I was interested to see Xero be awarded 'Platform of the Year' by the International Marketing Association, and under the theme of 'Accelerating Innovation'. There's no doubt it's becoming an indispensable platform for small business, with significant investment in its application programming interface (API) improvements fuelling growth of its developer ecosystem.
'Platform-as-a-Service' is predicted by Forbes to achieve a 27% CAGR growth rate this year, alongside cloud management and security services. It's one of many interesting technology trends, as public cloud computing gains greater adoption across enterprises.
The Xero ecosystem now has over 400 accounting software add-ons that can provide instant capabilities for a business owner. Xero continues to expand and develop its own platform, adding some of the best functionality incrementally through comprehensive data on the most popular add-ons. Competition is inherent in business practice, and while Xero effectively 'stole a march' on established small business accounting providers by developing specifically for the cloud, MYOB and Intuit (in particular) are now responding aggressively.
Technology is fuelling business transformation across all sectors. And this rate of change is accelerating exponentially. We've reached what many are calling a tipping point, where big data analytics, cognitive and cloud computing, and the Internet of Things are transforming businesses globally. Who would have thought accountants could evolve to become cloud integrators a few years ago..? Technology is increasingly at the heart of the modern accounting firm.
In the recent Deloitte Technology Industry Outlook, there are three certainties in the rising digital economy:
1. The pace of technological change will not slow down.
2. As more companies recognise that standing still is not an option, the technology market's barriers to entry will continue to fall.
3. Continued innovation and critical attention to effective privacy and security solutions will remain an essential component of the adoption of new technologies across all industries.
If you're not yet looking at the competitive advantages technology can bring to your business, it might be time.