Back

TechnologyJul 05, 2019

Transforming Everyday Business Through Technology Enablement

Dustin Talk, and Jason Goth

Every business is facing disruption today, and few executives would argue against the need for digital transformation to remain competitive. In a 2017 survey of U.S. companies over $1 billion in revenue, 87% of leaders said they have transformation projects planned or underway. These efforts typically focus on:

  • Developing new business models.

  • Building online or mobile-based products.

  • Increasing speed to market.

  • Improving customer experience.

Unfortunately, the reality is that most digital transformation ambitions never achieve these goals. According to Forbes, seven out of eight digital transformation projects fail. While there are many reasons for these high-profile failures, we believe part of the cause is that companies try to undergo transformation using the same tools, processes, metrics, people, and technologies they have in place. These legacy tools, technologies, and processes can’t keep up with the demand for innovation. For example, many times companies attempting a digital transformation:

  • Continue relying on manual processes that are inefficient, slow, and introduce human error.

  • Stay anchored to legacy systems and tools that require significant training, are expensive to maintain, and do not provide the data necessary to make real-time decisions.

  • Maintain disconnected islands of data that make it difficult to collect, analyze, and act on information efficiently.

  • Fail to leverage outside technology and services that have experience solving similar problems and filling known marketplace demands.

technology enablement

At Credera, we help clients adopt the technology, architecture, processes, and organizational changes necessary to modernize and enable them to compete in their industries. We refer to this as “technology enablement.” These services include six major offerings:

  1. Enterprise architecture

  2. Agile & DevOps transformation

  3. Application modernization

  4. Business process automation

  5. Collaboration and content

  6. Internet of Things (IOT)

enterprise architecture

While disruptive technologies and market changes present many challenges, organizations who quickly adapt have a significant market advantage. Enterprise architecture plays a foundational role in technology enablement by ensuring that systems are structured to achieve business goals efficiently and securely, using the latest technology. Credera helps organizations become more agile by creating enterprise architectures optimized for rapid, multi-dimensional change.

For example, a large home services digital marketplace approached Credera with a need for strategic improvements across their finance and accounting technology. The company had grown significantly through both organic means and a large acquisition. This rapid growth put a strain on their internal systems, many of which were redundant. Simple tasks such as data gathering, fee calculations, and payment verification could take as long as a month. Credera partnered with the client to re-architect and modernize their systems so that these common functions were automated in near real-time. This new architecture also enabled multiple integrations with third-party vendors with little additional effort. These integrations replaced multiple manual processes, reducing overhead and improving customer service.

agile & devops transformation

With a goal of delivering value faster and with higher quality, agile and DevOps transformation applies proven methodologies that facilitate digital transformation. While agile is an approach to effectively manage people and teams to deliver value, DevOps is a method of developing, deploying, and running software to deliver value-added features quickly and safely. Partnering agile and DevOps together empowers companies to respond to the changing needs of the marketplace immediately, take advantage of opportunities while they exist, and maximize investment by adjusting quickly.

Credera worked with a major trucking company to assess and enhance the scalability of its back-end software systems. We partnered with them to automate load test execution so that software changes could be tested and analyzed each night, identifying scalability issues as they were created, instead of months later in production. Implementing a quality center of excellence that features dashboards has enabled their personnel to measure team productivity and accuracy by highlighting defects, failed changes, etc. Currently, we are helping our client migrate to an Azure DevOps platform that will give them greater flexibility and accessibility. After migrating the run-time environment to Kubernetes, our client will be able to deploy changes more quickly and safely, as well as run more advanced deployment techniques such as canary releases, rolling upgrades, etc. Following these agile and DevOps transformation projects, our client’s system has scaled from supporting 4,000 users to supporting 15,000 users.

application modernization

Legacy and aging systems can significantly inhibit an organization’s ability to change—application modernization facilitates the updating and replacement of systems and technology to better support business initiatives. Application modernization addresses constraints within existing technology such as security flaws, compliance issues, and maintainability problems. Additionally, application modernization can automate mundane tasks and allow people to focus on more important tasks and strategic initiatives.

