UXC Eclipse: Four trends to watch in 2015

“In 2015, solutions providers must exceed the expectations of business decision makers."

The relentless growth and democratisation of big data, the criticality of business management processes, the rise of subscription-based models and packaged enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are likely to be key business and technology trends in 2015.

“In 2015, solutions providers must exceed the expectations of business decision makers," says Bradley Stroop, CEO, UXC Eclipse.

"They will need to provide customised solutions that identify business needs and add value to the entire business, while offering substantial commercial and financial insights.

“They must do all of this while managing the expansion of big data and business intelligence, overcoming the risks of subscription-based models and delivering efficient software solutions and systems.”

The key trends for 2015 are:

1) Democratisation of big data, business intelligence and analytics

Big data used to be limited to large enterprises that handled massive numbers of transactions.

Now, big data, business intelligence and analytics are coming to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

In the past, SMBs that worked with large enterprises needed to employ external analytics to effectively use the big data produced by larger companies. The rise of knowledge around big data will see SMBs start deploying business intelligence and analytics internally.

This new capability to deploy business intelligence and analytics internally will help SMBs to save costs and increase flexibility when responding to market challenges and sharpening their competitive edge.

2) Business Process Management (BPM) will become business-critical

The perception that BPM isn’t business-critical will start to change. Increasing business complexity means companies that don’t retain a firm grip on every operational facet risk failing to deliver ongoing stakeholder value.

BPM delivers a 360-degree view of business processes, letting ERP consultants design and implement a solution that fits organisational needs perfectly.

This reduces the time and costs associated with having to make non value-adding modifications and customisations during and after the implementation.

Organisations will begin to realise that an ERP implementation is not about technology. It is about solving business challenges. So it is critical to ask the right questions to get a solution that matches the business need.

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3) The rise of subscription-based models and their inherent risks

In IT services, the move towards a subscription-based model is being driven by software vendors and customers who are increasingly expecting pay-as-you-go arrangements.

Choosing a subscription-based model can increase flexibility and cost efficiency, and lets the organisation align quickly whenever there are changing business requirements.

While subscription-based licensing offers benefits, it also poses risks that organisations will need to be aware of in 2015.

Organisations need to be on the lookout for ill-prepared software resellers looking to prop up falling licence revenues, or ‘rebadged’ software resellers who look like services players but are unproven with limited experience, shallow pockets, limited IP maturity, lack of process and no service-oriented culture.

New IT services companies also need to avoid ‘buying’ experience by hiring executives and delivery teams from more established providers without the necessary infrastructure to back it up.

Companies looking to capitalise on the benefits of subscription-based models in 2015 need to look for partners that have good staff and customer retention rates, experienced project managers, and solid data and security controls.

4) The move to packaged enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems

The rise of packaged ERP systems will lead to increased ERP adoption. These packages deliver the collective benefits of new technologies such as cloud, business intelligence and CRM, while avoiding the old problems of disparate and siloed information systems.

Organisations can reap all the benefits of ERP without needing to create and maintain complex system integration and software customisation.

“In 2015, decision makers will value business outcomes over technology," Stroop adds.

"They will expect that solutions providers can deliver commercial and financial insights, address business challenges and needs.

"Technology will continue to be about adding value and achieving specific business outcomes.”