Top 10 Technologies for your Digital Transformation

Written By: Eric Kimberling
Date: October 31, 2022

When embarking on a digital transformation, there's a huge variety of different technologies at your disposal but what are the best technologies for your digital transformation? That's what we want to discuss in this article.

It is easy to be overwhelmed by the number of technology options in the marketplace these days. There are enterprise-wide technologies like ERP systems, there are Point Solutions or Focus Solutions like Customer Relationship Management, Human Capital Management and Supply Chain Management systems. Additionally, there are other types of technologies that can help enable a digital transformation. All of those systems considered,  there are a number of systems out there that are better than others in terms of enabling digital transformation. In this article we are going to count down the top 10 digital transformation technologies that you should be aware of as you embark on your transformation journey. 

Specifically,  we want to be looking at the technologies that deliver the most innovation and the most value at the lowest risk and at the

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Top 10 Technologies for your Digital Transformation

10. The Metaverse

First, coming in at number 10 on the list, is the Metaverse. While the Metaverse is a pretty broad term, I'm not focused on any one singular metaverse. We want to look at the Metaverse in general and how it can relate to a digital transformation. Oftentimes, organizations think more of the consumer facing Metaverse, like the company Meta, formerly known as Facebook. Facebook is creating a Metaverse for gaming and other kinds of augmented reality, however, there's also a business case for the Metaverse in the industrial world. For example, Siemens and BMW are creating a Metaverse that's going to be used for product development, collaboration and testing products. This really provides a way to increase collaboration among different supply chain partners. This shines a light on just one use case and one example of how the Metaverse is being deployed in the digital transformation world. Having said that, the Metaverse is probably the one that's most immature in our top 10 list, the least proven but also has a lot of upside potential that may cause this to go up higher on our list in future years. 

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9. Stopwatch

Next, coming in at number nine, is a product called Stopwatch. Stopwatch is a solution that would actually rate higher in our top 10 list if it wasn't so specific and so focused on one industry. That industry vertical is primarily retail and distribution.  Stopwatch provides analytics and different data points throughout the value chain of the retail buying experience. For example, rather than waiting for a retailer to place an order with you, telling you that they're out of stock, Stopwatch picks up on buying signals and buying patterns to better anticipate when stock might need to be replenished. Stopwatch is a great example of a technology that doesn't require you to replace all of your back office systems but it does provide a huge amount of value at a lower cost and risk in terms of delivering real capabilities and functionalities that leverage the data and the systems that you might already have in place. 

8. Digital Adoption Tools

Next, at number eight, is a general category called “Digital Adoption” tools. Digital Adoption Tools are not the end result or the end product that is deliverable to an organization as part of a digital transformation but instead these Digital Adoption tools are supplementary tool enablers. Digital Adoption tools enable you to implement other types of technologies. These Digital Adoption tools allow the end users to have access and resources, in real time, to help them through their given workflows and processes. As you deploy new technologies, business processes, roles and responsibilities, these digital adoption tools will better help people adapt to those changes. 

Another great thing about digital adoption tools is that many of them are technology agnostic, so, they're not focused on just one type of technology or enabling one type of technology, they can be used for any type of technology across multiple solutions and multiple vendors. One first hand example is at Third Stage Consulting, we have a Digital Adoption platform that we deploy for our clients as part of their change efforts to help adapt to different technologies. We recommend you look for digital adoption tools, particularly the technology agnostic tools, that can enable a better and more successful digital transformation.

7. Infor Nexus

Infor Nexus is a Supply Chain management tool and it's only fitting in today's day and age with broken supply chains, that we would have a supply chain solution in our top 10 list. In large part, the reason why Infor Nexus is on our list is because it provides automation of Supply chains. Infor Nexus provides integration to back office systems such as financials and warehouse management sales, order management and other segments. Infor Nexus is provided by a large software vendor called Infor, which is one of the largest Enterprise Technology providers in the space. Nexus also takes advantage of artificial intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics and other data rich features that really allow organizations to get the most out of their supply chains and really adapt their supply chains to the future. For more information on other supply chain systems, including Infor Nexus, we actually have a separate top 10 list that covers the top 10 Supply Chain management Solutions.

