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Accelerate growth and innovation

Capturing opportunities to grow and differentiate

After years of talking about innovation there is insufficient progress in deploying innovation in organizations around the world. There are tools and methods to gain new skills, but a framework for deploying innovation in an organization is still missed. Because there is no single model of innovation that works for all firms, companies get into trouble by trying to imitate a company that is very much unlike them. Companies need processes and tools that inspire collaboration on a massive scale. Perhaps most important, organizations must help employees develop traits to excel in this type of environment.

But is your workforce and talent strategy aligned to allow collaboration on this scale? Are you fostering creativity in the team? Also consider the innovations in operating models that you as a business leader can bring about to accelerate growth. Advances in mobile technology and cloud computing now allow organizations to leverage them in strategic ways to stand out from their competitors, while saving cost. IBM has several assessments that can get you started on growth and innovation initiatives, with the choice of entry points depending on your priorities.

Deepen engagement of customers, partners and employees

Transforming your organization into a social business

A transformation is taking place in how people interact and how relationships form and develop and this is changing the way we socialize, the way we work and the way we engage with our customers, partners, and employees. This shift in technology and human behavior presents an opportunity for organizations to improve everything from reinventing customer relationships to how work gets done. A social business embraces networks of people to create business value, and activates networks of people that apply relevant content and expertise to improve and accelerate core and ad hoc processes, delivering unprecedented return for the time invested.

Businesses need to make the most of a global workforce. To do this, organizations need to develop an HR capability that delivers cost-effective services to a global population, provide an infrastructure that enables individuals to collaborate regardless of location, and develop creative leaders that can deliver results in spite of uncertainty. These assessments analyze your workforce strategy and supply chain to assess performance against industry best practices to identify areas for improvement.

Drive finance efficiency

Using business insight to drive efficiency

Finance efficiency makes businesses scalable, agile and fast. Strong business insight capabilities help them drive operational efficiency, spot market opportunities, react faster and ultimately predict changes in the business environment. To enable these capabilities, you need to have far greater levels of information integration across the enterprise, analytical talent that can effectively partner with the business, and more mature analytical capabilities, such as integrated planning and forecasting, scenario planning and predictive modeling. Individually, each of these capabilities offers performance advantages – but together they offer far more. By doing both – executing core finance activities efficiently and providing the critical insights businesses so desperately need –companies can make much better decisions.

The Finance Healthcheck assessment can help chart out a roadmap for those organizations that want to use greater insight and finance efficiency to outperform their peers in the areas of revenue growth, income and stock price appreciation. And the BAO Jumpstart for Risk, Finance and Fraud assessment can provide an analysis of your highest risk areas.

Improve marketing ROI

Capitalizing on the smarter consumer

In an age of technologically savvy and smarter consumers, who are increasingly connected with each other through a number of mobile devices, tablets and applications, competing on product and price alone are unsustainable strategies for success. Social networking and mobile commerce have dramatically changed the dynamic between buyer and seller and customer expectations of service, price and delivery are soaring. Organizations need to understand and accommodate customer behavior and needs - even anticipating them - and engage customers as individuals at the right time, while providing a consistent brand experience across channels.

Today’s analytics provide opportunities to explore big data, detect patterns and reveal new insights – knowing how to effectively access, analyze and use data is crucial to understanding and engaging individual customers. Equally important is the need to provide a seamless, cross-channel customer experience to build trust, loyalty and advocacy. Where do you begin then? Whether you have already made the investments or are in the process of doing so, IBM’s assessments can help ensure you maximize the return on your marketing investments.

Improve sales and service

Winning over the “connected consumer”

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. 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.

Realizing the full potential of mobile and the connected consumer requires creating a successful mobile strategy. Complicating this is the variety of devices and platforms, employees who increasingly wish to use their own devices at work, application level and device management, cost controls, and security concerns. And unfortunately, many companies are inefficiently expending significant capital, time, resources – and worse – opportunities trying to develop a strategy that does not add much value to their brands, businesses, or bottom lines. These assessments will help you develop an enterprise level mobile and social business vision and supporting rationale as well as the strategy for optimizing your customers’ channel experience.

