communicateseamlesslyandinrealtime.Thisisthekeytodigitalintegrationand,byextension,digital
transformation.

Totaldigitalconnectivity
Lookingaheadoverthenext10years,itseemsclearthemarketleaderswillbebusinessesthatunderstand
theneedfordigitalintegrationandprepareaccordingly.Theabilitytoeasilyintegrateapplicationsanddata
sourcesacrossonpremises,cloud,mobileandagrowingsetofintelligentdeviceswillbevitaltodriving
innovationandtakingcustomerservicetonewheights.
http://www.ft.lk/article/529994/DigitalconnectionsThesecrettobusinesssuccess

5/12

3/20/2016

Digitalconnections:Thesecrettobusinesssuccess:::DailyFTBeEmpowered

Suchistheessenceofdigitalconnectivity:theabilityofabusinesstobringtogetherallitsdigitalinteractions
inawaythatdeliversthebestpossibleexperienceforemployees,partnersand,ofcourse,customers.
Throughthecloudthisinnovativeagilitycanbeenabledtoday,theonlyquestionthatremainsiswhich
businessesaregoingtobethefirsttotakefulladvantageoftheirdigitalestate.
(ThewriterisHeadofDigitalatOracle.)

ShareThisArticle

COMMENTS

http://www.ft.lk/article/529994/DigitalconnectionsThesecrettobusinesssuccess

6/12