The key trigger driving upgrades or investment in technology is an organisation’s growth and transformation agenda.
Business leaders tell us that investment in technology drives efficiencies which enable re-allocation of resources to deliver on growth initiatives. And 2019-2020 represents a tidal wave of change, with a shift in both buying power and propensity not seen before.
So what do Australian executives want from these new enterprise software investments? Ease, according to the recently released IBRS State of Enterprise Software Report 2019.
Enterprise software that creates ‘ease’
Executives interviewed by IBRS said this ease expands beyond just the interface, to the entire experience of working with the software, as well as the ability of the solution to solve immediate problems and automate industry-specific processes.
One CEO in the aged care sector said they want something that is easy to configure and is preconfigured to streamline industry-specific processes: “A new system must be customisable and personalisable … with the ability to adapt to our [industry] needs, not the other way around.”
While a COO of State Government Agency said ease of integration is the key: “True enterprise solutions allow data to be entered once and used many times across the business with a single workflow. It’s not just about connecting systems, it about process automation.”
A COO of a local government body said creating ease in the procurement process, including a simple licensing structure, was essential: “It [should] have flexibility, pricing based on number of users and low maintenance costs.”
And unsurprisingly, one HR manager in the higher education sector said ease of use is the number one requirement from any new solution the institution looks to procure.
“The software must be intuitive – much like downloading an app from the app store and being able to almost instantly use it.”
How can your organisation deliver ease?
Cloud-based enterprise Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions are now regarded as the key to delivering that ease, according to the IBRS report.
Not only does SaaS enable IT departments to shift much of the technical complexity involved in building and maintaining the environment has back to technology provider, but it also provides ubiquitous access for end users.
According to a COO in the Utility sector, this is non-negotiable: “It has to be reliable, fast and easy to use on any device, at any time, anywhere.”
A CIO of State Government Agency concurred, saying it will only consider SaaS options in any new procurements.
“We want cloud software. It offers lower cost, higher performance and is perfectly suited to our industry’s unique requirements.”
Enterprise SaaS offers an added benefit, providing organisations with a single source of truth and information that is seamlessly integrated and readily available across the entire enterprise.
It’s no longer a question of if SaaS…but when
As Australian executives continue their quest for ease to support their transformation agenda, it will no longer become a question of if organisations move to SaaS, but when.
“SaaS is where the future of software is going. As a business, if you think you’re going to keep your software on premise, you’re only delaying the inevitable,” University of Sunshine Coast’s Chief Financial Officer Elizabeth Cannon says.
For Cannon, her university’s move to SaaS has paid off – and is enabling USC to drive its growth and transformation agenda.
“Digital transformation, for us, has been about looking at the simplest way to do something, to ensure that we are spending University resources on the right things,” said Cannon.
“That doesn’t mean you’re going to spend less resources, but it’s about being really targeted to get the most efficient outcome from that resource.
“Since moving to SaaS, IT spends less time troubleshooting and more time taking the business forward. It’s easier for our users to use – because they’re instantly familiar with a web browser.
“Upgrades are seamless and delivered half yearly – our most recent upgrade was completed in a day. Our Director of IT is stoked because he can use his resources on the more important parts of the university, such as keeping our students happy.”
About this author
Andrew Birmingham is the director of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit and Mike Gee is a freelance writer for Which-50. TechnologyOne is a member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members provide their insights and expertise for the benefit of the Which-50 community. Membership fees apply.