The Critical Role of ERP In Enterprise Digital Transformation
Updated: Feb 26, 2020
In the exponentially changing world, there’s little to nothing that the digital technologies have not touched. From improving the day-to-day operations to revolutionizing human lives, technology has innovated and evolved beyond means. It has also transformed the way businesses operate and connect with their customers.
Enterprise digital transformation creates a ripple effect on every aspect of the enterprise- from human resources to business operations. It is interesting to see how the digital transformation of enterprises is led by another key component of modern business strategy- the ERP.
What is Digital Transformation?
There is no single definition of Digital Transformation, as it is a combination of several aspects.
Digital transformation is the tight integration of digital technology- in terms of hardware, software as well as the approach in the enterprise environment.
Digital transformation involves and impacts different elements of an enterprise- right from customer satisfaction to employee productivity.
Digital transformation compels organizations to embrace agile methodologies, where the culture, the employee skillsets, as well as the overall processes, are constantly changing, updating, and evolving.
Digital transformation doesn’t necessarily look alike for every organization. Instead, it focuses on closing the business-specific gaps with the use of technology. It leans towards utilizing cloud computing, essentially reducing the dependency on specific hardware. This ensures that the enterprises are well-connected across diverse physical locations, customer needs are met almost instantaneously, and employees enjoy the flexibility to offer optimum productivity.
The key elements where the impact of digital transformation is evident include:
Culture and leadership
When enterprises make an effort to undergo digital transformation, they have to achieve set goals that could make it a fruitful exercise. As enterprises invest heavily to undergo digital transformation, the results are anticipated to be tangible to understand the success of the implementation.
While at this, ERP- enterprise resource platform plays a huge role in helping enterprises achieve the goals of digital transformation.
Let us now discuss how ERP helps in overhauling the existing processes of an enterprise with digital transformation.
The Goals of Digital Transformation that are Achieved Using ERP
When enterprises go digital, a positive focus-shift towards improved processes is highly expected. The use of cloud technologies, enabling telecommuting, and deployment of business-centric technologies help in optimizing enterprise operations. With ERP, planning projects to tracking progress is streamlined. ERP helps in reengineering business processes and helps in leveraging technologies like Artificial intelligence and machine learning. It enabled them to quickly absorb new business capabilities that are ushered in by the digital transformation.
Increased efficiency and employee productivity
As enterprises clasp digital transformation, the key goal is to improve the overall efficiency, boiled down to the individual employee productivity. Employees of an enterprise undergoing digital transformation are empowered with digital devices powered with up-to-date business resources- from content to apps. Employees are offered flexibility to work from anywhere, anytime, contributing mindfully to their productivity. But things can also go downhill from here, in the absence of an ERP.
An ERP solution can help automate manual tasks of the employees. Employees can focus on innovation while ERP automates the recurring tasks that would otherwise weigh down the workforce. Thanks to an ERP, employees can have real-time access to vital information without a glitch, can take faster decisions, and save several precious productive hours a day.
When enterprises implement multiple software solutions as a part of their digital strategy, lack of collaboration could lead to failure in implementation or failure in achieving expected results. These solutions can work perfectly well on their own, but when they have interdependent processes or results, they are not collaboration friendly. ERP is centralized at an enterprise-level. It intersects the data, tools, and solutions used across various departments and teams.
The data across the organization is stored centrally and can be accessed anytime, anywhere, which facilitates faster and better collaboration. Employees can access and use any data points on-the-go, add and update it from anywhere in the world, and teams can take improved, data-driven decisions quickly. A cloud-based ERP eliminates the dependency on physical transfer of data, and data sharing is done over the air, reducing response time.
Improved customer service
One of the key reasons why enterprises go digital is the impact it creates on its customer service. Digital transformation needs to be customer-centric, without a doubt. Digital transformation is set to improve customer engagement and is said to partner the customer in their entire purchase and after-purchase experience. From the ‘mobile-first’ approach to improved customer support using chatbots, digital transformation can help achieve improved customer service.
What a modern ERP does, in addition, is that is streamlines the backend processes enabling the enterprises to always put their best foot forward. ERP facilitates enterprises to have a 360-degree overview of the customer’s journey and history to provide bespoke solutions and discounts. Further, ERP enables to access any customer-related information in real-time, even to the non-IT workforce, resulting in quicker response time, and a happy customer.
Accelerated time to market
One of the prime goals of digital transformation is to achieve a faster time-to-market. With improved processes, improved efficiency, and improved collaboration, this is rather predicted. Time-to-market is extremely industry-specific – for some, it is considerably longer than the rest.
But a delay in time-to-market can cause serious repercussions, giving your competition an edge over you. ERP, with its centralized data, easy availability of the same paves the way for quicker implementation of strategies.
When the enterprises embrace an ERP solution that is future-ready, it creates the scope for the evolution of digital transformation. A future-fit ERP can significantly help in incorporating emerging technologies. An apt ERP ensures that the digital transformation is scalable, and yet the enterprises have ultimate control over the ecosystem.
With the right ERP in place, the stakeholders always have a birds-eye view of the entire operations while accommodating futuristic goals. A robust ERP ensures smooth and faster implementation and is ready for enhancements and upgrades to accommodate the scalability of digital transformation.
While digital transformation is here to rock the enterprise world, its marriage with the appropriate ERP solution makes way for digital maturity, which ensures that enterprises are always ready for the next change. A robust ERP continues to aid the digital transformation of enterprises and the future for enterprises seems more exciting than ever!