Decision Support Systems

Solutions – Decision Support Systems

21st Century Board Room

As business becomes global and as markets shake-out with mergers and acquisitions the ability to manage a structured yet flexible business plan to meet the core business objectives in line with the organisation’s mission becomes increasingly complex.

Diegesis aim to assist organisations to implement effective board room ‘business technology’.

There are two aspects to this:  the management and facilitation of board activities and meetings (including board agenda, board schedule, reports, meeting notes, meeting minutes, compliance activities, collaborative report creation, consolidating board input, access to regulatory information and support …) and the delivery of information including business and market insight, to support effective decision making and performance assessments.

This second area starts with the ability to manage and monitor the business plan and associated business activities in a flexible, user friendly, structured and measurable manner.  Being able to correlate activities in direct association to the core business objective which they support and then monitor performance against the key performance indicators (KPIs) on a real time basis provides a level of control and agility that many companies still fail to achieve.

The enhanced speed of response to change, the ability to grasp opportunities with full clarity of the associated risks/rewards and the ability to delegate performance metrics as the business adapts to market forces provides a level of agility, with appropriate controls, to out-manoeuvre the competition.

Link to this up-to-date performance metrics from each of the business areas at a level of granularity defined by the members of the board (along with drill down metrics to assess underlying causes and implications to the headline metrics) and Diegesis can deliver an environment which gives the board the information delivery/access to provide the appropriate oversight, direction and control to succeed.  It also provides the ability to intervene, where necessary, at the most effective time when performance is not on track or where new opportunities are there for the taking.

Knowledge Discovery & Knowledge Management

Much has been written about knowledge management; much of it is insightful and valuable; however there is a great deal of theory and comparatively little focus on actually delivering true business value.

At Diegesis we are focussed on the delivery of business performance improvements.  We work with clients to focus on those areas of knowledge management that, when supported by effective technology, deliver an improvement to the business in the short to medium term and provides a sound platform for long term and ongoing improvement.  This is often focussed on ‘information management’, the extraction of valuable insight from information, the support of business analysts and the dynamic environment within which virtual and ad hoc teams can form and the tools to enable them to perform.

However, for more advanced organisations who have already invested in the area of knowledge management Diegesis can provide some valuable enhancements.  The understanding of the value of individuals, including their past experiences, and the ability to locate and leverage appropriate and diverse skills within global organisations is one area.  Another is the ability to extract insight from complex information sources to enable rapid correlation of information from multiple diverse sources (including documents, files, databases, intranet, web and application silos).  Diegesis have also done work in the area of translation and transliteration to allow business analysts to assess information stored in other languages and to at least gain enough accurate information to know whether a full translation would be beneficial to their objective.  This helps to remove geographical and some cultural barriers to effective knowledge management and opens up the global information/knowledge stores for leverage throughout the organisation.

These complex strands of knowledge management and knowledge discovery can be integrated and delivered in an easy to use manner that supports the change to working practices and daily routines which often result.  By definition knowledge management involves the human factor and the impact on individuals needs to be considered and managed in relation to the culture of the organisation if the benefits are to be maximised.  Diegesis will work with you do assess the likely impact of any technology implementation on working practices, processes, and the opportunities enabled by greater flexibility for working practices to ensure an appropriate plan for education, training, roll-out and support.

Business Technology

For many years companies have been delivering ‘Information Technology’ or IT.  Diegesis continue to do so as information management (IM) and information technology (IT) are still a significant part of the overall technology estate which supports business today.  However, we are heavily focussed on what we term ‘Business Technology’; technology which delivers a true business benefit to the organisation and which takes into account the human factors and the complex business relationships which organisations today have to maintain.  This focus on delivering a return on investment (RoI), whilst assessing appropriate technology from the perspective of the business outcomes achieved, sets us apart from many of the other systems integrators today.  If you want a company with whom you can discuss your business objectives and required outcomes without the need to architect a technical solution yourself then Diegesis can support you.

We specialise in understanding the business imperatives of our clients and assessing where technology can be a successful enabler or part of change for the better.  We then assess technical options, architect the optimal solution to meet the desired future state (within the bounds of client budgets, ROI requirements, policies and culture) and then focus on delivery to meet the agreed business objectives.

