Week 7: Technical Business Report

PDF File: Ernesto Mancia – Technical Report – The Digital Transformation

 

Abstract

This report focuses on how four important technology trends (cloud, mobile, social and big date) are shaping how organizations transform, both internally and externally, in order to evolve with their ever changing business environment. Internally, these technologies are being leveraged to develop and deploy enterprise information management systems that promote collaboration and integration between the various departments and decision makers. Externally, these technologies are being leveraged to better communicate with and understand the customer. These two aspects lead organizations to better business insight and agility in today’s competitive and every changing business environment.

The Digital Transformation

The internet of things (IoT) and mobile technologies have significantly changed how quickly customers can get information; changing the type and quality of products, services and experiences that they expect. As a result, organizations are having to transform quickly, more often and at a faster pace (Pratt, Sparapani & Rouse, n.d.). By leveraging current and future technologies to reinvent their products, processes and strategies, an organization can successfully shift from traditional mode of operation to a modern technology oriented way of operation. According to Michael Wade (2015), an organization should focus the digital transformation on any of the following key business categories: the business model (how they make money), the structure (how they are organized), the people (the people who work for them), the processes (how they do things), the IT capacity (how they collect and manage information), the offerings (their products and/or services), and the engagement Model (how they engage with customers, supplies, etc.) (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Categories of Organizational Transformation Example

Figure 1. Wade, M. (2015). A Concept Framework for Digital Business Transformation

The goal of any digital transformation should be to accelerate business activities, lower operational costs, improve time to market, positive change in processes and enhancing the customer experience (Rashid, 2017) An organization should gain a hyperawareness about trends and changes within their business environment and in competitive landscape. Additionally, they should gain the capacity to actively and quickly analyze the information that comes in through the hyperawareness. Lastly, an organization should gain the ability to quickly execute business decisions and changes and quickly respond to digital disruptions. All these factors should work together to create and promote an organization’s digital business agility (Figure 2) (Wade, 2015).

Figure 2. Digital Business Agility Components

Figure 2. Wade, M. (2015). A Concept Framework for Digital Business Transformation.

Technologies Driving Change

At the core of this digital transformation lie four key technologies: cloud, mobile, social and big data (Figure 3). Cloud technology helps an organization drive business agility by delivering flexible and scalable IT capabilities on demand at a lower fixed cost. Current mobile technology has been able to leverage the cloud to drive top-line revenue growth by delivering a real-time and personalized experience to both employees and customers alike. Social technology helps an organization effectively communicate with and understand its customers’ sentiment about their products, brands and services. Lastly, big data technology helps organizations the ability to process and analyze large amounts of structured and unstructured data to generate business insight in real time (Harvard Business Review, n.d.). Implementations of these technologies give an organization the ability to: get to market faster and more effectively, innovate new business models, products and services, optimize business operations and provide an exceptional end-to-end customer experience. These four transformative technologies can be leveraged and integrated to deliver and promote a business ecosystem that blends virtual enterprise with collaborative commerce. This can effectively be done through a well thought out core enterprise information management system that efficiently provides business critical information and insight to both internal and external business partners. The ultimately result would be a level of business agility that would strengthen an organizations ability to remain a going concern to both its internal and external stakeholders.

Figure 3. Transforming Organizations and How People Work

Figure 3. Harvard Business Review, n.d., The Digital Transformation of Business.

Trends in Business Ecosystems

In today’s competitive global environment, successful companies must possess a high level of flexibility and rapid response capabilities within their supply and value chains (Song, Ji, Qi, Zhang, 2012). With a high level of agility and value as the end goal, companies are looking to expand beyond their “four walls” by blending virtual enterprise and collaborative commerce to create a business ecosystem that improve the transfer of information and collaboration between the company, suppliers, stakeholders and customers (Figure 4). However, the increase in business interactions within such ecosystems also brings its own challenges as the participants attempt to find the right balance between maintaining existing core business structures and implementing collaborative flexibility, trust and commitment.

