On the cusp of Oracle OpenWorld – one of my favorite industry events of the year – I’ve been thinking about how the transition to digital changes everything. Consider how digital has affected corporate business strategy for organizations in the Oracle enterprise applications orbit.

It used to be that executives would meticulously plan a strategy, move to a detailed action plan (listing the technologies needed to drive desired business outcomes) and then segue to execution. It could take years to chart their strategy. But that’s not going to cut it in today’s dynamic digital world.

Markets change in a flash, and customers go elsewhere while you’re blinking. Today, strategizing must translate into immediate action, with “continuous progress” becoming the mantra.

 Pilot or Perish

The focus is no longer on developing a strategy and scaling it but on immediate action and experimentation. As we’ve seen with our clients, business leaders are looking to dominate their markets by providing the best possible experiences to their customers and employees. They’re seeking to experiment rapidly, keep what works and discard what doesn’t.

This action-oriented approach is essential. Failing to try different technologies to power new capabilities carries too great an opportunity cost. By the time you get under way, your competitors have already innovated, and you’re stuck playing catch-up.

Enterprise application platforms like Oracle’s SaaS suite of business applications can help companies execute fast, drive quick wins (or fast failures) and identify the best areas for continued investment. We’ve been helping our clients accelerate their experimentation by applying our industry and technology expertise to understand how new and emerging Oracle software capabilities can advance their business objectives.

Turning to the Cloud

For example, managers at a $1 billion railcar provider knew they needed to quickly overhaul employees’ HR experience, end-to-end, or face losing hard-to-find skilled talent. Adding mobile capabilities was especially important because many of the employees work in rail yards without access to computers. The legacy platform just wasn’t agile or robust enough to be a foundation on which employees could help the company grow.

Bringing the company up to speed required quick and effective migration of all the company’s applications to the cloud, including human capital management (HCM) functions like HR, absence, recruiting, help desk, payroll, talent, learning and compensation. The final phase will include moving to all available cloud-based ERP and SCM modules from Oracle. In fact, at the end of the day, this company will have one of the biggest implementations of Oracle Cloud to date.

After showing initial value, we helped the company move quickly and execute as its strategy came into sharper focus. (Here’s our full thought leadership agenda at Oracle OpenWorld.)

Fast-Forwarding to the Future

Moving legacy applications to Oracle Cloud delivers the future. As companies migrate to Oracle Cloud, they gain access to continuous innovation, with new releases quarterly, and an ecosystem of partners that can help prioritize initiatives, jumpstart the implementation and accelerate the benefits.

To get started, businesses need to identify where they would like to begin and what they would like to try in order to drive desired results. With  access to advanced technologies, including a unified user interface, digital assistants, chatbots and artificial intelligence/machine learning, businesses will be able to completely rearchitect their employee, manager and supplier interactions.

While many businesses claim to understand the importance of shifting to digital, not all have acted on their intentions. Today, however, execution is the name of the game. Oracle OpenWorld is an opportunity to start the conversation on how to merge strategy with execution, and to turn thinking into doing.

Part 2 will illuminate how and where enterprises are making this happen.

To learn more during Oracle OpenWorld, visit our Digital Innovation Center at Tabletop Tap House, 175 Fourth Street (at the intersection of  Howard Street). Or contact us at OSP_Marketing@cognizant.com.

Anbu Muppidathi

Anbu Muppidathi

Anbu Muppidathi is a member of Cognizant’s executive leadership team and is a senior leader in the company’s Digital Systems and Technology... Read more