Years into the digital era, we see many companies that haven’t invested enough in modernizing their core. The so-called back office and other operational systems can seem disconnected from goals such as innovation and experience — but they are intricately linked. A legacy, monolithic core hinders innovation, growth, and employee and customer experience. For example, an airline can only achieve great experience by minimizing flight delays — which requires flexible crew management systems and better maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) systems. Retailers need to have dynamic inventory management and shipping flexibility to deliver products quickly. And all digital businesses need modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems that give visibility into where innovation yields growth and what it really costs.

The modern core must be:

  • Agile, to adapt quickly to customer and employee demands and changing business models.
  • High-performing, to meet the needs of real-time, insights-driven businesses.
  • Intelligent, to suggest next-best actions and adapt without human intervention.

At our upcoming Digital Transformation & Innovation 2019 Forum in Chicago on May 14–15, we will discuss five key strategies for modernizing the core:

  1. Modernize by aggressively using cloud technologies and SaaS.
  2. Evolve your approach to business cases and budgeting to reflect new goals.
  3. Understand the new landscape of applications vendors and how they fit in.
  4. Customize the right way where it matters with agile development.
  5. Automate as much as possible to create efficiencies and growth opportunities.

At our Forum, I will be hosting a track on the above topics featuring Dave Bartoletti, John Rymer, Allen Bonde, Jeffrey Hammond, Lauren Nelson, Margo Visitacion, Rob Koplowitz, and Chris Condo. We will have ample networking opportunities to discuss with peers, industry leaders, and Forrester experts. I hope to see you there!

Want more insights on transforming operational technology? I appeared on our What It Means podcast to discuss how organizations can break free from technical debt.