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How Digital Operational Platforms Lead A Bold Approach to Digital Success 

Written By: Matt Lieberson
March 10, 2021
3 min read

As businesses are future-proofing for disruptions ahead, operational agility is becoming a major focus for IT leaders and business leaders alike. Businesses need to be constantly prepared to flex and adapt their operations, as the pace of change is continuing to accelerate. The businesses that are becoming more resilient to change and prepared to thrive amidst disruption are the ones who will succeed in the future.

Unfortunately, while a lot of technology is assisting in optimizing this new reality, legacy ERP systems are unable to keep up with this shift. Many ERP systems move too slowly for the increasing pace of business today. Further, they lack real-time insights to effectively inform and drive decisions, and can silo data in hard-to-find locations. And lastly, ERPs drag down business with unneeded complexity that make them inaccessible to business users. IT has a massive backlog of work, so by effectively enabling business users to solve the problems they are closest to without IT support – with the right guardrails – will give IT the opportunity to focus on large-scale change.

With ERP systems missing some of the new keys to digital success, the burden of solving this challenge falls with IT, as many challenges do. While a business is seeking more agility and flexibility, running on a large, complex ERP brings two major points of tension. Not only are these systems impenetrable for your typical team member without familiarity into the system, but core IT is also missing the resources to solve for the demands that enterprise organizations have crop up in the constantly changing market.

As Forrester’s recent report entitled “The Digital Operations Platform: Your Bold, Next-Gen Approach To ERP” lays out, the organizations that keep up with these constantly evolving needs are embracing a new model. By focusing on a new kind of digital operations platform (DOP) and moving away from the traditional ERP, they are aligning with the needs of modern business. These platforms are adaptive, AI-based, and accessible.

  • Adaptive: Many businesses are still running key processes on out-of-date, legacy software. Embracing the DOP model enables businesses to reduce the complexity of possible changes and support business-led development through no-code platforms.
  • AI-based: Taking potentially error-prone, manual processes and finding ways to optimize and automate them will allow your IT team to focus on large, organizational problems instead of fixing minor issues.
  • Accessible: As Harvard Business Review Analytic Services found, 77% of executives believe that successful digital transformation requires innovation coming both at the enterprise level and across departments. While some ERP systems have a front-end that is accessible to business users, a platform fully dedicated to an accessible approach will more effectively source innovation from across the business. And with defined best practices and guardrails, IT can enable this innovation while maintaining the control it needs over sensitive data.

Enel Green Power exemplifies these critical capabilities incredibly well. In their work embracing transformation to couple their traditional transformation efforts with rapid-cycle innovation, they have successfully enabled the entire business to innovate and develop rapid solutions. By building an agility layer on top of their ERP system, Enel Green has been able to reduce costs and make changes effectively. As Randald Bartlett, Senior Director O&M Improvement put it, “Having the ability to improve your efficiency of various processes without having to hire a consultant and spend a lot of money and time I think is very valuable.”

Digital success in the modern era requires a bold approach to a DOP, not a piecemeal one. IT leaders need to take this opportunity to stop spending money on an outdated dinosaur of a system, build a business case on economic backing, and scale with strategic partners for DOPs. With a new agility layer, enabled with effective transformation coming from across the business, IT can modernize its approach and focus on solving the large challenges of this new age of business.

Matt Lieberson
Written By: Matt Lieberson

Matt Lieberson is a Content Marketing Manager at Quickbase.

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