As a new year brings a lot of unknowns, it is important to keep technology priorities in check to ensure businesses stays on track. As we usher in the new year, enterprise cloud solution providers are looking to expand their focus to business buyers, not just IT and development teams.
There is a growing need for key combinations of technologies to address disruptions in any given industry or market. With labor and resource shortages continuing to plague business operations, it is imperative to utilize a multifaceted technology approach to address current industry challenges and futureproof operations.
To help businesses remain profitable and competitive this year, here are four enterprise technology strategies for businesses in 2023.
1. The Composable Reality
For the last few years, many of the top market research and analyst firms have talked about the need and recommendation for purchasing best-of-breed applications and "composing" them together in a harmonious way, known as the "composable ERP."
This challenges the notion of a monolithic ERP system itself as the center of gravity for an organization. However, what hasn't yet been formally addressed is the means by which to accomplish this composition. While many pure-play vendors in the market have their specific versions of iPaaS (infrastructure platform-as-a-service), no-code development frameworks, machine learning platforms, and more, no one has fully expanded their portfolio to cover the complete breadth for an end-to-end innovation use case. This is where GSIs (global system integrators) have traditionally played a large role, but the demand from buyers will likely be that this is an easier and faster process to procure, personalize, and deploy. Many larger software companies have procured more capabilities, but the vast majority are not natively integrated yet with their existing cloud services. This will be the year to make that the reality through a true digital transformation platform that becomes the standard glue for any given organization.
2. Mainstream Hyperautomation
With the continuous pressure on cost efficiency and market influence, there is a conflicting need for new business models and differentiation while also being cost conscious. Organizations need to prove ROI faster while also focusing on the areas of their business where the largest cost and risk occurs. More often than not this tends to center around operations and people.
What we should expect is that simply automating one given task is not enough. That may simply begin the journey. Instead, this will be a journey of continuous improvement even if a sense of automation exists. Can I make this faster, more accurate, more proactive, more intelligent? Can this continue to automate across disparate systems? Can this reach into my legacy on-premises systems and knowledge? This will become the expectation that IT teams request, as they are pressured by the business.
3. Enterprise Simulations
Businesses need to explore if new paths can help them receive inventory faster, sell more product, reduce waste, move into new markets, or even assess how they can react to new market situations. Performing large-scale simulations like this can certainly be done in test environments, but that comes with an excessively large overhead of data migrations or refreshes, process refinements, and eventual porting of changes to production. Business users will want access to simulations in the context of their daily work. For instance, if a procurement specialist is working on an order and thinks this might be her opportunity to work with a new vendor of choice, then perhaps technology will enable her to simulate that decision based on the mass data profiles and machine learning and optimization models running in the background. If the user likes the result, then they can gain more confidence in the path and ultimately make better decisions that affect the overall business significantly. It should no longer be the bottleneck for changing a business process for better decision-making.
4. Enterprises Becoming Creative Agencies
As the workforce evolves and the business becomes increasingly more pressured for ROI-based innovation, the C-suite will want technology solutions that empower their workers to be creative in safe yet measured ways. They will want to exploit the creativity of every member of every department without having to procure myriad of tools and put stress on IT to provide project spaces. Instead, this should be engrained into the enterprise software experience. Employees will be better able to manage supply chains, resolve issues and escalations, optimize planning and inventory, and more. Companies will look for a trusted partner in an enterprise software vendor to empower and embrace the fact that lack of standardization in innovation can actually make you differentiated in your market.
Rick Rider is vice president of product management at Infor.