Foundry4: Is your technology partner a speed boat or an oil tanker?
An uncertain world needs responsiveness and innovation, but the right approach to technology is crucial - says Foundry4 CTO Stuart Arthur.
The advent of digital technology has brought with it a rapid pace of change. This provides a host of pressing challenges to modern organisations, as they attempt to navigate their way through a constantly evolving landscape, often using business models and thinking formed in a very different time.
Legacy technology and delivery models are still prevalent today
For most organisations, technological change - in some shape or form - isn't anything new. However, it used to require hundreds of people to implement, typically planning and delivering in a waterfall fashion with several siloed, specialist teams for functions like architecture, infrastructure and testing.
This linear, layered approach to delivering solutions often resulted in failed multi-million pound projects and there are particularly noteworthy examples of this in Government, Health, and other regulated sectors. Often those high-profile failures would be guided by one of the big technology consulting firms, who no doubt market themselves as agile experts.
Even today, those large technology consultancy firms are struggling to break free from their roots in this era of technology delivery. Their engagements with clients are often associated with the use of unnecessarily complex architectures, proprietary legacy solutions, and convoluted project management and governance models.
Doing more for less with modern Cloud technologies
This situation can be directly contrasted with the opportunity to do things differently that exists with technology today.
Cloud platforms such as AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure; evolutionary architecture paradigms such as microservices; and cutting edge technologies such as serverless and Intelligent Automation, are all tools for securing efficiency gains and cost savings. When combined with the right strategies around agile operating models, user-centred design, and product-focused agile delivery, organisations can unlock real value and provide the high quality customer experiences their users demand.
This is the power of transforming, not just improving, the state of technology in an enterprise setting - with the benefits flowing straight to the organisation.
An opportunity for CEOs
Through the use of Cloud services, and high performing, multidisciplinary teams, forward-thinking consultancies similarly operate on a much leaner basis. We can assemble smaller teams of experts to create enterprise solutions with much greater focus, ultimately providing more value to client organisations.The opportunity here really cannot be underestimated.
The truth is, you simply don’t need hundreds of people to drive digital transformation. What you do need is to adopt new technology approaches, re-think operating models and work with partners who are agile experts, who will fight for their clients' best interests and share their knowledge to upskill internal staff.
Hand picking a select group of top individuals to work in this way provides a multiplier of value when compared to hiring greater numbers of less experienced staff members.
Oil tankers vs. speedboats
We can describe the difference between legacy and modern approaches to technology quite simply by comparing an oil tanker with a group of speedboats: an oil tanker is cumbersome, carries a lot of overhead, and is a single point of failure; whereas a group of speedboats can move at pace, are well aligned yet de-coupled and dilute the risk of failure out across a much greater area, making everything more manageable.
In an age of disruption and uncertainty we need our technology platforms to enable organisations to be more responsive, deliver great customer experiences and add value. That is our mission and we believe it's the minimum you should expect from your partners.
So if you're still focused on oil tankers then the message is clear: look for the speedboats.
This article was originally published by Stuart Arthur, CTO, Foundry4. Stuart is a strategic and innovative CTO with strong leadership, technical, and delivery skills with broad and deep experience across a range of different sectors and cloud technology platforms. To learn more about this author, visit him via LinkedIN and Twitter page.
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