Die Cloud ist der Motor der Digitalisierung: Ohne Cloud kein Fortschritt!

Mit der 8. Auflage des Experton Group Cloud Vendor Benchmark Deutschland erfolgt das Re-Branding auf „ISG Provider Lens Germany 2017 Cloud Transformation/Operation Services & XaaS“ Cloud Beratung & Integration: Es zählt vermehrt die Kombination aus technischer Expertise und dem Geschäftssinn von morgen NEU aufgenommen: Human Resource Management as a Service – Cloud als Mittel gegen […]

London Digital Business Summit – Short-term IT Investment Focus for Long-term Business Gain

Alex Bakker, Jim Hurley Research Alerts

What is Happening?

Panel discussions, presentations, and hallway conversations at this week’s Digital Business Summit in London explored and reflected the increasingly-consistent shorter-term focus by IT and business leaders on all aspects of the enterprise, but especially on IT. The object of such focus is not to ignore longer-term issues and needs; the object is how best to make the right tactical decisions today that leave open the best options for the future of the business.

Summit attendees almost universally agreed that the days of long planning and deployment cycles for IT are gone. They have been replaced by sub-year, six-month-and-less cycles. Many attendees suggested that a few-month cycle is the new benchmark. Compare that to the two-year ERP deployments of less than a decade ago.

The net outcome of these discussions? “Tactically strategic” is the new decision-making approach for enterprise IT leaders; i.e., focusing on shorter-term outcomes that enable affordable measurable, longer-term improvement. The approach and phrase capture the essence of what business and IT leaders are saying and doing to cope with, and keep ahead of, increasing competition in a world where customer need and loyalty are fleeting, and where business change happens faster than ever before.

Why is it Happening?

Increasing and accelerating common market pressure – e.g., faster cycles to respond to customers – was mentioned most often as the key factor driving shorter planning and delivery horizons. The tactically strategic approach in turn helps organizations to better respond to market pressures, enable new business opportunity in less-predictable circumstances, and respond to updates and changes to accommodate increasingly digitized customer and product interactions.

Our work with clients before and during the Digital Business Summit has helped us identify and clarify six key planning assumptions – or megatrends – that are driving this trend and helping to shape enterprise and provider response. The six are: the rise of digital intelligence, the digital catch-22, automation of tasks (not jobs), agile strategy redefining the enterprise, IoT eating business IT, and pervasive security.

The Digital Catch-22. On the one hand, sustained success with digital strategies demands investments around core “digital platforms” that help to accelerate technology-led business development. On the other hand, the need for longer-term approaches to funding and testing “strategic” digital platforms is in conflict with the need to react quickly to shorter customer and market cycles, and to increasingly-immediate revenue pressure. So IT and business leaders alike are caught in a “Catch-22” situation requiring substantial investment in powerful capabilities that require precious time to develop, implement, test and refine capabilities for short-term action and response.

Agile strategies redefine the enterprise. Digital enterprises are embracing and enabling the use of short planning and delivery cycles with the use of small and embedded inter-disciplinary teams involving business operations and IT and significant technology partners. The use of agile methods (with leadership buy-in) helps to integrate new processes across functional, information and incentive silos to resolve the Digital Catch-22 problem.

Automation of tasks, not jobs. The focus on work process automation – earmarked by uses of robotic process automation – is on productivity improvement by automating tasks, and not by the elimination of entire classes of jobs. ISG’s most recent research reveals cost savings driven by automation are being used to transform and improve business processes and services to customers, and to fuel needed digital business investment and drive market efficiency.

The rise of digital intelligence. Digital intelligence often – but not always – builds on experience using robotic process automation. Beyond automating tasks, digital intelligence is automating decision cycles by finding the right people – and digital processes – with which to share unique and important insights. Next-generation cognitive systems are driving new business processes and decision models, with the ability to address issues and problems previously unsolvable.

