Today we see disruption everywhere, as market entrants provide new and attractive models. Just look at the popularity of new payments providers or how the retail sector is being reimagined by online brands. What to do then? Traditional companies need to cast off systems and processes that slow them down.
Organizations looking to adapt need to think differently about how they do business. It’s vital for them to modernize their ERP systems, re-engineer logistics processes and create new e-commerce platforms.
Speed of change varies between sectors. In consumer goods, businesses are becoming more analytical and agile around pricing and stock management. In the public sector, organizations are digitizing services and processes: for example, using videoconferencing to replace face-to-face meetings.
There are also sustainability and environmental considerations. Large data centers can have big carbon footprints so organizations need to think about how they can be more efficient in their use of IT resources.
The collapse of many large brands shows what happens when firms don’t modernize fast enough. Thinking holistically about modernizing core operations is a strategic consideration, so C-suite executives should be involved.
Modernization can take several forms. Some will adopt a ‘lift-and-shift’ mentality, moving workloads from on-premises to cloud, for example. Others will decide to re-engineer underlying business processes for a long-term impact.
Once organizations have the foundations in place, they can launch ambitious projects: for example, Cognizant recently worked with a shipping company in Norway to use AI and the Internet of Things to find smarter shipping routes and make cargo more secure.
‘Modernizing while keeping the lights on for legacy’ is the ideal path for most companies as they pave the way to a future model without interrupting normal operations. But modernization can’t be put off. Fail to act now and it may soon be too late to change.