Top ERP and Enterprise Software Technology Trends for 2014

As another year passed, the technology marketplace has been tumultuous in terms of adoption, trends, mergers and acquisitions. Large software players have broadened their portfolios and have started to target customers upstream and downstream from their typical customers. For the new year we have compiled a list of top technology trends – mostly for enterprise software. These trends include ERP, Social business, CRM, BI/EPM/Analytics, Collaboration, Project Failure/Success, Mobile and Security and others are the main areas of focus.Looking back at the 2013 list of technology trends, most of them have come to pass and are still evolving as adoption continues to grow. Projects continue to fail, spending increases, infrastructures and applications are being remade using the cloud and other IT issues continue to appear and also be resolved.Here is a list of what we think the top software trends will emerge in 2014.1. Rise of BI/EPM/Analytic Vendors: This trend has become apparent as many new small start-ups have introduced some type of analytics or BI tool. We have seen very vertical specific solutions to broad all-encompassing software that can be customized by industry. A reason for this trend is that enterprise applications have become easier to integrate and require less technical knowledge to aggregate data out of a system. Organizations are requiring more real-time information, by implementing these systems unlocks the decision-making potential that is stored in the data.2. Increased Consultant Use: This trend is a 180 from organizations wanting to bring back in-house technical expertise. CIO’s have committed to spending more money on contractors for the upcoming year and software selection is a key component of this spend. Other areas where organizations will spend money in IT and Business alignment are resourcing to support existing projects, project management recovery services have started to push forward as an important area to save failing IT projects to get them back on track. Organizations often do not have the resources or skill sets to properly evaluate enterprise software thereby, more attention will be attributed to lowering project failure. An impartial properly executed software selection greatly lowers the risk of IT failure.3. ERP’s and Enterprise Software Projects Continue to Fail: Lack of expertise and accountability from both the organization and the vendor lead to failed implementations. There is no clear direction from organizations as to what should be implemented, by whom, what timeframe is acceptable, training, POC, management of scope creep, budgetary overruns, and how problems are resolved should they arise with definitive timelines and accountability. Clear business process definitions are often not revealed by the customer leaving vendors to guess how an organization does business. Organizations should be fully transparent with the vendors they select as they business partners with full two-way communications whereby the vendor can provide a smooth transition after implementation and the organization should also become a reference site for the vendor.4. Changing IT/Business Selection Criteria: As delivery models continue to change organizations are evaluating different priorities and criteria. Previously organizations have relied too much on features and functions when selecting enterprise software. Many new selection criteria have started to emerge such as: nuances of data, cloud model, portability, scalability, TCO, SLA levels, Vendor lock-in, ROI and agility are areas that more closely scrutinized.5. Enterprise Software Categories Continue to Merge: The creation of new enterprise software categories continues to emerge. Specialized software vendors have started to include additional functionality that expands the breadth of their solution but often times not the depth that is required. Customers are confused as to how to match the right type of software with what functions and depth they actually require. Vendors have started to include social, collaboration, CRM, project management, billing and BI within their software. This delineation muddies the water for the consumer as they may not know how to categorize their business to match enterprise software categories thereby contacting the wrong vendors to start out their software evaluation.6. Paying More Attention to BYOD and Security: As use of mobile devices continues to proliferate mobile security and social user policies must be put into place and enforced. Additional security will lower organizational risk by securing multiple mobile devices. Employees should also have direction from the company as to what is acceptable and not for social media interaction, who owns the information, where it stored and clear lines of communication where social accounts differentiate if communications are from the company or an individual user.7. Increased Spending for Social, CRM and Email Automation: Organizations have committed more IT budget to these softwares. Coincidentally, this is one of the enterprise software categories that are blending functionalities. An organization should comprehend its main business function as to what the organization requires and the auxiliary functionalities. A mistake often made here is that the auxiliary functionalities become the focus which strays the original intent of the software evaluation.8. Shadow IT Emerges: This is caused by the CMO spending that does not often include the CIO. Usually, the new marketing, social software and BI software is implemented and rarely incorporates into existing IT infrastructure. The new software is independently supported, updated and managed proving difficult for internal IT management and integration to existing systems. Support also becomes a point of contention as the Shadow IT organizations are created as support is often non-coherent and difficult to manage.9. Vendor Consolidation Continues: More vendors are increasing their portfolios by acquiring either complementary software to bolster existing functionality or even acquiring software that is completely different from current offerings. Organizations should carefully distinguish their needs and if the vendor can support their requirements, if the vendor has enough industry experience or is new to the space altogether are areas for companies to watch out for.10. New Government and Regulatory Standards: These new requirements will require system upgrades and in some cases new system implementations. ObamaCare, New HIPPA and medical industry requirements will drive software spend in this sector. Also there have been many changes in food processing and manufacturing industries that will cause companies to re-evaluate existing systems or completely installing something new.11. Salesforce.com Turning into ERP: Salesforce continues to grow its cloud presence by acquiring more SaaS solutions. Its recent acquisitions and cloud portfolio suggests that one of the few plays to increase company value is to increase its offerings. SFDC will acquire solutions that complement their SCRM business with more HR/HCM, Financial and possibly project management which will effectively turn into an ERP for Services. The Oracle partnership suggests that SFDC is targeting Workday customers with Oracle functionality – all to be offered in the cloud. This one should prove interesting to see where this ends up.12. Further IT Specialization Being Required: New softwares are emerging and requiring specialized expertise. A new software category that enables integration and workflow capabilities are greatly reducing complex IT tasks. However, these new applications often require highly specialized expertise such as programming, business process mapping, API creation, administration, integration and design capabilities that may not have been part of the IT department.13. Organizations Going Hybrid Cloud: Organizations are adopting a combination of public and private cloud creating hybrid clouds. Organizations are not comfortable putting some types of information in the cloud. They create an internal cloud and have less important information in the public cloud. The cloud provides a seamless integration for employees.It will fun to see what unfolds this year as with each year. Did we forget any? What trends do you see?

