The Business Imperative for Next Generation Business Management Software
Waiting is risky. Inaction is dangerous.
As a small or midsized business (SMB) operating in a rapidly evolving marketplace, the right business management software can create and differentiate your brand, giving you a decisive competitive edge. Speed and agility — two attributes of “next generation” software applications — are business imperatives in a world where on time is late and next day is so yesterday. Is it time for your organization to consider a generational move?
There are several focus business areas where next-generation technology make the difference: Operations & Financials (ERP), Customer Experience Management (CRM), Employee Experience & HR (HRMS), and strategic IT infrastructure and security guidance and support. We’ll visit each of these focus areas in detail in upcoming posts, but first, what do we even mean by next generation solutions? And, if your existing software is working fine, what’s the hurry to make the switch?
What is a next generation solution?
When we refer to the next generation of business management solutions (also referred to as Digital Operations Platforms, or DOPs), we’re largely pointing at scalable, cloud-based, SaaS applications with embedded Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics capabilities. And we’re also talking about the right services and support that help protect and maximize the value of those applications.
Cloud-based applications free organizations from the constraints of buying, configuring, managing, updating, supporting, and securing an in-house server and the applications that run on it. And with that freedom comes power. Cloud-based applications run on the vendors’ servers. These servers are some of the most powerful pieces of hardware available, and they are managed, monitored, and updated around the clock. Of course, there are a myriad of other business benefits of cloud-based applications, such as anytime/anywhere access, lowered IT costs, predictable expenses, improved security, and more.
Another attribute of next generation (DOP) applications is embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI), BI and data analytics capabilities. We’re talking smart capacities that allow your business to be proactive and predictive, not reactive. We’re talking automated workflows that minimize the need for human data entry. We’re talking deep operational analytics tools that learn as we use them. These capabilities are fundamentally changing the way we use business software and will only continue as the technology improves, and our imaginations embrace it.
In order for companies to realize the value of their next gen applications, it’s crucial to wrap the applications in the next generation of strategic IT and business consulting services. Next gen services will always include security and may also include tactical offerings such as business process reviews, virtual CIO/CTO offerings, and even cloud hosting services. A strategic IT and business consulting partner will speed and simplify a company’s digital transformation, maximize its investments in technology — turning next gen applications into next gen solutions.
Why switch now?
In an earlier post on this topic, we spoke to the speed imperative – how companies that can pivot and adapt to changing conditions quickly have the best chance for success. The pandemic accelerated the need for speed. Twilio calls the pandemic the “digital accelerant of the decade,” noting that Covid-19 accelerated companies’ digital transformations by an average of six years. Now, we don’t necessarily recommend doing something just because everyone else is doing it, but in this case…
If your competition is investing in their technology infrastructure, upgrading to next generation business management solutions and services and you are not, you’re taking a big risk. And don’t think you can rely on old-fashioned personalized service and the human touch to get by. Your competitors running next-gen applications are out-personalizing and out-touching you, guaranteed.
Next steps to next gen
Digital transformation, DOP, next generation solutions — different terms for ways to align your company’s technology infrastructure with your plans, strategies, and goals to improve your operations today and support future growth initiatives. Your company’s business management software is your primary source of capacity, competitiveness, innovation, quality, and agility, so make it count. If you’ve got questions about your company’s digital path, contact us here or give us a call at 800-719-3307.