As discussed in our previous blogs, at the heart of every Intelligent Enterprise lies a whole host of intelligent technologies supported by an intelligent digital platform. Combined, these technologies provide the cornerstone on which to build a truly Intelligent Enterprise, underpinning a robust set of intelligent systems that ensure your business stands head-and-shoulders above the competition. While some of these applications and systems may vary depending on within which industry you’re operating, common to all industries and key to all sectors are four main areas. These are Intelligent Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), an Intelligent Financial Management System (FMS), Intelligent Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), and Intelligent Business Intelligence (BI). For more information on the first steps to evolving your business, read our guide on How to Turn Your Business into an Intelligent Enterprise.
In basic terms, ERP systems of old could be regarded as data stores, or systems of records, with the ability to pull information from right across the business. This made data accessible from one central system and brought uniformity and consistency to business data. Intelligent ERP systems take this one step further, using AI-powered functionality to unlock the real business value in this data, enabling the business to analyse these huge amounts of data to identify every opportunity for decisive business action.
Intelligent ERP systems use advanced technologies such as AI, predictive analytics and machine learning to make timely, data-driven decisions - moving away from manual processes and automating tasks wherever possible to increase efficiencies across the business. With intelligent functionality and learning capabilities built in, intelligent ERP systems bring new levels of flexibility, speed and insight to the business. This not only connects all areas of the organisation, but fully engages every aspect of the business. An intelligent ERP system ensures every opportunity is captured and exploited, providing the necessary intelligent tools to track, forecast, analyse, predict, report and manage vast amounts of business data. In short, Intelligent ERP delivers actionable insights direct to the right people at the right time.
As with intelligent ERP, an intelligent financial management system has, at its heart, intelligent technologies built in. It expands the existing capabilities of financial management software to unlock real business value, not only in terms of cost and efficiency savings, but in terms of strategy as well. By analysing existing data, the application of intelligent technologies uncovers previously hidden insights to better inform financial planning, while enabling the automation of many key financial management processes.
The right intelligent FMS affects all aspects of a business’s finance function, from financial planning, through accounting and tax management, cash flow, invoice management, on to reporting and compliance. An intelligent FSM will not only identify inefficiencies but also suggest and automatically implement (where suitable) rapid actionable insight to streamline financial processes. This effectively improves financial operations and guarantees business agility and flexibility - enough to keep one step ahead of changing market dynamics and, most importantly, ahead of the competition.
After its people, a business’s assets are often regarded as its most valuable commodity and this is certainly the case with an Intelligent Enterprise. With an intelligent enterprise asset management system in place, businesses can bring intelligence directly into the heart of the business, establishing a proactive, end-to-end asset lifecycle management programme to add real value to the business by improving processes and more accurately predicting outcomes.
As with all intelligent solutions, the real value comes from making sense and best use of the data available to the business, a supply of data that’s only set to grow further as we see more and more interconnected devices within our businesses. By collecting and analysing data from internet of things-enabled devices, businesses can improve processes, better predict outcomes and prolong the life of their assets, with the most intelligent of systems proactively providing the actionable insight on the exact steps to take to make this happen.
Proactive maintenance and preventative engineering become the norm with an intelligent EAM system in place, reducing equipment downtime and increasing asset reliability, boosting productivity and asset utilisation. Again, the application of advanced technologies within an intelligent EAM system provides real actionable insights based on context-rich visualisations, enabling the business to adopt usage-based business models where appropriate as well as developing new revenue streams and implementing innovative value-added ways to optimise their assets.
In short, an intelligent business intelligence system is the optimum way of putting actionable business insight directly into the hands of decision makers. It provides the best solutions using advanced AI technologies to put analysed data in context while providing recommendations on the next course of action. Intelligent BI systems mine business data for historical, present and future insights and trends, using advanced predictive analytics and machine learning tech to underpin robust, timely and intuitive decision making for the good of the whole business.
While BI systems have obviously always brought a degree of intelligence to a business, the application of advanced intelligent technologies has developed this. Machine learning algorithms automatically guide further data discovery, without specific instruction. By providing end-to-end data management and in-depth contextualised analysis, intelligent technologies enable the delivery of new depths of insight to the right people at the right time, augmenting familiar BI tools to uncover previously hidden actionable business insight.
For those businesses who are serious about building an Intelligent Enterprise, it’s vital to have the right tools and technologies in place. Advanced intelligent technologies such as AI, machine learning and predictive analytics can take your business to the next level but only when used in conjunction with intelligent business systems which span your entire operation. By implementing intelligent ERP, FMS, EAM and BI systems, underpinned by advanced intelligent technologies and supported by an agile digital platform, businesses can continually and consistently develop and evolve to maintain their competitive edge in a world where everyone is going digital. It’s only by taking full advantage of the opportunities that intelligent technologies can bring that organisations can future proof their businesses, creating Intelligent Enterprises which will thrive in our ever-evolving digital economy.
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