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29.01.19

Sovereign SmartViews: Technology – what’s really revving up the chat in the boardroom?

by Bala Krishnan

News

When we exited our investment in veterinary services provider Linnaeus Group to Mars last summer, it wasn’t only the 21 strategic acquisitions that made it notable; the business’ ability to embrace both clinical and work-flow technology helped to deliver competitive advantage.

As investors we come into contact with thousands of companies every year and in common with Linnaeus, we’re seeing a real increase in the use of technology to deliver business advantage with increasing diversity of application e.g. in debt collection (identifying support needs of vulnerable individuals through data analysis), in logistics fulfilment (through automation to cope with peaks in demand) and in insurance (through real-time risk assessment) to name a few recent examples.

So what is driving this? Well the widespread and affordable availability of high-end computing power combined with the shift to the Cloud with associated service-based cost models has been a key enabler of accelerated technology adoption. But what’s really revving up the conversation in the boardroom is how to unlock the potential for competitive differentiation.

The constraint is often just our own imagination (rather than technology itself). So the increasing collaboration between commercial and technology departments with a growing number of boards placing technology at the top of their agendas, is clearly having a positive adoption impact.

With this abundance of opportunity, what are the key technology themes we believe will increasingly be seen in 2019 and beyond? Here are a few of our thoughts:

  • Enhanced Client Insight: by understanding the full range of client interactions across multiple channels of communication (many of which are digital or captured digitally) the ability to understand client need is enhanced enabling opportunities in both sales and account management.
  • Embracing Social Media: despite some backlash against social media, favourable comment can drive a visible and loyal fan base and be a driver of repeat business. Proactively developing, promoting and protecting a company’s brand across social media is becoming a ‘must do’.
  • Automating Operations: applying software and automation to basic processes to eliminate critical bottlenecks or remove human error, means employees have the time to solve more complex business issues.

Each of the above could potentially help a business deliver on their growth objectives and become a sector champion. At Sovereign we have repeatedly partnered with companies to support them on this perpetual business improvement journey. We would welcome hearing from you to discuss the technology sector and technology-enabled opportunities; please do not hesitate to contact us.

FURTHER INFORMATION

 

Julie Sieger, +44 (0)20 7340 8800 or email: juliesieger@sovereigncapital.co.uk