HOW INTEGRATED SOFTWARE, THE CLOUD AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL CHANGE BUSINESS

Written on the 16 March 2017

HOW INTEGRATED SOFTWARE, THE CLOUD AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE WILL CHANGE BUSINESS CHATBOTS, collective intelligence and blockchain are some of the big technology trends that will change the way businesses are run in 2017, says SAGE Australia VP Alan Osrin (pictured).

Speaking to Business News Australia at the SAGE Summit Melbourne, where the company painted its vision of 'invisible accounting', Osrin implored business owners to stay on trend with technology, lest they fall behind the pack.

"Technology is evolving, what was fantastic technology five years ago, is not necessarily what's going to drive the business going forward today," says Osrin.

"Integrated cloud services will continue to gain traction and chatbots will have a bigger role across all software going forward.

"This will have a tremendous impact on the way entrepreneurs do business, regardless of the industry in which they operate."

He uses the payroll industry as an example.

"The payroll industry before was only payroll, now it's all the different human capital management, from on-boarding an employee all the way through to making sure they are happy along the journey - all their staff performances, measuring their performance, and if they're not performing, measuring their non-performance and helping them through performance management process.

"All this technology is evolving: this wasn't available 4-5 years ago, and it wasn't integrated with a payroll solution."

It is captured in six key trends:

Trend #1: Chatbots and autonomous interfaces - These interfaces which are designed to simulate conversation will dramatically change the way that humans and computers work and interact with each other.

Trend #2: Artificial and collective intelligence - Companies need to find ways to extract knowledge from today's wealth of big data.

Trend #3: Blockchain and how to create trust in the digital age - Industries that work as intermediaries between two parties, such as lawyers, notaries, or real-estate or financial brokers, should carefully analyse if, and how, the new blockchain technology, which creates a public and transparent record of transactions, could impact their current business models.

Trend #4: Revolutionizing the movement of money - In 2017, companies will be able to establish a fully integrated end-to-end payments value chain with their suppliers and customers.

Trend #5: Platform-based infrastructure - SMEs will replace their stand-alone, on-site software systems with integrated, cloud-based software solutions that operate on global platforms such as Salesforce.com.

Trend #6: Internet of Things will create new services and job profiles - Multiple data streams originating from all sorts of sensors built into machines, cars, mobile and immobile goods, clothes or even human beings will result in a true treasure trove of data, thus creating all sorts of new services.

SAGE's work to integrate CRM with an accounting system, SAGE Live, is an example of the future of integrated systems.

"Nobody has been able to properly integrate accounting with CRM, and now it's all in one platform together with Salesforce," says Osrin.

"Technology is changing, so have a look as see what is out there, because a lot of what's available now will help people run a better business."

SAGE, a $6.91 FTSE100 company with 3 million customers worldwide, has also developed its own admin bot, Pegg: a smart assistant with 20,000 that allows users to track expenses via their chosen messaging app.

And while the cloud has been talked about for years now, Osrin says it is now gaining incredible momentum due to increasing internet connection speeds.

"Everyone wants to have mobile access, and to be able to gather information from any sources. Therefore, you need to enable on-premises solutions to move to the cloud," he says.

SAGE chief technology officer, Klaus-Michael Vogelberg, adds that in 2017, every business will need to start thinking of itself as a technology business.

"To stay competitive, they will need to grasp the opportunities that this development brings with it and change almost every aspect of today's traditional ways of working," he says.

"The good news is that this technology means that we believe that very soon, business admin could become completely invisible, as easy as messaging a friend, or even completely automated, as machines learn like humans."

Business News Australia

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