Business

Reasons why medium sized companies are ready for big changes in how they treat their commercial data.

The use of the latest business technology continues to grow, and 2019 will be no different in that respect.

THE use of the latest business technology continues to grow, and 2019 will be no different in that respect.

In the second half of 2018, we saw the excitement of artificial intelligence turning customer experiences into entertaining, highly personalised, and outcome-driven series of interactions.

Machine learning is positioned to help employees free themselves (including performing basic medical procedures) from repetitive work, and also make decisions with incredible speed, precision, and insight.

Even predictive analytics is evolving into a must-have requirement for moving many Irish business ahead, while taking action on possible developing risks or seizing business opportunities early on.

If you believe this rush of digital investments is only reserved for your largest competitors, think again. The evolution may have been gradual and gone unnoticed, but looking back over this past year, shows some substantial reasons, why most midsize businesses are ready for what's ahead.

At the beginning of 2018, it became apparent that midsize businesses were entering into an entirely new era of intelligence. Subscription pricing for cloud technology is more in line with the stages of a growing business. Data security concerns are being addressed, with data centres complying with ever-tightening government and industry regulations and certifications.

The analytical capabilities needed to sharpen decision-making and handle profoundly predictable changes, are improving for our own business community.

All of these changes are ushering in the next wave of analytics innovation. From machine learning and artificial intelligence to digital assistants, midsize businesses can compete like a large enterprise – with the speed and agility of a start-up.

Affordable cloud subscriptions are helping many of our businesses access a range of analytic reporting tools on a single screen, often a tablet PC or iPad. Whether they are in a meeting room, remote office, or the sales floor, decision-makers can access dynamic reports, derive insights, and share business knowledge, without jumping between multiple screens or requiring an IT professional or data scientist, to constantly being at hand.

Growing companies are ditching their spreadsheets, static dashboards, and in-house reporting templates, to deliver dynamic insight for all in the business. And they are accomplishing this approach without significant capital investment, supplier and technology lock-in, and the normally associated drain on resources.

Even if tech savvy companies were knowledgeable about data management and business reporting in the past, things have shifted so much over the last three years that their existing rules, most likely no longer apply. More data sources and raw information are flooding business systems – all of which have to be managed in the best business software platform, to allow the flexibility to move operations, as quickly as the rest of the competition and control the company's business growth.

Changing its approach to company data and the resulting strategy, gives management teams a reason to trust the information they use. Whether they are pinpointing everything from potential cost savings and revenue growth opportunities, to gaps in regulatory and policy compliance, decision-makers know that they are getting the precise insights of their business or industry, necessary to deliver positive outcomes.

2018 has been a year of transformation for many midsize businesses. By adopting new technologies, platforms, and mind-sets, they are better fuelling growth, with insight-driven outcomes. Most importantly, growing companies are creating the foundation, to adopt a range of intelligent technologies that deliver ground breaking business models that will encourage growth.

:: Trevor Bingham (editorial@itfuel.com) is business relationship manager at ItFuel in Craigavon. Follow them on Twitter @itfuel.

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