The IoT eats Business IT. The interconnection of vast and rapidly increasing numbers of highly distributed, always connected, moving and mobile assets breaks traditional IT infrastructure, tools, and service desk processes. This is leading to an upheaval of IT architectures, service models, and service catalogs. Successful enterprises are shifting from a focus on things such as sensors, networks, platforms, to broader business value.

Pervasive security is the future. The era of product-led security perimeter silos is over. as security-as-a-service ushers in the transition to pervasive security. Pervasive security becomes possible only via pervasive services including, pervasive identity, pervasive online services, pervasive micro-service and software-defined network security, pervasive deception and information asymmetry, and pervasive orchestration services and in-line cryptography protecting core data everywhere.

Net Impact

Based on our pre-Summit and Summit research, those firms continuing to use longer-term planning and delivery cycles will face an accelerating erosion of customers and orders, with concomitant declines in markets served and capital. If we are incorrect, some longer-term investments may not have optimal levels of funding to achieve market success. Any trade-offs between short- and long- term choices – including digital platforms – will have to be part of business and IT organizational conversations about “tactically strategic” uses of capital to invest in existing, adjacent and new markets. Key factors shaping this will be organizational culture and available skills. Close attention to changes in these will be needed to accommodate changing business models and markets, and changing uses of automation and digital intelligence.

Digital, Agility, IoT, Automation, and Pervasive Security separately and in combination change planning assumptions, architectures and practices of IT significantly. Unpredictable combinations of these will introduce new IT service fabrics that require new tools, new skills and new ways of thinking about, implementing, delivering, managing and updating and managing business risk and opportunity. Clients of ISG Insights will continue to have access to our research, analysis, and guidance in each and all of these areas as they forge ahead into the digital era.

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ISG Provider Lens – Germany 2018 Cloud Platforms & Technology/Access Services Research-Phase beginnt

Cloud Computing regiert die Welt Teil 2 – Fokus auf Platforms & Technology sowie Access Services Das Thema „Cloud Computing“ ist Standard und Philosophie bzw. Taktgeber für die Digitalisierung. Produktanbieter und Dienstleister sind davon gleichermaßen betroffen wie Anwenderunternehmen, die immer häufiger selbst zum Anbieter von Nischenlösungen werden. Cloud Platform Builder nutzen tendenziell IaaS- und Outsourcing-Erfahrungen […]

Digital Business and the Boundary-free Enterprise™

Bruce Guptill Research Alerts

What Is Happening?

As we get ready for the 2017 Digital Business Summit events in London and Dallas, it is easy to be reminded that Digital transformation, for enterprises and for IT providers, is increasingly about the re-invention of at least some of every aspect of the business. This includes the company’s technologies, its organization, its functional areas, and its culture, as the boundaries and barriers that have grown from each of these begin to shift and even disappear.

That’s not to say that everything needs to get blown up and rebuilt. But when long-standing business barriers and boundaries shift or disappear, everything that works now should be reconsidered or re-invented to work better in a boundary-less, or even boundary-free, business environment.

Why Is It Happening?

Our Boundary-free Enterprise™ (BfE) concept provides a useful model for identifying and understanding how and why each aspect of the business is changing and will change. The BfE model identifies and explains four areas where boundaries and barriers have traditionally developed and been maintained within and between enterprises – and which today limit and inhibit the ability of enterprises to compete in the new digital business environment. We briefly examine below how each is changing, and why.

Technology. Most technology barriers that inhibit an enterprise’s digital growth have arisen from its business software. Widespread use of open, agile, and Cloud-based development approaches, along with more reliance on and innovation in APIs, have helped reduce or eliminate the OS/platform-enforced technological boundaries between many enterprise IT stacks and systems. Meanwhile, increasingly flexible business models have been enabled by, and driven by, the resulting flexible approaches to development and integration/interoperability. This in turn brings increasing expectations of faster times-to-market, which in turn engender even shorter development and release cycles, which in turn both require and promote faster and more efficient development approaches.

