One challenge for CognitiveScale is that – because some of its developers and customers have different preferences – it uses three cloud providers. “There was initial reluctance to put financial information in the cloud, but it’s been seamless,” says Crow. “The cloud has allowed us to have more real-time information and to work smarter.”
Wittur’s data is also stored in the cloud across the group. “This is critical for managing IT infrastructure and security,” says Sadikoglu. “The cloud is protected by strong firewalls, but it is user-friendly and makes backing up data easier.” She adds that Wittur also works with an external hosting company, which provides cost efficiencies and standardization at the group level, and avoids the need to build an internal team.
For data hosting and management, Schuman Cheese uses an infrastructure-as-a-service model. This removes worries about managing infrastructure and enables the team to scale activity up or down as needed, says O’Callaghan. It also improves disaster recovery options.
The next stage of the journey has been to start using AI, with bots that collect information to improve customer enquiry responses. It is also planning to use more intelligent automation as it implements its new ERP. “We’re putting in a system that collects information from our manufacturing networks,” O’Callaghan explains. “An example is how fast the machine is cycling, to give us an idea of output. This will help identify failure points so we can improve manufacturing process efficiency.”
The initiatives all three firms have implemented show the range of data analytics applications that are now available. Such techniques are bringing valuable competitive advantages to nimble private companies that can implement them quickly.
Patrick O’Callaghan has 20 years’ experience in senior finance positions. He became CFO of Schuman Cheese in 2020 after joining as Vice President – Corporate Controller in 2014. Previously, he worked at World Finer Foods, Honeywell and American Express.
Betul Sadikoglu has 18 years’ experience in C-suite positions. She has been with Wittur Elevator Components since 2019 and previously worked at DowAksa Advanced Composites and Aksa Akrilik.
Jennifer Crow has nine years’ experience as a CFO and has been with CognitiveScale since 2019. Previously, she worked at WellAware Holdings, Asure Software and Active Power.