Digital transformation at the top of the priorities of CIOs and CTOs: study

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Seventy-two percent of CIOs and CTOs in the GCC region agree that investments in digital transformation are key to their success and 52% expect a return on investment (ROI) within one to two years, underscoring the urgency of change, according to a report. .

However, 76% of those surveyed admit that up to 50% of their licensed enterprise software applications are not in use, suggesting that there is significant room for optimizing existing business applications, according to “The 2022 IT Buyer Sentiment Survey ”published by Rimini Street, a global provider of business software products and services.

“The GCC results are very similar to a global study we conducted in early 2020 with CFOs, who also say that investments in digital transformation are critical to their success,” said Emmanuelle Hose, vice president of the group and general manager of the theater, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Rimini Street.

“The main question that GCC’s CIOs and CTOs face is, ‘What is the best way to achieve modernization? Because the study suggests that there are doubts about the cloud and its ability to provide a smooth transition. Our report indicates that there are opportunities to optimize existing applications and innovate at the edge, which we can help customers by providing unified support so they can focus on change.

The impatience to innovate

Across the region, 15% of respondents say digital transformation is their number one priority compared to other business priorities, but there are gaps across the region:

• Oman – 23%
• Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – 22%
• Bahrain – 18%
• United Arab Emirates – 13%
• Qatar – 8%
• Kuwait – 4%

This raises questions about the value of highly complex and disruptive migrations from leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications to their Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) counterpart; as such, projects often take many years. In particular, for large GCC companies with multiple ERP systems on different versions, such a global change can impact productivity and revenue generation at a critical time when growth is critical to the long-term sustainability of the business. the company. Increasingly, Rimini Street sees customers around the world responding to the need for change while minimizing disruption by innovating at the edge rather than trying to “rip and replace” existing internal applications.

CIOs and CTOs across the region want innovation with security and privacy as the number one priority for IT initiatives, followed by next-generation disruptive technology initiatives, risk management and compliance, and income-generating technology initiatives. The challenge is to choose a strategy that allows them to move forward with agility and pace, targeting innovation where it will be most effective. For example, the survey highlighted the concerns of managers about losing their existing application customizations during any IT upgrade.

Rimini Street finds that its customers can solve this problem by adopting its third-party support, because having the assurance of Primary Support Engineers (PSE) with an average of 20 years of specialist experience means they can be confident that applications existing ones will be fully supported while they focus on transformation. Rimini Street enjoys a customer satisfaction rating of over 4.9 out of 5.0 for case investigations, and guarantees 24/7 support with a maximum response time of 10 minutes for critical issues ( Priority 1) and an average response time of less than two minutes.

Rimini Street’s global expertise in personalized support for changed code, with first-hand knowledge of unique environments and changes, helps customers reallocate their enterprise application support resources from supporting customizations to innovation at the periphery.

“We understand that most companies want and need to customize their ERP system for performance and differentiation, but often lack the proper support from the software vendor, who typically doesn’t include customization support in programs. standard maintenance. This requires engaging expensive external consultants or dedicating internal resources to support business critical custom code, ”said Taher Haj-Yousef, Regional Director Middle East, Rimini Street.

“By moving to third-party support, customers alleviate these challenges and avoid very disruptive changes. It also demonstrates that there is a clear alternative path to modernization by leveraging existing applications and innovating at the edge. “

The path to follow

The survey further suggests that CIOs and CTOs are considering various approaches to modernize their enterprise application environments. 30% plan to migrate to the cloud with a hybrid cloud model, while 28% plan to “lift and move” to a public cloud infrastructure as a service such as Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud or AWS. 26% plan to migrate to a private cloud, but only 16% are considering a “rip and replace” migration, which would require them to move from their existing internal applications to the SaaS equivalent of their current applications.

More than half (54%) are planning to move to a hosted cloud environment for their enterprise applications running in-house, but intend to move away from their current vendor.

This shows that there are many ways to modernize corporate IT environments, often without disrupting the replacement of existing stable business applications. Additionally, it underscores the fact that customers don’t feel pressured to stay on the ISV-driven migration path and are looking for alternative approaches. By moving to third-party support, customers further strengthen their independence to make transformation decisions on a timeline tailored to their business needs.

This allows customers to adopt a mixed ERP architecture as part of a larger hybrid IT strategy where the core systems of the recording / ERP platforms are not replaced, giving customers the flexibility to adopt the best cloud-based “engagement systems” to drive digital transformation.

Supplier frustration

What is clear is that CIOs and CTOs across the GCC are not entirely satisfied with the support offerings from vendors. 27% say one of their biggest challenges with their enterprise application vendor is the lack of support for customizations, and 26% complain that they don’t have access to an experienced engineer. The three main challenges in supporting software vendors are:

• Explain the same problems several times (41%)
• High costs (39%)
• Lack of responsiveness and ownership (39%) – TradeArabia News Service


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