Manage risk, security and compliance

Achieving the right balance of control and autonomy to drive efficiency while providing policy enforcement

In a world in which the proliferation of data continues to accelerate, information security has increased as a key enterprise priority. And with continually changing regulations that govern data security and privacy, you can’t afford to be unsure whether your existing policies and procedures help support regulatory compliance for information protection. Many organizations may find it challenging to put the appropriate level of focus and resource on data protection. Hence, it is critical that the right amount of investment is made to adequately safeguard information within your application portfolio.

Leading organizations are becoming sophisticated in their ability to leverage analytics to better manage performance, avoid risk and address fraud. Our assessments help organizations begin on a path to value by assisting them with determining the biggest and highest value opportunities that can be addressed with analytics, understanding their organizational and technology readiness to embed and support analytics, and identifying recommendations and next steps for how best to move forward.

Optimize IT and business infrastructure

Driving value from IT investments

Businesses face many challenges today, including IT inefficiencies, rising operating costs, changes in technology, and an aging infrastructure. These challenges can affect their ability to control rising costs while maintaining an IT environment that is able to support the current technology and business requirements. Organizations should align the current IT strategy, resources and investment to changes in business direction and corporate strategy.

As companies and 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 it difficult for IT to support business requirements and adapt to changes in strategy and business direction. In a turbulent economic environment, many organizations find they don’t have the flexibility within their enterprise architecture to quickly react to changes in the marketplace. Additionally, new projects take longer and are more expensive to implement with a complex enterprise architecture that is not aligned with business priorities. With our assessments, you can improve the effectiveness of your IT program and transform your enterprise architecture into a source of strategic advantage.

Optimize supply chain

End-to-end supply chain insight for efficiency and growth

While globalization has yielded improvements in market reach and operational efficiencies, it has also increased organizations’ exposure to critical supply chain risk. 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. An optimized supply chain enables a firm to achieve greater functional and cross-entity collaboration and the ability to drive business optimization through the use of analytics. Supply chain optimization opens up opportunities for substantial cost reductions. Organizations whose supply chain related costs comprise the majority of their cost structure can benefit from IBM’s deep expertise, advanced analytic tools and methods.

Supply chain optimization is also central to those organizations where partnering is a core innovation strategy. To enable sustained, fruitful innovation partnerships, organizations need deeper, more integrated relationships and their ERP systems need to be optimized to ensure the collaboration is seamless, but also secure. IBM is a world leader in supply chain consulting and has several years of experience, having worked with clients from across the industries. These assessments are the best way to get started on building your supply chain for the future.

Realize value from applications

Ensuring agility and innovation through intelligent application management

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. And then, there is cloud and application virtualization added to the mix. A focused application portfolio management strategy is essential to ensure a company’s business agility and ability to innovate.

When it comes to Enterprise Resource Planning applications such as SAP and Oracle, many organizations find that over a period time the ROI from these applications has dwindled. Often this could be because of mergers and acquisitions and other developments that have changed the business priorities, but not the business processes. IBM has deep expertise in advising organizations on optimizing applications and IT-business alignment. Leverage these highly effective assessments to realize value from your application investments.

Turn information into insights

Creating business value with analytics

Business leaders today understand the future is one of heightened intelligence and awareness; one driven by harnessing the growing velocity, variety, and volume of data. The challenge is converting it into actionable insights that drive faster and better decision-making, resulting in faster outcomes, greater profits, superior flexibility, and optimal operational efficiency.

Customer, marketing, and sales analytics can provide organizations with the ability to better understand their customers by value and invest in them appropriately by delivering the right message, at the right time, with the right offer. Building customer insights through advanced analytics is how IBM is bringing science to the art of marketing. Analytics is also helping organizations make more informed strategic choices and improve finance efficiency. Our rapid but high impact assessments enable organizations to harness the vast stores of customer, market, financial and enterprise data and turn it into advanced insights for market advantage.

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