Leveraging a Digital Transformation Partner Service to thrive in the Cloud and IoT Eras

Leveraging a Digital Transformation Partner

As disruptive digital technologies continue to emerge at faster and faster rates, the coming years present significant challenges for any business leader seeking not only to adapt and remain relevant but to thrive in the new environment.

From a technology perspective, what will determine the fate of business entities of any size and legal structure is their attitude to, position on and strategic approach to critical digital technology issues. It’s true that the discipline of IT is notorious for specialised terminology, jargon, acronyms and abbreviations. Still, one way or another, the business leaders to survive in their industries need to make sense of it and establish a durable attitude, vision and strategic approach. The business leaders to thrive need to translate that attitude, vision and strategic approach into an executable immediate, medium and long term plan suited to the unique forces and dynamics of their industry as well as their unique business operations.

Read more

Custom Software and Competitive Advantage

The Different Roles of Custom Software and Off the Shelf Software

Since the essence of strategy is being different in a way that matters to customers, we find it curious when prospective clients consider off the shelf software for the business activities that are at the heart of their differentiation. To be clear, we aren’t against off the shelf software (we have subscription software products and a subscription software implementation service that are important parts of our business). But we see off the shelf software being best suited for generic activities the firm doesn’t want to differentiate itself on. For instance, if best practice is good enough for the HR function, then off the shelf solutions like Success Factors and CloudHR can be better than going custom (although this may not be true for firms differentiating on talent). Or if little differentiation can be derived from the Accounting function, then cloud services like Xero or Oracle Financial may make better sense. Using off the shelf software in such situations makes sense because it can lead companies to best practice almost overnight for functions and processes they may have underinvested in or not prioritise for investment in future.

Read more

Complexity, Agility and Workflow Automation

The Case for Workflow Automation

Volatile Change as the New Normal

No business leader today can deny that every business is not only becoming more complex but also experiencing an accelerating rate of change in this complexity. New competitors are springing up overnight, the breakthrough products of a few years ago are being rendered obsolete and market disruptions are springing up from the most unexpected areas. It’s true there are plenty of industries where this doesn’t seem to be the case, the industries that have traditionally been afforded the luxury of glacial speeds, stability and certainty. But we’re seeing that even in these industries the change is occurring, although perhaps more insidiously, with gradually increasing instability. Most business leaders recognise, if grudgingly, that they can’t keep doing things the same way and / or at the same speed and continue to prosper in this environment – which has been referred to as the new normal.

Read more

Choosing a Software Development Company

5 Things to Consider When Choosing a Software Development Company

Software development can be a complex process. Unlike building a home where stages such as foundations / walls / roofing each appear before your very eyes, with software development, you often don’t see anything meaningful until near the very end when developers assemble all the pieces into a fully functioning system. Much has been written about how to choose a software development service provider. Being in the business, we find some of this advice is of value and some is confusing, if not outright misleading. We won’t unpack what is and isn’t misleading as we may be biased. However, based on our experience developing and deploying thousands of applications across a range of industries and organisations of wide ranging sizes, we believe the 5 issues below to be important additions missing from the existing literature.

Read more

Every Business is Now a Software Business

Software Business

Regardless of the industry you are in, you almost certainly use software applications to support, if not carry out, most value chain activities. Depending on the industry you’re in, software applications likely facilitate customer acquisition, sales orders, billing, recruitment and induction, payroll, performance tracking as well as strategic and management processes. If you’re in a service industry, software likely coordinates primary value chain activity workflows; and analyses, models and optimises service delivery. If you’re in manufacturing, software applications likely control procurement, production, inventory management, warehousing and distribution systems. When up to 90% or more of operations can be facilitated by online software, you are most certainly in a software business. You’re in a software business even if those activities aren’t currently being facilitated by software, when they in fact can be. This is because the competitors that will disrupt you are likely taking steps to digitise every activity that can be digitised. Or they will begin their lives as digital natives, with all of their activities being run / facilitated by software. This matters because, ultimately, software is determining how well, how quickly and to what scale all the activities that must come together to serve customers are being done.

Read more