Figure 4. Business Ecosystems

Figure 4.. Business Ecosystem actors. James F. Moore, Death of Competition, John Wiley & Sons, 1996

Challenges & Opportunities

In order to achieve agility on a global scale, most competitive corporations focus their core capabilities on their value chain management which is increasingly linked to a large business ecosystem of suppliers and vendors. As each enterprise operates as a component in the network of suppliers, customer, engineers and other specialized service providers, the collaborations between multiple partners are becoming necessary and virtual enterprise is emerging as a result (Kim, Son, Kim, Baik, 2006). However, creating or being part of a business ecosystem based on virtual organizations alone does not guarantee increased productivity or agility. To achieve enterprise productivity and agility, the enterprise as a whole needs generate high level of trust and commitment and to work efficiently by forming the right teams, making the right decisions, allocating resources correctly and effectively coordinating activities across the entire organization and business ecosystem (Heisterberg & Verma, 2014).

Such coordination involves trade-offs between maintaining the existing core business structure and implementing the collaborative flexibility that helps a virtual organizations succeed. For example, traditional ERP and supply chain management offer complete structure and no flexibility, while collaborative tools such as email, IM and SMS offer complete flexibility and no structure for working towards business trust, commitment and efficiency. In the middle of these two is business collaboration technology which tries to find the right balance between flexibility and structure (Figure 5). Collaborative commerce software coordinates interactions among various business ecosystem enterprises, suppliers, manufactures, distributors and costumers, to improve acquisition, delivery and payment for goods and services (Lamont, 2005).

Figure 5. The trade-off between flexibility and structure in business interactions

Figure 5. The trade-off between flexibility and structure in business interactions. Welty, B., & Becerra-Fernandez, I. MANAGING TRUST AND COMMITMENT IN COLLABORATIVE SUPPLY CHAIN RELATIONSHIPS.

A collaborative virtual enterprise solution should also help build and maintain a high degree of trust and commitment between and within the virtual enterprises by leveraging the latest social tools and media available through their information technology partners.

Business Solutions

The introduction of information technology in business transactions has helped significantly reduce information disparity, transactions costs and foster business relationships by providing enterprises with the ability to transact, negotiate and interact through electronic means; by eliminating geographical barriers. The latest advancements in this technology has recently provided buyers and sellers with a high level of transparency by creating a tightly knit web between all the partners in the value and supply chain. Managers and business leaders are no longer tasked with projects that only involve their direct reports and internal business partners, but now include colleagues working within other businesses in the virtual enterprise. This “physical” disconnected has made it harder for leaders to manage and foster trust and commitment within their virtual project teams. Therefore, it’s important that a collaborative commerce framework based virtual enterprise system promotes trust and commitment through the use of interaction technology that create real value for its users. According to Welty and Becerra-Fernandez (2001), trust and commitment can be managed within a collaborative commerce framework that contains the following concepts (Figure 6):

  • A strong definitions of roles – clearly define customer and performer
  • A defined process of all business interactions necessary to achieve fulfillment of the customer request.
  • Conditions of satisfaction – focused on completely satisfying the customer.

Additionally, the collaborative commerce framework should reflect the best of consumer-style social models, which preserves both context and history, is flexible and provides the appropriate media required for a given communication; preserving the ease and fluidity of e-mail, IM and SMS (Heisterberg & Verma, 2014). This interplay between trust and technology can reduce transaction costs and encourage trust, commitment and in turn, efficiency and agility within the virtual enterprise system and business ecosystem.

Figure 6. Business Interaction Model

Figure 6. Business Interaction Model. Welty, B., & Becerra-Fernandez, I. MANAGING TRUST AND COMMITMENT IN COLLABORATIVE SUPPLY CHAIN RELATIONSHIPS. Communications Of The ACM. 2001

Lessons Learned

Application-to-application technologies, such as supply chain software, ERP systems and, to some extent, virtual enterprise systems are algorithmic; they provide information about the present and past. Person-to-person interaction technologies, such as collaborative commerce software, provide information about the present and the future commitments people have made to do work (Welty & Becerra-Fernandez, 2001). It’s this person-to-person interaction that is key to any virtual enterprise system’s success. Although the word “virtual” implies a physical disconnect, the disconnect should be transparent from a social and collaborative point-of-view. The individuals and entities that a deeply invested in the virtual enterprise systems should feel the same level of trust and commitment with all the members of the business ecosystem as they do with their own internal business partners.

With most of the inefficiencies eliminated from internal systems, companies must look for further process improvements outside of the enterprise. Therefore, it would not be prudent for future managers or business leaders to continue working in isolation when executing business functions, despite their capability, knowledge and experience (Heisterberg & Verma, 2014). Business ecosystems founded on virtual enterprises and collaborative commerce will continue to play an important role within the business environment. It’s important for them to not only understand the technical aspect of what make virtual enterprise systems tick, but most importantly, the social aspects that make them valuable business tools.

