Building the Solutions of Tomorrow
The predictability of uncertain events
The 2018 global financial crisis was long-lasting and far-reaching for many nations and businesses. It prompted macro-economic and financial reforms aimed at making financial institutions and national economies more resilient and shockproof. On the tenth-year anniversary of that crisis, many felt that we had collectively taken the measures necessary to protect global and local economies from experiencing another downturn of similar magnitude.
Yet, in 2020, we are on the brink of yet another financial downturn, this one provoked by an unexpected global health pandemic. Despite some indications that the eventual worldwide spread of viral infections was inevitable, no one could have predicted Covid-19’s advent and exponential propagation with high precision.
Whether they’re caused by financial or health-related events, global crises are no longer a question of ‘if’ but rather of ‘when.’ While anticipating their exact arrival might be more difficult, preparing for them shouldn’t be. Preparation certainly involves employing the right organizational policies and technology to enable change, flexibility, and agility at all levels.
A changing landscape calls for an agile approach
As we have all witnessed in the past two decades, macro- and micro-economic changes can lead to changes in policy at national, regional and international levels. This, in turn, can lead to new legal, financial and tax requirements that businesses are expected to fulfill to continue their operations lawfully, uninterrupted. Some of these requirements can be addressed through the implementation of IT solutions or enterprise apps, while others go well beyond the scope of technology.
A good example of a legal change with far-reaching consequences for both public and private companies is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which was signed into federal law in the United States in 2002. SOX first aimed to better regulate the financial, accounting, and reporting practices of public companies (those listed on public stock exchanges). The goal was to protect shareholders from fraudulent corporate practices which, at the time, were a rather common occurrence.
Prompted by the financial demise of large corporations like Enron, Tyco, and WorldCom, SOX mandated new corporate auditing policies and required the creation and implementation of new enterprise technological functionality. As a result of SOX and to ensure compliance with the new regulations, many existing IT solutions needed to be updated, and just as many new ones built. Despite originating in the U.S., the principles of public company performance transparency, auditing independence, and accountability for non-compliance, which SOX introduced, quickly perpetuated worldwide. The result was the rollout of similar regulations in other markets that often grappled with corporate dishonesty.
Evolving roles of IT teams and development partners
The role of IT today isn’t simply meeting immediate organizational needs through technical means but includes anticipating organizational, societal and even political changes that may affect a business. Of course, the exact changes that will take place are impossible to predict, unless you have some of Nostradamus’ descendants on the payroll.
However, simply knowing that laws, rules, regulations, guidelines, consumer tastes and preferences are likely to evolve can mean the difference between adopting flexible and scalable technology solutions vs. ones that cannot be altered or upgraded without incurring significant development costs. Organizations should not spend time, money, and other valuable resources implementing and licensing solutions that will not last or generate enough ROI (Return on Investment).
Designing future-minded enterprise applications
A good example of a future-minded IT solution is an ERP system that can be updated regularly to meet an ever-changing business and legal landscape, while still allowing the organization to run smoothly and without interruption. Fortunately, many modern ERP systems today support this kind of agile upgrades and updates. They often take place in the background, with the sole involvement of the IT team or department, and without the awareness of the actual users.
Adopting an organizational culture and mindset that support societal change will also translate into sourcing and developing enterprise solutions and applications that are future-minded and capable of standing the test of time.
Interested in developing future-proof enterprise apps? Get in touch with us for a chat.