Business faces an onslaught of transformational technologies in the coming years, everything from connective devices to decentralised solutions like blockchain; to new ways of delivering broadband from 5G. These will all have tremendous impacts on the evolution of digital transformation, says Dell Boomi’s Chief Technology Officer, Michael Morton.

Digital transformation is about adopting the technology necessary to move your business forward to be competitive — but it’s more than that. Digital transformation can move society forward to better humankind.

That is how Morton explained the importance of digital transformation to the audience at the Boomi World conference in Vegas last year.

According to Morton who was moderating a panel on business evolution, said there are always business challenges in changing business conditions, and discussed how companies have successfully used technology to address business problems with his fellow panellists.

He explained that clients and their technology vendors must understand the impact that new policies and regulations will have on their operating environment as governments across the globe introduce legal and compliance frameworks to address privacy and competitive concerns.

“But now there is policy. You have GDPR. You have the disintegration of net neutrality — so many of you are thinking that you are going to have a data plan, and what is going to be the impact to your business around integration because of that? It is our responsibility at Boomi to know what these technologies are about. But it is also our responsibility to learn from you what the impact is going to be to your business,” Morton said.

Michael Morton, CTO, Dell Boomi

Among the panellists discussing their digital evolution experience was a Boomi client from the people technology division of American Airlines. The client walked the audience through how the commercial carrier relied on Boomi’s integration platform to connect hundreds of external and internal systems after American Airlines merged with US Airways in 2013 to form the world’s biggest airline.

“As typically happens in mergers, we ended up inheriting two sets of legacy applications and we quickly started our work of consolidation. Our strategy was to take the big applications as our end state and merge the smaller applications in there,” he said.

“But as we started we stumbled upon what we believed was the secret sauce — our employee experience became our strategic focus. We came to believe that our customer experience will never exceed our employee experience. And so we started looking at our legacy systems and quickly came to the realisation that neither of the systems was going to give our employees a great experience. We were not satisfied with good enough — we were going for great.”

The client described how American Airlines started looking for the best-in-breed solutions and, with the help of Deloitte, selected SAP SuccessFactors human resources platform and Dell Boomi as the integrated backbone that connected this new HCM system to the rest of their enterprise.

“We started in late 2015, and we have launched all our phases as of first quarter 2018. We have about 350,000-plus active and former employees that are using the system and over 150 applications running in Dell Boomi.”

Morton then turned to another Boomi client on the panel, Olive Perrins, Service Strategy Manager at Sky Media. Perrins discussed how Sky prioritised business outcomes ahead of technology problems. That is, the company thought about the business problem and business outcome first, then achieved the desired result that happened to involve the integration of IoT technology.

“I think we had a very limited understanding of IoT,” she said.

“And broadly we had two criteria. We supply the signal to the home, and we distribute it around the home to connect customers to what they love — our content. What we failed to foresee was just how fast customers were adapting to technology and the effort they put into telling us about their devices.

“If we are not using that to personalise the service, then we are missing a trick. I think it’s the next opportunity for us to take that information and to use it intelligently to make things better,” Perrins said.

About the author

Melina Gouveia is a freelance writer and contributor to the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit of which Dell Boomi is a corporate member. Our members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.

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