In episode 24, Eric Green Vice President at DELMIA and Mike Bradford, DELMIA Strategic Business Development, continue the discussion on the Transformation Journey Notes Series. They’ll discuss Notes 7: Five Critical Success Factors.
00:05 Therese Snow
Welcome to our DELMIA podcast, Global Operations on the Go. Today, we continue our series on the Transformation Journey. Our guests, Eric Green, Vice President at DELMIA and Mike Bradford, DELMIA Strategic Business Development, will continue the discussion on the Transformation Journey Note Series. They'll discuss Note Seven, Five Critical Success Factors. Here, they'll convey the technological decisions driving transformation. Let's listen in.
00:33 Mike Bradford
Thanks, Therese. Eric, in this podcast and Note Seven, we’ll focus on the technical strategies and architectural paths that transformation leaders have used to deliver that step change. This is of course, instead of dealing with the different types of technologies supporting transformation, which was covered in Research Note One. With that being said, what are the five technology critical success factors?
00:59 Eric Green
Well, Mike, as we looked at the Research Note Series, and we wrapped up with this Research Note Seven on those five critical factors, we want to bring things together to crystallize for our readers and our customers the five elements that we see that affect transformation in the context of the other research notes. Those five that we've outlined, start with, the first one being managing multiple technologies simultaneously, because we know that investments are made over time, there are different applications and technologies in use at different levels, and the architecture grows organically based on this. The second is, knowing where you're at today and looking to transform, defining the to-be operational architecture, and that's extremely important, because doing so properly can have some significant benefits. The third is the need to democratize data. With the proliferation of devices, and the availability of data, and the tools to analyze the data and use it in business contacts, it's important to make sure that the data is structured and organized in a way that you can not only leverage the data but maintain it over time. And as we described in previous research notes, there are different types of data. Having that approach is important. The fourth is selecting and executing the right architectural path. It's not only about defining your operational architecture, but how you’re going to proceed, or to achieve that right architectural path. And then last but not least, the fifth one we've identified is the deployment of a business-led technology strategy.
02:47 Mike Bradford
Okay, so our listeners will be able to download the series for complete details after the podcast. But could you please highlight and expand on some of the five technology critical success factors?
02:59 Eric Green
Sure, let's take two of them that I think are somewhat, they're all interrelated, but I think there's two that are more interrelated and have a closer relationship. The second one I talked about was defining the to-be operational architecture, and that combined with deploying a business-led technology strategy, I think go hand in hand. So, if you look at the operational architecture for manufacturers, and companies that manage and own or orchestrate supply chains, and these manufacturers have to source product, they have to manufacture, assemble product, and distribute and deliver those products to their customers to create that experience that you and I as consumers want. And having an operational architecture in place, well defined, that enables the ultimate corporate goals that are being set to provide the end result of an experience that you or I or any consumer want, is incredibly important. Now, how do you go about doing that? And this is where the fifth element comes in, deploying a business-led technology strategy. Every company, depending upon their industry, is at a different level of maturity or different level of adoption, or on a different path of digitalization. And some are, obviously further along than others. But the key to those that are being successful is they're having a business-focused technology strategy. And by assessing what their trends are, what their current issues are that they're trying to address, focusing on solving those business problems in the context of a to-be state operational architecture helps them focus on where to invest first, and how to take advantage of the new technologies and solutions that are available today that enable them to meet their goals, but also by that overarching long-term support of their business.
04:45 Mike Bradford
Okay. It sounds like you may have addressed this a little bit. But in talking about that second critical success factor, when defining that end-to-end vision, what should manufacturers who have hundreds of different applications deployed across their plants do to achieve this?
05:02 Eric Green
I think they have to assess what those applications do, the criticality of those applications, the risk. Many of those applications, from our experience, and walking through factories, and talking to CIOs, have applications that are either out of date or legacy applications that are not supported, that may not even, they may even be on hardware that is at risk. And so triaging, you know, what the current state of those applications are, then as I highlighted focusing on the business value, where you can replace those, the one thing to look at in consideration when you're looking at rationalization of a large number of systems, all these systems are point solutions, is looking at how you can address the end-to-end business processes. As we highlighted in our previous research notes, the business process is critical. And the business process ultimately delivers the end result, which is either from a business perspective, delivering goods on time, delivering goods at a specific cost, or ensuring that there are proper qualities in place at a manufacturing or supply chain business process. And to effectively achieve that, a lot of times these applications that are in place today hinder the flexibility of the company. And so, making those decisions based upon risk, the lack of flexibility, and where the business value is, allows you to rationalize and simplify your architecture to reach that to be-operational state.
