Intelligent Enterprises – Automation, Data & Digital infrastructure: Driving Efficiency – Takeaways from AIBP Insights Indonesia

At the penultimate session of AIBP Insights Indonesia, enterprise panelists from Air Asia, AnterAja, Bank Mandiri, JAPFA, Kimia Farma, Lion Super Indo, Matahari, MYDIN and Sinar Mas Mining spoke about the role of automation, data and digital infrastructure in driving enterprise efficiency. Microsoft, Talend, Veeam Software and Acer tapped on their expertise to provide inputs and observations of digitalisation among enterprises from their role as solution providers.

AIBP Insights is a series of country-focused sessions held online which brings together a focus group of ASEAN stakeholders to discuss topics related to enterprise technology adoption in the region. AIBP Insights will be held across Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam over a course of 5 weeks. The agenda is available here.

Priorities for Digital Transformation among Enterprises

For ASEAN enterprises, priorities for digital transformation in 2019 were largely focused on use(ing) digital technologies to accelerate new product/services development and roll(ing) out data-driven decision making across the business according to the AIBP 2019 Enterprise Survey. 

Today, however, in addition to the 2 aforementioned priorities, 2 other priorities that ranked poorly in 2019 – evolve(ing) ways of communicating and marketing to involve more innovative channels such as multi-sensory and develop(ing) mature e-commerce and e-business models – have risen to become top priorities.

AIBP Enterprise Survey - Priorities for Digital Transformation

As much as technology will enable enterprises to increase their efficiency with digitalisation, it is the people who will ultimately drive digital adoption and use data to develop actionable measures.

Our panelists shared their experiences in implementing automation, data and digital infrastructure and the subsequent impacts on their business as well as challenges faced in implementing digital solutions.

What are Enterprise’s Objectives for Digital and Data Adoption?

Our panelists shared their experience with the role of automation, data and digital infrastructure in driving the efficiency of various aspects of their businesses, especially in

  • Decision making
  • Collaboration and communications within the organization
  • Transforming business models and processes

For our panelists today, digital solution adoption arises from business challenges and needs, and has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As Vony Tjiu, Small & Medium Corporate Director, Microsoft, mentioned, the importance of data in decision making lies in how data helps to develop a digital feedback loop in 4 key areas – customer experience, employee collaboration, process optimization and adjustments, and transforming products. 

Grace Maila, Head of Information Management, Enterprise Data Management Group at Bank Mandiri, shared that a Centralized Datamart was developed by the bank to address challenges including inconsistent data, unpredictable needs and limited user accessibility of data. Along with the creation of a centralized data platform, the firm was also focused on providing their employees with opportunities to upskill themselves in data analytics, and share perspectives and best practices to engage employees. The effort resulted in cost savings, business process agility and increased productivity. 

In addition to increased productivity, digital solutions have allowed businesses like AnterAja, Matahari, JAPFA and Kimia Farma to adapt and make innovations in their business models. 

Bikash Parthak, Head of Online Merchandising, Matahari, shared how digital solutions have enabled Matahari to embark on a journey towards providing a customer-centric omnichannel experience. Similarly, Suyanto Tjoeng, CEO of AnterAja shared how new technologies have enabled parcel delivery, a traditional business, to provide more services and diversify the business. OT Pongsera, Head of Digital Business, Kimia Farma and Melvany Kasih, AVP Business Development, JAPFA, both mentioned that digitalisation has enabled the development of new business models.

Didit Haryanto, Product Manager at Acer, also shared how Acer’s crowd management and digital engagement measures like face recognition and body scanning initially developed for retailers was adapted to assist in COVID-19 measures like contactless temperature measurements with thermal scanning and detecting mask-wearing.

How are Enterprises Becoming Intelligent?

Today’s discussion was focused on the components of intelligent enterprises that serve various business goals: 

  • Digital Infrastructure
  • Data Analytics for Optimized and Automated Business Processes
  • Communications and Collaboration

Digital Infrastructure

The importance of digital infrastructure was highlighted by Alwan Ahimmat, Head, Business Reporting & Analysis, MYDIN, and Ravinder Mawa, Chief Innovation Officer & Chief Procurement Officer, Sinar Mas Mining. Digital infrastructure is the backbone and foundation of digitalisation. 

For Sinar Mas Mining involved in the high-stakes mining and energy sector, technology innovations are vital. The firm’s roadmap for digital innovation in business process automation thus began with laying the infrastructure including a private LTE network, VSAT and digital radio to enable wider coverage for communications to enable future digitalisation and automation. 

