Operations has not historically been an excitement-inducing topic in the minds of business leaders. Considering its close association with notions such as “optimization,” “cost-reduction” and “back-office,” operations’ lack of glamour is understandable.
However, this area is experiencing a spotlight moment. Under mounting pressure to provide elegant, simple and fresh customer experiences, businesses have discovered that the only way to achieve this goal is to ensure the processes that deliver these experiences are themselves built for simplicity, elegance and ingenuity.
The operations renaissance
With the evolution in technologies such as process mining, process and IT automation, and artificial intelligence (AI)—along with increased adoption of design and systems thinking—a plethora of new tools is available for companies to future-proof their business by radically modernizing their operations.
In this context, operations is emerging as a vibrant space of innovation in which reimagined processes, cutting-edge technology, data and people blend to not only deliver efficiency and agility but also considerably improve experiences for customers and employees and create new value for the enterprise.
In recent Economist Impact research supported by Cognizant, business operations surfaced as a top priority for senior executives. At least one-third of respondents rated data-driven operations, automated and effective end-to-end business processes, and operational alignment as business-critical priorities. An additional one-third said they were a high priority (see Figure 1).
Businesses crave aligned, automated, data-driven operations
Respondents were asked to what extent their company’s corporate strategy prioritizes the following. (Percentage of respondents saying “business-critical” or “medium/high” priority)