06:26 Mike Bradford
Okay, so it sounds like, and this kind of really leads in then to my next question, because you talked a little bit about architectural planning, how critical is this architectural planning in transformation?
06:37 Eric Green
I think it's fairly critical to at least to have a foundation and the planning done properly upfront. Because, as we highlighted in previous research notes, you don't want to get in a situation where you're making decisions in a reactionary basis. And by doing so, you end up in a worse situation, or a situation where you actually have an architecture that doesn't meet your objectives and creates more rigidity and lack of flexibility in your business. So, by planning and doing your architecture planning upfront, and having that vision in place is important, but knowing full well that based upon the business needs that you can pivot to focus on those business problems and build up that architecture based upon those business problems, it allows you that flexibility while still maintaining that in-state operational architecture that you're trying to focus on. And that's why architectural planning is important. Because while you may have a plan today for what your architecture looks like a year from now, or five years from now, we know that business changes, and based upon those business environments, you might have to pivot. And the key is, is knowing what are my tradeoffs and how I can make those decisions, while still keeping in context of what my future operational architecture looks like.
07:56 Mike Bradford
As a former IT guy, myself, I’ve seen too many IT guys that focus strictly on the architecture, and it's good to hear you talk about architecture in light of business needs, and I agree that's critical.
08:08 Eric Green
I think it's along the trap that a lot of us as IT professionals can have a tendency to get into. You see the trends around IoT, machine learning, and a lot of these new technologies, they're great and are going to add a lot of value. But there's a lifecycle to those technologies and a maturity curve. And unlocking what that business value is, is part of that maturity curve. And our approach and strategy is to figure out and determine what that business context is. There's little or no value in deploying the technology to prove it out, just for the sake that say that you can, and you have done it in a pilot, unless there's a way that you can actually use that technology in an industrialized environment that drives quantitative business benefit.
08:55 Mike Bradford
Okay, that's great input, Eric. So, how do we at Dassault Systèmes help customers get the right answers for their organization? And how critical is this to the success of the transformation program?
09:07 Eric Green
Well, we at Dassault Systèmes have both solutions, and an engagement model that allows for the joint collaboration with our customers. And it all stems and is based on what we call the value engagement and the value engagement process. Thereby, by looking at what the customer’s current situation is, assessing where and how to create the value as part of a transformation, and outlining that roadmap and that path, we call value path, to help the customer achieve their objectives and goals. As part of that value engagement methodology, it's aligning our solutions on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to create that business benefit based upon where those business problems are and using the elements of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, and our portfolio of business processes, roles and applications, to support that specific customer's transformation. Because as we all know, every customer's journey, and every customer’s situation is unique, and it's not one size fits all. And the value engagement methodology enables us working with our customers to define that specific roadmap for the individual customer with a focus on the business value, and then the supporting solutions that we can provide on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform over time to enable that customer to reach their end-state goals.
10:43 Mike Bradford
Okay. Well, that was the last of the questions I had except for one. Finally, is there anything I haven't asked about that you believe is critical to this topic?
10:54 Eric Green
I've said this in other research notes, I think what's key is take this in the context of the broader Research Note Series. You know, there are seven research notes. Each one focuses on a given topic or a set of topics. And the entire series is intended to help our customers understand some of the decisions, some of the criteria, some of the key success, some of the risk factors, as well as the considerations to move forward across their transformation journey. We have these research notes, as well as this supporting podcast, and I would encourage everybody to either read or listen to all of them, and take advantage of the comprehensiveness of the Research Note Series, and not just focus on one specific example or topic without putting it in the complete context, because I think there's a lot more value in looking at it end to end, as opposed to delving into a specific topic.
11:55 Mike Bradford
Well, that's great insight. Great input, Eric. Thank you. Thank you for your time. And for all the input. I think it's been really valuable to our listeners, and I really appreciate your time.
12:03 Eric Green
Well, Mike, thank you. Thank you for the interview. It's been an enjoyable experience, and I hope our customers get value out of the Research Note Series and Research Note Seven, and I would encourage them to give us their feedback so we can identify other topics that our customers want to hear and learn about in the future. Thank you, everybody.
12:23 Therese Snow
Thank you, Eric and Mike, for continuing the conversation on the Transformation Journey. Our listeners can access the Transformation Journey Note Seven by clicking on the link under the podcast to download. I’m Therese Snow and thank you for listening to Global Operations on the Go.