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The Foundations of Intelligent Business

Successful execution of strategy requires alignment in every part of the business. Pockets of excellence are not enough. You need intelligence at every level – from the foundations up. So how do you lay the foundations of an intelligent business?

The CEO’s dilemma

As the leader of a successful business, you know what you want. You’re clear on your strategy – you just need to execute it. But that’s the hard part. Getting every element of your business aligned to deliver your strategy isn’t easy.

Too often one part of the business, like product innovation will be striding ahead, while other functions like IT will be slowing – draining resources, delaying transformation and putting your competitiveness at risk. What you need is for every part of the business to pull together – from top to bottom.

While the top of the value stack will always get your attention, you can’t afford to neglect the bottom line, it’s the foundations on which everything else depends.

I’m talking about IT infrastructure, the kind of things you pay other people to think about. If they don’t get the attention they deserve, they can cause challenges for the business that will require your attention all too quickly…

That’s why I say to Ultima’s clients that if they want to build what I call an intelligent business, they have to start with the foundations.

What is an intelligent business?

An intelligent business exploits the newest and smartest ways of doing things, from the best employees and partners they can find, in every part of the value chain, and aligns to work together.

Think: compelling customer value propositions, delivered with a great customer experience, through simple intuitive apps… Think: streamlined business processes, automated for maximum efficiency, carried out on secure, self-managing equipment…

The leader of an intelligent business knows they have to have equal degrees of competence at every level. It’s no use having a head-turning customer offer if your operations can’t handle the volume. It’s no use launching that whizzy new app if your servers are slow or insecure.

That’s why I always say ‘You build an intelligent business from the foundation up’. And the foundation of an intelligent business is intelligent IT infrastructure.

Intelligent infrastructure

Intelligent infrastructure isn’t a piece of kit. It’s an ecosystem of three crucial elements:

  • Ultra-secure, energy-efficient servers and storage
  • Cloud-based, AI-driven monitoring and management
  • Highly automated operational services.

There are two types of intelligence in this ecosystem: human and artificial.

The human intelligence understands the business requirement, designs the solution and makes continuous improvements. The artificial intelligence automatically monitors the performance of the system, spots if anything’s likely to go wrong, and avoids it happening by taking pre-emptive action.

This kind of infrastructure puts as much intelligence in the foundations of the business as in the upper levels.

It means less risk to business and lower cost to operate. One of our solutions can cut the time it takes IT staff to fix problems by 86%, and we saved one of our clients over 33% on their equipment costs.

This sort of reliability and efficiency means you can execute your business strategy with more speed and confidence. Innovations in products and services need never again be held back by unreliable IT.

Combined with process automation and managed services, intelligent infrastructure can become a key enabler of competitive advantage for your business. It can help you become the intelligent business you want to be.

If you’d like a chat, one leader to another, about how to build the foundations of an intelligent business, put in a call to 0333 015 8000 or send me a message and we’ll arrange a time to talk.

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