News and Society – Is the World Crazzzzier Than Ever?

When I turn on the television or read the newspaper, it seems that there is a constant bombardment of negative events from around the world. Today I decided to try to sort the day’s top stories into categories and try to determine if these have worsened or if we are just more aware of them:1. Global economic trends – The past few months have seen what is termed “unprecedented” problems with the stock market which has been on a roller-coaster ride as well as the demise of several large corporations. Businesses that had previously been viable are now turning to federal government asking for a handout because of competition or poor management in the past. Fluctuations in the dollar as well as instability in trade relations have caused most countries to recognize that what happens in other countries very much affects all of us.2. Personal financial problems – Whether it is cause or effect, individuals and families are hurting in many ways. The closure of industries and organizations have resulted in layoffs of thousands of employees. The mortgage meltdown in the United States has placed pressure on home-owners who no longer than afford their payments. Fluctuating costs for oil and gas coupled with the rising costs for food has forced people to turn to community agencies for support or take on more jobs in an attempt to pay the bills and support their families.3. Health Issues – Because the mortality rate has risen, we have more older people and this places demands on the next generation when it comes to ensuring that their health and personal needs are met. Time, money and stress can result when a caregiver is responsible for looking after a parent(s) as well as children while trying to juggle a career. There appears to be a strong educational component with our media that encourages us to develop good health practices.4. War and Terrorism – A few years ago I remember being horrified to hear that there were over 100 wars in progress at the time. The September 11th terrorist activity reminded the world that we are not invincible and we do not have to even leave our home countries to experience trauma or conflict. Every week we hear about bombings, threats of deliberate germ warfare or assassinations.5. Weather disturbances – Until India recently experienced a tsunami, I hadn’t even heard the world. The hurricanes devastation in New Orleans haunted us all as we watched its victims struggle helplessly. Earthquakes, snow storms and flooding in various parts of the world capture our attention on a regular basis.6. Crime and murder – I am shocked at how many school shootings, murder-suicides within families and armed robberies are reported through the media each week. Sports and political figures are not immune to trouble and we often lose respect for someone who had previously been a “hero” after they have been charged with sexual misdemeanors or unethical practices.When I consider the above, I am reminded that history does repeat itself. We have experienced abuse and murder from the Biblical days of Cain and Abel. Wars have been reported since the beginning of time and there have always been the “haves” and the “have nots” when it comes to financial wealth. Even those who claim that weather patterns have changed, would admit that there have always been occurrences of havoc caused by extreme situations.Perhaps it is true that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It might be just that we hear about them more often and more quickly because of technology and the media cycles.

