The New Age of Operations

Establishments all over the world are evolving to adapt to changes in their contemporary societies. These transformations are attributable to the advances in technology, which have improved operations within entities, while at the same time opening them up to a larger global market. In a bid to stay ahead of these adaptations, operations have had to consistently review and improve their function and systems, and although this requires them to expend financial resources, the benefits derived therefrom are tenfold.  

To ensure that these organizations acquire business transformation in respect of the above, there are several connecting factors within their operations that must be managed. Some of the systems administered by this function include time and scope supervision of programs/projects, quality control, stakeholder engagement and risk management. This administrative function is often within the purview of a program management office where an entity has established one, or that of a program manager employed in-house or outsourced for that purpose, depending on the size of the enterprise and the scope of the work. This function enables the smooth running of integrated systems that in turn empower establishments to meet their business goals.  

Accordingly, a program management office or a program manager in this contemporary society is charged with the responsibility of ensuring the seamless transition from the present mode of operations to the ever-changing practices and techniques. While these responsibilities are clear, it is imperative to outline the impact of managing these facets, beyond that of improvement in performance. Why then would an entity require the initiation, management, and improvement of their systems of operation within this context?  

The aforementioned function is a structured framework that allows these entities to administer several programs and projects at the same time, both within and outside an organization. Advanced systems have adapted technologies that enhance operational agility and thereby contend with persistent changes and resource challenges. To demonstrate this, an organization could employ the use of IT models that coordinate activities much faster and may reduce the number of personnel needed for various organization activities. An effective use of these modern tools is demonstrated by the shift of physical functions to online systems of operation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. These advanced modes of operation allow organizations to breakdown the traditional infrastructure by intrinsically integrating computing, storage, networking, virtualization, management and data services. 

The opportunities brought in by technology are anything but new. For decades, advancements in the application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes have improved operational efficiency and profitability across various industries around the world. Technologies such as those handling scheduling, management of resources and invoicing, have improved the levels of accuracy, accelerated completion of tasks, and provided much needed accountability. It is evident that “time” plays a unique factor in profitability, and with the expansion of the market to a global level, an entity must handle various programs or projects much faster due to this growing demand.  

While these advancements improve efficiency and boost productivity, an additional salient feature is the security of data, where entities can save materials on the cloud, and this can be accessed remotely from anywhere in the world. Due to the advanced and increased use of these online tools, data is being generated speedily, and this on its own comes with its set of challenges. Questions on how to collect, store, manage or scrutinize this data are looming, and at the same time, a substantial number of applications or systems are being developed to handle these areas of technology. Although quite a number of these programs come with a financial element, especially where advanced tools are employed, users are faced with the additional challenge of figuring out which of these best caters for their needs. Most often than not, failure to streamline these systems leads to the use of multiple tools, disorganization, waste of time and duplication of work. 

Other challenges arising from this new age of operations include speed and accessibility issues where the traffic due to data growth slows down admission to the systems. It is estimated that 3.7 billion people do not have access to the internet, and developing countries are the most affected by poor internet connection. This affects the adaptability of these new age operations and means that it is more expensive to maintain internet facilities. 

FinancesOnline, an independent business review platform, observes that digitally transformed organizations are projected to contribute to more than half of the global gross domestic product (GDP) by 2023, accounting for $53.3 trillion (about $160,000 per person in the US), 65% of the world’s GDP is predicted to be digitized by 2022, and 70% of organizations have a digital transformation strategy or are working on one. With these statistics, it would be quite impossible for establishments to ignore the trends taking over the modes of operation, especially where this progress indicates improvements not only in the individual entity, but economies as well. The European economy for instance is expected to have a GDP growth rate of 5% in 2022 and the same is attributable to the repressed demand arising from the shutdown of the economy in the advent of the Covid 19 pandemic.  

Industrial activity has increased, and consumer behavior has had a dramatic shift in the last two years. The online market is no longer dominated by one or two sectors, and with the influx of economic activities online, there has been a rapid growth of companies. For these establishments to thrive, however, these new age systems must be managed correctly through professional means as outlined herein.  

Although the disadvantages of using these advanced means cannot be ignored, the profound reduction in tasks and operating costs, as well as the mere flexibility of use, are quite outstanding benefits to an entity. It would seem therefore that these advancements cannot be ignored, and with the fast-moving nature of technology, an emerging fear is that organizations will not just be left behind but eradicated entirely. Ultimately, it would appear that the decision to entrust the management of these aspects to professionals ought to have already been made. 

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