Epicor Software Corporation, a global leader in business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations, today announced the results of a new Chief Information Officer (CIO) survey conducted in association with The Manufacturer magazine in the UK. Every respondent in the survey agreed that the demand for speed, re-invention, agility and innovation in business has dramatically increased over the last five years. To meet these demands, the survey reveals how a quiet evolution is taking place with CIOs who are moving beyond business improvement to business transformation.
‘Improvers’ focus on the traditional IT virtues of controlling costs, increasing efficiency, and optimising processes. ‘Transformers’ instead focus on using technology to fulfill a company’s strategic vision. They understand which new tools and applications will solve issues or improve processes that the business may not yet acknowledge as needing attention.
“It’s clear from the survey that there’s pressure on manufacturing CIOs to make the journey from simply being Improvers to becoming Transformers,” said Martin Hill, vice president marketing for Epicor in EMEA. “With the challenges faced by the manufacturing industry and their dependence on increasingly sophisticated systems and technologies, CIOs now have greater influence over how quickly a company can expand into a new market or how quickly a business model can change. All C-level executives, including the CIO need to focus on business transformation rather than just improvement and efficiency. Unfortunately, this is not what’s happening in many cases. Inflexible systems, restricted budgets and outdated technology are holding back CIOs from assisting in transformation. The majority are spending too much time, money and energy just keeping the lights burning -- supporting and maintaining what they have to focus on a more strategic role.”
“It’s not that CIOs don’t want to function as Transformers. It’s more a case of them being held back by old technology, antiquated software or outdated infrastructure which means the majority of their time is spent tactically on meeting the needs of the day-to-day business, ” said Hill. “Faced with the reality of having to keep things going, they are forced back into the Improver role. However, the survey shows that although CIOs are not fully-fledged Transformers yet, there is a quiet evolution going on. It is an evolution and transformation that is warmly welcomed by both CIOs and their peers within the manufacturing industry.”
The latest generation business software, such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and human capital management(HCM) is now built to anticipate the future business world -- a world where change, adaptation and continuous innovation are table stakes. New agile platforms make it simpler and quicker to adopt new functionality and adapt to market change, facilitating the rate at which the business can be transformed. With simpler deployment and ease of maintenance, CIOs can now concentrate not only on what they run or what they run on, but more on what these technologies can do for the business. Furthermore, it means they can stay one step ahead of business needs.
Hill concluded, “At Epicor, we are focused on putting the right tools in the right hands to move business forward. Despite ERP’s clear role as a key for competitiveness and competitive advantage, many respondents in the survey felt that their ERP systems were under delivering. We understand that technology by itself isn’t going to transform business. It needs the vision and drive of a transformative business leader to truly unleash its capability. This is where the new Transformer CIO will be crucial in driving business success both now and well into the future.”
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