A business is no longer just a business. It’s an intelligent system of people, processes, sensors, and machines capturing, exchanging, and processing vast amounts of data. For most companies, taking advantage of this network means collecting as much of this information as possible – gathering one data point after another in the hope of finding a way to use it to their benefit.
But as Paul Khanna, principal and leader of the Digital Human Capital practice at Deloitte Consulting, LLP, noted in the Webcast “The Intelligent Enterprise: The Next Frontier and Key to Success,” capturing data is only a small part of competing in an increasingly intelligence-driven marketplace. “It’s easy to see the benefits when the ‘unintelligent enterprise’ is well understood,” he observed. “The problem isn’t about having too little information; it’s the lack of context to understand what the data is telling them.”
During the online event, Khanna was joined by Helen Dwight, global vice president of marketing programs at SAP, and Timo Elliott, innovation evangelist at SAP, to further explore the importance of balancing data with context.
The future is not just about data – it’s context too
When an overwhelming volume of data is brought under control, businesses can make sense of these pieces of information and convert it into actionable knowledge. And as Dwight mentioned in the panel discussion, “it is those insights that can later become a precursor to change.”
Consider Tesla. Last year, the 15-year-old business overtook GM to become the most valuable car company in the United States. Despite recent stumbles, Tesla’s valuation is growing because it is using a digital ecosystem that gathers a foundational asset that is shaping the future of the automotive industry – data. In fact, McKinsey states that the market for vehicle-gathered data will be worth US$750 billion by 2030. This trend is especially significant as consumers across all industries continue to gain interest in purchasing services and outcomes, not just things.
By using advanced analytics and intelligent algorithms, companies like Tesla are finding a significant advantage when applying data from every area of the business into service-oriented products and customer experiences that continuously improve and evolve.
“Building customer-centricity into the company’s end-to-end processes will boost customer loyalty, brand recognition, and revenues,” Dwight wrote in “Build Customer Empathy into Your Business Model.” “Executing on this vision requires unprecedented intelligence throughout the corporate business systems. In fact, it requires an intelligent enterprise strategy – one that connects processes and shares information across the business.”
By operating with this level of contextual intelligence, companies have a massive opportunity ahead of them. “Self-learning, intelligent systems are quickly becoming the future of organizations,” Elliott shared with the panel. “As we gather data and apply machine learning and artificial intelligence, companies can improve the way they do business as a consistent part of what they do.”
A breakthrough moment for disruptive competitive advantages
Contrary to recent headlines, not all the improvements coming from intelligent technologies and automation are as scary we thought. That is, we shouldn’t necessarily worry about the predictions of robots and computers stealing human jobs.
Gartner predicts that half of a billion users will have saved two hours a day this past year thanks to artificial intelligence. This productivity boost allows companies to make work more meaningful while shifting resources toward more strategic initiatives that matter to consumers. For example, some businesses are using this opportunity to increase environmental sustainability, people safety, and social responsibility in their supply chains and operations.
Based on Khanna’s research, rising adoption of contextually intelligent technologies will continue to empower businesses to rethink how they innovate, increase productivity, and become more efficient. “The information that businesses have now provides them with a lot of context that can solve problems that people didn’t know existed in the first place,” he reflected. “In fact, I suspect that there will be a lot of disruption coming to the marketplace soon – more than what we have seen in the last 10 years.”
For more insights about your future as an intelligent enterprise, watch the Webcast replay of “The Intelligent Enterprise: The Next Frontier and Key to Success,” available on demand.