Core Enterprise Information Management System

The goal of any Enterprise Information Management System (EIMS) software package should be to efficiently, dependably and securely manage all the information required for an organization’s day-to-day operations and decision making processes. A robust EIMS package should, at minimum, integrate the following three core enterprise management functions: Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship management (CRM), and Supply Chain Management (SCM) (Figure 7).

Figure 7. Integration between ERP, CRM and SCM applications

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Figure 7. Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Robust on-premise EIMS software packages were previously only accessible to corporations with adequate investment capital, but the introduction of cost-effective cloud computing technology has made cloud based iterations of such systems accessible to small and medium sized organizations. The new cloud technology offers cheaper, simpler and often wider alternatives when compared to legacy on-premise models of enterprise computing (Heisterberg & Verma, 2014). However, cloud based EIMS services have also introduced additional compliance, network and security concerns that must be addressed during the evaluation, selection and implementation process.

Challenges & Opportunities

Although a large number of companies will rely on cloud-based EIMS services by the year 2020, the failure rate of implementing just the core ERP is high; ranging between 67% to 90% (Gupta & Misra, 2016). Since a ERP system is a key component of any EIMS package, this statistic should not be overlooked. The ERP system provides fundamental decision-making support and enables collaboration between an organization’s internal operations (Figure 2).

Figure 8. Core ERP Components and Extended ERP Components

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Figure 8. Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

According to Gupta & Misra, vendor selection is critical to a successful implantation of a cloud-based EIMS software package. The organization should select a vendor that has the capability to customize the software package based on the organization’s current and future business needs. Additionally, given that implementation of a EIMS solution is a significant undertaking for organizations of all sizes, the number of vendors should be kept to a minimum. Organizations evaluating software packages should first turn to vendors that provide the complete suite of solutions instead of cherry-picking EIMS components from multiple vendors. Sticking to a single vendor will help reduce the implementation costs associated with API and middleware development. Additionally, dealing with a single vendor could mitigate cloud-based network and security concerns related to downtime, data archiving, segregation of duties, network latency, confidentiality of data, encryption and maintenance (Gupta & Misra, 2016).

Business Solutions

As stated earlier, the core ERP application is what helps EIMS package and organization work towards operational efficiencies, lower costs, improved supplier and customer relationships, and increased revenue (Baltzan, 2015). It achieves this by leveraging a central database that collects and distributes information throughout the various departments within the organization (Figure 3). This is why it’s important that any potential software vendor be well versed in what is needed to deploy and maintain a robust ERP solution. Vendors such as NetSuite, Oracle and SAP are not only leaders within the ERP space, but they all provide the additional components (CRM and SCM) to build a well-integrated out of the box EIMS solution.

Figure 9. ERP Integration Data Flow

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Figure 9. Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

EIMS Application Packages

Out of these three vendors, NetSuite is the only one to have been built from the ground up to be a cloud computing software company. It’s ERP solution has built-in SCM tools and offers a separate CRM product which is as robust as Salesforce’s offering (Netsuite: Enterprise Resource Management, n.d.). NetSuite’s ERP system is recommended for small to medium sized organization.

On the other hand, Oracle built its legacy on a robust on-premise EIMS solutions, but recently has made the jump to the cloud by launching Oracle Cloud, which offers ERP, CRM and SCM through its software as a service (SaaS) applications. Oracle also touts its SCM application as the most comprehensive SCM suite in the cloud (Oracle Cloud: Reimagine Our Business, n.d.). A point that shouldn’t be overlooked given that a SCM ultimately helps maximize profits by optimizing the price of raw materials, sub-products, final products, and maintaining sufficient stock levels (DZIEŻA, SIKORA & NOWAK, 2016).

Finally, SAP offers their cloud-based ERP called, SAP Business ByDesign. Like Oracle’s offering, SAP’s ERP solution is built on SaaS applications that provide ERP, CRM and SCM capabilities. But like NetSuite, SAP’s solution is recommended for small to medium sized organizations (SAP Business ByDesign: Cloud-based ERP for Mid-market Companies and Subsidiaries, n.d.).

