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BLOG: A New Year resolution for 2013: Make better decisions

David Hope | Nov. 20, 2012
Four new IT forces – mobile, social, big data analytics and cloud - change the way an organisation works and operates.

Market complexity continues to increase, and is predicted to do so over the next few years. But in order for organisations to be able to make smarter, faster decisions and successfully navigate through these multifaceted business environments, they'll have to explore all information sources available to them to reach the highest possible level of visibility and intelligence along the value chain. New and innovative technology is the fundamental tool to create these environments.

According to an IDC Study, manufacturers see their existing IT-and, in particular, their ERP system-as one of the main barriers to effective decision-making.[1] Many ERP systems were purchased to support an older business model, and now seem stiff and inflexible. With limited connectivity to other system, this fragmented model gives for a limited data exchange or information flow - which can severely halt productivity and efficiency through an organisation. Reliable ERP systems are now at the centre of today's manufacturing organisation and pose as the foundation of an updated decision-making environment.

Over the years, ERP development advanced, and rose to meet the challenge of providing connected, streamlined data with better integration, improved workspaces and dashboards, and better reporting capabilities. New ERP systems are developed with technology that embraces what IDC Manufacturing Insights calls the four new IT forces: mobility, social technologies, big data analytics, and cloud computing.[2] And by accepting these new IT forces, ERP systems can deliver functionality while liberating and presenting the information needed to drive operational excellence.

These technologies - mobile, social, big data analytics and cloud - change the way an organisation works and operates. Staff receive information, rather than having to seek it, and that's a big difference. Teams no longer have to spend unnecessary time and effort finding, reconciling, and analysing information from multiple sources, saving time and money. And any business executive would agree, far too much time and money is spent on supporting connectivity in a fragmented infrastructure. And the four IT forces simplify IT architecture, releasing budget for other technologies aligned to fit into the overall company strategy.

So how do these technologies affect you?:

  • Mobile - By using devices such as smartphones and tablets, organisations can access data on the fly. Executives can mobilise previously stationary, timeworn business systems and get relevant in-context information for continuous business execution.
  • Social - With social capabilities, organisations can speed up the rate at which they consume, process, and react to the information sent via a business ERP system. Just like a personal social networking environment, organisations can transfer information quickly via social networking devices such as instant messages, alerts, and communities.
  • Big Data Analytics -Now, organisations can collect, track, and analyse complex data in a consumable format that is easy to understand, customise, and share. And, with mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, managers can review reports from any location, anytime - reducing redundancies and giving them time to work on more important pieces of business.
  • Cloud - Finally, it's easier to better support a fast-changing business environment with cloud computing, which provides organisations with common real-time data, workflow, and alerts that staff can rapidly take to get third-party manufacturers, new suppliers, and channel partners on board, as well as quickly integrate new and legacy applications.


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