Digital Transformation: Optimizing Your Operations

Much like what was witnessed during the Industrial Revolution, the modern world is experiencing a digital revolution, another moment in history that marks a turning point for the way businesses and societies around the world operate, communicate and grow. The industrial internet has arrived.

“Digital transformation,” according to a recent article in Forbes, “holds the key to turning marginal growth into exponential growth. It is considered the accelerator for bending the curve on productivity, time to market, deployment of new business models and revenue generation.” In the article, Bruce Rogers, Chief Insights Officer at Forbes Media, suggested the stakes are extremely high, saying, “Digital transformation is now essential for corporate survival.”

As part of a series that examines digital transformation and explores how businesses can effectively harness the power of today’s digital capabilities to evolve, innovate and drive growth, this piece focuses on the third pillar of digital transformation: optimizing operations

How Digital Transformation Is Helping Businesses Optimize Operations

Thanks to the digital tools and capabilities that are now available, businesses across every industry have the ability to improve collaboration, increase decision making speed, develop and produce new products, and gain greater visibility into their entire operation.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software is one such tool that is revolutionizing the way companies operate by allowing them to reduce inefficiencies and implement predictive rather than reactive strategies.

For example, for a manufacturer, an ERP provides visibility across distribution channels and into inventory levels so that stock and raw materials can be maintained and replenished based on upcoming needs and past orders. Similarly, customer relationship management (CRM) systems are helping businesses engage customers and employees through better visibility into the customer service and sales process. Business Intelligence software, such as Power BI, is allowing businesses to gather and analyze data like never before, revealing insights that drive growth and innovation. Finally, the growing collection of integrated cloud services, such as is offered through Microsoft Azure, allows companies to take advantage of the latest advances in machine learning, app development, operating systems, analytics and more — all via one solution.     

With a centralized, holistic view into an entire operation — from finance to customer service to distribution and beyond — companies are able to greatly improve collaboration and become more efficient in every aspect of their business.

As digital transformation continues to evolve, industry leaders like Hitachi are making it easier than ever for businesses to grow through the integration and utilization of digital tools. With the launch of Dynamics 365, corporations now have the ability to use one solution for resource planning, relationship management and business intelligence. Instead of buying ERP, CRM and BI software separately, Dynamics 365 has rolled it all into one easy-to-install, easy-to-implement and easy-to-manage product that solves the majority of a business’ modern day digital needs. From increased productivity to better intelligence to improved collaboration capabilities, Microsoft Dynamics offers everything a business needs, all wrapped up in one solution.

Okuma, a recent client who is a leading manufacturer of CNC (computer numeric control), chose to implement Dynamics 365 in order to drive a competitive business advantage by streamlining IT infrastructure and improving processes. As an innovative, integrated business management system, Dynamics 365 will allow Okuma to take their company mission one step further by incorporating real-time data that is shared across various departments to increase organizational efficiency and enhance the customer experience.

Data is the Driver

One of the greatest benefits and drivers of the digital revolution is the ability to gather and analyze data like never before. From business operations to health care to law enforcement, data is transforming the way we work and live. As Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said, “transforming the products and services companies offer is happening because of data intelligence. All companies everywhere are becoming data companies — from farming to finance, from New York to New Delhi — businesses are using data to connect everything from cars to cows.”

Beyond ERP, CRM and BI, companies now have the ability to use predictive analytics to proactively target customers and intelligently optimize logistics, scheduling, marketing campaigns, and beyond. Predictive analytics tools can be layered on top of software like Dynamics 365 to harness the full potential of the data being gathered. One example of such a tool is the Predictive Service Hub being developed by Microsoft, which utilizes autonomous predictive service capabilities to intelligently predict failures before they occur. The Predictive Service Hub, helps businesses that work in industrial and commercial environments avoid equipment down time and costly unplanned maintenance, ensuring that valuable operational staff can focus on activities that can impact the bottom line.

Artificial intelligence, machine learning and the Internet of Things promise to take the potential that data offers even further.

“At the center of transformation is data. … By failing to unlock the potential of data, organizations are falling short of their own transformation,” Asim Zaheer, Chief Marketing Officer at Hitachi Data Systems, said in the Forbes article. “Hitachi is at the center of this customer transformation and the leader in data strategy, creating incredible opportunities for organizations to manage, govern, mobilize, learn from and ultimately transform insights into actions for business.”

Microsoft’s newly released product, Dynamics 365, promises to transform the way companies do business from start to finish. If you are interested in discussing this new release, would like to further explore the suite of Microsoft products such as Azure and Office 365 or are simply interested in talking about how to use CRM, ERP or BI technology to enhance your business and progress your digital transformation, contact one of the implementation experts at Hitachi Solutions.