Cognizant on the Next Generation Enterprise

As a strategist, I need to stay on top of how the world of business is changing, especially from an IT perspective. 

The world of business is changing faster than ever.  

Changes are happening in the ways we work, business models and processes are evolving, customers are changing what they value and how they buy, and technology is transforming and shaping the next generation Enterprise.

Likewise, the smart CIOs and IT organizations are significant shapers of the next generation Enterprise.  They are doing so by rethinking business models, reinventing the organization, and rewiring operations.

In their whitepaper, Making the Shift to the Next-Generation Enterprise, Cognizant shares 8 future-of-work enablers you can evaluate against to help you build a strategy to future-proof your business.

Key Challenges Shaping the Next Generation Enterprise

According to Cognizant, the following are unprecedented, relentless and perplexing challenges that organizations of today face:

  • Economic volatility
  • Globalization
  • Changing consumers
  • Changing workplace
  • Technology advancement

The 3 R’s:  Reinvent, Rethink, and Rewire

According to Cognizant, the following are the 3 R’s of corporate model transformation to future-proof your business:

  1. Reinvent: Updating the Business Model.   Cognizant says: “In some cases, companies are putting customer opinions and ideas at the center of their R&D model to ensure new products and services will succeed in the market. In others, business-to-business suppliers are using social networking to improve their delivery and replenishment models. In all these cases, moving to a collaborative business model opens new channels of talent, knowledge, expertise and capability.”
  2. Rethink: Creating New Process Models.   Cognizant says: “Next-generation enterprises will master these two elements — breaking up the value chain in core and non-core activities and orchestrating a virtual network of service providers for the latter. The idea is to leverage virtual teams of talent and knowledge wherever they exist geographically, rather than relying on what is embedded in the organization.”
  3. Rewire: Focusing on a New IT Architecture.  Cognizant says: “The challenge for IT is to undertake significant shifts in its traditional thinking to support the new areas of focus. This includes customer-facing core competencies; intuitive user interfaces inspired by consumer-facing mobile applications; collaborative business models involving customer and supplier co-creation; and virtual, globally dispersed teams focused on executing knowledge-intensive business processes.”

8 Future-of-Work Enablers

According to Cognizant, the 8 future-of-work enablers are as follows:

  1. Community Interaction.  Interacting/engaging with users through social media.
  2. Innovation.  Creation of an environment to breed and enable innovation of products and services, in the form of open, closed and virtual innovation.
  3. Worker empowerment.  Empowering the workforce to be location-agnostic through communication-rich mobile devices and enabling a culture of collaboration and creativity for millennial employees.
  4. Virtual collaboration.  Building platforms of collaboration to enable the virtual environment.
  5. Customer empowerment.  Empowering customers by providing cutting-edge tools and media to improve the customer experience.
  6. Commercial model flexibility.  Flexibility to choose between being asset heavy vs. asset light (Cap-Ex vs Op-Ex; buy vs. lease), as appropriate.
  7. Value chain flexibility.  Flexibility to choose and source value chain elements from anywhere; disaggregating people from functions.
  8. Flexible service delivery.  Flexibility to choose and source infrastructure from anywhere (e.g., cloud, mainframe, client/server, etc.).

Mapping the 8 Future-of-Work Enablers to the 3 Areas of Transformation

According to Cognizant, you can map the 8 future-of-work enablers to the 3 R’s of corporate model transformation as follows:

Future-of-Work Enabler Business Model Business Processes Technology
Community Interaction     X
Innovation X X  
Worker empowerment X X X
Virtual collaboration   X X
Customer empowerment X X X
Commercial model flexibility X   X
Value chain flexibility X X  
Flexible service delivery   X X

Hot Spots for Future of Work Maturity

According to Cognizant, you can evaluate against a specific set of KPIs within each area of corporate model transformation:

Business Model Business Processes Technology
  1. Global marketing effectiveness
  2. Supply chain optimization
  3. Value chain optimization
  4. Millennial channel focus
  5. Talent acquisition and retention
  6. Virtual teaming policy
  7. Facility footprint optimization
  8. Customer interaction through systems of engagement
  1. Business process agility
  2. Process regional adaptability
  3. Process componentization
  4. Process standards management
  5. Customer engagement and involvement
  6. Potential for personal development
  7. Process virtualization pervasiveness
  8. Collaboration effectiveness
  9. Remote operational effectiveness
  10. BPaaS adoption rate (or "as a service" adoption rate)
  11. Adoption potential of systems of engagement
  1. Application portfolio extendibility
  2. Workload asset optimization
  3. Infrastructure management globalization
  4. Customer empowering application portfolio
  5. Worker empowering application portfolio
  6. Degree of "any device, anytime, anywhere" realization
  7. Enabling virtual collaboration
  8. Mobile and remote device communications
  9. Data storage and processing agility
  10. Social architecture development

Outperforming the Competition

According to Cognizant, there is a prescription for outperforming the competition:

Tomorrow’s corporate winners have already started to adapt their corporate operating models. Based on a survey of 25 Fortune 500 companies, we have found that, on average, organizations are aware of future-facing concepts and capabilities, and they have begun enabling these capabilities in pockets of the organization. However, the initiatives are inconsistent and not always focused on the strategic business agenda.”

The Role of the CIO and the IT Organization is Evolving

According to Cognizant, CIOs and IT organizations are shapers of the next generation Enterprise:

“Woven into this trend, we are seeing that the most mature adoption is happening at the technology layer of the corporate operating model. This suggests that the IT organization, and perhaps the role of the CIO, are evolving as drivers and shapers of the next-generation enterprise. This is not all that surprising, given that a large aspect of this work is underpinned by technology that powers long overdue business process transformation. We believe the real opportunities will present themselves as the business models are rethought and the operations/ processes are reinvented, along with this trend to rewire the technology.”

Additional Resources

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