Managing the right data sets to drive digital transformation

CIOs need to implement collaborative infrastructure design for their organisations.

Deploying the right integration tools to help business get a good overview of different data sets, can help drive the success of digital transformation.

Organisations will now think of ways to have more efficient use of data and how it is integrated within the entire organisation.

In an interview with CIO Tech Asia, Vincent Tang regional Vice President Asia at Epicor said, it’s important to allow companies to link up their ERP systems, to ensure they can deal with disruptive digital technologies. This would allow them to compete in high cost environments within the manufacturing industries -especially so when some are forced to work remotely in uncertain circumstances.

“For CIOs, simplicity is the ultimate goal,” he said. “[They] need to implement collaborative infrastructure design for their organisations to leverage and distribute information internally and externally via multi-channel execution, enabling transparent communication, mobility and performing critical business functions.”

According to China Briefing, in Asia overall, there is five times the total manufacturing capacity than is available in the US and four times more than in the EU.

S&P Global Ratings warned that the coronavirus fallout could see US$211 billion (RM880 billion) being wiped off Asia-Pacific economies this year. Manufacturing is a major component of Malaysia’s economy and contributes about 23 per cent to its GDP.

Up to 98 per cent of companies in the manufacturing sector are small and medium enterprises, which are mostly Malaysia-focused but with great potential for export. The manufacturing sector employs 17 per cent of the country’s workforce, compared with the services sector at 62 per cent. Malaysia remains locked largely on old production methods and product structures without moving to new markets and new products.

A lesson that digital transformation and creative discovery are vital for survival. Firms, especially during a crisis, engage in “search” and “self-discovery” processes, trying to reinvent themselves to survive, said Tang.

“One of the biggest challenges organisations are facing today, is the increased pressure and demand to keep up to date with the latest trends to ensure their customer needs’ are being met,” he said. “Looking at the distribution and manufacturing industries for example, they are the well-funded, aggressive online commerce businesses that are transforming the way business is done and changing customer expectations.”

Tang said this creates an on-demand culture, where organisations such as manufacturers have this immense pressure to innovate and suit customers’ demands and expectations fast.

“This can be improved by having ERP functions available across digital platforms, as this enhances a mobile working environment with employees’ easy access to data ‘on the go’,” he said. “With this user-friendly interface, employees can update work orders, track materials and inventory, and perform other crucial tasks while receiving real-time data from their phones and in turn increase productivity, and efficiency.”

According to Tang what we see is a “lack of integration” between disparate systems which creates huge bottlenecks for both the IT and the business.

“Managing organisational transformation to meet the new demands (like speed and the proliferating competition within industry) of digital disruption is crucial,” he said. “Company leadership is the motivator for supporting the digital transformation journey, having a clear vision of the company future helps to determine whether there are any gaps in the process to move forward. Attracting and retaining talent within this industry is closely linked to companies’ digital transformation processes too and should not be overlooked.”

“The CIO’s role is to focus on the quality of data being produced and delivered from these systems and applications, and they have a big responsibility to evaluate the vast insights collected to generate meaningful business outcomes,” he said.

With the foundation set properly aligned with the business goals and vision, digital transformation implementation requires strong leadership, commitment and buy-in from many stakeholders, such as the C-suite board, said Tang.





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