Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

The Growth Enablers You Need to Navigate Disruption

Guest Author

By Cara Vollmer, Senior Content Strategist, Oracle

The path to growth is more uncertain than ever. Today, disruption can come from anywhere, and success increasingly depends on developing innovative products quickly and providing rich customer experiences. This holds true even for well-established enterprises in once-comfortable niche markets.

What are the new keys to growth? To find out, Oracle partnered with Elastic Solutions, a leading provider of B2B marketing research services, to conduct a survey of more than 220 organizations in North America representing a variety of industries. The goal was to better understand the growth profile of these organizations and identify key growth blockers and growth enablers.

Roadblocks to Growth

The survey indicated that industry leaders are highly concerned about their rate of growth. Just 37% of respondents stated that they are growing confidently, while the majority (63%) were experiencing growth concerns of some kind. When asked what was holding these organizations back, they identified several “growth blockers”:

  • Customized enterprise applications that were difficult to upgrade (61%): These legacy applications were draining organizations of resources because of the high cost of maintenance they required to function and the manual labor that could be better deployed in pursuit of strategic objectives. This is reflected in the fact that the top spending categories were maintenance (57%), labor (48%), customization (48%), and manual reporting (45%). 
  • Fragmented data models (59%): The other top culprit holding respondents back is the inability of their enterprise software systems to share data. Without end-to-end visibility from suppliers to customer, these organizations are in many ways flying blind, unable to glean the deep insights that come with such visibility.

Growth Enablers Live in the Cloud

Even as they have concerns about their growth prospects, respondents seem largely in agreement about what they need to spur growth. First, they cite maximizing their operational efficiency to improve the bottom line. They are also seeking to reduce time to value, a key factor in today’s environment where companies are richly rewarded for meeting rising customer expectations (and harshly punished for failing to do so). They also see automation as a way to increase productivity, and they want the ability to increase the accuracy of forecasts. 

They also have a good idea of what capabilities it would take to achieve these goals. Survey respondents mentioned state-of-the-art emerging technologies such as big data (61%), built-in predictive analytics and BI reporting (49%), and common data models (39%) as the primary ways to accelerate growth. 

These exciting new capabilities are difficult to acquire if you’re spending much of your IT budget just maintaining your legacy on-premises systems. Time and effort are currently being wasted as well, with teams culling data from multiple, siloed systems to create reactive reports that offer little insight. In fact, survey respondents told us that almost half the time (49%) their reports are late and must be pulled from multiple systems (86%). 

Companies recognize that the road to acquiring capabilities such as built-in compliance, intelligent reporting and data visualization leads to the cloud. A large majority of survey respondents—74%—report that their organizations are on a path to using the cloud for their enterprise applications. They understand that cloud-based enterprise technologies provide state-of-the-art solutions running on a common data model for end-to-end visibility. The cloud offers flexible, scalable deployment, and shifts costs from large CapEx expenditures in infrastructure and software licensing to a pay-for-what-you-use OpEx model. 

Take the Next Step Toward Growth

Migrating your organization’s enterprise applications to the cloud is not a question of if, but when. Taking the plunge sooner rather than later can power your organization’s growth by providing the agility it needs to compete in an environment where disruption is the norm. You’re able to integrate acquisitions more quickly, identify new customers and markets thanks to advanced analytics, develop new business models that bring you closer to customers, and react faster to change. You’ll also have to worry less about compliance even as data governance regulations continue to proliferate, thanks to built-in compliant best practices.

Best of all, you’ll be able to leverage advanced technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and the Internet of Things (IoT) as they come online, without heavy investment in unproven or customized solutions. Unlike legacy applications served up from a “cloud data center,” cloud-native solutions are continuously and automatically kept up to date with the latest technologies and security measures. 

Prepare your organization to thrive in today’s highly disruptive environment with a solid foundation that includes an end-to-end cloud-based solution.

Get the complete report, Grow or Stand Still? Is Your Organization’s Investment Aligned? or watch the webcast.

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