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Business strategy

Improving financial and operational performance

This economic environment is unlike anything in the past. There has been unprecedented constraints on access to credit and capital; unwinding of over-leverage, falling demand, increased price sensitivityas consumers and enterprises cut back, and disruptions in supply chains, partner and customer arrangements. Today’s business environment shows signs of improvement, but there is much uncertainty with customer demand, business expansion and consumer and commercial credit. Traditional responses no longer suffice in the current economic environment – success requires a willingness and discipline to act with speed to exploit short-term opportunities and long-term sustainability. To achieve these goals, you need a pragmatic and robust approach to revenue optimization and cost reduction.

Is your operating model aligned to successfully execute your company’s long-term strategy? Do you need to manage and integrate your organization and processes on a more regional or global basis? Are you able to directly and rapidly implement changes to operational processes? IBM’s assessments or accelerators can make recommendations about organization and process changes that increase effectiveness, reduce costs and potentially increase revenue to help create significant value across the enterprise.

Finance and risk

Transforming finance and risk management to be a Value Integrator

Today’s CFO’s and finance departments are expected to provide their organizations with enterprise visibility and competitive edge by helping the business make decisions with a high degree of confidence. Leading organizations are becoming sophisticated in their ability to leverage analytics to better manage performance, avoid risk and address fraud.If there’s any certainty in the current economic environment, it’s that CFOs and their finance organizations are emerging from the global economic downturn with far greater influence at the enterprise level. Leading finance organizations are evolving to become“Value Integrators” by executing core Finance activities efficiently and providing the strategic insight their businesses need.

Inadequate processes and tools limit visibility and data quality, which constrains finance’s ability to develop and act upon business insights.These inefficiencies can also result in decreased control and increased risk. Our assessments deliver comprehensive solutions in critical financial management focus areas. These solutions help you address new risks and challenges and drive enterprise-wide profit improvement.

Marketing, sales and service

Optimizing channel strategy to maximize value

Social networking, increased mobility, adoption of digital channels, increased consumer expectations and transparency across industries are just a few of the factors fundamentally reshaping customer interaction. Customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and have higher expectations of organizations. Enterprises are responding by adding new interaction models and enhancing channel capabilities. However the challenge for businesses today is figuring out where to invest by determining which capabilities will be most impactful to customers.

Most companies have no shortage of ideas on how to improve the customer experience. The real challenge is to select the right set of initiatives that maximize value, taking into account the dependencies on other elements of the operating model. Making the transition to interactive marketing is a journey that begins with executive commitment to a customer-centered organization. It requires achieving a 360-degree view of the customer, engaging customers in an on-going dialog, integrating this conversation across channels, and enabling all this with a solid, scalable marketing platform that allows you to plan, execute, track, and adjust all your marketing operations flexibly and efficiently. The assessments help you gain new customer insight using time-boxed data analytics designed to provide actionable insights that prove the concept and the value of moving your organization in this direction.

Operations and supply chain

Optimize and streamline operations

While globalization has yielded improvements in market reach and operational efficiencies, it has also increased the exposure to critical supply chain risk. Visibility, a top concern of supply chain executives, is a key enabler to combat the negative impact of supply chain variability and volatility. Effective visibility enables an organization to immediately anticipate, communicate and address critical exposure to supply chain risk spanning supplier management, operational excellence and customer management activities.

While at the same time, supply chain related costs comprise the majority of their cost structure and balance sheet. Therefore, cost and capital reduction are key drivers of profitability and return on capital. Leading companies will exploit short-term cost reduction opportunities as the foundation for longer term transformational programs. IBM specializes in identification and implementation of high-potential supply chain projects designed to deliver short-term cost reduction results.Our accelerated assessments are a proven approach to create a value-driven, prioritized implementation roadmap for optimizing the value from your supply chain.

Organization and people

Aligning your workforce and business strategy

Today’s businesses remain focused on two equally important goals – the need to simultaneously drive growth yet, at the same time, maintain operational efficiency. They anticipate, though, that achieving these goals in the future will mean working quite differently than many businesses do today – engaging much more seamlessly across a wide range of geographic, functional and generational boundaries and borders. This calls for an organization to be a “social business” that is open, where the employees are empowered and talent is recognized faster.

In addition, mobile is a unique opportunity to re-think the way businesses interact with customers, employees and partners. It offers a different value – As an always-connected communications tool, it is a unique platform to build intimacy with your desired audience. Mobile gives you the opportunity to anticipate user needs and deliver more relevant interactions by being aware of the user’s immediate context. This includes location, social situation and current activity, and enables an immediate value of context sensitive follow-up actions. These assessments are designed to develop an enterprise level mobile and social business vision and supporting rationale as well as a portfolio of mobile and social capabilities, while aligning your workforce strategy.

Information technology

Increase operational effectiveness

Many companies today face significant challenges in taking out cost and unlocking business value from their application portfolios. Large, complex application portfolios require significant investments of time and money just to maintain. Disconnected and inflexible systems, fragile coupling, duplication of function and data increase the costs of routine and business-mandated changes. A focused overall application portfolio management strategy is essential to ensure a company’s business agility and ability to innovate.

As organizations grow and merge, the accompanying growth of their IT often results in a mishmash of technologies and platforms that is difficult and costly to manage. This complexity makes is difficult for IT to support business requirements and adapt to changes in strategy and business direction. Organizations should align the current IT strategy, resources and investment to changes in business direction and corporate strategy. Additionally, organizations should ensure that their enterprise architecture allows quick reaction to changes in the marketplace. Our assessments can help you define the best ways to drive rapid cost savings – given your business and application-related challenges – and enable you to be future ready.

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