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Survival of the Fittest in a Data-Driven World: The Secret is in your Software
By Jason Jackson, Field CTO and Director, Advanced Field Engineering, Pivotal APAC
The pace of change across all industries in 2016 and beyond will be more dramatic than what we have known over the past 50 years. Digital disruption is happening every day and in every industry - leaving businesses in a constant state of flux and uncertainty. Stable industries that were previously dominated by entrenched leaders are now being disrupted by companies with software at their core. "Only when deployed software can remain scalable, highly available, secure, and update able in production all without downtime should it be deemed “delivered."
With “software eating the world”, business leaders are forced to rethink their approach to business and to find new ways to keep up with the rapidly changing technological landscape. Companies that effectively leverage software to achieve competitive advantage are more profitable than their peers. Think Uber, Airbnb and Netflix - pioneers of the sharing economy who have successfully leveraged software to revolutionize industries and disrupt business models. IDC predicts that by 2020, Asia Pacific enterprises pursuing DX strategies will more than double their software development capabilities and that by 2017, two-thirds of Asian-based CIOs will initiate a data transformation and governance framework to turn information into a competitive business differentiator.
This digital revolution, while a threat to companies that do not keep up, also presents an opportunity for businesses to ensure they elevate their game by leveraging data and cloud technologies to predictively spot new opportunities, and innovate. With the advancements in third platform technologies and the birth of a ‘sharing’economy, businesses today are challenged by an entirely different business landscape, characterized by a data-driven economy, digital native enterprises and an increasingly mobile, connected, and digitally-wired workforce leading the charge.
To stay relevant, businesses need to be ‘always on’, agile and adaptable to the fast-paced rate of change and transform their IT into a force for true agility in the marketplace by adopting cloud native application architectures. In other words, reinvention of technology is now no longer optional because in order to survive in today’s unforgiving business landscape, we need to be better, faster, and stronger.
The 3 ‘S’of a Cloud Native Environment: Speed, Safety, and Scale
Speed is the new currency of today’s business landscape. Businesses that are able to innovate and deliver software-based solutions quickly will outpace those that follow more traditional delivery models. However, it’s not enough to go extremely fast. It’s imperative that organizations balance the need to move rapidly with the needs of safety, availability, and durability - enabling businesses to rapidly recover from mistakes and to prevent costly enterprise security breaches.
Moreover, as demand increases, businesses also need to have the flexibility and scalability to adjust their capacity and capabilities to suit the changing demands. Organizations need to be able to do this at the speed of business and one way to do so would be through a cloud-native application architectures that allows the externalization of state to in-memory data grids, caches, and persistent object stores, while keeping the application instance itself essentially stateless - affording businesses with scalable capabilities in real-time.
Continuous Delivery, the New Norm
Continuous delivery is the new norm and today’s market opportunity lies with those who are able to leverage software to refactor existing monolithic application into a federation of micro services for a competitive advantage. Continuous delivery is a business goal and measured in the delivery of software functionality to customers, not in the delivery of bits to machines. Customers today demand services to be faster, better and instantaneous and in order to stay ahead of the competition, organizations need to be able to build, test and release functionality faster and with little friction. Only when deployed software can remain scalable, highly available, secure, and updateable in production —all without downtime —should it be deemed “delivered.”
Coupled with open source technologies, micro services are fast becoming the dominant architectural pattern for Cloud Native applications as businesses replace their legacy systems to better engage customers, streamline enterprise operations, and keep up to speed that information and data is being produced today.
Our Future with Software, one Update at a Time
The older and larger the company, the more difficult it is to adapt to today’s software development environment, and if your business is not rapidly accelerating, it probably is becoming irrelevant. As companies and industries embrace the full logic of open communities, automation, and services-oriented architectures, software creates a trajectory that has and will continue to influence how we do things, and how we run our lives and businesses. Savvy businesses that are able to unlock the potential of ‘architect for value’ in a bid to future-proof their business will gain a competitive edge. As organizations race against the clock to make sense of the opportunities and challenges associated with the increasingly data-driven world, the leaders of tomorrow will be those who are open to change and who dare to innovate.