Report: Business technology like cloud ERP software on the rise

Report: Business technology like cloud ERP software on the rise

Published: 10/14/2014 3:15:34 PM

These days, the stock of cloud solutions for business like cloud ERP software is rising higher than Bethany Mota's career. In fact, a recent report from one of the most respected research and consulting groups in the world confirms this, and it's not hard to understand why. Inherently far more flexible and scalable than legacy solutions, the cloud enables the kind of cohesion and unified power that companies could only have dreamt of from their old on-premises options. Plus, cloud computing helps businesses significantly lower their CAPEX, which is a key benefit for smaller or newer operations looking to gain ground in a competitive marketplace.

A recent report from Forrester, entitled "Sizing The US CIO's Business Technology Agenda," looked at the difference between IT and business technology. Although the two concepts are very closely intertwined, Forrester analyst Andrew Bartels noted that they are actually quite different. While information technology focuses on the solutions that merely maintain the internal status quo, business technology encompasses the tools and offerings that organizations can use to grow revenue streams and better prepare internal departments to deal with customers and clients. For instance, according to Forrester analyst Kyle McNabb, platforms that enable companies to provide a more unified customer experiences and tools that let them get more out of CRM solutions are two examples of business technology.

As far as how businesses are prioritizing BT, the report found the following to be true:

  • Between today and 2017, spending on business technology is likely to grow three times faster than spending on IT will. The amount devoted to BT is predicted to rise by between 10 to 12 percent, while the report projected growth rates of only 2 to 4 percent for IT.
  • For the first time this year, more project-related expenditures will be devoted to BT over IT. Plus, by 2017, more than 30 percent of all tech-related spending on goods and services by government agencies and businesses in the U.S. will probably be devoted to BT.
  • The vast majority of money spent on BT today is devoted to cloud solutions for business.
  • BT spending is expected to go up by 10 percent or more in subsequent years.

"You can start changing the dynamics in your organization, and build new competitive advantage, by crafting a business technology agenda," McNabb wrote in an April 2014 blog post. "That agenda must focus on what you do with technology, systems, and processes to win, serve, and retain customers. And it starts with putting your customers at the center of your decision making. Once you do, you'll start to reshape your technology portfolio and prioritize the technologies that help your business obsess about its customers."

Why cloud ERP is ideal business technology
In their definitions of BT, both McNabb and Bartels are somewhat vague in their descriptions, especially vis a vis IT. It's almost as hard as trying to decipher the difference between a geek and a nerd. This can be especially problematic for businesses, as it can make their technology procurement decisions even more fraught with difficulties. But, by adopting cloud ERP software, organizations can be sure they have obtained quality BT.

In his definition of business technology, McNabb noted that one of the biggest roadblocks organizations face today is that they are often too distracted by outside difficulties to devote enough time to customers and their needs. Between increasingly complex supply chains, internal silos and a whole host of other issues, it's easy to see how back-end issues can ultimately affect front-end feasibility.

By serving as a remotely hosted repository of information on just about everything within and outside of the enterprise, cloud ERP software enables businesses to more effectively keep the back of the house in order and devote more time to customer-facing endeavors. In addition, cloud ERP software is ideal for bringing together all data generated from external teams and related solutions like CRM. As a result, it can serve as a central, easily accessible hub for any and all customer analytics efforts.

Business priorities as they relate to technology are changing - and for good reason. With tools like cloud ERP software in place, companies can be better suited to meet ever-changing customer demands and stay ahead of the competition for years to come.

"We believe the only source of competitive advantage is an obsession with understanding and engaging with your customers," McNabb wrote. "Your business leaders across Sales, Customer Service, Marketing, and Product Development now look to technology to help them obsess about your customers."

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