A single IT system seldom generates considerable competitive advantage. HiQ’s CSO Juha Moisio hopes that companies would make use of the full potential of the technology currently available.
IT is commonly seen as an element boosting operations, even though it is capable of much more. The existing technology allows for offering new services and even multiplying growth.
“It is, of course, nice to hear that the IT department was able to improve its operations by 75% with FRENDS. However, if its budget is only a couple of percent of the company’s turnover, the achievement is small in terms of money. When a company begins to disrupt its business area, the scope of the change is quite different”, Moisio says.
“If we manage to increase the turnover of a hundred-million-euro company by 20% by shifting from B2B business to B2C business, the benefits will also be considerable in terms of money.” In this kind of change, integrations and APIs (Application Programming Interface) play a key role. The use of APIs opens some of the company’s business processes or data for third parties to use.
According to Moisio, companies cannot simply decide to become disruptive but the opportunity to adopt a new strategy comes from innovations.
“If you only seek to make things in the same way as before, but quicker, you should ask what Henry Ford would have done. If he had asked people what they want, they would have said “faster horses”. Ford built a car with a piston engine and tyres. In practice, the piston engines already are already present in today’s IT systems. We are already in the position to make next-level big things.”
According to Moisio, the important thing is to make the existing systems and their data produce modern services. Companies must find out how an enabling layer can be created in an ERP on top of which new services can be built. In addition, they must also take the future service user into consideration:
They must know where the data is and how it is consumed. Integrations and APIs lie in between these. “When services are good, they attract users like a honey pot”, Moisio says.
Juha Moisio challenges companies to think bigger: “Are they content with improving things within their existing business model or are they ready to build a platform economy and introduce API solutions and artificial intelligence in order to bring their business benefit to the global level?”
“APIs are the same thing now as web pages were in 1993. At that point, companies did not actually realize the value of web pages but just knew that they had to be present on the Web. Today, we know that the value of the data available through the Internet is immensely high.” There are numerous commercialization mechanisms. The data on which money is made is not necessarily the same data that the company’s customers are using.
“After five years, we will see practices where the budget for IT costs is covered by selling data”, Moisio believes.