by Matt Manning
It has been an unbelievable year. Our customers in the information business faced incredible challenges but the resilience of their future-friendly business models and the value of their services allowed them to succeed despite adversity.
And with our customers’ success came our success. 2020 was IEI’s 13th year in business and our best ever. We now have over 500 employees and are tackling some of the most challenging projects in our history. The resilience of our model (distributed applications, embedded validation, hyper-flexibility, customized processes) was part of the story, but it was truly the strength of our innovative clients was really the key to our ability to survive and prosper.
So what does the future hold for us in the information business? Here are my guesses about what will happen and how it will affect our industry:
– Distributed workforces — remote work, crowdsourcing, dedicated outsourced teams—are here to stay
- Commercial real estate expenses will likely be lower for companies.
- The end of commuting and more employees living outside of major metro areas means HR expenses will likely rise more slowly.
– Shared applications will run more of the enterprise
- Discrete electronic documentation of all internal meetings/decisions will lead to shared datasets (internal and external) supporting decisions made.
- Near real-time customer responsiveness via chat bots and hybrid automated and human-in-the-loop processes.
– Adaptive algorithms will get more reliable
- Applied AI will eventually improve process efficiencies in all industries and services.
- Companies that combine unique real-time data with algorithms (their own or their customers’) will be the key to unlocking efficiencies of emerging next-generation applications.
The move to a distributed workforce and a truly data-driven decision-making future could usher in a golden age for the information industry where fast, logical decisions are made quickly and with confidence:
- Human Resources: Compensation based on production, quality, and other performance metrics determined via compiled ‘best practices’ benchmarks.
- Supply Chain Management: Evolving from ‘just-in-time’ to predictive (i.e., based on likely sales outcomes derived from marketing automation platforms).
- Marketing: Reaching out to specific prospects the way they like to be contacted precisely when they are making purchasing decisions.
- Regulatory Compliance: Embedded report and payment submission processes within ERP applications.
When we enter this leaner, faster, less risky, rules-driven future then institutions worldwide will have good reason to thank the information industry’s prescient entrepreneurs and software engineers.