Maximising the value from your IT investments

The recent Budget highlighted that that we are still in somewhat uncertain economic times, yet it was encouraging to hear the Chancellor George Osbourne talk about making the UK Europe’s technology centre.  With this in mind, it is clear now more than ever that organisations need to maximise the value from their IT investments and continue to look to innovate.

In an age where operational efficiency is becoming increasingly important, it surely makes business sense for similar organisations across industry sectors to speak to each other and take a more collaborative approach when it comes to their use of IT.  By doing this, organisations can become more efficient, solve common problems and begin to yield greater influence with IT vendors when it comes to future product roadmaps.

Here at the User Group we have seen countless examples of organisations from different industry sectors collaborating to come up with workable, and often, cost-effective solutions.  Take for example Yorkshire Water. When it was looking to configure its SAP software so it could offer an employee salary sacrifice scheme, it began speaking to other companies who had looked into the legislation and created their own solutions. As a result, Yorkshire Water was able to come up with a working solution in-house, rather than having to pay for a costly external consultant to help with the work.

Irrespective of your industry sector, user groups can play an important role in fostering collaboration and providing a channel to influence IT vendors at the highest level. So at a time when IT budgets are shrinking but at the same time business demands are on the increase, the term ‘it’s good to talk’ has never been more pertinent.

Networking and collaboration will again be key elements of this year’s annual User Group conference, so please visit the conference site or follow us on Twitter (@SAPUserConf) for all the latest news

Latest Conference News

There are some cracking early bird deals for our annual conference – as we get closer to the conference things start to cost us more, so these are not to be repeated deals, only available if you book early saving up to £300 per person. Remember also that the reward for speaking at the conference is a free pass to the event as well as paid for accommodation.

This year we have two additional features for the mainstream of the event – firstly a DemoJam in front of everybody, a truly entertaining, learning and at times bizarre experience where last year’s winners will be trying to retain their trophy. Secondly we have something different to end the conference – the 80 minute MBA, a chance to come away from this conference with the knowledge on issues ranging from communication to finance, and from marketing to strategy. Find out whether charisma is an essential leadership ingredient, how to coach, and why execution is so much more important than strategy. Learn to transform your business in just 80 minutes!

Riding the mobile wave

SAP clearly has had enterprise mobility at the forefront of its plans with a range of announcements in the last few weeks promoting SAP as a tool for the mobile enterprise.

SAP CIO Oliver Bussmann recently stated that about 50% of tablets and 30% of all smartphones are already used for business purposes, and certainly the ability to use SAP applications whilst on the move is becoming increasingly attractive for a number of organisations.

With enterprises mobilising more key business functions and allowing employees to work at any time and from anywhere via mobile devices, managing and securing these environments has never been more critical. It is therefore welcome news to hear that SAP has unveiled a partnership with Samsung to make its Android devices safer to use as corporate tools. The Samsung partnership will support secure use of SAP business applications on Samsung mobile devices to help promote crucial enterprise mobility.

Aligned to this, SAP has also announced updates to its Afaria mobile systems management tool to help organisations better manage the increasing number of mobile devices their employees are bringing into the enterprise. The Afaria update alongside the Samsung partnership shows that SAP is looking to ride the tide of consumerisaton, and provide an increasingly consumer-like mobile experience.

Of course here at the User Group we’ll keep you informed of the all the latest SAP mobility news, so please regularly check out our website and  follow us on Twitter (@SapUserGroup).