Increasing Agility in the Enterprise with Digital Technologies

Gaja Nagarajan, Managing Director, Information Technology, Maxim Integrated [NASDAQ:MXIM]
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Gaja Nagarajan, Managing Director, Information Technology, Maxim Integrated [NASDAQ:MXIM]

Gaja Nagarajan, Managing Director, Information Technology, Maxim Integrated [NASDAQ:MXIM]

From the click of a button on a mobile app, we can get delivery of food, goods, and even maid and home laundry services. Millennials, in particular, are now more tuned towards self-service for many day-to-day needs. Their habits, along with those of Generation X consumers are, in turn, influencing the technologies that enterprises are integrating into their environments, bringing greater agility to workplaces.

It’s a great time to be in the midst of these massive revamps of enterprise business technologies. Whether companies are global or “glocal”, cloud adoption has been a strategic initiative. We’re seeing rapid adoption of cloud computing via multiple combinations of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS). The days when enterprises used to plan three to five year roadmaps to expand, improve, and optimize their data centers are in the past. So, too, are dedicated data centers for each enterprise, as we see consolidation across various infrastructure, storage, and network vendors. Large enterprise software houses have realized this and have, accordingly, increased their pace in cloud offerings to be relevant amongst cloud-only vendors.

Employees are now learning unique IT troubleshooting skills, thus minimizing and/or (to an extent) eliminating the need for a dedicated IT helpdesk. In an effort to become more agile, executives and decision makers have begun demanding workflow approval engines that are not tied to specific software or business tracks. Like news aggregation services, universal worklists are taking shape, presenting tasks and business transactions to approvers to review/validate and consent to/deny. With heterogeneous application portfolios being a reality for everyone, it has become critical for business leaders to eliminate logins to multiple applications to review/ validate and approve each to-do list. In fact, it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see enterprise digital assistant products in the near future, handling our digital desk to initiate and perform business transactions to reduce wait and cycle time.

IT Departments Reinventing Themselves

In enterprises of various sizes, offices of the CIO have been rebranding themselves as the Chief Innovation Office. This move has been happening as IT works to reinvent itself as a profit center rather than following a traditional cost center model. To be relevant, IT is expected to lead the way in harnessing big data analytics and converting information into powerful tools for agile decision-making. Traditional IT is going through a rapid makeover with almost all emerging cloud technologies creating an enhanced workforce with multiple DevOps skillsets for reducing cycle time and increasing agility.

Maxim Integrated, a semiconductor industry leader, has always embraced technology integration as one of its key differentiators for its products and its customers. Maxim’s HR organization is dedicated to its key customer—its employees worldwide. As part of its HR transformation journey, Maxim’s HR team took a bold initiative in 2010 to convert all of its HR processes and document management systems to a cloud-based solution. The company replaced its aging HR tools/ applications with Workday, providing employee and manager self-service. Over the last several years, Maxim has continued with its transformation, resulting in a zero footprint of internal systems. Currently, the company’s HR system (Workday) and global payroll on cloud (ADP) seamlessly interact with the global time and attendance system (Kronos), global rewards and recognition system (OC Tanner), and global learning management system (Cornerstone OnDemand).

Robert Noyce, Co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and Intel Corporation, once said, “Innovation is everything. When you’re on the forefront, you can see what the next innovation needs to be. When you’re behind, you have to spend your energy catching up.” With rapid globalization and the information revolution, it is now a survival necessity for enterprises to not only adapt to change but also be adept at it.

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