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Thriving in a World Where the Only Certainty is UNCERTAINTY

By Daniel R. Matlis, President

“The only certainty is UNCERTAINTY” declared Anton Chilton, QAD’s Chief of Global Field Operations, during his opening remarks at QAD Explore 2018 in Dallas last month.

“The pace of change is accelerating and if you can’t keep up, you’ll struggle to survive,” said Carter Lloyds, QAD’s Chief Marketing Officer.

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To keep up with the accelerating rate of change and cope with uncertainty, organizations must become an “agile and effective enterprise” was a key theme at QAD Explore 2018.

According to Chilton:  Thriving in the changing world of uncertainty requires adaptability.  To this end, organizations must cultivate their ability to:

  • READ AND ACT on Signals
  • Experiment
  • Manage Complex Multi-company Systems
  • Mobilize and execute

Is Technology the answer?

To address the challenge of change and uncertainty, companies must embrace the use of advanced technologies. With the plethora of innovative technologies available today, many organizations fixate on technology as the solution, rather as an enabler. To capitalize on the benefits of technology, organizations must begin by streamlining and optimizing legacy processes to enable them to transform great ideas into great outcomes for their customers.

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Become an Exponential Organization

Neil Jacobstein, Chairman of AI & Robotics Track, Singularity University, provided an insightful keynote on the Future of Manufacturing and Artificial intelligence (AI).  Jacobstein built on many of the concepts laid out by Ray Kurzweil, inventor, futurist and Director of Engineering at Google in last year’s event <http://axendia.com/blog/2017/07/06/thriving-in-the-age-of-mind-boggling-change/ >.  Kurzweil explained that while the human brain operates linearly, the rate of change grows exponentially.

Jacobstein discussed how organizations can leverage the exponential growth in AI and presented AI’s added value for the future of manufacturing in the following areas:

  • Augments human skills
  • Improves accuracy
  • Accelerates process timing
  • Solves complex problems quickly
  • Improves product and service quality
  • Increases productivity
  • Decreases total product and service cost
  • Manages corporate task and domain knowledge
  • Expands the range of the possible

He recommended that companies rethink every aspect of their current business processes to fully capitalize on AI.

He recommends that organizations:

  • Disrupt manufacturing with AI
  • Augment and /or automate white collar jobs
  • Plan for autonomous vehicles and services
  • Build expert toolboxes for application problem solving
  • Design for a world of “haves” and “super haves”
  • Become an exponential organization

Building the Agile and Effective Enterprise

To keep up with the accelerating rate of change and cope with uncertainty, an organization must become an agile and effective enterprise.

According to Pam Lopker, President and Chairman of QAD, “the world is shifting from full service to self service driven by the need to reduce cost, improve access, increase speed and enhance quality.”

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QAD’s vision is that the QAD Enterprise Platform will act as a service foundation for the agile and effective enterprise.

To this end, companies must abandon legacy practices and rethink every aspect of current business processes to fully transform and capitalize on the many innovative technologies available today.

While innovative technologies are transforming markets and competitive landscapes, they are not the solution; rather the enabler.

To thrive in a world where the only certainty is UNCERTAINTY and keep up with the accelerating rate of change organizations must become more agile and effective.  To this end, they must streamline and optimize legacy process and implement the latest technologies to transform great ideas into great outcomes for their customers.

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