Is your IT fast enough? Is it meeting the demands of your business and today’s competitive markets, or is it holding you back, preventing the business from responding to its customers and opening the way for competitors to grab your market share?
“‘The best way to realise that your organisation’s IT is lagging behind is to understand whether or not your overall application processes are matching your business activities’” says Jean-Marc Defaut, Cloud Chief Operating Officer for Europe at Capgemini.
“Inside the company, do the time-to-market measures reflect customer or market demand? The answer could be different from one company to another, depending on the market and the competitive landscape that they’re in.”
Frank Smith, managing delivery architect at Capgemini, concurs. “The way I see it, fast enough is whether the company’s IT is able to keep up with their products and help them achieve their end goal. Fast enough encompasses everything from being able to stay up to date with the latest technology to staying up to date with the latest security capabilities. But a key objective is to stay up to date with sales and marketing, and where the business is trying to push forward to as a company.”
This doesn’t just mean focusing on the front-end innovations that customers will see, but the back-end infrastructure that supports them. As Defaut points out, if the back-end infrastructure and services are struggling to maintain pace with front-end applications, there will be strain and disruption.
“If everyone’s happy and all the different services are cooperating nicely, with nothing breaking up, then that’s cool and it’s all working. From my experience, that’s rarely the case.” Unless both front-end and back-end move in sync, lag at the back end will always constrain the company’s capacity for innovation.
How, then, can companies speed up their IT and maintain the pace? Part of the answer lies in understanding the business’s requirements and objectives and in looking at the available, local pool of IT talent: does your company have the resources it needs to meet its goals? For Smith, taking advantage of revolutionary technologies like Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Blockchain and AI means answering one question: ‘how are we going to stay on top of this’. His answer? “We need to have the people who can bring us this technology – and feel inspired to do so.”
Yet the key part, both Smith and Default agree, lies in transforming the company culture, breaking down departmental silos and bringing development and business operations together.
“I know DevOps has been a buzzword for the last ten years” says Smith, “but the core to DevOps is a mindset, not just a toolset. It helps to break down those silos so that you have your people working as a comprehensive unit.” By shifting to DevOps, Smith argues, businesses can develop new processes, “It can increase and align your agility for quicker time to market, better code quality and more reliable results.”
Automation will have a role to play in this, improving the speed, frequency and quality of application releases, as will having measurable KPIs, so that you can measure and show how the company is progressing. Most of all, this wider change requires buy-in from everyone involved, including senior leadership.
As Defaut says, “You may need management, who might not understand the technology, to understand the business advantage of the technology and what it can do for the company: faster time for delivery, monetary advantage.”
Only with the management on board can you synchronise progress throughout every layer of IT, using automation to build agility into the back-end infrastructure and bring it to the speed required for innovation.
Want to know more?
- Download The automation advantage report that shows how cloud automation is enabling companies to accelerate their delivery of applications.
- Read the Cloud native comes of age report to find out how cloud-native applications are enabling business agility and innovation.
- Listen to the Capgemini cloud automation podcasts