Virtually every technology report and blog discussing trends for 2013 proclaimed that the “nexus” of Big Data, Social, Mobile and Cloud is finally upon us. If you’re like me, I had to consult Webster’s to get an understanding of the word nexus. It means a connected series or group. According to Gartner’s October 2012 predictions and SAP’s Sanjay Poonen, the tightly connected and highly complementary group of technologies and trends will drive information technology (IT) spending through the next five years.
This “nexus” is really the hot topic in technology. CFOs and CMOs are talking about the exciting possibilities for leveraging data for real-time analytics, social channels for engaging customers and Smartphones for processes such as approval workflows. One nagging question that hangs in the background, though, is where will the money come from to pay for this nexus of capabilities?
According to a September Forbes article, a significant portion of large corporations still spend 70 to 80 percent of their IT budget simply maintaining the legacy infrastructure they already have. In an environment where Forrester predicts that corporate technology spending will only increase by a modest 5.4 percent, funds for the hot new solutions will be hard to come by. There is no denying that the march towards the nexus technologies is here to stay, especially with CMOs wielding greater influence over IT spending. The key, now more than ever, will be seeking ways to optimize and transform existing corporate infrastructure.
For SAP-based organizations, two areas for freeing up funds for reinvestment are data management and inefficient cash cycle processes. Data archiving and even legacy system decommissioning can halt and reduce escalating storage costs as well as prepare the way for Big Data applications. In addition, optimizing critical processes such as accounts payable, accounts receivable and sales order management not only lowers total cost of ownership but also significantly increases the “speed of business”.
As 2013 gets into full swing, keep an eye on the nexus of hot new technologies but reap tangible results (and free up much needed cash) by reducing your corporation’s dependence on maintaining its existing infrastructure.