PA Consulting’s Alison Clark, a digital expert, is quoted in an article in Computer Weekly about enterprise asset management which uses First Bus – a UK bus company – as a case study.
First Bus chose not to adopt SAP which provides its main business systems and instead opted for technology from Infor. This meant that First Bus had to integrate it with its main SAP system.
Alison comments on this by explaining that although it once created integration headaches, mixing enterprise applications from different suppliers is becoming more common and less risky.
“It was once difficult, and you faced fragmented resources in support of these applications, but an API economy is opening up the ability to integrate much more easily.”
This approach is changing the relationship with suppliers and application strategy, she adds: “You used to be tied in – if you bought propriety niche technology, they had you. But now, aggregation through an integration layer allows you to pick and choose.”
Alison goes on to say that asset-heavy engineering and transport companies are increasingly interested in investing in IoT as they become driven by customers. She explains: “They are becoming more aware of customer expectations, which are being driven by private sector consumer goods companies and retailers. On a bus, for example, customers expect access to Wi-Fi and to able to tell what time they might arrive.”
Alison concludes: “Technology is dictating what end-customers want from a service and the only way that engineering and asset-heavy companies are going to keep people using them – and there is a choice – is to deliver at the base level and beyond.”