There are three fundamental forces in the marketplace today:
Every business is a software business. We used to say that software is eating the world, but the fact is that for business software is the world. Tesla’s competitive value isn’t electric cars, instead it’s Tesla’s ability to upgrade and enhance those cars through software. Starbucks now competes on software – people pay and now even order via their phones, and they’re being motivated to buy more to earn loyalty stars. Gone are the days where IT could be treated like a utility, one that more often than not was outsourced in the belief that you needed to focus on your core competencies and IT didn’t make it onto that list. These days being competent at IT is mere table stakes at best, you need to excel at IT if you hope to become an industry leader.
Every industry is being disrupted. When we start working with a new customer one of the first questions we ask is “What keeps you up at night?” Interestingly, it’s been over two years since anyone told us they were afraid of their traditional competitors. Everyone tells us they’re afraid of disruptors, new competitors entering their market space using technologies in new ways. Financial firms fear disruption by new Fintech competitors. Retailers are being disrupted by online shopping with malls at risk of being shuttered and 65-year old Sears Canada declaring creditor protection in June 2017. Healthcare is being disrupted by artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing. It is clear that your organization needs to make a hard decision very soon – Do you want to be the disruptor or the disrupted?
Agile firms dominate. Becoming an agile business – an adaptive, responsive, and learning organization – is your true goal. Business agility requires true agility across all of your organization, not just software development, not just DevOps, and not just IT. There isn’t a single industry now that either isn’t dominated by agile businesses or isn’t under threat of disruption by new agile competitors. Not one.
Business agility – an adaptive, lean, responsive, and learning organization – is the true destination of your improvement efforts. Business agility requires true agility across all of IT, not just software development, and a DAE that is able to leverage that IT capability.