Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Five tenets for innovation and sustained competitive advantage through application development

I'm privileged to spend most of my working days in front of smart people doing interesting work across a wide spectrum of industries - and in the spirit of "ideas don't have to be original - they just have to be good(c)" (the copyright is my attempt at humor RE other people's good ideas versus my silly aphorism) - anyhow, back to my central point - mobile, cloud, the rise of big data, etc. are all contributing to a sense that business (and the business of IT) is entering an entirely new phase fueled by technology, globalization, etc... and with this scale of change comes confusion  ...but in spite of all this background noise, I'm witnessing many of our smartest customers and partners converge on the following five tenets - tenets that I know are serving some of the smartest people in the coolest organizations  extremely well - cheers.

1.       Organizations must innovate or be rendered obsolete.
       Challenge: Applications now serve as a hub of innovation and a primary means of differentiation – across every industry and facet of our modern economy.
       Response: Innovative organizations use applications to uniquely engage with their markets and to streamline their operations.
2.       Genuine innovation is a continuous process – to be scaled and sustained.
       Challenge: Development/IT must internalize evolving business models and emerging technologies while sustaining ongoing IT operations and managing increasingly complex regulatory and compliance obligations.
       Response: Leading IT organizations imagine and deliver high-value applications through agile feedback-driven development practices and accelerated development cycles that place a premium on superior software quality and exceptional user experiences.
3.       Modern applications bring modern risks.
       Challenge: In order to sustain competitive advantage through application innovation, organizations must effectively secure and harden their application asset portfolios against the risks of revenue loss, Intellectual Property theft, denial of service attacks, privacy breaches, and regulatory and compliance violations.
       Response: Successful organizations ensure that security, privacy, and monitoring requirements are captured and managed throughout the application lifecycle from design through deployment and deprecation – as reflected in appropriate investments and upgrades in processes and technologies.
4.       Every organization is a hybrid organization – every IT project starts in the middle.
       Challenge: Organizations must balance the requirement to innovate with the requirement to operate competitively with existing IT assets.
       Response: Mature organizations do not hard-wire development, security, analytics, or DevOps practices to one technology generation or another. The result is materially lower levels of technical debt and the capacity to confidently embrace new and innovative technologies and the business opportunities they represent.
5.       Enterprise IT requirements cannot be satisfied with consumer technologies – shared mobile platforms and BYOD policies do not alter this tenet.
       Challenge: Enterprise security, compliance, and integration requirements cannot (and will not) be satisfied by mobile/web development and analytics platforms designed for consumer-focused, standalone app development (and the business models they support).

       Response: Mature IT organizations drive mobile app innovation without compromising core enterprise ALM, analytics, or governance standards by extending proven practices and enterprise-focused platforms and technologies. 

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