While 2016 could certainly be described as interesting times, this year will see the first real moves on Brexit, the beginning of the Trump Presidency and the countdown to GDPR. With so many uncertainties, here are John Purdy's predictions for what to expect in the world of technology and enterprise IT for 2017.
Get closer to customers and stay there. We’re moving from a transactional economy to a relationship economy where business success will be determined by how well you know your customers and are able to meet their changing demands. Technology is at the heart of this. CRM, BI, analytics and multi-channel communications that leverage the power of the cloud and mobile are all pivotal in creating a customer-centric business.
The challenge is leveraging the technology without compromising the core business – selling the products and services that bring in the revenue. You need an IT services partner that understands your business challenges and has the experience and expertise to overcome them. Just as importantly, you need a service provider that can provide the agility you need to survive and thrive in a fast-changing world. This is never about the technology in isolation, it’s about the better outcomes.
Political, economic and technological disruption have defined the decade so far and made a mockery of crystal ball gazing. While the aftermath of Brexit and the US election make it hard to second-guess how the first two will play out, I’d argue that the technology landscape for businesses is at least becoming clearer. Most organisations have gone over the hump of cloud, begun to explore the power of data, and taken steps along the road of digital transformation.
Migration strategies to public and private clouds will continue to gather pace but some legacy applications are not easy to move and remain business critical. The upshot is a hybrid world of IT services and applications that the CIO has to oversee and orchestrate. Ergo managed services are increasingly focused on helping navigate the best path for a combination of hybrid services that deliver on agility, efficiencies, and cost saving.
All of this provides a platform for better customer engagement. As a Microsoft partner we have access to a growing range of applications and services that we can customise for any business, a suite of integrated solutions that have been re-engineered into an ecosystem that makes the customer central to everything.
You can dig down into customer data in Dynamics CRM, surface it for analysis with Power BI tools; distribute the reports with SharePoint. You can communicate and collaborate with customers more easily with the synergies between Outlook and Skype for Business, elevating an email exchange into a video call. With Microsoft’s Mobility Management solution we can make all of these services available to employees on the road, whether it’s sales, service people or travelling executives.
The success of Office 365 is well documented at this stage and Microsoft’s development of an ecosystem of cloud applications and services will continue to gather pace. This year’s acquisition of LinkedIn has fuelled much speculation about how Microsoft will use the professional networking site, and it’s not hard to imagine how a database of 476 million people and a fast-growing content platform could be used in conjunction with Dynamics CRM. This year Ergo acquired Micromail – winner of the 2016 Microsoft Licensing Partner awards – enabling us to provide our customers with a unique, one-stop Microsoft service.
The reality for most organisations is that they will be running legacy applications that are core to the business for some time to come. Ergo can help support them or migrate them incrementally, because we understand that transforming a business and becoming more customer-focused is not an overnight task.
And whatever you do, you have to do it securely. High-profile breaches and data leaks continued to make headlines in 2016 and you can guarantee there will more of the same in 2017. This is why we have developed a security-as-a-service proposition, which, like all our other managed services, is about taking care of the IT complexity so that you can concentrate on taking care of your customers.
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