In the Part 1 of this series, we discussed “Step 1: Shift your mindset.” In this blog post, we shall continue the journey with, “Step 2: Choose the right process to SMAC.”
Let me start by saying, “Step 2: Choose the right process…” is a bit of a misnomer. It should be called “What to SMAC and why.” After all, your SMAC journey may not begin with a business process. It could start with a product or even an entire business model.
The matrix below (click to enlarge) helps clarify what to SMAC and why.
If you are new to the SMAC stack, we recommend you start your journey by SMAC’ing an existing business process. It’s less riskier than the alternatives.
Key to Success
It is worth mentioning that a key to success is being “process first” and not “technology first.” This helps building the right thing as opposed to just building it right. Technology-led initiatives such as, “we aim to become a social enterprise,” or, “we will become a data-driven organization,” are hopelessly vague, rarely drive results and often widen the gap between IT and the business. Over time, after a series of process-level successes, the overall SMAC architecture will emerge.
Selecting the Right Process to SMAC
Before you make a selection, it’s important to understand the types of business processes that exist in an enterprise. Broadly speaking, there are 3 types.
- Management Processes: planning, budgeting, forecasting, cost analysis, etc.
- Revenue Generating Processes: sales management, customer segmentation, campaign management, etc.
- Resource Consumption Processes: product development, order management, supply chain, purchasing, etc.
Picking the wrong type of process could spell the end of your SMAC journey. We recommend you pick either a revenue-generating or a resource-consumption (operational) process. These processes align better with our goal of improving customer experiences and delivering high business value.
Refine your Selection Further
Next, ask the following questions to further narrow the selection:
- Is there a high density of information flowing through the process? A well-instrumented process (good data collection) that generates a rich data set is likely to be a better candidate.
- Are there are multiple stakeholders involved? Processes with multiple key stakeholders like partners and suppliers or customers and field service agents, are good candidates.
- Is there is a “space-time” component? For example, is there a need for stakeholders to work from different locations or at all times of day? Is there a real-time or near-real-time requirement? Processes with high space-time requirements tend to be good candidates.
In our experience, it helps to plot processes on a matrix as shown below.
In the matrix above, you can swap Information Density with any of the following attributes: Risk, Complexity, Ease of Implementation, Customer centricity, etc. to refine your analysis. It is suggested that you iterate through a series of these charts (an example shown below) before settling on a candidate process.
In the end, you should have a revenue-generating, information-rich process with multiple stakeholders that isn’t too hard to implement but provides high business value. Is that asking for too much?
In the next post of this series, we will look at the technology options available. In the meanwhile if you have any questions, please contact us.