As the economic recovery gathers pace, midsize companies are taking advantage of the opportunity to grow. Supporting their expansion are technologies that optimize time-consuming processes and provide useful insight into internal and external forces impacting the business. Oracle and its partners have a broad view of the top seven trends driving midsize companies to adopt modernized business technology, and how they are helping organizations around the world capitalize on growth. In this slideshow, Jim Lein, programs management senior principal at Oracle Accelerate Corporate Programs, has outlined the seven trends.
Click through for seven trends driving modernized business technology adoption by midsized organizations, as identified by Jim Lein, programs management senior principal at Oracle Accelerate Corporate Programs.
People who understand how to use technology solutions to solve real-world business challenges have always been in high demand, and despite the popularity of interdisciplinary degrees, technology skill training programs and specialized internships, many of these available jobs go unfilled. Companies with plans to modernize their enterprise applications systems this year should not just consider a potential solution’s capabilities, but also how easy it is to deploy, maintain and adjust in the long term. Oracle partners are seeing a trend toward more midsize companies outsourcing specialist roles, such as business analyst, while investing in training and mentoring programs to speed achievement of self-sufficiency.
Being nimble is in the DNA of midsize companies – from fast-growth startups to established companies seeing expansion through globalization and acquisition. Most growing midsize companies need to deploy enterprise applications quickly in order to lower costs, reduce business disruption and speed time to value. With a wealth of experience successfully deploying applications, partners and vendors have developed time-tested best practices by industry, geography and business need that are packaged up to account for on average 75 percent of an implementation. Midsize companies are trading in custom for speed, and as such, are live and generating value in less time than they may have spent on the RFP process itself.
In the past, upgrade projects were expensive, complicated and mandatory to stay on support: they were seen as a cost of doing business. Things have changed. Financial and IT managers at growing companies are now making a compelling business case for upgrading, developing broader plans that map out how an upgrade enables revenue production or cost reduction. Today, upgrading existing enterprise applications is often the best path to modernization, particularly when the vendor has continually invested in its solutions.
Just as snow ski technology innovation is turning the tide on a two-decade wave of snowboarding popularity, the cloud is putting the fun back in ERP. The cloud provides a predictable cost model for IT that can scale up seamlessly, and can be delivered without sacrificing important capabilities. For example, Oracle partners are experiencing frequent requests from their midsize clients to transition some processes to the cloud while leveraging their existing investments.
Not just a hot buzz word, business analytics are critical for helping growing companies to plan and forecast, offering them the power to make better decisions. Oracle partners find that even companies with $10-20 million in annual revenue are finding ROI in business analytics investments. They are the catalyst to the continued evolution of ERP — from efficiency to effectiveness to business transformation. Business analytics are hot for growing midsize companies because the products just keep getting better and easier to deploy. Analytic applications enable companies to deploy 75-85 percent of the performance metrics they need upon go live.
Professionals have come to expect consistent access to all relevant data irrespective of where they are and what device they are using — at home, in the office, in meetings, or on the road. Gone are the days of the “back office” where legions of clerks transferred data from paper to the transactional system. Enterprise application mobility is evolving, as tablets are replacing work stations, and this is only the beginning.
Not long ago, most data was tribal knowledge, siloed in one group or line of business and lost forever when circumstances changed. Now, it’s raw information living in the system and has become organizational property waiting to be put to work. Sources of Big Data include core transactional systems, online stores and help sites, CRM solutions, product sensors, smartphones, medical devices, and social media activities. Growing companies can benefit from gaining more guidance on the best way to get to where they are going as well as becoming more aware of what customers, partners, and employees are saying about them.