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Supply Chain News: Uniting Operations and IT in Digitizing Manufacturing

 

Focus on Key Business KPIs is Key, IDC Report says

May 18, 2022
SCDigest Editorial Staff

Research firm IDC has had as its top theme in its manufacturing coverage "digitization" for several years now.

Just recently, it released a new report titled “Investing in a Business Outcomes-Driven Digital Infrastructure,” based in part on its North America Future Enterprise Best in Future of Digital Infrastructure Award program.

Supply Chain Digest Says...

Companies should Evaluate the barriers and gaps between the stated business vision and the current capabilities and prioritize ways to address the gaps.


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Though the winners are not identified by name, their stories are part of the input that went into a series of best practices IDC cites for going digital for US manufacturing. These leaderss demonstrate a "willingness to disrupt the status quo by dramatically accelerating the speed of deployments, proactively breaking down operational silos, and focusing on business-centric KPIs.”

However, IDC says there often is a “lack understanding on the part of business leaders about the contribution that digital infrastructure makes to business outcomes, such as ensuring digital business resiliency, enabling operational agility, and promoting deeper levels of customer engagement.”

IDC then says that organizations that successfully align their digital infrastructure investments with business goals are wise to take the following approaches:

• Implement centers of excellence or other collaborative decision making. This provide a forum for discussing strategic priorities and vetting decisions.

• Identify a small number of business outcomes-focused KPIs to serve as the "guiding lights" for the transformation effort. Then, each digital infrastructure team can then structure their own KPIs against those top-line business outcomes and associated top-line KPIs.

• Break down digital infrastructure transformation projects into several phases, each delivering specific business outcomes.

IDC also says companies must also reinvent the way they make decisions about funding and prioritizing digital infrastructure in a number of ways, including:

• Promoting trust and ongoing collaboration across IT, Line of Business, and DevOps stakeholders


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• Focusing on business outcomes and business-focused KPIs

• Promoting data-driven decision making with ongoing monitoring data and progress reporting

• Fully documenting operational policies and driving enforcement into automated solutions whenever possible (e.g., data placement, infrastructure configurations and life-cycle management, and access controls and approvals)

• Emphasizing the benefits of platform-centric architectures and autonomous operations as key enablers for digital business scalability, speed, and resiliency

• Taking advantage of consumption-driven sourcing and payment models to scale investments and ramp up usage over time as business requirements increase

Finally, IDC says that to kick off this type or collaborative process, IT, DevOps, and business leaders should collectively:

• Review their organization's stated mission and business strategy. Identify the most important processes, applications, and data sources used to support the strategy.

• Evaluate the barriers and gaps between the stated business vision and the current capabilities and prioritize ways to address the gaps.

• Set transformation goals and timelines that align with business needs rather than what would typically be possible using the status quo.

• Identify top-priority outcomes and consider the full range of options to achieve them, ranging from radical infrastructure migration and modernization, a pivot to cloud services, or partnerships with digitally savvy partners and software vendors.

• Execute pilot phases quickly. Promote trust across stakeholders and be willing to accept stumbles along the way. Track and report before and after metrics.

The report concludes by noting that operations executives “will need to clearly understand and how investments in digital infrastructure will help create a platform for more dynamic, agile, and secure business execution.”


What are your thoughts on IDC's report on digitization? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback section below.

 

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