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“Every company is now a software company.”

You may have heard this phrase, which is fast becoming the new modern business mantra. Everything from the car you drive to the watch you wear is a computer. By the time the current decade ends, the already-blurred line between “company” and “tech company” may not exist.

Sandy Ono calls this “Business 2030″ – the race to prepare for the next decade. The chief marketing officer of OpenText says it’s top of mind for countless companies, and information management technologies stand to help firms gain a lasting competitive edge.

Ms. Ono outlines four major forces driving innovation toward Business 2030:

  • Enterprise reinvention, as every organization attempts to reinvent itself as a software company.
  • Human-centric work, which places employee and customer experience at the heart of all business.
  • Navigating new rules and regulations, such as those around diversity and inclusion or environmental, social and governance (ESG).
  • Grappling with new opportunities, such as those presented by the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

“Especially among non-tech companies, everybody’s digitally transforming,” Ms. Ono says.

“From bus transportation to farming, everybody needs to be a software company at their core.”

Enterprise reinvention starts with automation. While 86 per cent of organizations automate some tasks and individual processes, according to the Foundry Research Information Management and Integration Challenges MarketPulse Survey for OpenText, just 28 per cent have integrated these automations and workflows.

What this means is more than 70 per cent of organizations are missing out on the information management opportunity presented by cloud computing. As companies prepare for the decade to come, they’ll face challenges that include storing data across multiple domains. “Everybody’s still dealing with data sprawl and application sprawl. You can’t get away from it,” Ms. Ono says.

“As an IT leader, you want the promise of AI, and you want faster decision making. But how do you get through this data chokepoint? You need to be able to see all your data and have it be connected. The challenge today is not the desire to make these connections, but the ability to do it at scale through integration, automation, and information management embedded in critical workflows.”

The airline industry is an example of a sector that has traditionally struggled with data sprawl. A simple app that shows a customer their flight information is powered by data stored in many different places. Similarly, in the legal industry, law firms must have the ability to quickly search through case files, but that information is rarely centralized.

The healthcare industry, too, has had to confront data sprawl. “You really want your doctors and your healthcare providers at the point of care to be able to leverage information,” Ms. Ono says. “Now, the patient records are in a mainframe somewhere else. All the information you’re collecting on patient centres across the country are maybe in the cloud. Your knowledge base, in terms of what the doctors depend on, is in a separate place, too. You want these things connected.”

As companies evolve, they adopt different means of storing data, and information can end up in data silos. It does not mean you have to tear down your information management systems.

“You can’t leave all your current infrastructure and applications behind,” Ms. Ono explains, noting there’s no need to shed every custom application. Instead, she adds, “you actually have to modernize.”

OpenText’s cloud-native solutions are designed to address even the most complex information management problems. “We specialize in helping companies take data, applications, and processes that are built on or around older technology, and transition those custom workloads to the cloud to provide intelligent automation and scale,” Ms. Ono says. AI-driven tools, she adds, help to make OpenText a “platform of platforms” that gives organizations the edge required to become that coveted “software company,” future-proof their business, and gain a competitive advantage.

Moving to the cloud can seem daunting, but companies aren’t obliged to go it alone. With the right partner in your enterprise reinvention journey, Ms. Ono says, “You don’t have to throw away years of investments.”

The next generation of business is going to be led by tech. The time to plan for 2030 is now.

Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio with OpenText. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.

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