Credera recently worked with a large financial services firm to modernize their aging application infrastructure. As this company was looking to add new capabilities, they recognized their legacy systems were a significant barrier to innovation. Credera led the migration from a legacy, monolithic, third-party provider application to a highly-scalable, cloud-native solution. The result? Replacing their core business application with a modern solution has opened the door to custom integrations and workplace efficiencies. In just under two years, our client has increased their top-line revenue by over 60% while doubling their portfolio size without hiring additional personnel.

business process automation

Aligning people, processes, and technologies toward strategic goals and a competitive advantage—business process automation paves the way for technology enablement. By helping businesses apply technology to contain costs and remove human error, we can focus on what is truly important. Beyond cost savings, business process automation can also help organizations increase productivity and morale by focusing on achieving more efficient and effective work methods.

An excellent example of this is when Credera partnered with a large industrial staffing company to automate their time collection and payroll tracking processes, integrating multiple sources of electronic and manual timesheets. All timesheet data was collated into a centralized rules engine that calculated payroll and billing, eliminating the need for branches to spend considerable amounts of time each week tracking down associates and clients for timesheets and approvals. By reducing the frequency of inaccurate paychecks and invoices, we helped protect our client’s reputation among its servicers. The new, highly-scalable solution allows our client to process nearly 400,000 timecards and 12.5 million collected hours per month, freeing up time and energy for employees to dedicate their efforts toward higher value-add tasks.

collaboration & content

Providing access to complete and accurate information across an organization—collaboration and content provide technology enablement by improving organization-wide culture, engagement, and productivity, maximizing efficiency and reducing unnecessary effort as well as spending. Organizational culture has a significant impact on recruiting and retention of employees, making it a key ingredient to success in any company. Companies should do everything they can to promote the right culture, and they accomplish this through technology that facilitates content-sharing such as a company portal. Collaboration and content also affect employee engagement, as it helps people adopt an ownership mindset and feel personally invested in the company for whom they work. Lastly, collaboration and content increase employee productivity by enabling employees to share documents, participate in discussions, and work in a centralized platform—it eliminates the dangerous tendency to work in silos and duplicate information or research. Employees can become more efficient with their tasks and reduce unnecessary effort when knowledge is managed, shared, and centralized through collaborative workplace portals.

Recently, Credera partnered with a large biotech company to transition the company’s internal knowledge management system to a modern, collaborative platform. The company collected a lot of research either by buying that research, hiring someone to do it, or conducting the research in-house. Unfortunately, our client did not have an effective way to internally store or share their research. Because employees didn’t know whether prior research on a particular topic had been done or where to find it, they often repurchased the same materials, duplicating resources and costing the company significant money. We helped them assess their needs, then worked to build a system with features critical to their business, such as grouping similar research and projects into the same category and an automatic tagging feature based on business rules. Two months after the migration was completed, 200 new projects were created, indicating a high adoption rate. By increasing efficiency and reducing duplication efforts, our client was able to lower external spending by hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

internet of things (iot)

Having operational data is foundational to making sound informed business decisions. By making this data real-time and providing analytics, we enable rapid improvement and agility for business decision making. The Internet of Things, or IoT, plays a key role in technology enablement by extending the digital presence of your business to wherever your business is physically happening. Data is driving your business, whether it’s in your customers’ hands or homes, your supply chain and operations, or your employees’ everyday decisions and interactions. All of these represent an opportunity to gain deeper insight and provide richer, more relevant experiences, as well as real-time insights. IoT impacts technology enablement because it has a direct affect on labor efficiency and bottom-line revenue.

When one client first approached us, they were struggling to measure real-time insights on their plant performance. Every day was spent analyzing what happened over the past 24 hours, and gathering data was a very manual process. We partnered with this large mining company to put sensors on every step of their supply chain that measured the usage of resources and performance. We then helped our client create a formula for determining the amount and length of heat used to dry the sand, based on the quantity and incoming moisture content of that sand. Connecting the physical plant processes to automatic, digitalized processes enabled our client to use only as much gas as they needed to dry the sand, saving them significant costs. Finally, the data gathered and analyzed was reported to a dashboard accessible from any geographic location, so our client could respond to problems in real-time. By utilizing the Internet of Things, our client was able to transform their workplace and eliminate unnecessary operational expenses, digitalize data gathering and analytics, and act on real-time insights.

conclusion

Credera has extensive experience helping our clients modernize and enable the workplace through enterprise architecture, agile & DevOps transformation, application modernization, business process automation, collaboration and content, and the Internet of Things. By combining our expertise in technology with our bright minds in management consulting, we provide thoughtful solutions to our clients, helping them identify and act on the next opportunity for growth, efficiency, cost reduction, or scalability.

Could your workplace benefit from technology enablement in these areas? Give us a call or reach out at findoutmore@credera.com to discuss how we can partner to help you achieve your goals.