Lessons Learned

Which EIMS solution should ultimately be selected? It depends on the organization’s key business functions. A large retailer might find what it needs in Oracle’s cloud solution because of its scalability and strong SCM application. On the other hand, a small sales organization might get more out of NetSuite’s solution because of its focus on small to mid-sized organizations in addition to its robust CRM product. Ultimately, what is most important is that organizations focus on minimizing the costs and potential risks associated with undertaking the task of implementing a EIMS software package. This can be achieved by going cloud-based; there by eliminating the upfront and ongoing investment required to manage and maintain on-premise software and hardware. Organizations should also look to a single tried and true leader in the EIMS/ERP space (such as Oracle, NetSuite and SAP) that provide integrated cloud-based EIMS solutions. Finally, once software costs have been negotiated, organizations should work closely with the selected vendor in order to build a trust-worthy relationship and to mitigate any compliance, network and security concerns.

Given that most of the EIMS solutions available in the market place are capable systems, Management needs to be able to look past the noise and focus on the key attributes that will create value and synergies between the organization and the cloud-based service provider. Additionally, as more and more companies begin to rely on cloud-based EIMS solutions to gain the competitive edge, management needs to understand both the benefits and risks associated with the implantation of a cloud-based EIMS software package.

Business Intelligence and Analytics

As the volume of transactional data continues to increase, organizations must begin developing strategies and investing in the technical systems needed to sustain an information advantage (Gnatovich, 2007). Such strategies should emphasize the importance of having a reliable and well integrated Enterprise Information Management (EIM) framework that provides:

  • A trustworthy data foundation for Business Intelligence (BI)
  • Agility to access real-time information for operational BI
  • A single, consistent view of the organization (On, n.d.)

With a compressive EIM framework in place, organizations have the potential to strengthen the effectiveness and reach of any Business Intelligence and Analytics (BI&A) software package.

Challenges & Opportunities

At their core, BI&A software packages provide the tools needed to transform databased low-level transactional information into high-level analytic insight (Figure 1).

Figure 10.Transactional versus Analytical Information

Figure 10. Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

The basic/essential features of any BI&A package usually include: reporting, interactive dashboards, OLAP, predictive (statistical) modeling and data mining. Recently, with the introduction of the “cloud”, BI&A systems have also started the move beyond a structured historical view of database content into a real-time view of unstructured web, mobile and sensor-based content (Figure 11). This shift from small to big data has introduced advanced and unique data storage, management, analysis and visualization technologies (Hsinchun, Chiang & Storey, 2012). Most of these data processing and analytical technologies have already been incorporated into the leading corporate BI&A platforms offered by the major developers such as Oracle, SAP and NetSuite.

Figure 11. Business Intelligence and Analytics: Key Characteristics
Figure 11. GNATOVICH, R. (2007). making a case for business analytics. Strategic Finance, 88(8), 47-51.

As organization begin to leverage, in real-time, all these various internal and/or external data points, their internal decision makers (management) are being challenged to make complex strategical decisions within a shorter time window (Baltzan, 2015). In order for management to fully trust and embrace such sophisticated BI&A systems, they must feel confident in the analytical data. Regardless of the BI&A technology being employed, an organization must first make sure that no back-end quality issues exist. To promote trust and adoption in a BI&A system, an organization should focus on implementing a EIM framework that promotes data integration, data quality and data transparency. By providing management with a single, audited and easy to digest version of the truth, they can quickly overcome any decision-making challenges (Figure 12).

Figure 12. Managerial Decision-Making Challenges

Figure 12. Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Business Solutions

Older Business Intelligence (BI) systems were built around simply aggregating transactional data and delivering reports to the business user. In order to ask and answer their own questions in response to internal and external factors, users would need to heavily rely on desktop applications like Microsoft Excel to do the analysis. The issue with this is that any insight that the business user gains through the Excel spreadsheet tends to stay with the user, which means all opportunities for organizational learning or process improvement runs the risk of being lost (Gnatovich, 2017).

Modern cloud-based BI&A systems mitigate this risk by encompassing all organizational information, and their primary purpose is to support the performing of managerial analysis tasks (Baltzan, 2015). They incorporate the techniques, technologies, systems, practices, methodologies and applications that analyze critical business data to help users better understand their business and market and make timely business decisions (Hsinchun, Chiang & Storey, 2012). One of the key goals of these modern systems should be to improve an organization’s response agility and value chain. In addition to a strong EIM framework, a BI&A solution should help achieve these two goals by:

  • Targeting the business user rather than the IT department.
  • Being oriented more toward calls to action than to simply inform.
  • Predicting unforeseen events and revealing new insights and unexpected discoveries.
  • Allowing business user to ask and answer questions without a product development and augmentation cycle required from the IT department.
  • By not being limited to the analysis of data pre-programmed into an internal data warehouse or cube (Gnatovich, 2017).

