In 1960, the average life expectancy of a Fortune 500 company was 75 years. Today, the average lifespan is just 15 years and declining further. So, why the devolution? We only have to look as far as the “Uber-effect” to understand why so many companies fail. Uber very simply and quickly disrupted a centuries-old industry with the touch of a button—making cab service part of the On-Demand Economy, where consumers get what they want, when they want it, with no delays. Today, agile companies are winning.
So, ask yourself, is your company a disruptor or a disruptee? The reality is, most companies are the latter, with IT organizations under more pressure today than ever before. Whether it’s the fear of being “ubered” by the competition, or business demands to pick up the pace, IT organizations face a balancing act of ensuring the operation of core applications and being innovative. However, scaling up the efficiency of legacy systems can co-exist with innovation.
While the prospect of competing with born-on-the-web companies such as Uber or Airbnb might seem daunting, there are a few things you can do to become a more agile IT organization: automate manual process, embrace DevOps.
How long does it take your organization to deliver a simple, new feature in an application? Two days? A week? A quarter? Traditional approaches to software delivery are too slow for today’s fast paced market. These often manual processes are fragmented, error-prone and time-consuming. A recent Forrester Total Economic Impact study revealed organizations that automated their app deployments experienced an increase in speed-to-market and reduced development cycle times of up to 75 percent.
Take a look at your delivery pipeline and assess where your testing and deployments could be automated. If you’re facing a development-testing cycle of two to five days, that’s simply too long. Switch to DevOps by automating release and deployment processes wherever you can and aim for continuous delivery, so you can push apps out in minutes.
No company will risk its foundational strength for the sake of being trendy. Equally, you cannot expect innovation with inefficient legacy systems.
The goal is to make these systems as lean as possible by automating repetitive tasks, freeing resources that can be directed toward speeding innovation. Today there are cloud technologies, services and API management systems that can help organizations streamline systems maintenance & operations as well as exposing their services for consumption by new applications.
While the status quo might seem like an easier option, it is a dead end. By doing nothing you risk not only being passed by the competition, but your own business leaders may bypass you altogether, turning to “shadow-IT” and outside vendors to meet their needs. While this hyper growth of the tech industry is unprecedented, it is not a fad. The pace of innovation will only get faster and your only options are to fail or adapt.