Based on the current practice, it becomes clear that processes form the core of all classically structured companies. The Operations department is not just responsible for keeping the processes going, but must also ensure that they are designed efficiently and continuously optimized. In the past, this was not very difficult. Since the processes remained mostly the same, and sometimes over decades (especially in production, but also in other industries), all that was needed to keep up with the competition or even become the industry leader were small adjustments and marginal improvements.
But in the last few years, many novel technologies entered the market, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), virtualization, Cloud Computing and mobile apps, just to name a few. This has already lead to many changes in individual behavior: Meetings dates are arranged on ever shorter notice, and tasks are completed immediately on-line. On the corporate side, the large tech groups such as Microsoft, Apple, Google or Amazon, also provide companies with extensive integrated platforms, which enable them to use modern technologies and services at competitive prices at the push of a button.
This opens the door to novel solution scenarios, such as Cloud-based business applications, software-defined computer centers, connected production machines, Mixed Reality Predictive Maintenance or near-series production for batch sizes of one. On the other hand, this significantly higher flexibility and automation also means that current processes no longer work all the time, or at minimum are no longer ideal. Companies wishing to be successful in the future must use these technologies, integrate them into their processes and restructure work processes and organizational structures.