By Aldo van Tonder, Chief Digital Officer, 4Sight BE Cluster
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is gathering momentum, powered by its promise of massive benefits and an ever-sharp competitive advantage.
To realise the promise of the 4IR, organisations need to adopt the Enterprise 5.0 model – simply put, this means looking beyond 4IR technology to generate insights gleaned from continuous analysis of huge amounts of data collected by smart, connected technology spanning the entire value chain.
In this world, data is the new gold. The mining and processing of it presents major challenges primarily because the technology landscape is so fragmented.
At base, CIOs are dealing with two converging technology areas: traditional IT such as finance, marketing, payroll, HR and the like as well as operational technologies like SCADA, PLC and MES.
The business environment expects the right information and insights from the IT and OT systems to facilitate fast and accurate business decisions.
Diversified business models
Business models are becoming more fluid. For example, banks are no longer just repositories of client’s money and transaction facilitators – they offer a variety of services from mobile SIM cards and devices to concierge services.
Most companies span several sectors in the quest to offer clients the services that breed loyalty and grow revenue. They are increasingly partnering with other companies to offer more and better services.
All of this further complicates the technology environment, which, in many cases, completely lacks a common technology infrastructure.
This highly heterogeneous technology environment makes accurate reporting almost impossible, especially as different users require different reports.
Then there is the difficulty of managing this environment to ensure that it is supporting the organisation’s strategy, is cost effective and, most important of all, is constantly being improved.
All these tasks are quite essential, yet they are time-consuming and resource-intensive, thus expensive to perform. IT departments generally have limited budgets and resources and play an increasingly important role in any business.
In addition, manual analysis only covers a specific area and period in time and would thus have to be endlessly repeated to be of any value when applied to such a dynamic environment.
Another major factor is the emergence of the cloud model. Organisations increasingly want to pay for the services they consume and not for hardware or software as such.
This is prompting a licensing revolution and adding new layers of complexity to the technology landscape. What licences does the organisation own, and are they all being optimally used?
The ability to answer this question can unlock sources of huge new value and save equally large amounts of money.
MIA is there to assist
As is so often the case, technology provides the solution to the problems it creates.
Introducing a true piece of 4IR software called MIA, a highly intelligent software developed here in South Africa specifically to solve all these problems.
Powered by the BidvestALICE platform and leveraging the platform’s embedded intelligent auditing capabilities, MIA can continuously monitor or perform assessments where she investigates and advises on risks or improvements to the organisation’s operational and information technology landscape.
MIA is more than just a software—as a true platform powered by powerful artificial intelligence and machine learning, she provides the assessment and advice that CIOs require.
Her passion for research and investigation makes her the ideal advice giver and gives her an unparalleled ability to solve complex problems.
She will work continuously in the background unless she is asked a specific question.
With MIA, it is now possible and practical to manage a technology landscape that is highly fragmented and uses hybrid models and that is adopting the consumption-based model.
MIA assesses and manages a technology environment 24/7/365 with the organisation’s strategic goals as the ultimate baseline.
In conclusion to what MIA can do for you as a CIO and the kind of benefits she can deliver, let us consider a small example. A company with 9 servers running multiple databases and services software.
By identifying that the databases are only running at 30% of capacity, MIA can suggest that the 9 physical servers are consolidated into one, with some capacity moving into the cloud where possible.
Not only is the physical infrastructure improved in this example, but there is a substantial saving on licences.
MIA’s reports are delivered contextually, so that each role gets the report that impacts on its goals.
With the help of MIA, CIOs can create a virtuous cycle in which incremental improvements achieve rapid returns on investment that in turn can be used to fund further improvements while all aligned with overall strategic goals.
Licence spend is optimised as part of a transition towards the consumption-based cloud model, expenses move from capital to operating budgets, and even the most complex hybrid technology environment becomes as flexible as the business needs to be.
Welcome to the future.
4Sight is a JSE AltX (ticker: 4SI) listed, multi-national, diversified technology group.
Our purpose is to leverage our extensive product and services portfolio, focused on 4IR technologies, people and data-focused solutions to design, develop, deploy and grow solutions for our partners (customers and vendors).
Our mission is to empower our partners to future proof their businesses through digital transformation to make better and more informed decisions in the modern digital economy.
Across 4Sight, our teams sit with the core capabilities (people, skills and technologies) to accelerate the convergence between the Operational Technologies (OT), Information Technologies (IT) and Business Environment (BE) worlds through our integrated solutions.
This empowers us to create a new revenue streams and relevance for our partners. We are the digital transformation partner of choice to quantum leap your business into the realm of Enterprise 5.0.