Companies that become intelligent enterprises will dominate competitors in the next decade.
The difference between an intelligent enterprise and a traditional one is simple: an intelligent enterprise enables real-time understanding of why certain things are happening in one’s business unit, as they occur, while ushering in automation of a variety of repetitive tasks, reducing operational expenses.
An Intelligent Enterprise combines an array of interconnected technologies to accomplish five core goals:
- Gain vision into events that impact the enterprise as they happen,
- Focus attention on elements that are of greatest significance right now and simulate likely outcomes,
- Trigger just-in-time actions based on this focused vision and understanding to positively impact outcomes for customers, employees, suppliers, and partner firms,
- Create a system that learns and evolves over time and experience, and
- Automate tasks to help professionals accomplish their job more effectively.
Since the creation of the modern corporation and current business best-practices, managers have made fine-tuning decisions based mostly on trial and error, watching symptoms of each modification. The parallels to the practice of medicine are uncanny. In 1619, doctors treated patients by trying different things and reviewing symptoms. Then in 1620, the first compound microscope opened physicians’ eyes to a world unseen by the naked eye. Understanding of cells and pathogens revolutionized medicine, resulting in cures and drugs that treat what is actually happening in the body.
For the last one hundred years, accountants have carefully recorded the transactions of a business, which are symptoms of exchanging value between entities. The transactional data is the tip of the data iceberg, giving little insight as to why something is working or failing.
Today, volumes of non-transactional data — such as IOT sensor readings, web click-stream data, video and voice data, third party data, and experience data — are pouring in, offering the opportunity to see what is really happening, offering the same promise that the microscope fulfilled as the technology evolved. If this data can be effectively analyzed, managers will become much smarter when it comes to the effects of decisions, understanding what actually happens after a decision is made.
By leveraging technology fully, new leaps of productivity and effectiveness are found. For the first decades on computerization, companies focused on supporting existing previously-paper-based business processes with technology. Technology is now good enough to create a true digital twin of the entire business, well beyond the transaction record. Predictive analytics are here at last. An intelligent enterprise not only helps make smart decision making easier, it will automate many repetitive tasks, freeing up employees to concentrate on more strategic pursuits. A future where twice as many transactions can be processed by less than half the people is upon us, as systems allow workers to focus on exceptions rather than normal daily flow.
The intelligent enterprise is a goal not only worth pursuing, but a goal that will define modern corporations in the decades to come. SAP is committed to help every one of our customers on this journey.