Today’s businesses are shifting their organizational structures and making significant changes to how IT operates in a global setting. In particular, it is important to consider how to efficiently transition data from a local view to be a global business function for better business efficiency and IT data management.
While it’s easy to understand the need for global systems, making the actual transition in practice is not as simple. Increasing business needs, changing business models, a sharing economy and blurring geographical boundaries, data platforms are focused on building a “one view of the customer foundation” to set the facets of a standardized process. Thus, there are several things that should be considered, with the first step requiring a critical look at each business process and identifying if the process is outlined in a way that can be applied and understood by all markets across the globe. Second, data management supervisors need to evaluate how data can be best aligned to the global system, while still meeting and fulfilling data requirements within each market.
To be successful, organizations should look at a crawl-walk-run-fly approach, while also considering the several challenges that come with moving data systems from local to global platforms. These challenges can include data loss or network failures in transition of the process. Here are four key factors that should be reflected upon when seeking local to global consolidation:
Standardization of products and services: Products and services across the globe are becoming standardized at a high level. There may be minor changes in features or even pricing, but the broad contours of selling are becoming standardized. While the standardization may seem like it should be a seamless transition from local to global management, the small nuances of varying features and prices may cause for concern.
Streamlining of IT: Companies are adopting streamlined IT processes, so they can cut down on the number of applications that are spread locally. For example, most companies today have SAP implementations in their local offices and are virtually identical except for minor changes that do not warrant a full blown IT system to be in place. As a result, companies are moving towards global IT applications that leverage the strengths of its people and reduce costs at the same time.
Need for a customer 360⁰ degree view: Companies have taken a higher interest in tracking customer interaction, thus studying customer behavior in-depth provides valuable information to target newer prospects. The entire customer 360⁰ view is becoming very critical for organizations today, especially as they move towards a global platform.
Functional versus geographical split: Instead of splitting data management systems per country, companies are gravitating to splitting functions by region, allowing each region to specialize in a given area based on the competency for each processing system. For example, looking at the automotive industry, Germany might take on the quality section, R&D might find a home in Japan and sales in the U.S. This creates a more efficient synergy between geographies rather than housing the same systems in all countries.
To keep with the pace of the competitive business landscape, streamlining of IT operations and data management processes is highly inevitable. With a phased approach and clear understanding of goals to create a more efficient data management system, organizations can make the move from local to global as seamless as possible.