As technologies continue to advance exponentially, savvy business owners, executives and decision-makers must begin to look toward the future and recognize emerging trends before they become mainstream. Your strategic planning process starts with your business management system, and those using the powerful Microsoft Dynamics suite should keep a keen eye on a few important trends:
#1 – The Internet Of Things
The internet today is not a tool for just desktop computers and mobile devices. Technology grows exponentially, and this explosive growth opens up new avenues for technology vendors – even cars and televisions are slated for internet access in the near future.
There are four basic usage models for emerging technologies: Manage, Monetize, Operate and Extend. In order to seize opportunities as they arise, you need to be organizationally and operationally ready to apply these models to the Internet of Things (including people, information, devices, objects and places).
#2 – Mobile Device Management
In the workplace, the B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device) trend has had enormous implications for security, productivity and accessibility – and it’s not even in full swing yet. Within the next few years, the mobile workforce is expected to double or triple as a result of this mobile growth.
Microsoft Dynamics users already expect the same functionality on their mobile devices as on their desktop computers, an expectation that continues to rise. This trend means that instead of relegating employees to your office space during normal office hours, you should embrace the mobile trend and invite them to access your business management system from anywhere, anytime to increase productivity. Make sure your IT department is well prepared to set your business as a B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device) front runner and balance your business security and productivity against the growing need for employee flexibility.
#3 – Personal Cloud
The cloud isn’t just ideal for business software. Personal cloud technologies are trending upward, shifting toward services over devices. Devices ruled the roost for a long time – only certain mobile devices were even available, and those that offered a wide range of connectivity were still further limited. Now, almost every smart phone, tablet and laptop comes equipped with the same basic capabilities, so the device itself is simply not as important as the services it provides.
All versions of Microsoft Dynamics are already accessible through multiple mobile devices. As the personal cloud continues to grow in popularity, it’s essential that the version of Dynamics you employ is optimized and delivered through a model that accommodates all devices, providing a streamlined experience and the same user functionality regardless of the device and location of the user.
#4 – “As A Service”, What It Should Mean
Building on the personal cloud trend, it’s becoming essential for businesses to combine personal and external private cloud services. This hybrid approach requires that enterprises start designing and delivering their cloud platforms with integration and inter-operability in mind – and it all starts with the Cloud ERP.
Microsoft has already shifted toward Dynamics in the cloud. The issue is that many Microsoft VAR’s rushed into providing Dynamics platforms in the cloud, and simply partnered with random “hosting providers” to throw their client application licenses in their data center, or on Microsoft’s cloud, Azure.
Of course, nothing is wrong necessarily with the data centers themselves, it’s more on the afterthought, or lack thereof, on how the partner can properly manage and support that application. It creates more complexities than if your application/ Dynamics ERP license stayed with you on premises.
So the answer is a true cloud subscription with an all-inclusive subscription model (all support and services monthly, not upfront), and when I say “support” I mean full application (how-to) support as well as the IT/ Infrastructure stuff.
Many businesses foster a reactive environment, not a proactive one. They’re not considering or preparing for how their products, services and assets will be shared through newly opened mediums or in light of these new technological trends. The key is in perspective: Rather than looking at these trends as daunting overhauls of a system you’re used to, see them as incredible opportunities to propel your business toward success in an exciting future. Now is the time to think strategically about these new technologies and evaluate how they shape your business today and in the future.
Ready to trend toward a better business management system? Learn how to receive a free version upgrade to Microsoft Dynamics GP 2015 with SMB Suite’s Dynamics-Powered Cloud ERP.