It is finally starting to feel like trends in enterprise application and businesses’ requirements are getting more aligned. There is a fundamental change ongoing on both fronts. The software industry is transforming itself and the availability of on-demand, cloud-based solutions has broadened, competition has become more diverse ja solutions are available literally instantly everywhere. Cloud itself has become a commodity and largely the new norm.
At the same time, decision makers have become demanding yet less exigent at the same time. Expectations for consumer-grade usability, agile adoption, short innovation cycles and short pay-back times on investments are getting higher. On the other hand, demands are nowadays more relaxed with regards to the urge to go the extra mile in seeking overly fantastic compliance with every single requirement. Good enough is finally good enough. It is getting harder to justify (let alone finding funding for) endless solution polishing.
Hypergrowth of information volumes combined with a quantum leap in the ability to distribute and process information (IoT, Big Data, mobility, Social, transparency and increased velocity) has led to accelerated complexity.
It is time for simplification. It doesn’t mean we should do less, it means linearity and efficiency. It is about new solutions which yield results faster than before and more accurately. New technology enables simplified architecture, service-based structures and real-time capacity optimization.
The digital and networked world provides practically endless opportunities. Smart applications provide competitive advantage and simplicity enables agile transformation with less investment. Information can be harnesses more extensively than before and information processing has become unbelievably efficient, versatile and reliable. Advanced real-time information management paves the way for unprecedented means to build smart solutions which help businesses understand their customers’ true needs and behavior. Consequently, managing resources becomes more accurate and predictability is enhanced.
Smart applications combine different capabilities and amalgamate them into fit-for-purpose solutions. As an example, pricing as a process or discipline or commerce can benefit enormously from turbo-charging standard solutions with mass-customized extra functionalities. A smart solution can also be simply a meaningful and seamless integration of standard solutions which bundles capabilities into a smarter ensemble – scrap unwanted excess and fine-tune the solution for a specific requirement.
SAP is bringing simplicity to solutions and the eco-system charges them with customer specificity and intelligence. Even the simplest solution is rarely plug-and-play. Process compatibility and implementation still needs to be done by an appropriate IT business partner.
The role of the partners is changing and becoming more challenging. Paradoxically, the intrinsic value of software is decreasing and adaptation, provision of end-to-end service and service design is the new norm. Due to an economic dry-season, partners’ role is more and more becoming a pace-maker between accelerating technology innovation and their customers’ maturity to adopt innovations. Partners must be prepared to ramp-up their abilities to be ready to execute when customers’ readiness matures.
It is time now to simplify smartly, hence the headline Smart and Simple. This is a topical and maybe a slightly ambiguous slogan which illustrates the current state of the IT industry and its markets. SAP Innovation Forum will present practical examples as will also upcoming blogs from my colleagues.