19 Jan 2017

The Need For Speed

We wanted to share a bit about our current focus, and what we’re seeing in the industry at the moment.

We speak to many IT business leaders from a whole range of industry sectors and we’re seeing several disruptive themes that are setting the scene for ever faster digital transformation.

Fast Digital Transformation

Companies that master fast digital transformation are successfully disrupting (and in some cases dominating) the established business marketplace. At the same time the number of active users on the web has significantly increased, with most people continuously accessing the web from their mobile devices.

Imagine if your business could deliver IT change to your core systems and reliably test and release them in minutes instead of weeks or months… For most established businesses with enterprise IT systems, a one-line code change can take 10 minutes to implement, but performing end-to-end systems testing and running through a QA, CAB and release process can often take 6 weeks or more. Businesses that master fast digital transformation are able to reliably test and release changes in minutes and it is fundamentally disrupting the market.

We have seen a number of notable examples of this in recent years:

  • In retail, Amazon and eBay are said to make over 500 live deployments in a single day, which is fuelling their ability to disrupt the retail market with innovative new services. They are monetising their API’s by allowing third parties full access to their products and also for 3rd parties to market their products on Amazon and eBay automatically. Future innovations are being made right through the distribution chain with same-day-deliveries and bricks-and-mortar stores without checkout queues.
  • In financial services, the raft of financial regulations that have emerged in recent years are incredibly expensive to maintain. They are crippling established banks and squeezing profit margins. The banks that will survive and thrive are ones that are able to rapidly adjust their systems to deal with change fast. Some banks are achieving these breakthroughs empowering their teams with self-service IT.
  • Uber is a great example of transformations to the transport industry – for example Uber has disrupted the global taxi industry by connecting the traditional market place with route automation and driverless cars.

So, what do these companies have in common?

  1. Speed of innovation
  2. Always available services
  3. Ability to elastically scale

This means IT has to work ever more closely with business areas and empower them to make changes. Because constant change is required, it has to happen without expensive and time-consuming change-management processes.

So to help speed up innovation, we’re putting more focus on, and urging customers to take a closer look at DevOps and Microservices.

Keys to achieving faster digital transformation

Enabling business self-service – where business areas can deliver more of their projects in their own timescales. This means it has to be possible to access data and resources through reusable APIs and services.

Making changes and scaling fast – business areas should be able to make changes which affect their areas, for example to improve customer service, satisfaction, or product availability without having to go through a complicated change programme. Adopting a Microservices architecture allows you to release small changes without impacting the rest of a solution. Organising your IT department by business and into multi-disciplined DevOps teams which include full-stack developers, operators and testers who are able to automate the build, deploy and test process and increase speed and quality.

‘Think big, start small, build fast’ – keeping the company objectives in mind, build the smaller components which will drive this growth. Then be empowered to build fast. This relies on community enablement through self-service, agile development and reusing assets. Agile requires that each sprint produces a deployable unit which is able to go-live.

‘Fail fast’ – It sounds scary, but companies should get comfortable with this strategy. This means trying something, getting fast feedback, and then rapidly inspecting and adapting. In the presence of high levels of uncertainty, it is often less expensive to start working on a product, learn whether it was a good decision, and if not, kill it fast before more money is spent.

So why did SOA not solve the problem?

SOA promised to simplify IT by stripping down the IT landscape. Systems could have been accessed via services rather than keeping multiple copies of data in each system. The problem was that SOA never got from the Push model to Pull model. In the IT industry many now believe that microservices environments will take over where SOA leaves off.

How can Integrella help?

We have a range of services which specifically help you to accelerate innovation, including:

  • DevOps artefacts, consultancy and roll out
  • Migrating your monolithic applications to Microservices. This is useful when apps need to change quickly
  • Migrating your Java EE applications to Cloud Native Applications, including Private Cloud. This is useful when apps need to scale elastically and in order to reduce costs of licensing and in reducing people costs of maintaining systems

Want to discuss further? Just drop your details into the form to the right for a free consultation.