Data: Turning Incumbents Into Disrupters

Rajesh Nambiar

Many established companies have struggled from disruption by new entrants and digital native startups. While these companies may not have been “born digital,” they have a built-in advantage: They have the data. According to Ginni Rometty, IBM CEO, at the January 2018 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, “only 20% of the world’s data is searchable — which means 80% of the data out there is sitting on private servers, most of them in businesses.”

This information is infused with deep knowledge and is enabling industry incumbents to become industry disruptors. But there’s a problem. For many, that data is locked in systems of record that block or slow access by innovative, customer-facing digital apps.

Optimize the core for efficiency

Established organizations are beginning to reinvent their customer engagement strategies by employing innovative, customer-facing digital apps. However, digital transformation success can only be achieved by unlocking their core to strategically leverage the information they already have. Forrester Consulting found that companies who prioritize core systems of record modernization have a 1.7x higher rate of digital transformation success compared to organizations that haven’t made modernization a priority. Overcoming the challenges of disjointed back-office applications and systems, inflexible technology, inefficient processes and data siloes is mission-critical.

Modernize the core for creating newer capabilities for the organization

Digital businesses must harness information in their systems of record to deliver compelling, contextual, personalized digital experiences to customers. But just as important as data access, organizations need to invest in agile and flexible data delivery from systems of record to quickly “feed” systems of engagement and systems of insight. The challenge is that systems of record have traditionally been built for stability, not speed. To combat this issue, companies should invest in the development of microservices built on an integration layer to expose data in the core systems to omnichannel, digital applications using APIs. For example, Carhartt transformed itself into a purely digital business by replacing manual ways of working with new solutions, freeing up IT staff to focus on strategic projects.

Innovate with agility and resilience for growth

Once the core is optimized and modernized, then innovation becomes seamless and speed becomes the new currency of value to deliver easy-to-use and personalized experiences, across all channels. But creating these kinds of experiences relies on a complete understanding of the customer. This is where the power of proprietary data in core systems is becoming a force multiplier for digital reinvention. Organizations across industries are creating digital platforms that leverage the richness of their data to improve their business and deliver relevant content, targeted offers and consistent branding across channels to better engage customers.

Compete from the core

In the IBM Institute for Business Value “Incumbents Strike Back: Insights from the Global C-suite Study,” 72% of surveyed CxOs claimed that incumbent organizations – rather than new entrants – are leading the disruption in their industry. When these enterprises embark on digital reinvention – their competitive advantage is the wealth of customer and business data in their back-end systems. But if this information is difficult to access, slow and siloed, they need to modernize their core systems. Harness the true potential of digital transformation. Unlock your data to facilitate faster, easier access to customer and business information. Personalize customer interactions. Become more agile. And build an environment that supports business growth.

Learn more

To take advantage of all the benefits described in this post, request a HANA Impact Assessment, or connect with us at SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual SAP Conference to learn more.