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A new frontier for services organizations — digital opportunity or traditional working?

Posted by  Thomas Staven

People-centered services organizations stand at a frontier between the new land of digital opportunity and the familiar land of traditional working. The question is no longer when, or whether, to step forward and transition to digital ERP technologies, but how.

Services organizations have reached a frontier between two lands, and there is no way back. In the new land of digital opportunity, people spend more time on meaningful work. In the familiar land of traditional working, old technology and rigid processes rule.

If people-centered organizations continue to rely on legacy systems, the impact will be severe — upset customers, lost talent, low productivity, high IT costs, lost market share.

A new land of digital opportunity

The technologies behind consumer and enterprise applications have converged. Collaboration tools mimic social media functionality. Smart mobile devices are standard-issue business tools. User experience is as important in the office or field as in the home.

Modern enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are powered by emerging digital technologies and built on platforms with microservices-based architectures. They are interoperable with loosely coupled services and are infinitely extensible.

Modern ERP helps all people-centered organizations exceed customer expectations, whether professional services organizations, higher education institutions, not-for-profits or public services bodies. An upgraded user experience — instant, automatic, personalized messaging and natural language powered by artificial intelligence — smashes service expectations and improves work for staff.

New-generation ERPs can help increase revenue, decrease costs and enhance customer service. It can improve collaboration, wellbeing and boost staff satisfaction to help organizations raise productivity, boost creativity and drive innovation.

And the flexibility and extensibility afforded by platforms allows services organizations to scale, grow and future-proof themselves against change in an agile way. They can take advantage of any emerging technologies as they arise, and conduct lower-risk, short-term digital experiments, process-by-process at vastly reduced costs.

A place where people do meaningful work

The leading organizations have realized this and are acting on it. They are adapting to new trends, harnessing intelligent, automated ERP systems and adopting new business models to capitalize on the opportunities in the XaaS economy.

But they are also aware that digital transformation isn’t about technology — it’s about people. In this new land of digital opportunity, they have realized that modern enterprise technology can buy them time to create space for people to focus on what really matters — the meaningful, value-added work; the creative tasks the machines cannot do.

Remembering this, these forward-thinking, people-centered organizations are winning the wars on talent, efficiency and competition.

Innovator or laggard?

Services organizations are standing at a technological frontier. The speed of adoption of modern ERP systems has gone from years to months. The short-term pain of implementing a modern, digital ERP far outweighs the risk of doing nothing. Never has it been more important to be an innovator or more risky to remain a laggard.

To enhance productivity, deliver increased customer value and future-proof your organization, the only option is to step forward into this new digital land, where people spend more time on meaningful work. In doing so, collaboration will improve, creativity will flourish and productivity will increase.

The services organizations leading disruption are not using legacy systems and monolithic stacks. They have left the land of traditional working — where rigid processes rule — never to return. In this new land, they are using people-centered cloud ERP built on a microservices platform and tailored to their industry.

Services organizations have reached a frontier. The question is no longer when, or whether to transition to digital ERP technologies, but how.

In the race to achieve large-scale improvements and give customers, students, donors or citizens more for their dollar, will your organization remain in the land of traditional working or step forward into the new land of digital opportunity?

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Thomas Staven

Thomas is passionately dedicated to technology innovation, delivering great experiences and business value to customers and has spent the last 17 years within R&D, Product Management and Global Sales at Unit4 driving our focus on delivering innovative enterprise solutions. Thomas now heads the Unit4 ERP / Unit4 Business World Product Management  and is also working closely with the Unit4 Innovation Lab as Product Strategist – all to deliver the next generation ERP and bring innovative technologies – such as machine learning, AI, chat bots etc. – to the world of Enterprise Applications.