Digital business was a central theme of this year’s INFOCUS, with a special focus on its key “enabling technologies.” What are those technologies? You’ve heard of them before: mobility, cloud and the Internet of Things (IoT). Throughout the conference and in the Oracle and DSI keynotes, speakers made clear that there is no single technology trend that can drive digital business. Rather, it’s the way that businesses use a combination of these technologies that can make a real difference to the top and bottom line.
The critical takeaway is this: start now—and put your users first. The digital economy is growing at a rapid pace. To keep up requires action. Fortunately, you can start small and grow from there. Begin with digitizing a process that is currently paper-based to improve supply chain visibility with real-time information in your team’s hands.
Going Mobile? Put the User First
Today’s employee—regardless of role—is more and more often a “digital native.” People come to work with the same expectations for their business apps that they hold for the consumer apps they use every day. For companies embracing mobile, that means the expectations are high for delivering a quality user experience. Whether they’re scanning barcodes in a warehouse, servicing machines on remote job sites or delivering products to customers, workers need a simple user interface. What that ideal app looks like will vary by role and work environment—and that’s just the point. Putting the user experience first with a personalized mobile app increases adoption on top of the established benefits of mobilizing.
A successful app puts the mobile experience first. Replicating a desktop screen on an iPhone won’t suffice. Instead, workers expect intuitive apps that present only the information they need and let them complete tasks with gestures, rather than typing. Mobile apps that are easy to use are easy to learn—and that drives time to value. How long did it take you to learn your ERP solution compared to learning to use an app on your smartphone? You didn’t go to training sessions to learn how to order from Amazon. Your business applications need to offer an equally speedy time to value.
IoT: Powering Digital Business
One way to put the user first is to give them time to focus on more strategic projects. Oracle’s AJ Schifano described IoT as a way to “emancipate people from data collection.” Gathering real-time, accurate data is the foundation of digital business. With IoT, sensors can automatically collect information from equipment and send it directly to backend systems. The use cases for IoT are immense. From sensors that read meter data so field delivery techs don’t have to, to those that let you know where your assets are and how they’re performing, IoT is already transforming business in a number of industries.
Digital business doesn’t happen over night. It’s a journey that can start with small steps, addressing immediate issues within a narrow scope, and build into a digital transformation that could encompass the supply chain. In the DSI keynote, Andy Brisley, VP of Digital Supply Chain Platform, discussed how a digital supply chain creates a convergence across the supply chain. By bringing suppliers and customers into the fold, businesses can reach new levels of visibility and collaboration in their supply networks.
But how do you take advantage of these technologies so your business can thrive in the digital economy? In his session, Andy showed how businesses can adopt a digital supply chain platform to help utilize existing systems of record while incorporating digital technologies such as mobile apps, data collection and machine-to-machine communication.
DSI’s Digital Supply Chain Platform (DSCP)™ includes pre-built, certified integrations to leading systems of record—and proven integrations with sensors and machines—so you can truly automate business processes. And, the DSCP includes a rapid application development environment so your business analysts can build or configure personalized apps across the enterprise. No code required. Learn more about how the DSCP can help your business simplify the process of going digital.
If you were in Denver for #JDEINFOCUS, you know that mobile, cloud and IoT are here to stay. How do you plan to harness these tech trends to digitize your business? Tweet us at @DSIMobile to keep the dialogue going.