Collaborative, flexible and intelligent software took center stage in 2014 laying the foundations for 2015. With a plethora of data now at our fingertips, this year we can expect to see an evolution of discovery.

We recently published our 2015 CRM and ERP software predictions, which you can read here. As suggested in the predictions, business software will become a vital part of each and every business. Gartner has already forecast that CRM software will grow significantly as businesses realise the importance of monitoring and managing customer relationships. This increase in software adoption will escalate the rate of change required for businesses to stay competitive. How can accounting software improve?

This year accounting software will benefit from advanced reporting capabilities, with improved access to intelligent data collected in real-time. These reports will be comprehensive and visual, making them easier and clearer to read, thus enabling businesses to make informed decisions quickly.

The next level of customer relationship management

This year businesses should focus on conversations rather than transactions. Businesses can no longer provide value to their customers if they’re not listening to them. By utilising data businesses can make educated decisions to fuel marketing automation strategies that nurture relationships. It is this that enables business to adapt and better meet customer needs. This increases customer retention, which allows a business gain more from existing customers. Hence, we can expect to see a rise in analytics and reporting capabilities that will create a demand for intelligent marketing automation features within CRM software.

The cloud is the limit

Cloud is the future, and we can expect to see this become a more valuable asset as businesses look at becoming more flexible. As more business come to the realisation that they require a software solution to support their business efforts, we can expect to see a huge surge of businesses adopting cloud based CRM models, with hybrid and SaaS deployment options being the most appealing.

IDC FutureScape supports this by saying, “More than 65% of enterprise IT organisations will commit to hybrid cloud technologies before 2016…”

What else will happen in 2015?

It’s a mobile world we live in, with more and more businesses relying on mobile solutions and services. Mobile only applications will rise in popularity as more people take advantage of flexible working practices, as well as BYOD (Bring your own device).

As reported on Zdnet.com, “…2015 could be the year that wearables go mainstream. That means companies are going to have to start looking more seriously at wearables that could help their business and also considering the impact of wearables on their BYOD policies.”

One of the main developments to watch is mobile applications and how these will connect wearables and other mobile devices to shape the IoT. This will challenge developers to create innovative software applications that can be integrated in to systems we as businesses already use.

Just as Ramon Llamas, research manager for IDC’s Wearables program, states, “Wearables is quickly moving out of its initial stages and moving into its growth phases. With this change comes the need for greater experimentation along multiple vectors: devices, platforms, and applications, to name a few. Vendors willing to take greater risks will be rewarded in this new market than not.”

All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. – Galileo Galilei

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