Many businesses put themselves at risk through inability to adopt new strategies due to inflexible IT processes, rigid infrastructure and ossified applications.

New businesses and those that have successfully transformed themselves will win through innovation enabled by the agility afforded by newer technologies such as cloud, event-driven microservice architectures, AI and blockchain.

Corporate technology inequality will accelerate through 2020.

Leading indicators

  • Customer experience quality diverges, with some companies expanding their self-service capabilities, while others remain stuck with call centers through 2022.
  • Established companies fail to adopt multiexperience delivery such as voice and chatbot.
  • Transformation is superficial, only happening at the customer interface not throughout the business, especially ignoring internal systems.
  • Lack of business transformation causes over 40% of business failures by 2022.

Trends

New starts with no legacy IT and companies that modernize their systems are responsive to market conditions, allowing them to thrive. Companies that fail to transform their IT will miss business opportunities. The resulting poor financial performance compounds the lack of investment in modern applications and infrastructure by reducing the funds available creating a downward spiral.

Modern software architectures, tools and methods enable agility within the companies that adopt them. Event-driven microservice-based applications allow for rapid reconfiguration of elements, responding to business opportunities. Cloud and containerization allow for easy, cheap scaling of systems. IBM i series machines are now available via cloud providers, making moving mainframe workloads to the cloud possible. Low code systems begin to offer viable solutions where packaged, cloud-based applications are not available. Agile and lean methods begin to address the delivery of working software in a timely manner.

All too many organizations, however, struggle to adopt these new approaches. Often IT services must commit the bulk of their budget to keeping the lights on by maintain creaking legacy systems. What little is left over is spent on modernizing interfaces without fixing the core problems. Resistance to change, lack of executive engagement and personal investment in existing systems also lead to IT stagnation. Many of the modern capabilities are difficult to grasp for those unfamiliar with them, making business transformation even more difficult to achieve.

Recommendations

  • Boost executive awareness of the imperative of adopting modern IT practices
  • Define a strategy for business transformation that ensures IT flexibility
  • Explore low- and no-code development tools that free IT to work on transformation by enabling safe self-service development.