Most organisations began with automating just their core business processes when they first set up their ERP systems.
By Stefan Jacobs, applications practice head: East Africa at Wipro
Over the years, in order to extend functionality, additional applications were introduced, integrated or bolted on. These rigid, legacy systems have slowly become outdated and are now unable to meet the needs of the modern enterprise.
One of the biggest challenges is that enterprises are left with multiple disparate solutions that do not enable them to give them an integrated 360-degree view of their customer. Customers today expect businesses to understand them and their preferences over time and tailor their interactions and engagement accordingly. They hold enormous power through social media. Digitalisation of legacy solutions is necessary to ensure customer satisfaction and develop a competitive edge.
Digitalisation is key to enabling organisations in Kenya to become more agile, create memorable customer engagements, drive customer loyalty, and stay relevant in the next few decades. As IT infrastructure improves and more bandwidth becomes available, new technology adoption such as the cloud becomes a viable option to address these challenges.
There has also been some amount of trepidation in opting for these solutions due to lack of successful case studies of local adoptions, which is slowly changing. There is now a mind shift from the belief that solutions must be located on premises, which is paving the way for cloud. For example, the Kenyan Revenue Authority has recently adopted a cloud-based CRM solution to assist with citizen engagement. This is helping to change perception around the cloud and the benefits of cloud-based solutions versus the risk involved.
Cloud-based solutions have the potential to dramatically improve business and are actually cheaper in the long run than continuing to maintain legacy equipment. Modern application services can help organisations to bridge the gap between their legacy technology and new solutions like the cloud and reengineer their processes to create a customer-first experience. However, in order to maximise return on investment, however, it is essential to find the right partner to embark on the digital journey with.
A specialist provider partner can help you extend the value of existing infrastructure while laying the groundwork for future opportunities and creating a roadmap working towards the latest technologies. By collaborating to deploy leading global systems and technology, a customer-driven solution can be developed to add real value for your organisation. Essential technologies such as the cloud can be added to the technology basket, and the foundations can be laid for the deployment of disruptive emerging technology such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA). The end goal is to create immediate improvement and enable long-term improvements for the future.
Modernising the ERP landscape in Kenya will enable businesses to leverage a host of opportunities to better understand customers and deliver enhanced services. The ability to create customer experiences and memorable customer engagements is critical to businesses growing in the digital age.