The application market has evolved more over the last 12 months than it has over the last 15-20 years, with the advent of subscription-based models that provide businesses with more flexibility and scalability.

While there has been a marked shift in the options available to businesses, the root of this evolution may well be within the businesses themselves.

Technology in the boardroom

In recent years the tactical approach to a business’s applications and solutions may have been the responsibility of an IT department. However, as the conversation around technology has become more strategic, the discussions have now reached the boardroom. Now, regardless of which sector or industry it operates in, every business is in the technology business, and business leaders have a greater understanding of how technology can be utilised as a business enabler.

This change in approach largely comes down to three factors: maintaining a competitive advantage, workload management and a new generation of business leaders. The latter has had an enormous effect on business culture and approach to technology, with the new wave of senior staff and directors often having had a different exposure to technology than their predecessors.

Subsequently, this has developed a business culture where the conversation about technology is a business imperative priority which is not just the responsibility of the IT team.

New generation of leaders

This new generation of leaders are also savvy when it comes to utilising technology to maintain a competitive advantage and manage workloads. In the world of modern business, agility is expected in every sense and this new boardroom generation are increasingly focused on deploying technology that will drive profitability and streamline processes.

Solutions that scale

In contrast to broad reaching solutions, subscription-based models, which are now more popular, allow businesses to buy and use what they need and deploy applications which can scale with their organisation.

The primary difference between these solutions comes down to how they are packaged, with subscription models suiting the needs of today’s boardroom and ultimately allowing business leaders to make more strategic decisions.

While this strategic approach enables businesses to embrace new methodologies, the role of service providers is shifting too, as they increasingly become a consultant and complete technology partner to their clients.

Technology companies can no longer be a retailer of software, and the consultation role is now more critical than ever in ensuring that the right kind of technology supports a business’ objectives. As a result, there are a number of mergers taking place across the technology sector, as small providers move into the midsize market in order to stay ahead of the competition and meet the changing needs of their customers.

Driving results

Technology has always been at the heart of business infrastructure, but now business leaders have a greater understanding of how technology can be used to drive results and the critical role it plays in driving business growth.

The sector will continue to evolve and we will see a number of developments over the coming months and years.

What we do know is that the technology conversation has now strayed from a business’s IT department, and is now a firm topic of discussion around the boardroom table.

Read Part 1: The new era of applications

Written by Emily White