from Nitin Rakesh, CEO and Managing Director at Mphasis
The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the resilience of humanity in unprecedented ways. For the first time in a century, we continue to live with a combination of restrictions on social interaction, travel and gathering. Attributes have emerged in our current life of “limited edition” as the key to prosperity. At the individual level, the ability to deal with ambiguities emerges as a key force. For businesses, this capacity has become the need to promote organizational flexibility so that people and processes are ready to move to new ways of working for an ecosystem in constant flow. Let’s look at some companies that have taken advantage of the situation and used this crisis situation to rethink the organizational architecture and engage in network orchestration.
Power supply through global energy needs
Take, for example, one of the world’s leading integrated energy companies, Chevron. Since the end of the 1800s, the energy company has made its way through the exploration, production and transportation of crude oil, natural gas and other energy products. Produces petrochemical products, generates energy, and developed future energy sources. However, the last few years have been a “wild ride” for the company. With halving commodity prices, Chevron, like many of its energy counterparts, saw a further reduction in capital budgets. At the same time, with the advent of the shale revolution, it was forced to move from large capital projects with investment cycles of about 10 years to projects with investment cycles of only six months. As a result, Chevron had to pedal in two ways. He stayed on track with the gradual, massive move toward adopting alternative energy sources. But it is tuned to accept digital acceleration at high speed for agility.
Chevron’s approach to tackling this double requirement serves as a valuable lesson for companies in these extraordinary times. After the company realized that it could no longer forecast the market, it realized that it needed to learn how to “make money in any environment.” To do this well, Chevron has made radical changes to its IT architecture to become a state-of-the-art engineering organization. The department stopped working on isolated applications and projects. It emerged as a system of digital platforms. In addition, the company is transforming its organizational culture to become a more data-driven enterprise by integrating data science applications with supply chains and decision-making cycles.
Do more with insightful logistics
Now let’s look at another interesting development – FedEx’s unusual collaboration with Microsoft. In the midst of the pandemic at the beginning of last year, the two companies established an interesting partnership. They combined their expertise to come up with data support services using the breadth of FedEx’s international digital and logistics network with Microsoft’s advanced cloud computing technology.
Although they work in two clearly different spaces, the decision of the two companies to join forces serves as a great example of network orchestration. How? On the one hand, the partnership requires FedEx to open data in its systems as a data platform. On the other hand, this means that Microsoft is providing FedEx with core artificial intelligence technology to use the logistics giant’s data platform.
Beat down for data-driven predictions
One of the first results of this collaboration led to the introduction of FedEx Surround. Using the power of data and analysis, the service allows customers of both companies to benefit from the niche experience that FedEx and Microsoft provide in next-generation logistics and technology. Customers who use the service can see their inventory activities around the world all the way to the regional and local level, providing a bird’s eye view not only of the inventory, but also of supplies and supply chains.
The reason why such a service is so important nowadays is that the pandemic has shown us how quickly working conditions in the market can change. Disruptions in supply chains and the resulting unpredictability of supplies that companies have witnessed in the last year or so are a phenomenon that may recur for other reasons in the post-pandemic world. It is in this context that partnerships such as FedEx and Microsoft promise to provide a way out of the vagaries of unpredictable variables by offering highly accurate data and insights. This includes information and updates during natural disasters, early warnings of adverse weather or traffic conditions, data on incorrect addresses and so on, all of which can help customers gain better visibility in their information supply chains. which can be taken to intervene early when necessary to avoid delays.
I believe that this kind of cooperation is a sign of the future. By using network orchestration, both FedEx and Microsoft can gain new customers, markets and business opportunities while providing experience in niche areas in partnership.
As the world slowly emerges from the pandemic, it will be vital for companies to consider redesigning their organizational architectures, including network orchestration, to cross the boundaries of their domains and surprise their customers with new products that add proven value.
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