“With the evolution of open ecosystems, apps that would have previously competed, now integrate and work together. This comes as a result of the expectation that data will flow in and out of their apps, fostering collaboration and communication. Gone are the days where software was kept on servers, inside operations on lockdown from your potential competitors. Today, refusing to collaborate in marketplaces fuelled by open APIs holds the potential to withhold a world of opportunity.”
The businesses that will thrive in today (and tomorrow’s) world are the ones that embrace these open ecosystems.
Xero themselves integrate with 500+ other business apps via API’s. So they are walking the talk.
I mention Xero because it has grabbed the lead in accounting software from MYOB in a few short years. Started in 2006 in NZ, “Forbes identified Xero as the World’s Most Innovative Growth Company in 2014 and 2015.”
They have achieved this domination, partly because it really is beautiful software, but also because they understand that the future of businesses and software, in particular, is in open systems, that can be easily connected to other systems.
And this opening up of business ecosystems levels the playing field for small business. Previously only big business could afford an integrated computer system that did everything they wanted it to – they paid big money for this. And small businesses (generally) had a few different systems that did not talk to each other so there was lots of copying and pasting and shuffling data around manually – with all the inevitable errors and time-wasting.
Now, partly because of these open eco-systems, but also because of the rise of smartphones and tablets the world of software has changed exponentially.
Think of everything you do with your phones these days!
There are thousands of new software programs coming out every week now – some brilliant and some doomed to fail.
I think most small business owners know that cloud-software is the answer but are overwhelmed by the sheer number of solutions available and the research that would be needed to go into finding out which ones suit their business, and which ones are safe.