Vladimir Mikhailov: what's up in the accounting software market?
Having worked for more than 30 years in the field of enterprise management systems automation, I can rightfully consider myself to be a witness and participant in global structural changes in the market of our country.
Globalization, lightning-fast development of technologies, and the acceleration of information exchange processes not only within the country, but also at the international level have led to the fact that our usual linear trends and forecasts do not work today. It is time for "big chaos", when only fast-adapting companies can hold their head above water and achieve success. Monitoring trends is not just a hobby for expanding horizons, but a vital necessity.
Over the past 20 years, two types of enterprises have been formed in our country. They operate in parallel, but with completely different efficiency and approaches. We call them "new" and "old" companies. How they manifest themselves in the domestic and global markets, and why new companies are overtaking old ones, let's talk further.
The pace of development of the modern world makes experts think about how to build forecasts and what to expect in the near future. The problem is that we have entered an era of great chaos. Under these conditions, linear functional forecasts do not work, because chaos and turbulence are non-linear functions.
In a linear function, changes at the very beginning of a trend do not lead to significant consequences in its end. In this case, all changes are reversible – the result can be corrected. This is the long-term development of the economy.
In nonlinear functions, the slightest changes at the beginning can lead to global irreversible consequences at the end, both positive and negative. However, no one can predict exactly how the system will react to a minor intervention.
Now, most businesses and technologies are developing this way: Twitter, Facebook, and Uber are vivid examples of the consequences of interfering with the system of ordered chaos. A small idea produces revolutionary irreversible changes in the global economy and the minds of billions of people.
Together with the entire global world, Ukraine has entered the zone of great chaos. In the business environment, some companies have adopted the patterns of this time and began to restructure, understanding the importance and strategic need for such actions. Others remain fixed in their convinced linear predictive position.
One of the most significant events for our market happened in May last year. A decree of the president of Ukraine on sanctions against Russian software was issued. For us, it was an absolute surprise, which provoked an impetus in the development of one of our activities. If earlier we worked exclusively with large enterprises, now we have launched special software for accounting for small and medium-sized businesses on the market. A little later, software products for budgetary institutions will be launched. A little impetus has provoked the creation of a whole line of business, and, accordingly, a change in the structure of the offer on the market of software products for accounting.
Business and the public sector responded to these changes in absolutely different ways. We live in a free country with a market economy, each business independently chooses software for its work. Presidential decrees are binding only for the public sector. For the commercial market, this is still a recommendation. For a year and a half, these markets reacted differently to last year's presidential decree. If the public sector is already actively choosing new software products for accounting and the transition speed limit depends more on financial rather than motivational factors, then business is not moving at such a fast pace and still mostly examine new software.
Returning to the classification of companies: whether these are "new" or "old" companies.
They differ in radically different approaches to building business. At the forefront of the new enterprises, there is orientation towards the most modern world trends in their activity and management. For them, first of all, the solution is not to solve individual tasks (for example, accounting tasks), which are undoubtedly important, but the tasks of integrated enterprise management, that is, a fully functional approach to managing their activities based on the latest global trends of digitalization and Industry 4.0.
TRENDS IN UKRAINIAN REALITIES
The example of a nonlinear function in the market of software for accounting in Ukraine given above is absolutely valid for other industries. I will not argue that Ukraine’s economy has lagged behind developed countries by several decades. However, with the help of global progress and the acceleration of information exchange processes, we are quite able to keep pace with the world in terms of targeted projects. Our IT sector is developing very fast, and the solutions offered by our specialists are not inferior in efficiency to the products of global market players.
In order to maintain and strengthen these positions, it is necessary to "see" trends and introduce the most effective solutions in our country. I distinguish three main innovative waves in the accounting software market.
- Cloud solutions. Now the Ukrainian market mostly prefers stationary solutions. However, we see that all global trends are moving towards a gradual transition from stationary solutions to cloud computing platforms. This also applies to accounting software. Humanity has already passed this path several times. Once, each company built its own power station and was very proud of it. Then, it all passed on to the powerful energy generating distribution structures. Now no one is building its own power plants. So, most of the new projects in the United States begin in cloud architecture. A few more years will pass and the same will be with us. The accounting software market is still quite conservative. Most users prefer non-cloud solutions.
- High-quality customer support. Strangely enough, but today not all companies in our country have understood a very simple thing: you need to create a loyal client. He or she does not come to you 100% in love with your company or your product. Clients doubt and hesitate. Selling a product is no longer enough. It is important to make this product a pleasure to use. If the product is complex like software in our case, then it is necessary to provide users with the most affordable and high-quality support service. This is how world leaders work. We should strive for the same level.
The complexity of management functions. Most mature companies have long gone through the stage when they used separate software products to solve individual management tasks. Global trends suggest that companies need a process approach to managing their activities, which does not solve individual problems, but optimizes end-to-end management processes. This requires a unified information environment, covering all the main business processes of enterprise management. The best solution for this is integrated systems that offer the most modern approaches for managing companies. The alternative is to purchase different types of software for solving individual tasks and to preserve the functional approach of managing a company, which should remain in the past millennium. Or endless integration of different types of software, inconsistencies, invitations to programmers, and the loss of speed in managing a company.
It is impossible to predict the future, but the trends of the modern world suggest that only companies that react quickly to changes will be ready for unexpected turns of "ordered chaos". And these, of course, are representatives of new companies.
Source: Internet portal "Новое время"