The last week saw some significant news coming out of our partners at Sage as Steve Hare was appointed to the role of CEO, a position that had remained vacant since Stephen Kelly’s departure earlier this year.
Since Kelly’s departure Hare had effectively stood in as he took on the interim COO role alongside his CFO position. So this appointment may not be any kind of seismic shift in the senior management at Sage, however it does provide some useful pointers toward the strategy of the UK software giant.
While users of the various Sage software solutions have continued to run their businesses on rock solid technology platforms, 2018 has seen some turbulence for Sage in the financial markets (something which ultimately led to Kelly’s departure). With recent performance seeming to signal that this situation has been arrested though, Hare’s permanent appointment to the CEO position suggests a further steadying of the Sage ship.
Sage as a business continues to pursue ambitious growth targets in its home UK market as well as in overseas markets. This kind of rapid growth can give the appearance of change within a business in terms of approach, culture and strategic vision.
The appointment of Hare is a clear signal that any worries around huge changes to a successful business model or scrapping of ongoing initiatives at Sage are unfounded. A “Sage person” in position who has progressed through the ranks provides the continuity that so many were desperate to see.
This continuity is most obvious to see in the explicit re-commitment from Sage, that has accompanied the announcement of Hare’s appointment, to evolving its business model into a true SaaS provider. This means that the drive towards cloud subscription products that has been well underway at Sage for years now will continue.
There is one significant difference made by Hare’s appointment though, and that can be found in the experience and mindset of the man himself. There is now a numbers man at the helm of a numbers business.
All associated with Sage will hope that this means future decision-making will be based on a deep understanding of the business’s products, customers and their technology requirements. An analytical management approach to the same cloud transformation process may also be just what’s needed to resolve some of the issues around sales execution that have been identified as a weak link in its progress.
For now then, as always so soon after a major appointment, it is a case of wait and see but the positives to be drawn from Hare’s appointment are clear to see. Here at DCS we’re as committed as ever to our partnership with Sage and ensuring our mutual customers get maximum business benefit from market-leading solutions like Sage 200cloud and Business Cloud Financials.