How fast you can get access and adopt technology is key to the success of Mid-Market companies, and not just in terms of customer retention or raising funding. Technology that enables them to operate from a knowledge base means they can operate with less assets and therefore adapt quicker. Having access to the same resilient technology capabilities to analyse and predict customer behaviour as the major players means they can shift to selling services or new products much more easily if they need to. It’s technology capability like this that is worth its weight in gold in helping them to find their way back to a ‘new style’ of growth or to become a key cog in an industry ecosystem or to close the gap on their competitors.
Many Vendors are launching on-line events to educate their customer bases. Next week it’s SAP’s turn and it is launching it’s very first virtual summit and this one has been designed specifically for Mid-Market companies. 80% of SAP customers are SMEs so this isn’t something that is targeted at large multi-nationals. On October 13th there one that’s focusing on UK and Ireland. This is not just a webinar or an ERP product exhibition it’s an interactive experience that is brimming with content featuring the experiences of real customers and that of their CIOs.
Having been a CIO myself, I know just how much of an influence we are on our companies’ ability to scale and to transform. Recent months have certainly brought the work of the CIO community and our teams into the spotlight. CEOs and their boards have depended on us to ruggedize and federate infrastructures to allow their businesses to keep on trading safely while adapting to new circumstances, and all done while working remotely.
It’s amazing how much change has been achieved in such a short space of time. Many of us have broken our own records on what we thought was possible when it comes to delivering change. Many CIOs and their companies are now talking about projects taking weeks rather than the predicted months or years they previously costed for.
I do not believe any of this could have been achieved at anything like the pace it has had it not been for the availability of consumable enterprise strength intelligent technologies. Many of the CIOs achieving breakthroughs are customers of public cloud providers like SAP, and they are achieving business changing results in days, not weeks using public cloud ERP, business to business collaboration networks, SaaS based industry specific and enterprise solutions. You could be forgiven for thinking that these ‘pay as you go’ products are low function variants of the full function on-premises licensed versions, rather like Microsoft Works was relative to Word and Outlook all those years ago. But you would be mistaken as many share the same code-lines across private, hybrid and public infrastructures and are choc full of the same intelligent technologies, automations and connectors. I have used them very successfully myself several times.
As CIOs, being able to understand the opportunities to change using technology is what we do. But it’s harder to operate in a world where everything is changing at the same time and more of your resources are being spent to maintain your expanding technology landscape. I can certainly empathise with that. Some of the, let’s call them enterprise basics still consume lots of our time – managing data, ETL, adapting legacy systems, modifying core processes and interfacing. In the early days of office suites, we all debated Google versus Microsoft. We worried about how to evaluate them. Now we just pick one and get the best deal we can, and it has enabled us to get on with other things. So, could we be at a similar junction now?
So, if agility is the key, is it time to consider new approaches? A key question for CIOs is if we really want to leverage open architectures and deliver new capabilities is it time to decide how you can build on these increasingly intelligent and resilient ready-made platforms as part of a wider strategy? Is this the time when these products and services now get used in earnest and we hold the Vendors to account to deliver on their SLAs and security claims? A strategy that could help CIOs to target precious skills and resources at the things that now need to be front and centre and only a business embedded team can do?
So why not take a look at SAPs Mid Market summit with fresh eyes? Here’s the registration link : https://vshow.on24.com/clients/SAP/Midmarket-Summit-UK-Ireland/?partnerref=CIO