Is the age of the digital enterprise upon us?

Is the age of the digital enterprise upon us? With a background in IT and Business Transformation stretching back nearly 20 years Matthew applies his proven business, analytical, process, team and customer skills to help businesses innovate, grow, achieve and maintain their success through Business Transformation and Innovation. Starting two decades ago in Military Research as a published scientist and working in large transformational programmes ever since, Matthew delivers practical real-world advice and guidance on topics ranging from business discovery, solution design, business automation and transformation, board ready business case creation, governance and control, team staffing and business innovation. Matthew specializes in bridging the gap between IT and Business architecture and has extensive experience with integration, information management and process management. This experience extends across many vertical sectors.

Matthew Smith, UK director of business solutions, Software AG

Analyst houses IDC and Gartner are of the same mind: the age of the Digital Enterprise is upon us.

In IDC’s view: “For the past several years, the IT industry’s transition to the Third Platform, built on mobile computing, cloud services, social networking and big data analytics technologies, has dominated the annual Predictions…for 2013, IDC predicts the transition to the Third Platform will shift into high gear, as the industry accelerates past the exploration phase and into full-blown, high stakes competition.”

Gartner VP and Fellow, David W Clearley, puts it this way: “These strategic technologies are emerging amidst a nexus of converging forces – social, mobile, cloud and information. Although these forces are innovative and disruptive on their own, together they are revolutionising business and society, disrupting old business models and creating new leaders.

“As such, the Nexus of Forces is the basis of the technology platform of the future.”

As these elements come together, it does look as though this year will witness a radical change in the way we work and do business, both individually and collectively. So, as businesses we must ask ourselves whether we can survive if we are not digital.

And it’s not just analysts saying this, as customers too are poised for radical change. 

A recent survey of 800 attendees at Software AG’s Process World conference confirmed that big data, cloud, mobile and collaborative technologies will achieve an increase in adoption rates of more than 20% over the next two years.

The simultaneous adoption of these technologies is having a two-fold impact. It is significantly changing the way the enterprise does business and at the same time is accelerating the organisation’s reaction to changing customer and market behaviour.

The research findings reinforced this. More than 20% of respondents expect big data management and collaborative work practices to open up major business opportunities.

Nearly one third (30%) similarly see cloud and mobile applications as driving new business, while more than 40% see business process management (BPM) as the key technology underpinning the digital enterprise.

In order to drive and enable fundamental change, at ProcessWorld 2012, Software AG announced a  major update to its webMethods and ARIS business process product suites, focusing on integrating big data with business processes and the cloud.

Wolfram Jost, Software AG CTO, highlights how the survey’s findings underlined the importance of this development strategy: “Driving the adoption of these technologies is the need for faster, better informed business decisions. Yet the real-time data, rapid scalability and fast decision-making enabled by these technologies is of little use if companies still take months or years to implement business process change.

“The market will not wait. By integrating business processes with big data, the clouds and both mobile and collaborative applications, we are giving enterprises an uninterrupted rapid response service to changing market conditions. We have developed  webMethods 9.0 and ARIS 9.0 in close co-operation with major customers and this survey shows we are on the right track.”

This is no mere cosmetic change. Organisations can save billions of pounds annually and dramatically increase operating profit by adopting and implementing such strategic technologies.

For each enterprise therefore, the ability to survive and thrive in the months and years ahead will depend on how ready the business is to take this Nexus of Forces on board and get the most value from each of the four cornerstone technologies.

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