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Comments Off on Look to AIM For These Tech Innovators

Look to AIM For These Tech Innovators

Posted by Admin | June 13, 2017 | Unified Commuication

Head of technology research at finnCap, Andrew Darley, tells us why AIM is the best place to invest in fast-growing businesses that drive productivity and efficiency.

With companies under increasing regulatory burdens and pressure to demonstrate corporate best practice to stakeholders, there has been a significant uptick in digital transformation, enhanced by the opportunities derived from automation, data analytics and artificial intelligence, and minimum cybersecurity requirements.

Innovations in enterprise software have been part of this trend. Communications technology such as “Unified Communications” embodies the “convergence” principles which have received lip service for over a decade.

Unified processes, systems, and workflow management increase overall productivity and efficiency. They can also be the difference between mere survival and thriving in any given industry, regardless of size and scale.

All non-core elements of a business should be able to be outsourced or pushed to the cloud: digitally transformed with next-generation software, particularly the less glamourous roles within any organisation like administration, inventory and stock-taking, financial controlling and risk management.

Ideagen plc (IDEA) provides governance, risk and compliance management software. The company recently acquired PleaseTech, which specialises in providing simultaneous, controlled and secure collaboration for co-authoring and redacting documents, incorporating an audit trail of transparency and accountability.

It isn’t just internal processes that provide benefits. Customer relationships can also be significantly improved. If we consider what we demand on a personal level from our technology today, businesses must step up if they are to succeed and retain customers.

Banks that have developed apps for ease of access to accounts, and route optimisation software for delivery vans employed by the likes of Ocado (OCDO), are perfect examples.

Moreover, “omnichannel” customer contact capabilities provided by the likes of Netcall (NET) offer interaction and unified record keeping with customers whether through email, phone, tweets, or web interaction.

We can expect many more new developments given that vendors are in a state of constant flux in order to cater for the significant shift from office-based to mobile technologies.

Given the human fallibility of manual data input into spreadsheets – recent research showing more than four out of 10 companies struggling to use them efficiently – businesses are moving towards what Deloitte describes as the “kinetic enterprise”.

Simply put, this is companies developing the capacity to keep up and flourish in an ever-evolving environment. Niche, cloud-delivered, interoperable software is now the norm, the opposite of the monolithic systems preferences worshipped by impractical IT departments of old.

Global IT research firm Gartner predicts a growth in enterprise software spending of 5.5% in 2017, while simultaneously seeing a cut in investment on hardware as companies opt to use more cloud-based technologies.

This makes good business sense if we consider that, according to McKinsey, large IT projects costing over $15 million (£11.6 million) run on average 45% over budget while delivering 56% less value than forecast. Small is beautiful, delivered by specialists.

Many businesses, large and small, are still dragging their feet on updating archaic systems and infrastructure under the misconception that introducing new digital technology will be expensive, time-consuming and require costly user training. True, change can be disruptive, but the efficiencies of the cloud for small and mid-size companies can’t be ignored.

An increasing number of companies are embracing tech advances to improve productivity and efficiency with faster reaction and turnaround times, enhanced collaboration and improved decision-making.

This is not bleeding edge, or even leading edge, with the cloud now the accepted norm as opposed to the risky choice. Software and services to achieve this are already out there.

Taking the time to explore them with a needs-based approach might be the most worthwhile investment a company makes – and AIM offers investment opportunities in a fleet of companies benefiting from customers likely to adopt just that logic.

Source: iii

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