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Five enterprise software trends in 2016 and beyond

Jack Van Der Velde, Managing Director, Asia Pacific, Unit4 | Jan. 20, 2016
According to Jack Van Der Velde of Unit4, IoT, analytics, customer experience, cloud and empowered workforce will take centre stage this year.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Welcome to 2016, the year that Digital Transformation (DX), goes from hype to reality. According to Sandra Ng, Group Vice President, IDC Asia Pacific, 2016 will witness the mega transition in the DX era.

As a part of the transformation, disruptive new business models will re-imagine and transform the workplace. While some companies will apply these new paradigms, gain competitive advantage and thrive, others may not. It is therefore important for organisations to understand and incorporate them in their long-range business plans so they can succeed during the impending upheaval. 

Here at Unit4, we have identified five trends at the heart of the revolution that we will see in 2016 and beyond:

Trend 1 - The Internet of Things Spreads to Every Thing, Everywhere
The keyboard is no longer king.  It is only one element of the impending data avalanche from a growing network of information contributors.  Mobile devices, wearables, sensors, automotive devices, environmental devices - all have matured.  The proliferation of input gleaned from them is increasing rapidly.

Gartner calls this the "digital mesh."  Everything in the digital mesh produces, uses and transmits information. This information goes beyond textual, audio and video information to include sensory and contextual information.

Effective enterprise software collects this cacophony of data, makes sense of it, and incorporates it into your business processes.   And for that you'll need the new analytics. 

Trend 2 - The New Analytics
Data continues to be key. According to IDC, by 2017, two-thirds of Asian-based CIOs will initiate a data transformation and governance framework to turn information into a competitive business differentiator.

New techniques and strategies are emerging to analyse this tidal wave of information. It will be too expansive and complex for humans to digest.  Smart software will autonomously analyse the terabytes of input and then suggest solutions and outcomes to their human "masters." 

Yesterday's software was designed for computations and functionality.  Today's generation is designed for analytics.  It will provide a level of intelligence never seen before.  Self-learning programs that uncover insights beyond human comprehension will gain a solid foothold in our operations.

Expect this trend to evolve and expand quickly in a few short years, but the best businesses will begin taking advantage in 2016.  

Trend 3 - Rapid Advances in User Experience
In 2016, user experience will go beyond a pretty interface.  The technology landscape will be dominated by an intense focus on user experience.  Smarter systems will facilitate seamless interactions that anticipate the needs and behaviors of users.  Expect intelligent software to reduce the need for user interaction at all.  


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