Vendors such as NetSuite, SAP and Oracle not only offer cloud-based BI&A solutions that meet or exceed the above requirements, but they also offer the cloud-based back-end systems required in an integrated EIM framework.

Business Intelligence and Analytic Software Packages

NetSuite’s Business Intelligence solution emphasizes reliability and real-time access to analytical information in addition to the following key benefits:

  • Real-time transparency into company performance across all business functions
  • A single version of the truth with all of your data residing in a single source
  • Self-serve, personalized experience with easy-to-use reporting tools
  • On-the-go access via web browser and mobile devices (NetSuite: Business Intelligence, n.d.)

SAP’s Analytics Cloud for BI solution also offers real-time business intelligence capabilities through the cloud (SAP Analytics Cloud, n.d.). Their website lists these additional benefits:

  • Cloud-based authoring
  • Hybrid data access
  • Data visualization and storytelling
  • Visualization design for business communications
  • Data exploration and discovery
  • Real-time business intelligence
  • Embedded analytics
  • Build-in social collaboration tools

Finally, Oracle lists their BI solution as a best-in-class analytics solution in addition to these other points:

  • Intuitive cloud experience
  • Advanced analysis and visualizations
  • Interactive dashboards (Oracle: Business Intelligence, n.d.).

Based on the above website information, it’s easy to see the overlap between what the various BI&A solutions offer. They all seem to offer a timely cloud-based experience with interactive and visualize analytics tools. When selecting a BI&A solution, organizations should first look to their back-end information ecosystem. A key component of any successful information strategy is “integration”, so organization should look for a solution that can quickly and efficiently be integrated into their current EIM framework. Lastly, It’s worth noting that NetSuite was the only one to touch on all the key requirements of a successful Enterprise Information Management (EIM) framework: trustworthy, real-time agility and a single consistent view of the organization.

Lessons Learned

Regardless of the BI&A solution that is implemented, garbage in will always be garbage out. An organization’s first priority should be to implement a EIM strategic framework that addresses back-end data timeliness, integrity, consistency and transparency. Only after an organization and business leaders start trusting the underlying data can a BI&A solution be used to its full potential. Arming business leaders with trustworthy and accurate analytic information will only add value and supercharge an organization’s BI&A investment.

Decision making is one of the most important and challenging aspects of management (Baltzan, 2015). Throughout their business career they will make structured, semi-structured and unstructured business decisions. That’s why it’s critical that they fully understand the spectrum of BI&A tools that would help them quickly and confidently access and analyze business data. Additionally, they need to understand the various data risks associated with the back-end data systems supporting a BI&A solution. Only then will they be able to tap into the real potential of all the internal and external analytical data available to them.

Collaborative Marketing Campaign Management

Marketing’s responsibilities are very different today from what they were a few years ago. Responsibilities have shifted from just focusing on the brand and a single channel’s reach to worrying about personalized marketing that focuses on each customer’s personal preferences. In order to achieve the level of personalized required to deliver a great customer experience, organization are beginning to invest in cloud-based operational CRM technologies that capture information from all the available customer touchpoints (Figure 13). The focus of this paper will be on the collaborative marketing campaign systems which is an important marketing technology for any organization looking to develop effective product promotions and advertising strategies.

Figure 13. Operational CRM Technologies

Figure 13. Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education

Challenges & Opportunities

Historically, marketing departments have not used information technology to the extent that other departments have (Lamont, 2014). An organization’s information technology department can create value by implementing a marketing campaign management system that could target campaigns more efficiently thereby reducing marketing cost (Baltzan, 2015). This efficiency would result from a system that is able to quickly capture and consolidate information, in real-time, from all the available customer channels and touchpoints; thereby eliminating the disconnect of having to access multiple data sources from multiple vendors. Additionally, a good collaborative system should link sales, customer service and marketing modules and make them accessible from the same platform (Figure 2). Solid target marketing followed by solid customer service and/or sales follow-up is proven formula for improving a campaigns ROI (Goldenberg, 2011).

