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Doing Business the Customers’ Way

Based on insights gathered from IT industry thought leaders, analysts and enterprise customers, We anticipate the most significant priorities in the year ahead to be companies providing real-time, event-driven data that can allow businesses to be more agile, and companies placing a greater focus on doing business the customers’ way to positively position customers for the eventual economic recovery . With the hype around cloud computing starting to fade, a greater emphasis will be placed on solving the business problem and addressing security.

Our top five predictions for 2011 include:

1. Companies will stop buying the cloud and start buying the solution.
Buying the cloud, for cloud sake, was all the rage in 2010. But in 2011, the hype will die down and decision-makers will be more cloud savvy, realizing the cloud is just a consumption model. They will go back to basics and focus first on solving a business problem, then finding a good solution. Next year, fewer IT leaders will push the cloud, and instead lead with the business problem to see whether the cloud is the right delivery model for the solution.

2. BI2: Convergence of business integration and business intelligence.
More companies are exchanging information via on-demand channels. Not surprisingly, they want visibility into this goldmine of information given the impact it can have on their top and bottom line. Whereas BI tools were once deployed as standalone products, in 2011 more customers will want bundled solutions that include business intelligence as a value add necessity. This will be the year that we’ll see more vendors looking to bundle business intelligence into their solutions so customers can benefit from event-driven intelligence.

3. Cloud vendors will unite to address security.
Fears about cloud security are the primary reason why companies continue to proceed cautiously with moving mission critical data and applications to the cloud. While the benefits of scalability and agility are well-known, the anxiety over security isn’t likely to diminish in the near future. However, the cloud industry is hearing customer concerns and taking a proactive stance to address and mitigate potential risk. In the next year, we’ll see a heightened focus from cloud vendors on SLAs, best practices and compliance that will help customers overcome their concerns about security, and keep cloud adoption and innovation on an upwards trajectory.

4. Doing business the “Customers’ Way” becomes a necessity for growth.
Like any buyers’ market, customers are in a position of power. So in today’s volatile climate, businesses will need to get closer to their customers out of necessity to maximize their relationships. To do business their customers’ way, companies must focus on customer needs, adapt to customer resources, and provide value that will impact customer bottom lines without forcing them to change the way they currently do business. In 2011, we will see more companies recognize this area of opportunity, and find ways to help customers leverage existing infrastructure with minimal added investment, integrate and automate critical business processes, build customer loyalty, and positively position their companies for the eventual economic recovery.

5. B2B becomes business critical.
B2B integration is quickly evolving to become a more critical part of an organization’s overall IT and business strategy. Over the next 12-18 months, we will continue to see more convergence and M&A activity in this space, as vendors look to add capability and global reach to meet demand. B2B integration will intersect with application integration, business process management, service oriented architecture and other synergistic technologies. What’s more, companies will demand greater leverage of legacy and new ERP investments to automate business processes and exchange information in real-time. As such, 2011 will be the year B2B integration will no longer be a “nice to have,” but a “must have” as companies become less vertically integrated and more horizontally distributed.

Over the last year, companies have been increasingly collaborating and exchanging information with external partners and customers, making B2B integration all the more critical for everyday business success. As companies continue to look to for ways to extend of the value of their existing infrastructures and leverage the on-demand, scalable power of cloud computing, we will see new opportunities to help our customers solve their business problems by helping them automate business processes and by providing real-time visibility into critical business transactions. If you want to discuss how these challenges and opportunities can impact your organisation, call us today.

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