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Y2K12: Technology advances present significant business opportunities

TECHNOLOGY BULLETIN  | 

In the late 1990s, many companies made sizeable technology investments, largely due to the Y2K millennium bug and the apex of the dot com bubble. Twelve years have passed since Y2K and the bubble burst, and due to the subsequent recession, many of those systems are still in place. Technology has advanced significantly in this timeframe, and as the economy improves, companies are implementing collaborative solutions to transform their business and differentiate themselves from the competition.

A calendaring issue related to Y2K threatened the stability of IT systems, with many projected to malfunction when failing to recognize the date Jan. 1, 2000. At the same time, Internet startup companies consistently made significant technological advances and experienced rapid growth. From 1997-2000, established companies invested in on-premise system updates as a necessity to account for Y2K while Internet startups implemented new software and systems to support their expansion. A surge of technology upgrades occurred, from infrastructure to enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) systems.

Unfortunately, the dot com bubble burst shortly following Y2K, sending many businesses into a financial tailspin, that many did not survive or have not completely recovered from. Several small recoveries have occurred, but most companies have been in a retrenchment mode, weathering the storm without making significant investments in their business. This meant utilizing antiquated frameworks implemented more than a decade ago and patching those systems when issues arose.

In 2012, the economy has improved and businesses are evaluating their growth potential and how new technology can help them reach those goals. System capabilities have grown significantly since Y2K, and can serve as a vehicle to transform the business and offer greater collaboration, functionality and scalability. A significant opportunity exists to make infrastructure and processing platform investments, as many of the financial and operational barriers that previously discouraged upgrades have been diminished or eliminated.

With the rise of social media and availability of information on the Internet, today’s consumers are more sophisticated and demand real-time information with increased functionality. Many of these capabilities were not available 12 years ago, and different types of products and services are now necessary. Customer expectations have changed, and businesses must assess and possibly update their infrastructure, ERP and CRM capabilities to keep pace with or surpass the competition.

Companies rightfully expect to receive a return on their investment, and in addition to providing a more functional, scalable and collaborative environment, significant cost savings can also be realized. For example, new systems can support the growth of the organization without having to hire additional employees. Efficiencies can also be gained within human resources through the implementation of a self-service portal, allowing employees to manage their personal information and benefits.

As the economy improves, a very competitive business atmosphere has emerged. Companies can utilize technology to differentiate themselves and increase market share while operating more efficiently. For more information on refocusing on technology and implementing new systems to transform your business, read our white paper, Y2K+12: Integrating next generation technology to transform your business.