IT Trends 2023 | 3rd Trend – “Always On” Business Models

Our third IT trend for 2023 is more of an ongoing one versus  new, but with a new twist. Long before the COVID pandemic sparked the widespread shift to remote work/work-from-home, the impact of the ubiquitous internet fueled several new and expanding business models including:

  • Growth of electronic commerce
  • Expansion of social media forums (which now serve as marketing and business collaboration channels)
  • New global markets (and a corresponding increase in time zone coverage)
  • Birth of many new “Internet Age” companies like Amazon, whose business models raised the bar other businesses needed to embrace to survive.

Unlike conventional brick-and-mortar businesses, the internet never closes – it’s “Always On”. It has forced businesses to progressively move toward “always on” technology operations to service the extended customer demands and remain competitive in the market.

As a Detroiter with close ties to the automotive industry, I am struck by an example of car dealerships. It wasn’t long ago that buying a new car meant taking time off work to get to car dealerships during the weekdays. Most dealerships were closed on weekends and only had maybe an evening or two per week when they stayed open later. Today, we see dealership sales hours far extended and web/e-commerce channels “always on” 24×7 to enable car shopping. We also see additional channels, like CarsDirect, for buying a car beyond the once-captive dealership network.

The new twist on this 2023 journey to “always on” business models is an extension of what started as primarily mission-critical, core, commerce-related systems to the next class of systems surrounding and supporting the core business functions.  Businesses are investing in transforming (and integrating) systems to “always on” service levels. For instance, functional end user support systems like appointment scheduling, customer satisfaction surveying, HR recruiting, and talent sourcing systems are increasingly expected to be “always on”.

The spectrum of operations support systems is broad and diverse. But how are businesses transforming these systems cost-effectively to reach “always on” service levels?

A leading technique that can increase system availability and resiliency is moving from traditional hosting models (e.g., data center servers hosting an application) to cloud-based hosting models. Through rehosting and re-platforming, this type of transformation can both be accomplished quickly, with relatively minimal investment and realize payback within a year. Cloud hyperscalers like Azure and AWS offer inherent redundancy and high-availability features more cost-effectively than would enhancing conventionally hosted environments via complex upgrades, such as clustering.

Another type of transformation from traditional hosting to cloud-enabled is adopting a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. The SaaS model is widely offered now by application solution vendors and typically provides enhanced application availability and service level options at cost-effective rates. For organizations that have such application solutions in their landscape of operations support systems, such as Workday, Dynamics 365, Salesforce, Infor, and many others, the trend toward SaaS-based model adoption is becoming mainstream.

Expect this trend toward enhancing the broad class of business operations support systems for “always on” business models to continue– with even more extensive (and expensive) transformation to such systems, including application transformation, app modernization, refactoring, and API-enablement where appropriate and justifiable.

Rob Kondoff
Senior Director – Technology Operations

This is the fourth blog of a series on IT Trends 2023. Check back regularly to see additional blogs on this topic:

Blog #1: IT Trends 2023: Mainstream trends you should look for next year

Blog #2: IT Trends 2023 | 1st Trend – Optimizing IT for Reliability and Resilience

Blog #3: IT Trends 2023 | 2nd Trend – Expanding Use of Cloud-Based Models

Similar Blogs/Articles/Briefs

Elevate your overall success