Smart Business Applications – the Value of System Directed Action

Digital Transformation

As discussed in my last blog series, transactions without context provide little value beyond recording an event which much be subsequently interpreted in a report. Real-time business requires a fundamental change in how we use and engage enterprise systems to support business operations. We need applications that help us make decisions – in the moment. If the system has the data, then the system should identify exception conditions based upon user-defined tolerances and direct the corrective action.

The multitude of business process scenarios must now be enabled by analysis of current events and be available from anywhere on any device. They must also direct necessary actions to complete a standard business event or support a corrective action, while doing so within security controls allocated the business user.

Smart Business Applications represent a new engagement paradigm for real-time enterprise systems as they must support new business models required to operate with all the information available at the moment. These applications initiate action from the top down based upon the state of a respective business function, with the flexibility to make recommendations based upon the unique parameter and tolerance of your business. The approach requires the speed and insight of analytics at the speed of memory, mobile access and simple navigation to support transactions to take necessary action.

Smart Business Applications begin and end with simple tolerance parameters that are constantly monitored in relations to a function-specific Key Performance Indicator (KPI) and reported in real time based upon the status as interpreted by tolerance set by your business. If the KPI performance is outside established tolerance, the Smart Business Application will notify you, the business user, in a way that they define (e.g., colors, icons or other) and direct a next step action based upon identified options for addressing the necessary decision.

For example, we have the KPI of Days Sales Outstanding (DSO) Smart Business Application available to the roles of CFO, Treasurer and / or Account Receivable Manager. The application is represented by a

simple tile icon that resides with other tiles secured within a role-based launch pad. The organization establishes tolerances to define degree of urgency and action regarding underperformance. If performance falls above acceptable ranges, the business user is notified. By selecting the DSO KPI tile, the business user is linked to a child Smart Business Application that identifies all customers and their balances that are outside their acceptable payment period. Upon reviewing customers’ balances, the business user can link to another child Smart Business Application that identifies aged invoices that are contributing to the overdue balance. The course of action is specific – it is directive – and it can be accessed on any mobile device.

Armed with this capability, an informed decision can be made and a course of action established with the necessary roles to take corrective action – all leveraging the level of information they need to perform their task. This is productivity redefined; the ability now exists to take real-time insight presented in a way to make informed decisions and to link to a series of corrective actions that enables collaboration with your team and your customers – in the moment.

Is there value in a real-time system driving resolution to the 20% of business exceptions that are consuming 80% of your decision making as part of your story?

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