SoftwareONE is on the front lines of organizations that want (and need) to transform their businesses to remain competitive – be it smarter software lifecycle management, transitioning business critical applications to the cloud for enhanced flexibility and cost savings, security their hybrid cloud environments or applying Artificial Intelligence (AI) in a practical manner.
While none of these concepts are new, organizations are now actually more prepared for digital transformation. SoftwareONE firmly believes that 2019 is the tipping point for most companies moving from considering digital technologies – be it cybersecurity, learning platforms, or other cloud-based solutions – to refining and maturing these technology initiatives. For instance, according to Gartner, 37 percent of CIOs are planning to deploy or are already deploying AI in 2019.
We asked our own experts at SoftwareONE their predictions for 2019 in the age of digital transformation and found three clear themes that continued to come up: AI, security, and managing cloud spend.
Mike Gersten, Global Innovation and Strategy Officer: “We are all looking for ways to make applications more intelligent but, more importantly, businesses are beginning to truly embrace AI as they see the impact that automation and operational efficiency has on the overall customer experience.”
Mike Fitzgerald, Global Solutions Director: “An evolution has begun across existing business platforms because of AI. However, organizations need to realize that there are many factors to consider before jumping head first into AI, including – governance laws, AI’s impact on culture, and next steps for AI.”
Dieter Schlosser, CEO: “The use of on-premises applications will not disappear for the next 10 to 15 years, but cloud use will continue to grow rapidly to scale performance, with the add-on of Machine Learning / Artificial Intelligence (ML/AI) to edge technology, such as IoT, for real-time decision making.”
With an increased emphasis on cloud and emerging technologies naturally comes the realization that an organization’s security strategy becomes more important than ever. The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Act and the forthcoming California Consumer Privacy Act (set to go into effect in 2020), has companies placing an increased importance on security, both internally and in regards of their customers.
Mike Fitzgerald: “Data security is not just good business practice, it is crucial for companies to survive. Fines associated with data breaches and GDPR could potentially be four percent of revenue or higher – a high enough price that will make non-compliance cost-prohibitive. Many countries, and even the technology community, will start to create additional data protection policies either on a local or global level to safeguard against data loss.”
Oliver Berchtold, Global Lead for Services: “The convergence of managing both the hybrid cloud environment and securing the data coming in from IoT will continue to feature heavily on the IT landscape in 2019. It’s all about how best to manage the hybrid cloud environment and be more agile within it. Managing data gathered from IoT is a tremendous challenge. The big tech issue for businesses in 2019 will be determining how to secure all the data coming in that lives in the cloud.”
Alex Alexandrov, Global Operational and M&A Leader: “Misconceptions about being more secure purely as a result of being in an on-premise data center will continue to fade. Whether customers are using one or many of the most sophisticated tools, basic hygiene (such as infrastructure policies and employee permissions) is the building-block which can have the highest impact today. We are trying to address this issue with our proactive and reactive security offering. Additionally, I believe many of the specific point solutions will be replaced with embedded security as part of the software, we are already seeing this with productivity and cloud/hybrid infrastructure.”
Managing Cloud Spend
“What does moving to the cloud really mean for your business?” This is the question Neil Lomax, President, North America, firmly believes businesses will come to grips with in 2019.
“Businesses are getting large bills for the applications and subscriptions they’re running in the cloud. Spend is still hard to manage and very disparate. CFOs are concerned about cloud billing because they are migrating all their data centers and applications to the cloud. Businesses are spending billions of dollars on cloud and this is becoming a new normal.”
Who had access to what and how much was being spent on software existed in the on-premises world, too.
Mike Gersten: “Now that enterprises are trying to address this visibility and budget challenge for the cloud, they’re increasingly taking a holistic view of spend management across their entire portfolio. With upwards of 30 percent waste on software spend for most organizations, I expect to see more focus on software spend management across the full portfolio, throughout the full lifecycle in 2019.”
Alex Alexandrov, Global Operational and M&A Leader: “We can finally have an honest conversation that ‘Lift & Shift’ to the public cloud is not a good solution. It is reminiscent of the legacy ITO model of ‘your mess for less.’ We are helping customers understand how to take their existing environment on the cloud journey, which involves cloud-optimized and cloud-native apps.” This allows them to optimize performance, realize the business-case for the software, and truly control their spend in the cloud.
Where does all of this leave your existing software estate? Slowly, but surely, moving to the cloud. But, companies are changing how they view their move to a SaaS or IaaS-based model, in terms of financial management and consumption visibility.
Dieter Schlosser: “The challenges facing businesses who are on their way to the cloud, in the cloud or not even considering the cloud are very different, and increasingly businesses will be looking to partner with solution providers who understand their needs regardless of where they are in their cloud journey.”
According to Mike Gersten, the entire estate from on-premises to the cloud – is attracting the attention of the executive board more than ever today and in the future. Software is the backbone of business now and one company he recently met with spends approximately $1 billion annually on software. Recent analysis showed nearly 25 percent of that is wasted – a quarter of a billion dollars obviously impacts the bottom line.
“Organizations that can help customers gain visibility into their spend, streamline the lifecycle of software from requirement to retirement, procure at the best prices with the best subscription or licensing models, and manage entitlements, inventory and consumption to both right size investments and avoid risk are in an optimal position as we head into 2019.”
Learn more about how SoftwareONE can help you with your transformation in 2019. We look forward to hearing from you and have a very Happy New Year.