Data Analytics for Optimized and Automated Business Processes

Following the laying of digital infrastructure, the next step involves implementing digital solutions like data collection, clean-up and analytics to support business processes, collaboration and communications.

JAPFA, who began their B2C business 3 years ago, used dashboards that were able to control sales and get real-time, direct data from their retail stores, and software was developed to manage their e-commerce inventory and operations. 

Having ensured data-based decision making, enterprises like Air Asia are implementing digital solutions in Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and business process management with low code applications according to Dabraj Sing, Head of Digital Solutions, Air Asia. 

Ravinder shared that applications like BeSafe have been used to monitor and trace employee and contractor health statuses, their Samantha AI chatbot was reporting issues, errors and bugs, and Imemo integrated with Whatsapp and secured with OTP authentication has reduced lead time of approvals. Many of our panelists were greatly interested in the use of Whatsapp in approval processes as Whatsapp is a key mode of communication in Indonesia.

While many enterprises are adopting digital solutions, Raymond Goh, Technical Director of Systems Engineering, Veeam, observed that organizations are adopting a cautious and prudent approach to digitalisation. He also believes that it is important for organizations to leverage the data they already have. 

For organizations that have begun digitalisation, Vony observed that they were better able to adapt to covid much faster than others in terms of responding to wfh policies, maintaining employee productivity and complying with regulations. She also highlights that Microsoft Teams enabled the monitoring of employee well-being in addition to enabling employee collaboration during the pandemic.

Communications and Collaboration

Melvany shares that using solutions like Microsoft Teams has enabled employees to stay connected and conduct conference calls and meetings with ease as they work from home during the pandemic. For Lion Super Indo who did not have measures for enterprise-wide communications put in place, the company was forced to digitalise within months.

What are the Key Challenges Faced by Enterprises in Digitalisation?

A common challenge faced by our enterprise panelists in digitalisation is adapting culture in the company to accept digitalisation. Many of our panelists also agreed that data trust was also important to address in implementing data strategies. 

For companies like JAPFA, Air Asia, Bank Mandiri, Kimia Farma and Sinar Mas where data strategy is implemented from the top-down, changing the mindsets of employees and getting them to make use of new data-enabled functions are key challenges. To this, Grace thinks the challenge lies in educating and familiarising employees with data usage. Additionally, Dabraj believes that showing them the results of data usage will onboard employees quickly. Sinar Mas also set up a team for business partnering, allowing employees with a business perspective to drive data usage.

Apart from employee culture, Bikash spoke of the challenge of “garbage in, garbage out” data usage. Jimmy Kwang, Regional VP of Sales, Talend agrees and believes that the real value of data is in the use of it for actionable measures – data must be authentic, curated and accessible across the organization.

For traditional businesses operating on legacy systems, changes to their systems and infrastructure will be an additional challenge compared to start-ups starting out fresh. As Alwan mentions, this will be costly, and results and improvements from these changes will take up to years to be seen. In addition to costs, the idea of “past glory” – getting comfortable with existing measures and not seeing the potential for new possibilities offered by new technologies, is a major threat for traditional businesses like Matahari. Despite this, the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to push digital adoption. 

To address challenges in data trust and management, our solution provider panelists shared how enterprises may better embark on the digital journey. 

Raymond agreed that managing company culture was tough, and that the first step towards digitalisation is the hardest. He believes that along the data journey, data must be protected, managed, and used to meet business objectives. Similarly, Jimmy shared that it is critical that decisions are made based on clean and trusted data, and that custodians of data have the responsibility to use data in the right manner, by the right person and in the right context, keeping customer experience in mind. The goal is to drive trust for data among its consumers.

Lastly, Vony brought up the importance of not just culture, but also the role of a firm’s vision and strategy, unique potential and capabilities in implementing digitalisation. To enable a digital culture, organization mindset, openness, flexibility and employee empowerment will be important as well.

To sum up, in order to become an intelligent enterprise, enterprises have to lay the digital infrastructure, implement digital solutions, manage and use data for actionable insights, and, very importantly, push for a data-driven culture across the organization.

We will be hosting AIBP Insights sessions for Thailand and Vietnam over the next 2 weeks. Feel free to drop us a note at [email protected] if you are keen to participate.

Asia IoT Business Platform

22 October 2020

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