These 5 pivotal trends will shake up enterprise IT in 2017

Kevin Roberts Profile picture for user kroberts January 2, 2017
What's ahead for enterprise IT? We'll remember 2017 for these 5 pivotal technology trends, writes Kevin Roberts of FinancialForce

Trends 2017 phrase on pocket watch © tashatuvango -
With the ever-changing pace of innovation across the tech ecosystem, 2016 brought some expected as well as some unanticipated developments. We saw cloud reach its tipping point, consolidation in the ERP space, and artificial intelligence enter into mainstream tech conversations.

It’s an exciting time to be an enterprise technology vendor! As we head into a new year, here are five technology trends to watch.

1. Applications move beyond logging data

In 2017, analytics will enable unmatched visibility into every dollar recognized and dollar planned, and allow for critical decisions in an informed and predictable manner. Beyond ERP, enterprise applications in customer relationship management, marketing, human resources and supply chain, are all expected to go beyond acting as a simple system of record.

Enterprise applications are now expected to be systems of engagement and insight. Business users will also demand their applications automate cumbersome workflows and allow real time answers, collaboration, and data-driven decision making.

2. Smart assistants break into the enterprise

Thanks to advances in AI and voice recognition, developers now have the ability to deploy smart assistants in the enterprise. These assistants can check the status of project deliverables, run reports and respond to business information. In 2017, voice controls will explode in the enterprise, and smart assistants like Cortana, Alexa, and Siri will help to automate many simple reporting and monitoring tasks.

3. CFOs will engage with customer experience

In 2017, over half of all companies will be based entirely on services-related revenues. The rise of the services economy, and the importance of subscription renewals in the newly dominant services industry, will force CFOs to become more engaged with customer experience. CFOs will join more conversations with CIOs, CMOs and VPs of product as customer experience becomes a business imperative.

To support this shift, successful software companies will be required to deliver tools that consolidate billing sources, support and automate new revenue models, and provide end-to-end visibility across the customer lifecycle.

4. Cloud passes the tipping point

Holding off on adopting cloud platforms will no longer be an option for most in 2017. Businesses will go all-in on cloud at a faster rate, as they seek new capabilities in financial management, professional services and human capital management apps over on-premise solutions.

The recent acquisition of NetSuite completed one of the biggest corporate U-turns of the past decade for Oracle. Holding off on adopting cloud platforms will no longer be an option as every technology vendor looks to migrate their customer-base onto cloud infrastructure in 2017.

As a critical mass of businesses begins to realize the benefits of managing their financials in the cloud, those left on-premise will run out of reasons to stay.

5. FrankenClouds continue to haunt CIOs

Market consolidation will continue and legacy players like Oracle and SAP will continue to wrestle with integrating acquired technologies. CIOs will continue to struggle with data silos and a performance gap will emerge between companies that are working from a single pool of data, and those who are trying to patch together disparate data sources from multiple mission critical applications.

2017 promises to be an interesting year in technology, and we’re excited to see how these trends will reshape the enterprise, creating new processes and efficiencies, and lead to more agile, accurate and insightful business.

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