Fast and Transformed IT in 2015: The Year of the Adaptive Digital Enterprise – Part 2

Fast and Transformed IT in 2015: The Year of the Adaptive Digital Enterprise – Part 2
 
One of the bolder assertions during the recent World Economic Forum at Davos was a comment from Google CEO Eric Schmidt on the "disappearance" of the Internet in the background especially as connected devices ("Things") become ubiquitous. The proliferation of the Cloud and Internet of Things (aka IoT, Internet of Everything (IoE), Machine to Machine (M2M), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and more!) will have tremendous implications for IT. A perfect storm of disruptive forces have been building up in the past few years and these will come into play in 2015. What are these disruptive forces and what are their implications for adaptive digital enterprises, especially for faster IT?
 
  1. Fast IT Innovation with IoE: As articulated elegantly by Cisco, "Fast IT is the IT operating model for the IoE era." Thing sensors, connectivity, and communication technologies are important building blocks. However, Fast IT needs to realize end-to-end innovations that typically involve multiple collaborating activities through business processes with people, systems, and Things – as illustrated in the IoT World Forum Reference Model. In other words, Fast IT means orchestration through automated intelligent processes: Process of Everything (PoE). Through PoE, fast IT will realize the full potential of IoE and have the digital enterprise connectivity capabilities (with people in different departments as well as back-end systems – and not just Things) to solve real. 
  2. DevOps: Although a new term, it aggregates a number of familiar approaches and concepts. Similar to IoE, Operational Technology (OT), and other "nouveau" terms characterizing fast and furious IT, DevOps is emerging as an agile discipline with the associated tools, best practices, and methodologies to align operations and development to build innovative products or applications. DevOps is also about agile methodologies, innovation, and automation. This includes automation of end-to-end digitized intelligent processes and decision management with humans, systems, and increasingly Things as participants. DevOps addresses the gaps that have traditionally existed between the "builders" or product developers (Dev) and "executors" or runners or operational administrators (Ops). DevOps draws heavily from real-time Lean and Six Sigma.
  3. Operational Technology and Information Technology: From manufacturing, to utilities, to telecommunication, mining, and smart grids, a powerful digitization trend is transforming these industries through the convergence and coalescence of Operational Technology with IT. OT focuses on assets or devices that need to be sensed, monitored, and controlled in real-time. The emergence of IoT means whether in production or in the field, these devices need to be connected to the rest of the organization’s strategic applications (IT). In addition to the standardization initiatives, both in terms of reference architectures as well as communication standards, the actual digitized process flows need to be operationalized. The integration of OT and IT addresses silos that typically exist in global organizations.
  4. Cloud Strategy with Flexibility and Speed: Cloud computing is a mechanism that enables users to access various types of services over the Internet (networks, servers, storage and business applications) conveniently and on demand. There are many "X"aaS solutions, - IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS being the most common. Today more than ever, Cloud computing needs to have the flexibility to move applications from the cloud to on premise, and vice versa. It must also be able to securely access on premise systems of records from cloud deployments. Adaptive digital enterprises continuously face two complementary challenges: speed and agility in developing new innovative solutions and the speed as well as performance agility in deploying those solutions on various Cloud configurations. The former is achieved through an agile model-driven, customer-focused development platform. The latter is realized through the operational configurability and performance of the cloud platform.
  5. Simplification, Modernization, and Application Rationalization: Yeah, it’s in there. The reasons now are as compelling as ever. Most IT budgets (sometimes as high as 85%) are spent on maintaining existing systems or legacies. IT wants to digitize and innovate – yet it is stuck with a repertoire of unwieldy systems stitched together to run the corporate engine. This has given rise to the "Two Speed IT" – a fast, innovative and responsive IT and the traditional IT of legacy maintenance. It is a huge problem. In 2015, IT needs to leverage an agile platform for change to be able to rethink the technology landscape, especially for the emergence of robust IT digital architectures. Rationalizing application portfolios, then simplifying with fewer data centers, platforms, and applications improves IT efficiency and aligns business with IT. Modernizing applications with digitalization addresses the very core of the complexity challenge by enabling IT and business to rapidly respond to the need for change in this emerging coalescence (alliance) of the “Virtual” and the “Real.”
 
These five unstoppable forces combined are already shaking IT in many organizations. The impact of the perfect storm is going to increase. The “fast” for IT will also be furious: those who stand in the way of these forces and are not able or willing to transform their IT organizations will most likely not survive.

In Build for Change: Revolutionizing Customer Engagement through Continuous Digital Innovation, Pegasystems Founder & CEO Alan Trefler shares his insight on what organizations can do to serve the next generation of customers and survive the pending "Customerpocalypse".