Results: Traditional enterprise technological barriers are much more readily overcome today. Disparate business systems are more likely to be linked more effectively. Traditional OS-based or architecture-based technological barriers are fading. This enables reduction of boundaries elsewhere that inhibit digital growth within and between enterprises. Meanwhile, business expectations of what IT can do are rising – with expected shorter timeframes for results.

Culture. Cultural barriers within the enterprise tend to arise based on organization, function, and technologies used. The technological changes noted above reduce many of the most restrictive and inhibitive boundaries built up by and around cultural structures. Interconnectivity and integration from technology layers up through business processes, and across functional siloes, reduce cultural barriers. In such environments, positive and useful aspects of different cultures are more likely to be shared between organizations, helping to improve communication, collaboration, and the creation of new types of business.

Results: Cultural boundaries within enterprises (e.g., between IT and Marketing) are fading – especially as digital shifts push firms to add, or change to, a service focus versus a product focus. Widespread use of cloud has helped catalyze a rethinking of most organizational roles and responsibilities, while enabling and requiring IT and business leaders to work more and more closely. Note that cultural change strongly affects how, and why, the enterprise engages with other businesses.

Functional. Well-defined sets of data, systems, responsibilities, and functions are increasingly blended, typically by implementing Cloud-based systems that enable vastly improved sharing of information and functionality in more standardized ways. We also see more blending of data and functionality across formerly defined lines of responsibility and function. Leaders and users have access to more and better business data from all areas of the enterprise than ever before. Barriers based on worker and technology function fade as a result.

Results: The extent of inter-enterprise functionality and data sharing is unprecedented, and increasingly widely adopted and adapted. We will see more and better communication between those groups, enabling more and better cooperation, and, if adequately managed, improved sales effectiveness.

Organizational. There are still (and always will be) important departmental boundaries regarding responsibility, reporting, compliance, and function, but communications boundaries are fading fairly quickly. This enables greatly improved operating efficiencies, with much more business and technological innovation at a faster pace with wider reach.

Easier, more secure, and less expensive sharing of data and access makes it more natural to share tasks and functions. Tasks, functions, and workflows increasingly become intertwined, leading to rethinking and redefining business operations into more flexible and efficient constructs.

Results: Important and significant distinctions between businesses and groups within businesses will always exist. But the reduction of technological, cultural, and functional barriers enables the dissolution of many formerly strict boundaries that separated work groups, workflows, and workers.

Net Impact

All of the above changes are occurring everywhere. Practically every business enterprise can and will be transformed to some extent into a boundary-free enterprise. We spend quite a bit of time and effort helping our clients – enterprise and IT provider alike – understand the scope and impact of these changes on their own business, and on their customers, partners, channels and competitors. While every situation is somewhat unique, seven aspects always surface, and must be understood and addressed. These are as follows:

  1. Business strategies need to be reviewed and rethought in the context of more highly-interactive, boundary-free environments.
  2. Success in many markets will require multiple-path, simultaneous approaches that vary based on relative availability and adoption of different enabling technologies.
  3. Speed to market, and speed of response, will become more variable and more critical in many industries. The value of „agility“ will be judged based on a relative ability to reach and match differing business velocities in different relationships and markets.
  4. Business structures, organization, and management need to adapt, and become more flexible, or they will disintegrate. Note: Hierarchical and centralized organizational models cannot be effectively applied where worker autonomy is expected and partner/provider/customer relationships are increasingly dynamic.
  5. Provider and partner relationships must be re-examined and rebuilt, because we are increasingly likely to rely on new and different types of technologies and providers. Enterprises will establish and rely more on new relationships with new providers.
  6. Procurement, security, compliance, and other aspects will need to be re-examined as a result. Software/SaaS providers that excel in this area will be more and more important and valued partners.

Security, especially data security, needs ongoing and continuous reexamination and re-engineering. There are more than adequate security technologies available, but these will need to be adapted in new ways. For example: worker /user security and compliance training and management will have to be rethought and rebuilt for “free-range” worker/user business models in a dynamic IT-as-a-service environment.

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