Top 10 Tech Trends for 2014
As companies gain more affordable access to new technology and platforms, they also seek to make smarter investments. As we begin 2014, James Cashin, partner at McGladrey, has identified 10 common strategies in how companies are capitalizing on their IT investments to best implement process improvements and increase performance.
While the reduction in technology costs in the early and mid-2000s led many companies to invest and even over-invest in new platforms and applications, organizations are now more closely evaluating how these investments align with their business goals. By scaling back platforms and implementing new tools, they can collect better information more efficiently.
As the economy recovers, organizations are prioritizing efficiency and thus considering strategic outsourcing initiatives. Many companies are also implementing a lean IT model composed of a technology team of experienced internal resources and strategic outsourcing providers. They can outsource all or certain segments of their IT platform, including more nontraditional technology processes like finance and flexibility.
Continuing the efficiency theme, companies are trying to collect more actionable information by enhancing their current system environment or looking into its effectiveness in relation to the platform’s cost. Cloud-based solutions and other lower-cost technologies are giving them other options to gaining optimal value.
Companies are evaluating their IT governance strategies to continually align IT and the needs of the business using mature, proven processes.
As companies evaluate their systems, they’re seeing a need for better internal controls and data management to help focus on vulnerabilities in system and data security, cyber hacking prevention, and addressing compliance requirements for personal data.
In determining how to better control cash and manage the treasury cycle, businesses are seeking several available solutions to leverage, manage and forecast cash to make more effective financial projections and decisions.
In the virtualized environment of cloud and collaborative technologies, organizations are using tools like SharePoint, though not all are fully taking advantage of the platform’s capabilities to manage, store and share data.
Many upper mid-market companies are exploring and implementing shared service centers that integrate technology into their back office for better work flow. These shared service centers eliminate many manual accounts payable tasks while addressing and centralizing redundant AP functions to create stronger controls, efficiency and cash forecasting.
In streamlining operations, companies are more aggressively seeking out inefficient manual processes and improving and then automating them, leading to greater efficiency that translates to greater profit.
Companies are increasingly using mobile devices to manage the workforce, integrate tools that streamline processes, enhance controls, and increase flexibility. Under this mobile strategy, employees can also work remotely, increasing efficiency and end user satisfaction.