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6. Mavim

Number six is a product called Mavim. Mavim is a product that's not extremely well known but is highly effective and like the digital adoption tools that we talked about earlier, Mavim is a tool that enables a plethora of technology transformations. Mavim is a technology agnostic tool to enable improved business processes. There are two major components of Mavim that are quite compelling. One is the business process mining capability of Mavim, which analyzes your businesses current processes, analyzes and visualizes bottlenecks, quantifies lead times and it really gives you a representation of how the systems are actually working. Additionally, it's a great way to augment human anecdotal information vs actual business data. 

5. Salesforce

Organizations think of Salesforce in terms of its CRM capabilities and that's how Salesforce started, as a customer relationship management and automation tool. Over the years, Salesforce has evolved into a platform that allows third-parties to develop other ancillary tools, products and bolt-ons that do much more than just CRM. For example, you have providers that provide full-blown manufacturing ERP systems on the Salesforce platform as well as industry specific solutions. Salesforce is a low code platform that really provides the best of both worlds. It provides a commercial, off-the-shelf system but you're also able to take advantage of other third-party tools and features that other developers have created. 

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4. Oracle Fusion Cloud

You may recognize Oracle Fusion Cloud for its ERP capabilities but that's not the reason why it's in our top 10 list, in fact there are a lot of ERP systems that we intentionally did not include in our top 10 list because they oftentimes don't deliver the business value that's expected. Oracle Fusion cloud is on this list because it's more than an ERP system. Oracle Fusion provides other capabilities and advanced technologies that are provided in the Oracle Cloud that are more innovative and deliver more value than traditional ERP systems. For example, Oracle is well known for its Enterprise Performance Management capabilities, so, in other words, being able to tie together data sets and transactional data from multiple systems in a consolidated fashion, which can be very helpful if you're a global organization or diversified organization that operates on multiple systems. Those types of enterprise performance management capabilities can be a great way to leverage the systems and the data you already have without necessarily

needing to rip out all those back-end systems. Having said that, if you do want to rip out your back end systems of course, there's Oracle Fusion ERP Cloud, which allows you to deploy a full-blown enterprise-wide technology.

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3. Odoo

Odoo is technically an ERP system and it's the final Erp system in our top 10 list. The reason odoo is rated so high in our top 10 Digital transformation Technologies is because of its off-the-shelf capabilities but additionally you can also tailor those capabilities, change the code and really customize the solution much easier than you can with the traditional ERP system. In addition, it's a very modular system, so you don't need to deploy an enterprise-wide solution, you can pick and choose different modules and different pieces of the system which allow you to really break it apart and grow into that system easier than you are able to leveraging some of the bigger, more traditional ERP systems. 

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2. Palantir

Palantir is a really interesting product that delivers massive value. Palantir leverages systems, data and processes you already use but it adds an entire additional layer of machine learning, artificial intelligence and predictive analytics to what you may already have in place. This is appealing because it doesn't require you to go through the risk, pain and cost of replacing all of your back-end systems. Palantir is a sort of highly advanced Middleware, if you recall Middleware from 20 years ago. Palantir is a solution that allows you to tie together multiple systems in an integrated fashion while also having pretty strong predictive analytics capabilities, reporting capabilities, artificial intelligence capabilities and other features that allow you to really transform your business.

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1. Snowflake

Snowflake is a data warehouse and data lake solution. Snowflake allows you to take structured and unstructured data, for multiple sources and systems and put it into a data lake or data warehouse. This allows you to analyze that data, use data science to slice and dice the data and find new meaning in the data. Additionally, it allows you to take qualitative or unstructured data and find patterns in meaning and get value out of that data as well. The reason this is enough to land snowflake at number one is because again, it's a way to leverage systems, processes and data that organizations already have. Additionally, it leverages the biggest assets of many organizations, which is the data that they've gathered over years or decades of operations and allows you to really get more meaning and predict the future, which allows you to run your business more transparently.

If you are looking to strategize an upcoming transformation, we would love to give you some insights. Feel free to reach out to me here with any questions you may have ryan.glisan@thirdstage-consulting.com

Be sure to download the newly released 2023 Digital Transformation Report to garner additional industry insight and project best practices. https://www.thirdstage-consulting.com/reports/2023-digital-transformation-report/

Author:
Eric Kimberling
Eric is known globally as a thought leader in the ERP consulting space. He has helped hundreds of high-profile enterprises worldwide with their technology initiatives, including Nucor Steel, Fisher and Paykel Healthcare, Kodak, Coors, Boeing, and Duke Energy. He has helped manage ERP implementations and reengineer global supply chains across the world.
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