May 21, 2021

Digital transformation has been a buzzword since the mid-2000s. It was primarily lip service. A concept that was included in future roadmaps—but not next year's budgets. The 2020 pandemic rocked the world and changed everything. There's now no such thing as "business as usual." Many businesses are taking a hard look at where they now stand, how they got there, and where they want to focus next. As part of this introspection, companies are realizing technology truly is crucial and imperative for their business success. As such, I see three reasons to revisit your current technology framework—to become more agile, to use technology strategically, and to achieve a more flexible cost structure.

1. Agility Wins

I, like many other executives, took stock of 2020. What became clear is the most successful companies had adopted digitalization prior to 2020. First-moving organizations saw the value of implementing new technology that can "move with the business." As a result, they coped better with 2020 than those that didn't. These early adopters were flexible—able to acknowledge and accept reality as it was. And they quickly adapted to address these new challenges:

  • Walmart invests heavily in supply chain automation and innovation. Its ability to work as one company helped it adapt quickly. In 2020, Walmart accelerated onboarding new employees to less than 24 hours. They started up a new warehouse management system in days—instead of months—to fire up a new distribution center. [1]
  • When the pandemic forced restaurants and food services to shut down, FMI, the Food Industry Association, teamed with an AI-based talent exchange to fill in supermarket labor gaps with restaurant and food service workers. [1]
  • Starbucks' mobile app, which was in place well before 2020, became a lifeline for now-required contactless payments. Starbucks also used its technology to create a seamless new workflow for baristas and deployed new espresso machines that could predict necessary maintenance.

Technology enabled these quick pivots. These companies not only survived—they're thriving. Others have leveraged similar technology-based pivots to create entirely new value propositions.

  • When travel essentially stopped, Red Roof hotels began booking rooms as a daily workspace and now find themselves as a challenger in the co-working market.
  • Spotify responded to plummeting advertising revenues by buying and developing premium content. In addition to licensing and aggregating, Spotify moved into production and trendsetting.
  • Rolls-Royce redesigned its entire supply chain, secured new parts, orchestrated operations, and within five weeks was building ventilators.

I've seen study after study showing that organizations are now prioritizing and accelerating their digital transformation initiatives. According to McKinsey & Company's 2020 Global Survey of executives, "companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years." [4]

2. Strategic Technology Architecture Determines Success

Our years of experience in ERP have made it clear that core systems can either accelerate business performance—or significantly limit it. New research confirms it. In its Technology Vision 2021 report, Accenture surveyed business and IT executives from 31 countries and 14 industries. It found that technology is crucial to mastering change. From the report:

  • 77% of executives stated that their technology architecture is becoming critical or very critical to the overall success of their organization. [3]
  • 83% of executives report that business and technology strategies are becoming inseparable. [3]
  • The top 10% of companies leading technology innovation achieved 2-3x revenue growth as compared to their competitors. [3]

Five years ago, we at Nextworld anticipated the importance of no-code technology architecture for enabling business success and we think it's essential going forward. For years, we've seen enterprises trying to address customer needs with rigid tools and processes. In most cases, fixing these problems requires immense IT effort, and IT teams are already stretched to capacity. We knew that by separating business applications from the underlying technology, we could offer the flexibility needed to address sudden market shifts that alter your competitive landscape.

Accenture calls this "Bring Your Own Environment." Low-code and no-code platforms and applications allow employees to optimize their processes or fix problems on the fly, without needing advanced technical skills or compromising IT governance. Nextworld redefines ERP by building it on a no-code platform. Our customers can easily add capabilities and adapt processes. They can do it without introducing compatibility, security, or integration problems. They don't need ongoing professional services engagements just to stay current. Instead, they decide what's best for their businesses and change course when necessary.

3. Cost Structure Aligned to Strategic Needs

Traditional and legacy technology ties up money. ERP systems alone typically cost millions of dollars in maintenance, support, monolithic licensing structures, and consulting services just to maintain the status quo. Deloitte notes that only 19% of a company's IT budget goes to innovation– the lion's share of the budget goes to keeping the lights on. Does that sound like a good idea to you? Given a choice, what company would agree to that? [2]

Cloud and SaaS models have already slashed the costs of legacy systems for many companies. No-code platforms deliver dramatic cost savings too. But no-code platforms offer much more than just cost savings.

  • No code technology architectures increase agility.
  • They allow businesses to innovate. Companies can pivot and take advantage of new opportunities faster.
  • Companies can ax losing propositions sooner to fund viable opportunities.
  • They can maximize their people investments. Organizations shouldn't have to re-tool their workforces—especially in the face of global developer and technical talent shortages.

These modern, no-code platforms can inspire and make it easy for all of an organization’s people to innovate.

Let's Discuss How You Can Thrive in 2021 and Beyond

Evolving and updating your technology architecture now can increase innovation, adaptability, and ultimately revenue while providing needed cost savings. Nextworld redefined ERP on a no-code enterprise application platform – making it a strategic asset in modern technology architectures. Our platform frees customers from costly ERP maintenance, disruptive updates, and talent concerns to drive your ability to better compete in a fast-changing market. We're helping customers leapfrog generations of legacy technology to bring their vision of the future to reality. I look forward to your comments.

  1. McTaggart, Jenny. ‘The Supply Chain’s Pandemic Playbook.’ Progressive Grocer, 2020.
  2. Kark, Khalid. ’Reinventing tech finance: The evolution from IT budgets to technology investments.’ Deloitte Insights, 2021.
  3. ‘Leaders Wanted: Masters of Change at a Moment of Truth.’ Accenture Technology Vision, 2021.
  4. ‘How COVID-19 has pushed companies over the technology tipping point - and transformed business forever.’ McKinsey & Company, 2020.

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About the Author

ERP leadership Founder & Chief Executive Officer Kylee McVaney

Kylee McVaney

Founder & CEO of Nextworld

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