Resource Data

Why businesses need to start taking full advantage of data and automation

By Rick Veague, IFS

The past two years have been a rude awakening for many organizations, whether or not they have been able to move fully remotely. Even in manufacturing and other sectors where work had to be done in person, the use of smart technology has increased dramatically. Processes such as inventory and operational audit are now done electronically. As the pandemic has forced companies to embrace technology investments that were previously deprioritized, the fruits of those investments have changed their minds about it. Now they adopt it.

That said, full adoption of the latest technologies does not directly translate to full efficiency. Excessive investment and manpower in acquiring new tools and technology can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack with an overly complicated metal detector. It’s a waste of time and resources that creates a false sense of competitiveness. How should businesses embrace technology in a meaningful way to help them succeed?

The big upgrade

When COVID hit, business leaders no longer viewed technology investment as an unnecessary cost, but as key to keeping their business alive. For example, the need to work and interact remotely with colleagues and customers has necessitated investments in data security and an accelerated migration to the cloud. According to an executive survey conducted by McKinsey Global in July 2020, companies accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply chain interactions and internal operations by three to four years – in just a few months.

The big upgrade in tools companies are deploying in their workflow means they’re likely to stick around. Now that the investments have been made, many companies have definitely turned some of the pre-pandemic bottlenecks into virtual interactions. According to the same McKinsey survey, the majority of executives expect changes in technology, as well as remote work and customer interactions, to continue in the future. Yet the change happened in less than a year. With such a rapid transition, if companies hope to make meaningful use of the new data gathered by new hardware and software purchased at the start of the crisis, they need the right data and the right tools to extract useful insights.

Addressing Gaps in Data and AI-Based Technology

In today’s on-demand world, it’s increasingly difficult to optimize the productivity of a company’s workforce and meet changing customer expectations. To deliver greater business value to customers, organizations must be able to understand and fully utilize data and intelligence to both meet current customer needs and anticipate future needs. However, such innovation requires breaking down data silos and coordinating processes across the organization to provide employees with the right customer insights.

With AI-integrated software, organizations are finally able to automate repetitive tasks, process complex data sets, and more. In fact, according to Deloitte’s State of AI in the Enterprise survey, 39% of respondents identified data issues as one of the top three challenges they face with AI initiatives. AI. With 80% of companies already using or planning to deploy some form of automation within the next year, it can be difficult for them to start the process of realizing the value promised by AI without guidance. from a third-party expert. Being able to take full advantage of data and the latest technologies requires constant updates and adjustments to extract the best value to meet unique business needs.

Servitization enables companies to maximize investments in data and AI

Businesses are no longer just looking for a pre-packaged, one-size-fits-all solution. The growing trend of servitization, where technology providers provide ongoing service after the initial product has been delivered, shows this shift in mindset. There are many benefits to using a combination of data and AI, especially for businesses, such as field service organizations, which typically send technicians to remote locations to install, repair, or maintain. the equipment. By adopting the servitization model, FSOs provide ongoing support in optimizing the use of data and technology already in hand, enabling them to meet and, in some cases, automate planned service tasks.

As we move towards a more modern and automated future, organizations will need to have a clear understanding of their data silos if they are to harness the full potential of AI. When data is used effectively, organizations can solve a variety of end-to-end problems, truly harnessing the power of 21st century information technology and setting them on the path to success.

About the Author

As Chief Technology Officer of IFS North America, Rick Veague is responsible for driving industry-leading products and solutions that deliver real business value to IFS customers and partners in the United States and in Canada. As a well-respected panelist and speaker, Rick regularly speaks about IFS solutions and IT strategies at trade shows and industry events across the country.

Rick joined IFS in 1999 and has held various pre- and post-sales roles in the development, marketing and delivery of high value business applications including ERP, SM, EAM and MRO solutions. He holds a degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Knox College.