ERP Software as a mean for operational readiness

In the previous section we saw that within operational readiness Data management is needed to optimize the use of data  and maximize the benefit to the organization. Instead of trying to optimize the multitude of data sources on their own we discussed that it would be better to optimize the business process management which creates the data we want to optimize. The process of optimizing and holistically combining business process management is being described as enterprise resource planning. That means that by introducing ERP software into our business, we automatically come one step closer to operational readiness.

Bigger companies have invested into ERP systems since the early 90ies and many of you have heard of companies like SAP.

However smaller companies, governmental institutions or hospitals still are not using ERPs at all.

A.I. readiness means digitalization and forcing yourself to have a holistic enterprise resource planning strategy, will automatically lead to dissolve data silos and data holes. These data holes are created when certain business units are not storing data or storing them in formats other business units cannot access (paper, fax, CD). If your initial idea is that any data created should be able to be accessible theoretically by anyone at anytime, then you will be able to create a solid ERP system.

For many companies, this does not start with IT at all. The first step of creating a good ERP system is to actually write down your existing business processes and standardize them. The first step is to understand your business workflows on paper. This understanding has to be shared by all your employees. Thus in order to start building a good ERP system, ERP consultants will come into your company and sit with your employees, in order to determine how work is done in your company and how data and information is flowing through your company. Corona has accelerated this process for many companies as many people went into home office and implicit business activities and implicit agreements had to be made explicit in order to lead remote teams. Many people realized how many implicit processes the company had, until they were home alone.

If we will look back in a few years to the time of Corona, we will see that the need for business process optimization and thus the common surge for ERP systems will have boosted many companies into operational A.I. readiness.

Over this week we followed Intel and dissected A.I. readiness into three dimensions: Transformational, Operational and Foundational readiness. Then we saw how Prof. Malone from MIT divided A.I. systems into four categories: tools, assistants, peers and managers. Then we started to look closer into operational readiness and especially data management and saw today that by introducing ERP systems in your company, you automatically reach a high level of operational A.I. readiness.

I hope that this chapter gave you a good overview into what A.I. readiness is and how you can achieve it.

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