Change is hard. Think about enterprise and manufacturing company trying to change their systems, business processes or even upgrade from one version of enterprise system to a new one. If you got involved at least once in such process, I’m sure you’re familiar with the pain and complexity. IT and business divisions are spending weeks and sometimes months customizing and bolting these systems to work as expected and tailored for a specific company.
However, there is a hope in the future. Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, speaks about Reinventing Business Processes in his last blog post on LinkedIn. Navigate here (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/reinventing-business-processes-satya-nadella) to read it. I found it interesting. The key word I captured was “intelligence”.
Here is my favorite part:
And let’s be clear – digital transformation won’t happen with another bolted-on cloud app or a giant implementation of monolithic and closed business application packages that take half a decade to customize and deploy, and another for employees to begrudgingly learn how to use. Digital transformation requires systems of intelligence that are tailored to each industry, each company, each micro-task performed by each person. Systems that can learn, expand and evolve with agility as the world and business changes.
Thinking about PLM implementation, I was pleasantly surprised by the idea of unlocking data silos and future integration:
Realizing this dream requires unlocking data stored in silos and monolithic suites of applications so customers can combine them to derive new insights, extend and modify their business processes quickly, and surface them in the communications and collaboration tools millions of people use at work every day. Therefore, it requires us to reinvent business processes taking both a people-centric and platform-centric approach.
It made me think about end of era of business silos. You think, CRM, ERP, PLM… all these silos of business functions more or less peacefully co-existed for the last 20 years. The era of business silos is coming to its end. CRM and ERP businesses are getting very competitive in the way they are focusing on customers and business functions. PLM and ERP systems are very competitive in everything that related to product data, EBOM and MBOM.
The core of system intelligence is breaking data from silos and making analysis of large portion of data located everywhere. This is a fundamentals of future enterprise AI functions. It doesn’t matter where the data is – CRM, ERP or PLM applications.
What is my conclusion? The future of intelligent platform is to break existing business system boundaries by focusing on company and business performance. It is completely different from an old approach of optimizing process in a single enterprise silo – PLM, ERP, CRM, etc. Old system boundaries will be reshaped by cloud technology and new intelligence of business process management. Just my thoughts…
Want to learn more about PLM? Check out my new PLM Book website.
Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of openBoM developing cloud based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.