In a world of blue-sky possibilities, the technology that underlies everyone’s businesses would be updated and upgraded every day.
After all, no industry stays the same for long, and each day new challenges appear that might not have been thought possible a year ago—or even six months ago. If businesses have to adapt on a constant basis, wouldn’t it make sense for software to adapt with them?
Obviously, we don’t live in a perfect world. Upgrading on-premise software on a constant basis simply wouldn’t work. In fact, many businesses are now reaching the point where they have to come to terms with their technology becoming obsolete, perhaps after having guided their organizations’ financial or people management for years. With nearly a third of business leaders in KPMG International’s 2015 CEO Outlook Survey reporting plans to invest in business model transformation, the implications of technology obsolescence could be profound. Obsolete technology infrastructure impacts an enterprise’s agility and its ability to drive change and cost improvements.
Businesses might have made their own software obsolete after a significant business event like an acquisition or divestment, or even after a successful growth strategy.
But external factors can be equally impactful. In some cases software packages are no longer supported by vendors, which puts limits on the few upgrades that can be made.
None of those factors, however, can compete with the single largest issue facing businesses today: our world. Current software simply can’t deal with the change in how customers and employees live and work.
Think about how we once dealt with our banks. We would abide by schedules so strict that we coined the term “bankers’ hours” to explain them. We had to physically travel to a bank in order to make a deposit or a withdrawal. Our account details were printed in a paper booklet. All of this has changed, and it’s just one example of the way our whole society has changed.
We bank from the bus. We work from home. We shop from anywhere. Our current on-premise software packages are obsolete because we’ve made them obsolete.
The solution to change is, interestingly enough, a world where upgrading software doesn’t have to impact the day-to-day. With Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), there is no customization of the underlying software. Updates come faster and more reliably, about every six months. According to Gartner research1, by 2016, 51 percent of finance organizations around the world will use cloud computing, including SaaS, to support more than half of their transactions.
It’s not always easy to make the transition to the cloud. KPMG professionals have helped several enterprises with the change and learned from each experience how to make the process more efficient and user-friendly. To learn more about how you can prepare your enterprise for what comes next, contact me at Patrick.Fenton@KPMG.co.uk .
1Gartner, “Financial Executives International (FEI) CFO Technology Study,” May 2, 2013