#Improved #Operations #Embracing #Power #Automation
Andrew Lennox is a passionate IT professional responsible for implementing strategic and transformational initiatives to support business development. His impeccable technological proficiency and leadership qualities have led his organization to higher productivity and efficiency in business.
In an interview with CIOReview Canada, Lennox shares his insights on how technological transformations drive the business and the possible challenges in the landscape.
Can you provide an overview of your career journey and current role at Purdys?
I serve as the information technology vice president, and my expertise lies in organizational transformation. My key responsibility is serving our customers by modernizing the company’s systems, networks, and overall business environment, aiming to enhance its competitiveness in the market. While my proficiency lies in technology, my primary focus has always been on the business. My role centers on introducing automation, including robotics, and advancing our digital capabilities to align the operations of the organization’s retail and manufacturing departments while simplifying our environment.
What are some of the challenges that instigated the need for digital transformation in your organization?
Purdys’ emphasis on customer service and retail resulted in reduced technology investment over time. The resulting technology deficit was the first major hurdle we needed to address. Remote work became a new norm with the onset of the pandemic, necessitating the company to upgrade its infrastructure to support video conferencing, ensure our data centers’ resilience, and enhance our security posture.
What strategies did you implement to address these challenges?
We addressed these challenges by partnering with Rogers Communications to outsource network management and bolster security by partnering with Sophos for our numerous store locations. Simultaneously, we shifted our focus to updating our applications, particularly our enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. We implemented initiatives to streamline and unify our systems, consolidating two major applications into one, our CloudSuite Industrial ERP. Transforming our ERP to a cloud-based software-as-service model has helped us create a centralized single source of truth, the hub for all our data and business processes.
“Encouraging the team members to experiment with the latest technologies and leveraging the applications of AI can help the organization optimize various aspects of its IT operations, such as code generation and process development.”
We also included cloud-based tools into our system by adopting Office 365, a significant step in modernizing our IT infrastructure. Outsourcing our cyber security operations has also helped us fortify our security measures.
How does encouraging the adoption of newer technologies enhance the operations of a company?
Embracing innovation and endorsing entrepreneurship can substantially impact transformation. Encouraging the team members to experiment with the latest technologies and leveraging the applications of AI can help the organization optimize various aspects of its IT operations, such as code generation and process development.
In the future, integrating robotics into the system will improve the organization’s manufacturing processes. Developing infrastructure and judiciously utilizing data can form the foundation for accommodating automation and robotics in business and IT.
How can organizations cope with various evolving technologies in the market?
Change management is the most challenging aspect of digital transformation. Approaching projects with an enterprise-focused perspective ensures ownership and commitment from various business teams. Employing business experts to lead the projects, with the assistance of analysts, can be an effective way to adapt to change management.
Implementing comprehensive training programs that include on-the-job and continuous sessions can be instrumental in seamlessly adapting the employees to the new technologies.
How do you keep up with the relevant technological innovations when the trends are rapidly evolving in the market?
Adopting new technologies that align with the organization’s specific challenges is an effective way to navigate the trends in the industry. Instead of striving to keep up with all the trends in the market, identifying key issues and subsequently exploring the technological solutions that help mitigate them can ensure that we remain focused on the most relevant needs of the organization.
What advice would you give to your fellow peers and colleagues in the industry?
Always remember that our role is to eliminate technology as a barrier to conducting business. Technology should never overshadow the core business problem you’re striving to solve. Keep the business problem at the forefront of your decision-making processes, and utilize technology to effectively address it.