Say hello to ERP 4.0. The era of the Intelligent Enterprise is upon us. Although the concept might sound a little bit imposing, the reality is that the technologies behind the Intelligent Enterprise have been around for some time. The intelligent enterprise has simply evolved and been developed in parts from software and systems that we are already familiar with. Let me explain (or take a look at this infographic)…
What is the Intelligent Enterprise?
Let’s start at the beginning of the digital era back in the 1960s. The silicon revolution saw mainframe computers adopted on a large scale, which led on to the emergence of PCs in the work place and at home. For industry, this was significant as it delivered plant floor automation, which, for the first time in history, showed the potential of technology to help us become more productive and efficient.
Next followed client servers and the internet. This is when things really got interesting with widespread PC adoption and the development of broadband meaning information could be shared faster than ever before. This era saw the development of enterprise solutions and business process technologies.
Not so long ago, digital transformation through cloud computing and mobile technologies saw greater connectivity to information, regardless of time or location. Now, it’s the time of the intelligent enterprise through the development of smart technologies such as machine learning, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things.
Key Components of the Intelligent Enterprise
New technologies can often seem daunting and confusing. I mean how many people had heard about Blockchain two or three years ago? And those that did, did they understand the concept? Yet you don’t have to be a cutting-edge technology fanatic to understand the intelligent enterprise.
That’s because in many instances people are already familiar with intelligent technologies. Children these days are using mobile technologies and the internet as a basis of their education. At home, they are using smart devices to control the TV or to play their favourite song when they are dancing around the kitchen.
They already understand the concept of the Internet of Things when they see their parents ask Alexa to turn on the lights or use a smart phone to turn the central heating system on whilst they are out shopping.
Unlocking the Intelligent Enterprise
There are three key components SMEs need to have in place to form the intelligent enterprise model. The good thing is, the majority of organisations will already have at least one component (or something similar) in place.
Firstly, there’s the intelligent suite. This is used to manage and monitor customer experience and staff engagement. This will have a digital core to automate key processes and help you manage things like production, inventory or supply chain tasks.
There’s a digital platform to process big data and to provide accessibility and instant information. Then, at the heart of the intelligent enterprise are these new smart technologies that really help organisations to innovate and to break the mould. When you combine all three, that’s when you have the ability to push the boundaries of innovation and to make significant changes to business models.