Guest Column | December 19, 2017

3 Ways Software Businesses Can Succeed In 2018

By Ivan Seselj, Founder & CEO, Promapp

Sales Success With Reviews

An international software company’s CEO explains why execution, rapid response to change, and challenging the status quo will make or break tech companies in 2018

A new year brings new challenges for many companies. How do we remain competitive? How do we attract new customers? How do we find and keep the right employees?

Another ongoing challenge that businesses must now factor into their thinking is change. Some 2,500 years after the Greek philosopher Heraclitus suggested that life’s one, true constant is change, globalization and shifting workforce demographics are completely changing the way we conduct business. This is forcing companies worldwide to deal with an unprecedented volume of change in the workplace, all of which is occurring at a more rapid pace than at any other time in history.

Unfortunately, some companies seem destined to fall by the wayside in the face of all this change. Why do some businesses seem to thrive in an atmosphere of rapid change, while others will fail? And perhaps more importantly, how can you position your company not just to survive, but to thrive in today’s rapidly evolving business environment? What’s the best approach to maximize your company’s chances for success?

While some businesses are, by their very nature, more agile and innovative than others, I believe success in the face of staggering change comes down to finding the right mix of technologies and management approaches that best suit your particular business. It is equally important to avoid “chasing trends,” constantly jumping from one latest, greatest technology to the next with no real game plan. Rather, a customized, pragmatic approach that is designed specifically to fit your business is much more likely to deliver the kinds of long-term results that assure continued growth.

Consider, for example, robotic process automation. McKinsey and Co. estimates half of all current staff activities could eventually be automated, while Gartner predicts artificial intelligence will be the most disruptive class of technologies for the next decade. Does that mean we’re facing a future with robots replacing all human involvement? Absolutely not. Rather, I would suggest that the businesses which determine where automation makes the most sense for their particular operation stand the best chance of boosting efficiency and productivity in the long term.

There are three factors I believe will become important for businesses to succeed in 2018 and beyond.

  • First, businesses need to maintain their focus on execution. Companies that possess the disciplines for, and focus on, effective execution have been – and will continue to be – the most successful. These companies recognize that while a brilliant strategy is absolutely essential, it amounts to nothing without the ability to fully implement it. As the Harvard Business Review notes, the best performing organizations are those that are consistently able to achieve operational excellence.
  • Next, successful businesses must possess the ability to respond to change faster than their competitors. Companies that are agile and able to quickly change course as new challenges and opportunities arise will be in the best position to continue delivering value to their customers. As a result, companies should focus on building their internal capacity for change and their ability to respond to changes rapidly in order to improve their odds for success.
  • Finally, successful businesses must be willing to constantly challenge the way things are being done. In an era of constant change, every current process and approach must be regularly examined to ensure they are delivering optimal value. If not, they must be changed. All options must be on the table, and nothing can be considered sacred. As a result, all team members should be encouraged not only to constantly look for opportunities to improve operations, but to speak up. A willingness to make such incremental changes can produce an organization that is agile and, ultimately, successful.

Amid this atmosphere of change, business process management (BPM) fundamentals have never been more important. When properly executed, business processes enable a company to manage and fully leverage its capacity for change. They enable teams to maintain the agility to deal with change and take advantage of new business opportunities.

Unfortunately, too many companies are too comfortable with business as usual, which usually leads to complacency and a failure to recognize and adapt to changes in the marketplace. In an era of rapid change, that is a recipe for failure. Only by building a capacity for change can a business position itself to fully leverage the myriad of opportunities that will inevitably present themselves in a future where change rules the day.   

Ivan Seselj is CEO of Promapp Solutions, an industry leading provider of cloud-based process management (BPM) software for creating and managing business processes online. You can contact him at or follow him at @Ivanseselj. You can visit Promapp at