The criticism commonly levelled against enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems is that they are monolithic and generalist software slabs: suites of applications, dense with features and functions, designed to cover just about any need an enterprise might have, with a uniform user interface layered over for a common look and feel. Whatever it is you’re trying to achieve, the ERP has it covered.
For decades now, users of enterprise resource planning software have been trained to believe that all the action must take place within the core of the system. ERP is coded to be the journal of record, the beating heart of the organisation, the inner circle of work and the user’s role is to browse and input.
But I’m here to tell you this approach will soon be ancient history. Why? Because the maturing of a potpourri of technologies including cloud, microservices, smarter user experiences, AI, machine learning and open APIs mean that we’re entering a new period where users will no longer be asked to slog through roundabout processes, complex user interfaces, or logging in and out of systems, none of which work the same ways as the others.
Why do businesses buy new technology? Historically, it’s been an operational investment to reduce costs, simplify administration, speed up processes and measure results. These are admirable objectives – but they’re not differentiators. Also, they’re certainly not focused on the user experience.
For technology to transform organisations and enable them to outshine the competition, it needs to empower employees. The strength of a business solution should be judged on how it does things differently, more efficiently, more enjoyably and with better results.
An old dictum states that complex issues can be more easily solved by breaking them down into smaller tasks, writes Claus Jepsen, CTO, Unit4. The same applies for software where we are observing a shift from the old monolithic world to granular microservices. And its not overstating matters to suggest that the speed with which organisations embrace microservices will be a leading indicator of their future success.
The notion of encapsulating business functionality is not new and goes all the way back to SOA, object-oriented programming systems and even COBOL but packaged business capabilities and open APIs mean that companies are enthusiastically pursuing microservices. The reasons are not just because they offer a technically superior alternative but also because they dovetail with the broader needs of business to move faster, digitise wherever
We woke up one morning and everything has changed. Although we do our best to understand and adapt to the changing environment, there seems to be no other way to survive this crisis without having the right technological infrastructure. By recognizing the value of digital transformation in advance, some companies are a bit more fortunate in this process, but some are in a difficult situation because they have not taken a step yet.
COVID-19 has changed the way we work forever. We’re all suddenly working from home, reliant on technology and aware of its limitations. Enterprise software is helping us get through the crisis, but it has some way to go to deliver the human experience we expect.
Digital transformation is breaking new grounds and redefining the future role technology will play in the enterprise. More often than not, a majority of business focus is placed on the tangible benefits transformative applications will have on external results and, ultimately, the bottom line. In particular, artificial intelligence (AI) has risen as a main focus point for its ability to accelerate processes and help organizations remain competitive in today’s unpredictable landscape. However, the benefits of AI go far beyond improved business operations and its potential to improve the internal workplace experience is often overlooked.
Accountability is critical in business. Professional services companies are held to high standards, and client expectations need to be met. But are the goals being measured for each project telling the true tale of success?
Companies are well-accustomed to setting statistical KPIs on which to judge project delivery. From budget to actual cost, earned value to ROI, they each provide a clear benchmark. However, projects are powered by people – and the impact of team chemistry on project performance is rarely measured.
The ongoing conversation that artificial intelligence (AI) will replace our jobs has caused much concern and speculation. Workers are wondering which skills are replaceable, which will be automated, and what they can do to ensure their skills remain competitive. As an architect working on AI, machine learning and bot technologies, however, the way I see it is this: technology is going to replace tasks, not jobs.
Entrepreneurs have disrupted nearly every industry, developing start-ups that transform the way business is done. Airbnb for example has changed the world of travel forever. Today, this company enjoys a value of more than $31 billion. Lyft comes in at a cool $7.5 billion, after turning the taxi service industry on its head. FinTech firms like Stripe have created mobile payment solutions that are used by leading financial services companies like Visa. Even specialized services such as computer security are dominated by disruptors like Synack.