Forrester and Kenandy: What the Connected Economy Enables You To Do

Recently Kenandy held a joint webinar with Forrester Research Vice President and Principal Analyst George Lawrie on the connected economy and what it means for small and medium-size businesses.

For one thing, the connected economy enables businesses to create a different relationship with the customer.  For example, the value chain used to be linear – from raw material to supplier to manufacturer to retailer to customer. But with the connected economy, the value chain isn’t a chain so much as it is an ecosystem, with multiple players, including the customer, who participates at several points along the way (helping with design, selecting support services and so on). There simply isn’t the rigidity there used to be. The linear value chain favors large companies, which can exert enormous influence over each link in the chain and leverage longstanding business relationships. The connected world favors the agile, who can communicate and work with new people and new companies and quickly develop trust. Cloud collaboration accelerates this trend further still. Companies can reach out and touch their customers directly; Nike, for example, has a Web site that lets customers design the shoe they want to buy.

Connected Economy 2The connected economy also comes with greater cost efficiencies and agility. But perhaps its greatest trick is how it makes it possible for companies to change existing business models, or add or just try out new ones, and make it more possible for these companies to disrupt the way consumers go to market, and the way companies can sell to and service them. For example – is a Tesla a car?  Or is it an appliance that can be (and, in fact, is) upgraded? Is an Apple Watch a device, or is it a set of services based around time, space, and commerce?

And companies are beginning to replace their on-premises ERP with cloud ERP, which is what makes changing their business models possible. Cloud ERP is a tremendous equalizer, allowing any company to connect to anyone in the supply chain and change its business model as it sees fit. Cloud ERP really enables business leaders to live and play in the connected economy, because they can focus their thinking on their customers, on innovating, on driving value. Not on implementing software or integrating disparate systems.

For more great takeaways from this Webinar, and recommendations for SMBs, take a listen to the full recorded Webinar.

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