Constantly Improving Technology Essential To Survive

Tom Farrah, CIO & SVP, Dr Pepper Snapple Group
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Tom Farrah, CIO & SVP, Dr Pepper Snapple Group

Challenges in Technology in Manufacturing Sector and its Solutions
For a company like Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and probably most any other CPG company in today’s environment, the biggest challenge is around innovating ways to utilize technology to help drive growth in the business.

Solutions that can make information ubiquitous for sales teams, but also presented in such a way as to be direct and relevant to that person. Intelligent information, that comes to the user and specifically points out today’s opportunity, is what will move the needle and help drive growth.

The Big Data wave is all the rage, but the focus needs to move from the underlying technology and the task of collecting and managing the data. The value from Big Data will come from defining very specific use cases, where well aligned data can directly expose specific insights that will drive actions intended to grow selling opportunities.

Overcoming challenges to make job easier
First, the biggest mistake you can make is to ever feel that you have gotten to ‘all is fine’. Failing in operations, directly impacts your business, and more times than not results in lost sales and revenues. Instilling a mindset of continuous improvement in everything you do, is essential to stay ahead of driving operational excellence. Finding the right mix of in-house and ubiquitous infrastructure, and constantly raising the bar around operational objectives, will keep your business moving forward.

This same mindset of continuous improvement also needs to be applied to delivering great business solutions, which can move your business forward. In today’s economy, it is about consistently driving to the next competitive advantage. IT leaders must push their organizations to continuously innovate solutions that will move the business. Technologies like mobility, cloud computing, big data, etc are only as good as the innovations that IT organizations generate using these technologies. Moving your business continually forward is essential in today’s world.

Technologies giving competitive edge in the Manufacturing sector
Consumerization is the best thing to happen to technology, and the delivery of technology within an enterprise. The paradigm shift from platforms that are tightly controlled and managed by IT, to an almost self-maintained ecosystem such as seen with Apple’s iPad’s and iPhone’s, is a game changer for enterprises. Training, forced adoption, yearlong upgrade projects, even connectivity all become past issues. IT organizations can now move from delivering slow, complicated, back-office centric solutions, to focusing on designing and delivering a great user experience that people want to use everyday, and will help them grow their business.

Technology trends impacting manufacturing industry
Consumerization is certainly number one in my mind. It has the single biggest opportunity to change the paradigm around solution delivery. To make it successful, IT organizations need to break the paradigm of tightly controlled, IT centric delivery, and let consumerization be exactly what it is, a user centric platform that delivers a great user experience, and is inherent in what people do day to day. If you try to “ITize” it, it will fail.

Information will also play a big role in helping businesses break into new opportunities that didn’t exist previously. But simply providing more data will not be successful. Information must be specific and relevant to a use cases. The majority of people in a business are not analysts, so don’t treat them as such in how you deliver information to them. Deliver the facts that they need, specific to the user and the use case, and show them what they need to action. Let analysts do analytics. Give users the specific insight they need to drive actions.

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