The Times Ahead….
The world around is changing and is changing at a great pace than ever in recent years. We all know, experience and understand CHANGE is constant and ever happening event. I have noticed a key observation that is quite different and distinct this time… CHANGE is happening everywhere and across everything around us simultaneously with high velocity. This is noticeable in weather, environment, life style, business, science and technology… In this article, I will keep my focus and thoughts around changes occurring in technology front (mostly around Service Sector and CRM Space) and what it means to IT Professionals & road ahead for consultants.
The world around is digitally evolving and is empowering all of us with information in real time. This is the era of Digital Revolution which has influenced and brought a big change in the way we perform our day to day activities.
Let’s take few examples –
Social Interactions – Earlier social interactions used to happen mostly via face to face interactions. In this era, we see the same happening more over social sites and mobile apps. People are well adapting to the “digital presence” in every walk of their life.
Education/trainings – We notice class room trainings and seminars are now substituted more often with Virtual class rooms & Webinars.
Business – Customers buying patterns, purchasing trends has changed drastically. It’s moving away from Walk-In store purchase to Digital way of Purchase. Companies/Organizations are making efforts to tap and unfold the huge opportunities available on digital platform. This trend is going to continue and evolve more in coming days. We could very well see social sites offerings their platforms and coming up with new revenue models. The list (E-governance, E-banking, E-Commerce..) keeps adding and growing in each and every aspect we see around us. It’s exciting and interesting times for all of us to witness, benefit and be part of this digital movement.
One of the key observation I noticed is, High Significance and Importance for the Value Of “Time”. With digital enablement, People expect things to happen near real time almost in every walk of life and this is the Change that is driving the world today. Specifically in IT sector, Clients are searching for solutions and Product options that enable them to “Go to Market” and get the results instantly.
In digital world, Markets are Time Bound & Time Sensitive and the profits/revenue margins are fluctuating accordingly. “Fastest Finger First” is the driving factor for success. This has given rise to the birth of new software models & products. In-Memory Computing and Cloud computing are the new entrants in this space.
Majority of the Product companies are coming up with their In-Memory Databases and Applications that has the capability to generate instant results and outcomes while processing high data volumes and time consuming operations. The operations that used to take days and weeks are now accomplished in seconds with the advent of In-Memory Computing.
Cloud Computing is another emerging area that has picked pace in recent times. Cloud Solution models are influencing Clients to consider moving away from traditional ON PREMISE Solutions to Cloud Solutions. On-Premise solutions have been successful over the years but however they are fading away and making way for Quick Real Time implementations. Cloud solutions are readily available and it helps Enterprises immensely to start the operations instantly and Get More With Less. Cloud definitely brings Cost advantage but the key driving factor for its rapid growth and adaptation is its ability to Go To Market instantly.
In CRM Space, Products are now available offering both In-Memory & Cloud capabilities to its customers. SAPHybris is one such example.
Friends, So far we tried to analyze and find information on What, Where and How CHANGE is happening. In next section, we will discuss more on how to Cope up and adapt to this ever changing environment from Corporate and consultant perspective.
IT Service Providers are moving from being just Service providers to Consulting partners (enable and empower their clients in making right choices and decisions in Product selection and Investment). Investments are being made towards cutting edge technologies for service automations, machine learnings and coming up with Reusable solutions, templates for Quick roll outs. In this era of Innovation where systems are operating in Auto Pilot, it will not be a surprise in near future when IT Applications/systems are being programmed with Artificial Intelligence so that regular maintenance and House Keeping operations can be performed in auto pilot mode with minimal user interference.
The Mantra is simple, Service Providers need to quickly innovate and adapt to the new Digital world of Innovation and automation.
To meet the current demands of business needs, IT Professionals has to develop a multi skill set in line with changing technology. The way we are enjoying the benefits of digital revolution as customers (Get More with Less), it’s the same expectation that has raised the bar on skillset requirements from the other end.
The road ahead in IT Environment is going to be filled with landscapes with multiple heterogeneous systems. Clients are looking at skillsets that has both technical &functional talents. This would help them with cost advantage (Get More with Less) and also reduce the time in solution delivery. Similarly, they are expecting project managers to have good understanding on systems and solution design. The mantra here is to be Multi Skilled and ability to multi task.
SAP CRM Product is continuously evolving and has moved from GUI to browser interface and is still undergoing transformation to meet the business expectations in digital world. This is very interesting times for CRM Professionals. The current wave is moving towards cloud based Solutions (Omnipresent) with shorter implementation periods. The success of CRM is majorly dependent on RICH and consistent UI Experience and performance across channels. Product vendors need to collaborate and work with End Clients, service providers, client partners continuously to identify and address the Business expectations, solution needs in time bound environment.
As the technology is innovating and rediscovering itself in CRM space, it’s important and essential for Consultants in this space to observe and understand the inherent message the Digital World is communicating to us. Here is my two cents of understanding that as Consultants we need to adapt to be successful.
- Possess Multi Skillsets ( Primary/Secondary) –
o CRM Functional’s can choose either Programming or Middleware Integration technology as Secondary focus area
o SAP developers( ABAP-Primary) can choose either UI5/Java Programming or CRM Functional as secondary
- Enhance the Knowledge Quotient continuously through E-Learnings, Webinars, etc
- Develop Re-Usable Solutions that addresses Product Gaps and these can be reused/deployed to other clients easily
- Collaboration is going to be very critical to address/provide quick solutions in rapidly evolving environment. It’s important to WATCH around and learn from other’s experience by constantly engaging actively in discussion forums, blogs, white paper presentations.
Final Thoughts: While everyone is working towards innovation and novel ways of business, it will be soon be a reality in near future where software programs will be portable across platforms.
This means –
1) Tools will soon be available that can convert/rewrite Programs developed in a given language to other languages. No Additional/Very minimal effort will be required while moving across various Products.
2) There might be a paradigm shift in the way applications will be built. Applications might be designed and developed to support Software (Program) Portability.
I am sure most of the points discussed in this article might be well known to us directly or indirectly and we all agree that digital world is playing a very vital role in the success of enterprises, governments and individuals. The views/ideas mentioned in this article are just based on author’s experience and understanding on IT Business. Readers are requested to note this and request to interpret it accordingly.