Process Efficiency & People Productivity

As the local economic climate combines with the forces of globalisation the pressure for improved efficiency increases.  “Faster, cheaper and better” is an often quoted phrase. Organisations from public sector to private enterprise have an increasing focus on the measurement of efficiency and performance.  The increasing implementation of performance management and monitoring systems and the use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) is shining the spotlight on individual, team, departmental and business performance and efficiency.

Diegesis works with clients to enable processes to be simplified, shortened, improved or even removed.  The combination of process change with effective use of business technology has demonstrated significant results.  Deliverables in this area are wide ranging depending on the challenge being faced, the culture of the organisation and the required level of security relating to the process or the information flowing within the process.

Solutions in this area where technology has been introduced to enhance or enable process change include:

Business Process Management

Incorporating workflow technologies to assess, model, modify, manage and report on processes which can be human centric, information centric, technology centric or anywhere in between.  Visibility of processes and their interactions can show inefficiencies and opportunities for improvement.  ‘Work queues’ for individuals and teams can ensure rapid responsiveness as well as advanced visibility of when additional resources will be required to meet agreed service levels.  Effective process management can reduce audit overheads, increase the ability to ‘comply as standard’ with the multitude of regulations and provide added automatic metrics which enable transparency for performance management.

Information Transition

Converting information from one format to another can change the process and processing options available.  As one example – Diegesis deliver document and content management systems often combined with data capture solutions which enable the automated and semi-automated capture of information from paper documents, electronic documents, forms, text, web pages, print output and other information sources with the minimal of manual data entry.  Once in electronic form e.g. a scanned document image with associated data captured at scan time, geographic boundaries and physical restrictions are removed – opening the way for multi-site processing, off-shore outsourcing; improved business resilience; 24 hour processing without paying overtime (through effective use of world  time zones); self service for customers, suppliers, business partners or trusted associates.  At the same time speed of access is improved, multiple people in different locations can view the same document without duplication and mailing costs.  Automated approval processes can be implemented and the speed of processing can be dramatically increased.

Integration

Numerous processes that currently run in disparate systems can be improved by effective integration of those systems.  See the section on Systems Integration for more details.  This can be especially prevalent for companies working consistently with a core set of external organisations such as suppliers, customers, business partners, and consortium associates.

These are just some of the areas Diegesis can assist you with.  Contact us for support in improving your business processes.

Systems Integration

Numerous processes that currently run in disparate systems can be improved by effective integration of those systems.  This can be achieved through a number of methods depending on the objective of the process and the desired business outcome.

Combining data into a single data structure where analysis can be performed against correlated criteria can improve the ability to see trends, to analyse opportunities and to spot rogue factors which could upset the overall performance.  Business Intelligence software can be utilised effectively in this environment where the sources are primarily data centric.  More complex analytic tools which enable similar interrogation and correlation of information stored in diverse non-data sources provides additional scope for an organisation to leverage incumbent information.  Such information can often sit valueless within silo‘ed repositories and ‘corporate knowledge’ is the poorer for failing to make use of existing and historical information and lessons learnt previously.

Alternatively removing manual steps from a process and reducing the duplication of data entry through the automated transfer of data between systems which are currently unconnected can have a dramatic effect on productivity and accuracy for a comparatively low investment.  Such straight forward integration has been shown to reduce data entry errors, increase data quality, reduce costs and free up staff time for more valuable tasks.

Another aspect of integration is the ‘virtual integration’ of multiple disparate data sources for consolidated searches.  This is a high level aggregation of all the core systems required for a given process – allowing one search criteria to be entered which then runs against multiple disparate data sources including document stores, databases, line of business applications and intranet/web sites.  The user does not need to know which data sources are being interrogated and needs only the one log-on to run the search appropriate to their role and task.  This provides greater usability, faster access to information required to perform a task, reduces research time for core projects and speeds ‘time to performance’ for new joiners and ad-hoc team members.  This is a particularly effective method for rapidly integrating information from the user perspective during mergers and acquisitions.