Over the past years, most mining companies have made significant investments in a range of back-end technology systems.
FREMONT, CA: While embracing a digital future, miners will need to modernize many of the legacy systems and migrate to a digital core, raising a range of considerations in moving to the cloud, adopting sound cyber risk strategies, and choosing the best approach modernizing their core systems.
The digital era has provided the mining companies with a significant opportunity to innovate, enhance productivity, reduce costs, improve safety performance, and realize operational efficiency improvements. However, unleashing these advantages might be easier said than done—explicitly considering the industry's ongoing reliance on legacy back-end technology systems.
Core modernization is focused on solving the riddle of how companies with substantial investments in legacy systems will extract more value from these systems by building them a foundation for new disruptive innovations. Other than just re-platforming legacy systems, core modernization includes creating a roadmap for building a next-generation enterprise resource planning (ERP) core that embraces rather than simply enabling digital, cloud, and other macro forces.
Whether they are striving for enterprise-wide transformation or making incremental improvements, the mining companies must consider these approaches when considering core modernization:
Replatform: Upgrade platforms through technical upgrades, software updates, and migration to modern operating environments (such as cloud platforms, in-memory databases, and virtualized environments).
Revitalize: Layer of new capabilities to improve stable underlying core processes and data. This could enhance usability with digital solutions that improve employee engagement, adopt visualization suites to fuel data analysis, or introduce cognitive techniques to strengthen reporting and support predictive and prescriptive analytics.
Remediate: Address the internal complexities of the existing core implementations. This could include reconciling master data to simplify business processes and introduce single views of critical data, integrating disparate systems to streamline data sharing with external partners, or rationalizing custom extensions and bespoke solutions to simplify system maintenance.
Replace: Introduce new systems for various parts of the core. This may mean adopting new products from existing vendors or revisiting "build" versus "buy" decisions as new entrants roll out new solutions. Ideally, organizations will use these pivots to revisit their needs and build new capabilities rather than replicating the work habits associated with their old systems.
Retrench: Do nothing—which can be strategic as long as it's an intentional choice. "Good enough" may be more than enough for non-differentiated parts of the business. The key here is to weigh the risks and inform stakeholders before taking this route.
See Also: Top ERP Solution Companies