The Platform Enterprise

Platform Enterprise

We all talk about Digital Transformation and the different outcomes of this initiative. During my review of the ServiceNow platform, I started asking myself, “What is it that we are looking for from Digital Transformation?” My conclusion is that in today’s world “Speed” is the driver of all things within the Enterprise: the speed of change to react to competitive pressures, the speed to provide services to meet customer demands or the speed to get new hires working effectively and happily –  and this is the goal companies are looking to achieve from their Digital Transformation.

The lack of innovative technology is not the issue. In fact we have a lot of technology, from AI to BI, to Machine Learning, to Mobile, and we must not forget those powerful engines of the company in the back rooms – the ERP and Payroll systems which do the processing.

However, the implementation of these latest technologies is not the solution to digital transformation, even though each of these technologies can help specific elements of the business. Throughout my years of working in Business Process design, I have seen the continued development of departmental focused processes to handle specific stages in the overall business, and the application of computer technology is often focused the same way – creating silos.

In many companies, you will find, for example, two departments with “Order processes”, one in sales and one in provisioning, creating the need to have interfaces between these two departmental processes. Looking at this through the eyes of an IT systems designer, what are departments? They are managed groups of a specialised skill, used by the organisation in the “doing” of its business. Looking from a higher view the Enterprise is a platform of specialised skills orchestrated together to perform a specific task. I.e. banking, retail selling, manufacturing, etc.

Coming back to “Speed”, within this Platform Enterprise to increase the speed of business requires the joining together of these specialised skills and effectively shortening the gaps between each skills application, ensuring each component knows the status of the other, and that the process evolves in an intelligent way. Here is the area where technology can really help the Enterprise increase speed. All the component technologies can help in supporting specialised skills do their element of the overall task, Machine Learning can help customer support agents route calls to the right person quickly, BI can review sales demographics to help Marketing focus on the real customers.

The missing element is the orchestration which links all these components of business together, both human and technology, in the right way to actually “Do the Business”. The successful Enterprises of the digital age will not be the ones who implement all the different technologies, it will be the ones who join them together with their employees.

My review of ServiceNow concludes that the platform is much more than the ITSM platform of its origin. The “System of Action” is the orchestration engine for the organisation which can link both the people and technologies together to match the “Need for Speed”!

The best recommendation I can make about creating this Platform Enterprise is: create only ONE!

A great analogy, not mine I am sad to say, is the comparing of the Platform to a telephone. Having one telephone, connected to no one else, has no value. But getting more people on the same network makes the value increase more and more. Placing the Enterprise on a single platform brings the greatest value, the value of integration, of visibility, as well as the ability to measure performance. The platform does not replace other technologies but brings them together within the organisation.

We in Fujitsu see the world of technology from a human-centric view. And as one of the largest technology companies in the world we understand how to apply all the technologies of this digital age, and most importantly, we know how to co-create with you to join them together and build the one platform.

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