NEARSHORE NEXUS: Keynote speaker Ray Wang kicks things off at a packed house
It’s bright and early here (8.30am) at the Nearshore Nexus executive-level conference in New York, and the day promises to be crammed with great insight on global sourcing best practices, and how best to leverage Latin America’s many advantages in IT and BPO. First on the speaker’s agenda is Ray Wang, CEO at Constellation Research, and his presentation on The Future of Enterprise Software.Ray’s premise is this: Software has become ingrained in our business models. But companies are struggling to keep up with, and really take advantage of, the revolutionary changes taking place in mobile, social, Saas and cloud. As he says, most companies are spending 60-70% of their resources simply “keeping the lights on” – doing base level tasks that are important, but really only keeping the company above water. They’re not adding value, and they’re not expanding your business.
Forces of change
Ray mentioned a few fundamental ways in which the software industry is being transformed. The first is through macro-economic conditions, most of which we have no control over. Economies rise and fall, governments and political parties change the investment rules, and new trends are created every day. However another game-changer is the pace of technology development, and unlike what most firms think, they can assert control over it. The key is investment in innovation.
“In the new world order after the recession, there are financial constraints. But businesses need to free up resources for innovation,” said Ray. “I know you don’t always succeed when you innovate, but you have to try, fall fast, learn and move on.”
Another point is that companies simply cannot consume the amount of technology that’s being developed. In other words, decide what adds value to your business and what your customers want to see, and choose wisely. “Customers want what’s new, and your business succeeds when you give it to them. They expect turnkey next gen apps, and they want analytics and self-service. The existing applications excel at automation, and putting data in. We’re trying to take that information out, and share it.”
What’s hot right now
Video is hot right now. The second most used search engine is YouTube. Companies are all trying to establish a video presence and a social media presence, and connect with their customers.
Saas and cloud are also hot right now. “How many people use Google and Skype to communicate with their business contacts?” Ray asked the audience. More than half raised their hands. “Is that corporate secure? No it’s not. But it works, and gets the job done faster. That’s the kind of technology businesses are increasingly using.”
So how should we decide what to focus on and what to forget about? That was a question asked towards the end of the presentation. “Always begin with the end in mind,” said Ray. “Are you trying to resolve incidents quicker? Are you trying to improve customer satisfaction? Each of those will require a different approach. Once you decide that, then keep pushing out innovative software in that area to your customers. That’s when you’ll be successful.”