Industry Cloud Business Applications: The Rise Of Industry

Verticalization is back! Why? Even though horizontal business applications are mature, they don’t fully support industry-specific workflows. Manufacturers need to track schedules, time sheets and labor efficiencies, which aren’t core to inventory management or customer relationship management (CRM). The patient’s journey from diagnosis to long-term care must be managed by healthcare providers.

For decades, business software vendors have been creating industry applications. Lightweight cloud templates replaced traditional on-premises solutions, such as Oracle Siebel or SAP CRM. These templates provided scripted best practices and industry data models as well as user-interface-specific labels, extensions, and labels for the horizontal product, but they never reached depth enough to provide maximum results. During this time, verticalized cloud solutions like Blackbaud, Procore, and Veeva emerged for pharmaceuticals and other life sciences.

There is now a fundamentally different approach to industry solutions. This is partly due to the need to modernize core system and adopt cloud solutions to increase agility and resilience. It also reflects cost pressures to concentrate resources on differentiation. Forrester has seen large CRM and digital operations platform vendor increase their focus on industry solutions. One example: According to public reports, Salesforce’s industry editions are on track for accounting for 10% of its total revenue. Infor’s industry cloud accounts for a third.

Although these new industry clouds will be the most popular way to buy five years from now in five years, today’s choices aren’t as clear. Many of these solutions remain relatively new. They can also be more costly and require special resources to install and manage them.

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Digital Accessibility: How $10B in Design Spending will Soon be Available for Grabs Yearly

Design is a hot topic. It is becoming a priority for more businesses. We wanted to find out how much accessibility has on both design technology vendors as well as service companies that offer design.

Our analysis shows that at least $10B (and possibly as high as $16B) of design spending in the US will shift to service and tech companies that are committed to accessibility. The potential impact on the rest the world and shifts that could rock wider tech, marketing and consulting categories in Canada and the US (e.g. content management systems, customer relations management, enterprise resource planning etc.) are not included. You can find out more.

How did we calculate this $10B shift

We first identified five sectors in the US and Canada that have a significant impact on accessibility: finance, healthcare, retail and quick-service restaurants. We examined: 1) data from digital accessibility lawsuits; 2) who Forrester receives inquires from; and (3) survey responses. Additionally, government agencies must procure tools that comply with Section 508 (a US standard), and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act of Canada (a Canadian law).

These industries are responsible for approximately half of all design spending in Canada and the US. This is one way we can estimate the impact.

Alternately 36% of respondents to Forrester’s most recent annual Global State Of Design Teams Survey said they have a “top-down commitment to accessibility,” with the majority saying that it’s being actually being implemented. We expect that more firms will make formal commitments, especially as they focus on diversity and equity in their customer experience, as well as making accessibility a priority — which we predicted would happen by 2021.

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These two numbers indicate that we expect 40% of US and Canadian design dollars to be devoted to accessibility requirements.

One-third to one half of all global design spending is accounted for by the USA and Canada.

This means that out of the $80B worldwide spent on technologies and services to support design, $10B to $16B will be allocated based on accessibility commitments. Vendors and distributors of technology such as survey tools, prototyping tools, research platforms, and prototyping will have to upgrade their platforms in order to sell into these five sectors. Services firms with accessibility expertise will be able to find work that supports these businesses, while those who don’t will lose projects. Accessibility is now integrated into the methods and approaches of all services firms, which will improve accessibility in all industries.

Although this won’t happen overnight it is becoming a common requirement in procurement for design tools that platforms be accessible or have plans to become accessible. We already hear that accessibility expertise is an essential requirement for service firms. Both are valid — these changes could potentially cost at least $10B.

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