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Possibilities that expand with the use of ERP and AI, which are important for promoting DX

Table of Contents

  • “DX” that started to attract attention in Japan
  • What is DX in business?
  • Cloud ERP is the key point of DX
  • Legacy can’t keep up with the latest technology
  • Summary

“DX” that started to attract attention in Japan

On September 1, 2021, the Japanese government has announced a policy to launch the ” Digital Agency “, which is expected to be the control tower for the promotion of digitalization. Due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, face-to-face work and activities have become impossible, and it has become clear that Japan’s digital transformation (DX) is lagging behind other countries.

Companies have been considering DX for some time, but the corona crisis has made it urgent for Japan as a whole to promote DX. In the IT industry, many companies see this opportunity as a business opportunity, and as they consider their future policies, efforts toward DX have begun to attract attention.

When thinking about DX at each Japanese company today, it is important to first understand DX correctly in order to keep the discussion clear. In the first section, let’s consider what ” DX in business ” is.

What is DX in business?

DX is to use digital technology to transform your business. The English verb “transform”, which is the basis of “transformation”, consists of two clauses: trans (beyond) + formo (form). In short, the meaning of this word is “to make (formo) into another (trans-) form”. It is not the same as “Change” or “Improve”.

In other words, DX is to turn what was “A” digitally into “B” . Considering the above, DX is a theme closer to business creation and transformation than business improvement, so it may be difficult for traditional Japanese IT departments to start. This is because when it comes to “creating business” and “innovating,” the strategy and vision of “what we want to be as a company” is the key.

When a company starts DX, the first priority is to discuss where the essence is and which area to start. DX in business includes ” offensive DX ,” which uses digital technology to create new businesses and services, and ” defensive DX, ” which uses the latest IT technology to make operations smarter and more efficient . However, both DX are necessary for future companies.

For that reason, not only people in the IT department, but also people in various departments such as management, planning departments, and each business department are involved, and how to digitally accelerate the priorities for realizing the company’s goals. should be discussed and made concrete .

Cloud ERP is the key point of DX

At Infor, we believe that ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) will be the key to DX.

ERP (Enterprise Resources Planning) is introduced and used to properly distribute human resources, products, materials, equipment, and financial information, which are the basic resources of corporate management, and to aim for operational efficiency and overall optimization of management. It refers to a cross-business software package . Today, it often refers to a “core information system,” and is indispensable for a company’s information strategy.

Among them, the concept that has become important in recent years is “postmodern ERP” .

“Post-modern ERP” is the idea of ​​narrowing down the core part to the minimum necessary functions, and loosely connecting modules for each business under a common architecture . The system can be configured flexibly and there is no need to integrate applications with different architectures, so planning, execution, and management work flow smoothly, all the data necessary for work can be captured, and machine learning can be used to predict and predict data. It can be used for data optimization.

It may be provided by a single vendor, or it may integrate with the core ERP through an API in the ecosystem. Loosely coupling various modules expands the range of operations that can be handled.

By having such a platform, it will be possible to link with various digital services that support DX, and it will be possible to reliably and smoothly process data flowing from the front-end mechanism and carry out business operations. .

Infor also believes that cloud-based ERP is important. Infor entered into a strategic partnership with Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2014. By using cloud services, customers will benefit from the following:

  1. Scalability
    Dynamic system resource allocation ensures optimal performance at all times
    Automatic system resource expansion based on system load
  2. System environment ready for immediate use after agility
    provisioning Always up-to-date applications available
  3. Resilience
    resource redundancy and backup services
    Advanced security and uptime monitoring

These benefits eliminate the traditional challenges of resource limitations and improvements being left unfixed, as well as enable anywhere deployment. In addition, since it can be expanded according to the business, it can be deployed according to the priority of the business, and once the data is accumulated, it can be used for various business.

In order to promote DX, it is necessary to take advantage of these advantages and change our own business (business) itself. Cloud ERP is at the core of our operations, transforming our work into data-driven and uncovering insights hidden within our work. It is precisely because of these activities that business reforms are possible in times of high volatility.

Cloud ERP contains many key elements of DX.

Legacy can’t keep up with the latest technology

That said, there are some cases where companies that have been working on “digitalization” for a long time say, “We have been using ERP on-premises for a long time…”. In addition, initiatives that utilize the latest technologies such as RPA (robot process automation), machine learning, and AI cannot be realized in an on-premises environment.

Currently, many companies are able to take advantage of AI because they are taking advantage of the features of the cloud environment.

For example, in the United States, a global tow truck manufacturer, Miller Industries, has eliminated the bottlenecks of its “legacy” systems by moving to the cloud.

By harmonizing data across the organization and providing new dashboards that are accessible to all stakeholders, they increased the transparency of their data and reduced manual checks and analysis by 80% . The next phase involves using AI and machine learning to mine data and predict future demand for chassis programs.

Results are set to automatically appear on your dashboard, giving you real-time insight into current and projected demand.


There are many things that we cannot even imagine at this point in time as to what kind of technological developments will occur in the future.

However, considering the future development of companies, we cannot ignore the situation where we cannot prepare for the increased liquidity of business and the shortage of human resources.

In order for us to truly think about the future and reach our goals, we must make the most of current cloud technologies and transform the businesses we are currently working on. Along the way, leveraging cloud ERP will be a big step forward.

* The authors of this column are as follows.

Masahisa Ishida
Infor Japan Executive Officer, General Manager, Solution Consulting Division
For more than 25 years at a foreign consulting firm and a foreign software vendor, he has been involved in proposing and implementing systemization centered on integrated core business systems ( ERP ), supply chain management systems (SCM), and business intelligence (BI). At Infor Japan, as the general manager of the Solution Consulting Division, he proposes utilization of Infor’s solutions and acts as an advisor to customers during and after introduction. US Certified Public Accountant


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