Linda Ivy-Rosser, VP, Research Director and Liz Herbert, VP, Principal Analyst
There’s been a tremendous amount of digital transformation happening on the customer-facing front. But modernization on the operations side has not been nearly as robust. And that imbalance could cause problems for organizations. In this episode, VP, Research Director Linda Ivy-Rosser and VP, Principal Analyst Liz Herbert discuss the benefits and challenges of modernizing your operations platforms to align with your customer-facing ones.
Herbert and Ivy-Rosser begin by explaining why it is imperative that organizations invest in operations platforms sooner rather than later. For starters, older systems are not where vendors focus their innovation or best resources. In some cases, legacy enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are reaching their end-of-life dates and going off support. On a more positive note, Herbert points out, there’s an increasing recognition of the role that operations platforms play in achieving top-line growth and profitability. And Ivy-Rosser drills the point home with specific examples of the benefits of connecting operations and customer-facing platforms.
In fact, Herbert says, Forrester decided a couple years ago that the decades-old “ERP” doesn’t reflect what those systems are doing today in areas such as finance, supply chain, and customer operations, so Forrester introduced the term “digital operations platform (DOP)” to differentiate the legacy ERP systems and the future systems enabled by AI and automation.
So how do firms go about upgrading to DOPs successfully and avoid the mistakes of the past? One place to start is by revamping the traditional RFP process. Implementing strategies like design thinking and journey mapping as part of the evaluation process can make for a more successful modernization project and, perhaps most importantly, ensures that your planning goes beyond technology and into the key business processes and outcomes that the technology supports.
With mixed economic signals in the market right now, many firms are debating whether to scale back or stand pat on investments. Both analysts support maintaining the long-term technology investment strategy right now and avoiding the temptation to scale back at early signs of a downturn. In fact, an economic downturn can be a good time to undertake a modernization project for several reasons, says Herbert.
If you found this discussion interesting, be sure to check out the panel, Connecting Operations And Experience Tech Stacks For Digital Fluency, at Forrester’s upcoming Technology & Innovation North America event in September.