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The phrase Intelligent Enterprise is becoming almost as significant as artificial intelligence (AI) or machine learning these days. And it’s no coincidence that this is the new direction either, as we approach the “Vision 2020” strategy deadline for many companies and organizations. 

If you’re finding the Intelligent Enterprise name a little abstract, let us help. Having an intelligent enterprise means little more than to optimize the experience of everyone who interacts with your company, whether customers (CX), or employees (EX). 

One more thing: there’s a lot of anxiety about the increased use of technology in companies, and much of it is centered around employees fearing job stability, or an actual “robot takeover” as predicted by so many Hollywood productions. What many people fail to understand is that the technology advances that will help companies become intelligent enterprises are being used precisely to improve the way people get their jobs done. 

So how can the CEO of a small company help accelerate the process toward becoming an Intelligent Enterprise?


Be a People Person

Not to be confused with encouragement to be an extrovert; what we mean here is focus on your people first and foremost. As a leader, it’s your responsibility to ensure the company you represent is providing its employees with opportunities to learn, grow as professionals, and contribute in some way to the global ecosystem. When employees are in jobs that offer little room to grow professionally or involve repetitive tasks that a machine could quickly and accurately complete, there’s a sense of demoralization and lack of need for one’s contributions at the workplace. 

By investing in technology that automates rule-based processes, you can free up your employees’ time to get involved in activities that require their experience and skills in ways that help them feel useful and like they are making a difference at the company. Software products that integrate processes and show real-time insights, such as SAP Business One, can be a game-changer for small companies that need to leverage every single employee’s skillset to grow the company. According to this infographic, you can expect a 4x productivity increase in the way your employees work when your company goes into the Intelligent Enterprise territory. 

Of course, there’s another very important group of people that should guide your strategy and investments: your customers. How many processes or products can claim to increase your customer satisfaction by 7x? Managing your company like an Intelligent Enterprise is not just the trend du jour, it’s your guide to surviving the world of business by creating and fostering customer satisfaction and loyalty. 


Don’t Forget the Insights

Advances in technology are all about helping people, and the best way to do this is to keep the numbers and data at the forefront of business strategies. The information you collect and use for your reports can be exponentially more useful when plugged into the right software. Gone are the days where technology is just used in place of paper records, and we’ve gone from transcribing data manually to now being able to use it to predict future data patterns and use it to inform business strategy. 

When you treat data as an asset, you ensure a place for your business in the big leagues. At the end of the day, it’s not the size of the company that matters in the macro, but rather its competitive advantages. Small businesses with gumption, passionate people, and the right data and analytics, can and will go farther than dinosaur companies (in size and age) that don’t leverage agility and innovation in a timely manner.  


Don’t Do It Alone

There’s an African proverb that says “if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” And there’s just no better case for building an ecosystem. The truth is, that as much as a small or midsize company wants to stand out from the crowd, there’s no better way to do it than in good company. As a CEO, the burden of helping your business reach new heights can be shared with a handpicked group of fellow companies that will be there to build you up every step of the way. In this light, the partner experience is also a part of the Intelligent Enterprise. 

When you’re ready to leave the spreadsheets and old school ways behind, consider Sapphire Systems as your partner in innovation. We have helped companies of all sizes reach new milestones, build bigger teams, and give their customers the best experiences they can possibly provide for over 26 years. Our products and services are the perfect complements for growth and sustainable strategy, and we’re here to walk you through the possibilities for your business. Simply contact us for more information.

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