Figure 14. Operational CRM and Analytical CRM

Figure 14. Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education

Business Solutions

Collaborative campaign management and marketing automation solutions should improve response rates and revenue, ease the workload of creating sophisticated, timely, personalized campaigns, adjust campaigns and communication channels in real time and enable marketer to take advantage of customer analytics (Beasty, 2005). A lot of these attributes can now be achieved with the help of cloud-based technology. New software solutions can leverage the cloud to quickly consolidate the data streams of multiple marketing channels. Additionally, as stated earlier, any campaign management solution should be fully integrated with the other customer relationship management modules in order to improve an organization’s value chain. Vendors such as NetSuite, SAP and Oracle not only offer cloud-based marketing campaign management solutions that meet or exceed the above requirements, but they also offer the cloud-based back-end systems required in an integrated EIM framework

Collaborative Marketing Campaign Management Software Packages

NetSuite’s campaign management solution leverages demographics, purchase trends, response patters and support histories to create and track highly targeted marketing campaigns (NetSuite, n.d.). Some of the key features provided by their campaign management solution include:

  • The ability to manage, track and analyze all marketing campaigns: including email, direct mail, events and multi-channel campaigns.
  • The ability to analyze campaign statistics and ROI from the start of the marketing campaign to the final product or service transaction.
  • The ability to segment customer data to deliver personalized marketing.

SAP’s Hybris offers a segmentation and campaign management product. This product helps organizations deliver personalized experiences in real-time to help increase conversion rates and build loyalty (SAP, n.d.). Some of the key features provided by their campaign management product include:

  • Gain real-time transparency into the performance of marketing plans
  • Easy-to-use visual exploration tools that transform the look and feel of your marketing.
  • Build-in social collaboration tools

Finally, Oracle offers a marketing automation product called Eloqua. According to Oracle, Eloqua equips marketers with best-in-class lead and campaign management tools that help marketers engage the right audience at the right time in the costumer’s journey while providing real-time reporting and insights (Oracle, n.d.). The product’s capabilities include:

  • Targeting and Segmentation
  • Campaign Management
  • Lead Management
  • Marketing Measurement
  • Sales & marketing Alignment

Based on the above information, it’s easy to see the overlap between the features offered by the various marketing campaign management solutions. They all seem to offer a timely cloud-based experience with interactive, visualize tools and a focus on providing a real-time ability to adjust marketing campaigns throughout the marketing channels. Ultimately, when selecting marketing campaign management solution, organizations should first look to their back-end information ecosystem. A key component of any successful information strategy is “integration”, so organization should look for a solution that can quickly and efficiently be integrated into their current EIM framework; especially with their current CRM.

Lessons Learned

Digital channels covering online, mobile and email are “taking the lion’s Share” of the marketing budget at the expense of traditional advertising and marketing vehicle (Aquino, 2012). This shift to a more personalized, instant and social experience highlights the importance of a nimble marketing campaign management solution. Organizations need try their best to personally understand their customer base in order to deliver a personalized experience that increases customer value and revenue. The solution should also be agile enough to quickly personalize campaigns across the various channels including email, physical media, search, web, video and mobile. Most importantly the marketing campaign management solution should be well integrated with the other key CRM components in order to drive real-time reporting, insight and collaboration.

As technology and customer behavior shifts towards online channels, management needs to be aware of how an organization can leverage collaborative cloud-based technology to add value to existing business functions like Marketing. Managers need information to run their departments and make daily decisions, so understanding and being able to select business solutions that help improve the decision making process is important. A well-integrated cloud-based collaborative marketing campaign system can increase the return on marketing investments by providing management with the real-time tools and insight to personally tailor the marketing message for each consumers.

Conclusion

Digital transformation can help an organization keep up with emerging customer demands and competition now and in the future (Pratt, Sparapani & Rouse, n.d.). Although transformation can encompass varies internal and external business functions, at its core the transformation is driven by key technological drivers. These core technologies are cloud, mobile, social and big data. These four technologies can be leveraged and integrated to deliver and promote a business ecosystem that blends virtual enterprise with collaborative commerce. An organization’s enterprise information management system and its key components (ERP, SCM, CRM, ERP and Marketing components) should be able tap into the four technologies to deliver a level of integration and collaboration that helps drive business agility both internally and externally.

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