Career Opportunities in Healthcare Management Through Online Healthcare Training

A healthcare administration career via online healthcare management training requires no medical background. This is the field relating to the leadership, management and administration of healthcare systems, hospitals and hospital networks. Healthcare administration covers a broad area of activities and there is usually a set of factors that determine the types of jobs that need to be done to run any given facility; these often include the size and scope of the facility in question and the kinds of medical/ healthcare facilities they have.Healthcare administrators are vital to the successful operation of any healthcare system. The day to day running and financial sides to healthcare require dedicated professionals to work on areas from clerical to administrative to financial. Healthcare professionals, also known as healthcare managers or health services managers are regular business managers who plan, direct, coordinate and supervise the delivery of health services. These managers can be specialists in charge of a specific department or managing entire facilities. Healthcare education has recently found a new home on the internet, with thousands of people pursuing online healthcare education and online training in order to improve their professional skills and profiles or to take the opportunity to switch to this lucrative and satisfying career from another field.The following is a brief description of some of the major areas in healthcare administration for which extensive online health care administration and management education and training is now available.General AdministrationHealthcare organizations, like all other types of businesses, are often profit based businesses requiring the highest quality of managerial oversight. A healthcare unit requires a whole top and middle management team in order to function. Matters related to budgeting, profit and future expansion is also, likewise, a managerial responsibility (especially in larger facilities like hospitals).Healthcare managers in administration positions normally answer to the board of directors. The workload is higher than for many other areas, with administrators often required to work between 55-60 hours a week, however, compensation and career benefits are attractive and the work itself is stable to a great extent. Growth opportunities are numerous and salaries are also amongst the higher levels, with healthcare administration staff making $40,000-50,000 for a start and improving to $120,000-130,000 within 10 or 11 years.Human Resource (HRM)HR professionals specializing in healthcare are responsible to maintain a working, motivated staff for all departments. They are often responsible for the hiring of medical staff (doctors, nurses etc) and generally fulfilling HR duties as in any other organization. These professionals average a salary of around $35,000 to $100,000 per year.Medical information technology (MIT)With great advancements in information sharing and technology, healthcare has changed drastically over the last few years. With the continued application of new technology in healthcare, a team of professionals is required to operate and maintain information systems (and networks), diagnostic machines, computer systems and software. They are also responsible for upgrading and problem solving. Professionals in this area earn anywhere in the range of $40,000-$100,000; the job description itself varying with the type of facility.Public relations (marketing)PR managers in healthcare are responsible for improving the healthcare facilities’ image in the public eye and to keep the surrounding public informed about the facilities and services offered at the healthcare unit. PR managers are also responsible for providing coordination services and information in the event of an emergency or disaster. PR managers are also the spokespersons for their respective facilities, representatives for the unit, and speak for the organization (for instance in the event of a lawsuit etc). They fall into the same pay grade as MIT or HRM professionals.FinanceFinance professionals hold a critical importance today for healthcare at a par with doctors and nurses. The cost of healthcare is rising all the time, it is important to keep not only the facility profitable, but also to make healthcare as affordable as possible. These professionals are responsible for detailed financial aspects like budgeting, accounting, auditing and income & expenditure; also finding ways for administrators to cut costs and improve finding. Finance managers in smaller facilities average the same pay-scale as those for HRM and MIT; however those for larger facilities and with more experience can make considerably more than that ($80,000-$200,000 a year).References:
Bureau or labor statistics – Handbook for occupational outlook – US dept. of Labor.