Mohamed Cassoojee, Vice-President and Country Manager for Software AG South Africa, opened Innovation Forum 2014 on 17 June with the statement that technology enabled business in the past. Today, technology drives the business. At Software AG SA’s first annual technology showcase, business owners and decision makers were advised by leading global and local experts about the risks of IT stagnation, the value of IT innovation, and the possibilities today’s information economy offers.
Over 200 delegates gathered at the prestigious Sandton Convention Centre on 17 June to gain insights about the world of IT innovation. Richard Mulholland, MC and guest speaker, started the day’s discussion by challenging preconceptions organisations have about innovation. “Organisations fall in love with the solution, when they actually need to rekindle their love with the problem,” said Mulholland. “I define innovation as doing old things in a new way, and not just simply doing new things.”
Mulholland continued that organisations that try to play it safe by avoiding the ‘risk’ of adopting new disruptive technologies are in fact, achieving the opposite. “There is no status quo in ICT,” said Mulholland. “Organisations that are apprehensive about leveraging innovative IT solutions, risk losing relevance. In today’s digital era, that is the start of an organisation’s demise.”
Mohamed Cassoojee supported Mulholland’s beliefs by stating that customers are driving trends today. “Organisations can only remain competitive if they become digital enterprises that understand how people access information, how they need it, and on which platforms.” Cassoojee closed with the statement that if enterprises do this, they will be able to service the older, current and future generations of South Africa.
Theo Priestley, Software AG’s Chief Evangelist and Vice-President for Marketing and Social Media, advised delegates that Big Data offers the answers South African organisations need. Priestley continued that Big Data holds big transformation opportunities, big insights and arms organisations with big mad skills. “In a nutshell, big data enables enhanced decision making, insight discovery and process optimisation,” concluded Priestley.
An interactive panel discussion ended the morning’s session, where delegates could pose questions via the custom-made Innovation Forum 2014 mobile application. The afternoon offered attendees various sessions presented by Software AG’s global and local experts on a range of topics; from the IT challenges South African government organisations face, mobile technology applications, business and IT management, Intelligent Business Operations, Enterprise Technology Solutions, business-critical systems maintenance, to Software AG’s current and future technology solutions.
The successful event was closed with a prize-giving ceremony and performances by the energetic dance group, CB Creations, and music by the Sticky Triggers band. Attendees were gifted with a copy of the book “The Digital Enterprise”, written by Software AG’s CEO Karl-Heinz Streibich, to further equip them on their journey of becoming enterprises that embraces and leverages innovative technology.