Harmonize Your Enterprise: A Beach Boys Business Lesson

Successful digitization hinges on gaining real-time, around-the-clock visibility, facilitating greater partner communication and collaboration, and improving operational decision making.

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Photo of the Beach Boys and IoT overlaid

Harmony is essential in music. And no group understood this quite like the Beach Boys.

In the 1960s, the Beach Boys demonstrated their harmonizing chops with gorgeous vocal blends on hits like “I Get Around,” “California Girls,” and “Good Vibrations.”

Of course, harmony isn’t only important to musicians.

In the business world, leaders strive to achieve enterprise-wide harmony. Many companies fail in this endeavor, though. Why? Because they lack the tools necessary to bring all the disconnected components of their business together.

Fortunately, groundbreaking digital business operations centers – leveraging powerful Internet of Things (IoT) sensor data – are empowering organizations to achieve Beach Boys-level harmonization – in three vital ways.

Gaining real-time, around-the-clock visibility

Investment in IoT technology is rapidly growing – and there’s no evidence suggesting it’ll slow down anytime soon. In fact, companies are projected to spend more than $772 billion on IoT in 2018, a 14.6% increase over 2017.

For businesses, the benefits of connected products are obvious. By equipping goods with sensors that transmit useful product data over the Internet, your company can keep a close watch on everything that’s happening with them at all times.

Imagine you’re a logistics manager for a distribution company. You’re responsible for shipping a delivery that requires a container temperature of exactly 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

With an innovative digital business operations center, you can monitor your shipment’s temperature the entire time it’s in transit. If the temperature rises or drops – even a single degree – you’ll receive an instant alert, allowing you to remedy the situation immediately.

Without this capability, you’d fail to detect the problem until it was too late, delivering a product that falls short of your customer’s expectations.

Facilitating greater partner communication and collaboration

Not only do digital business operations centers offer your enterprise real-time, around-the-clock visibility, they provide your partners with access to the same data you have – at the very same time.

By sharing a holistic view of your data in a joint digital system, you can improve partner communication and collaboration across the entire value chain.

Say you’re an airport operations manager. You learn that passenger luggage intended for Chicago somehow ended up in Indianapolis.

Rather than hopping on the phone to explain the mix-up, your counterpart in Indianapolis is already fully aware of what happened. There’s no need for you to take a screenshot, attach it to an e-mail, and shoot off a message to discuss the problem.

Because you and your partners exchange data in a shared digital system – and all relevant parties have access to similar persona-centric visual dashboards – everyone’s always on the same page. The result is timely action. In this case, the luggage you mistakenly shipped to Indianapolis will be rerouted to Chicago in no time.

Additionally, communication tools embedded directly in your digital business operations center allow you to accomplish the following:

  • Interact with your partners in real time or near real time
  • Arrive at a consensus on the root cause of your problems
  • Devise immediate solutions
  • Develop plans to ensure similar issues don’t happen again in the future

You never have to navigate outside of your shared environment to view critical data or collaborate with external partners or internal colleagues.

Improving operational decision making

You’ve gained real-time, around-the-clock product/asset visibility. You’ve enhanced partner communication and collaboration. And now, you’re more prepared than ever to drive intelligent, data-based decision making that boosts business value.

Picture this: You manage a large offshore wind farm. Weather forecasts indicate that a looming storm could severely impact your assets. Being proactive, you want to see how you can schedule downtime to repair potential damage to a wind turbine in the least disruptive way possible.

With a digital business operations center, you can converge data feeds that illustrate how you can take your asset offline and conduct maintenance without major adverse impacts to energy generation and your bottom line.

A configurable resolution support system within your digital system can even provide you with actionable guidance on resolving the situation. It will give you multiple options, based on your priorities, that allow you to weigh various cost, risk, and performance factors.

The more contextual data you have at your disposal, the more assured you can be that the critical business decisions you make will be the right ones – every time.

Hitting the right notes: Achieving harmony with an innovative digital business operations center

Your enterprise may never be able to sing like the Beach Boys. But that doesn’t mean you can’t harmonize.

Business harmonization hinges on gaining real-time, around-the-clock visibility, facilitating greater partner communication and collaboration, and improving operational decision making.

Written by: Elvira Wallis, Senior Vice President of IoT Smart Connected Business at SAP Labs