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Status Quo: A Recipe For Disaster For Enterprise IT?

Enterprise IT

The times, they are a-changin’. Staying relevant is no longer a choice, it is a necessity. Competing enterprises have a lot riding on them to maintain an agile and efficient business model, adapt to disruptive technologies, and stay relevant in the times of market flux. Status quo is the bane of enterprises wishing to stay relevant. And how do you stay relevant? By constantly innovating. To add business value and stay ahead of competitors, companies must encourage their teams to take calculated risks and challenge status quo with innovations.

Hindrances to the innovation goal are aplenty–epidemic data growth, market instability, limited financial resources. De-siloing, being flexible, and fostering a culture of agility are sureshot steps to overcome these barriers. It is imperative for enterprises to embrace digital transformation in order to challenge status quo and usher in innovation into their DNA. Failing to innovate–and thus cater to a growing population of fickle customers, mostly Millennials, who want things fast and their way–can lead to loss in business, market share, and brand value.

Status quo has always spelt doom for enterprises. A Kodak employee, Steven Sasson, invented the digital camera in 1975. But his bosses were “unimpressed” and thought “no one would ever want to look at their pictures on a television set”. The result: Kodak put the invention in the back burner. By the time the brand embraced digital, it was too late. Kodak went bankrupt in 2012. Similarly, video rentals major Blockbuster shut shop in 2013 due to its inability to go digital. Long story short: status quo is a recipe for disaster.

Challenge The Status Quo Or Trail Behind

Status quo is a recipe for disaster. The main driver of status quo in an enterprise are legacy apps. Legacy software–what with their outdated infrastructure and clunky and rigid systems–bury under them a treasure trove of valuable data that can drive innovation in an enterprise. The quick-fix solution for customising legacy software is not foolproof.

According to a report by Automic, enterprises are spending 85 % of their IT budget to keep the lights on. They say, as a result, their businesses are affected. In fact, enterprises are discovering that the bimodal IT model does not present a long-term solution for IT problems and poorly balances agility and stability. There’s a conscious strategy to shift from the model and follow the likes of Amazon, Google, Apple etc. which also breed innovation–but not through bimodal IT.

A recent survey by industry analyst firm Oakton found that 47 % of businesses heavily customised their legacy ERP software to meet their requirements. This process is more time-consuming, involves higher spending, and involves frequent maintenance issues.

The way out? Invest in low-code platforms that help you build web and mobile business ERP apps visually. Their easy drag-and-drop interface, user-friendly Prefabs and templates, and efficient management make building apps a cakewalk. It’s faster (you can build apps in no time), frugal (the cost involved is much lower), and flexible (it is easier to plug in changes or updates to an existing app). Taking a portion out of what you would have spent on customising legacy apps and using it to invest in such low-code platforms is a smarter way to drive value. This will help you rapidly react to market changes and adapt yourself to them.

Innovation is all about speed and flexibility. And investing in transformative technologies like APIs and cloud can help you gain the same. APIs can unearth value out of enterprise data lakes and can be used to build business apps on low-code platforms. Following that, cloud-based architectures can be leveraged to deploy the software that can easily be managed as well. Such technologies have opened up new ways of providing business delivery solutions for challenges at various levels–from planning to execution. Neglecting cutting-edge technologies will be a deterrent to innovation and tie you back to the perils of status quo. In short, you will lose relevance.

Innovation Is The New Normal

Status quo is passe and innovation is the new normal. The benefits of adapting to this new normal are multiple:

  • People-oriented business: Embracing new technologies and building adaptive strategies make the business and development process people-centric rather than process-centric.
  • Simpler processes: Teams have an opportunity to work on platforms that provide flexible delivery timelines. For example, a complete working application can be built within days quite easily using low-code platforms; the same task would take months to complete when you follow the legacy development process.
  • Decentralised approach: IT departments have the freedom to choose suitable platforms and technologies as per their requirements, and deliver the end product more efficiently and quickly. This empowers the teams to respond quickly to new IT trends.
  • Enhanced Collaboration: Cloud computing gets rid of server-based information sharing within teams. It allows everyone to access the same information accurately and simultaneously at different locations.

The Drivers Of Innovation

IT leaders and CEOs have a huge role to play in bringing in an innovative mindset in organisations through digital transformation. They should be in the driving seat to challenge status quo and work in conjunction with IT teams to exploit the latest technologies available. The IT teams should also be able to adapt to these changes and play active roles in the growth of the business.

Moreso, as Millennials are poised to make up 50% of the U.S. workforce by 2020, CIOs must revisit their portfolio of applications in relation to their existing and future workforce. According to the report by mentioned above, about half of the CIOs said their role has turned more important, and three-quarters believe innovation is a core discipline.

The Low-Code Way To High Performance

Digital transformation is a reality today. And going digital through lightweight business apps for web and mobile is extremely essential. Trusted low-code development platforms are status quo killers and a big help in this area. They not only help you build apps visually but also connect with all your systems and data easily, and also deploy the apps effortlessly. The reduction in time-to-market and costs, and the flexibility for future updation are seen as effective harbingers of innovation.

Continuous innovation is the name of the game. A rolling stone gathers no moss.

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Karthick heads the Products, Marketing and Evangelism efforts for WaveMaker. As one of the original product managers at WaveMaker, he led the technology and design for WaveMakerOnline, WaveMaker's PaaS offering. He also established the Customer Success practice for WaveMakerOnline. Prior to WaveMaker, Karthick occupied various roles in engineering and product management at PegaSystems, IBM and Oracle. He can discuss in-depth, code-level details and just as easily shift focus to business and go-to-market strategies. He was one of the seeders for the product management teams for PegaSystems in India and also a key technology contributor behind Oracle Warehouse Builder features. He writes and blogs about modern app development methodologies, including Rapid Application Development, digital transformation, and the API economy.