Software is a key driver of differentiation and innovation. Software strategies are quickly becoming business strategies. For companies to adapt to this high-velocity, software driven world, they need to not only change the way they design, build and use applications but also to adopt a new operating model to sustain business advantage and gain ground on the competition.
Redefining the business of applications for today’s marketplace challenges can open doors to new revenue streams and markets. In a report titled “œThe Future of Applications: Three Strategies for the High-velocity, Software-driven Business”, Accenture features a comprehensive analysis of the business of applications and introduces three new application strategies to help companies shape their future and lead their industries. The report also discusses the new operating model needed to help business and IT drive business strategy, jointly and continuously, with software.
Below is an outline of the three new application strategies:
“¢ Liquid applications: To compete based on agility and speed, companies can no longer afford complex, lengthy and expensive coding of applications, or massive, multi-year system implementations. What’s needed is a new way to build software””faster, flexible and more liquid””with reusable components that allow for the rapid assembly of applications in support of dynamic business needs. This approach requires modular architectures, next-generation integration techniques and a cloud-first, mobile-first mindset. Engineering innovations such as Agile and DevOps further accelerate development and deployment.
“¢ Intelligent applications: Companies need to embed software intelligence everywhere to manage growing volume, velocity and complexity, and to maximize the business value of internal and external data””including that from the physical world. Software intelligence is made possible by an influx of data, processing power and advances in data science such as natural language processing, machine learning and cognitive computing. Thanks to these advancements, applications can automate routine tasks, improve business and IT processes through integrated analytics and ultimately govern themselves.
“¢ Connected applications: To grow revenue and defend their market position, companies will need to create new competitive frontiers using software. Doing so requires opening multiple dimensions of application connectivity””with business partner and customer ecosystems, as well as with the rapidly growing Internet of Things that are essential to delivering new services. Connected applications will run everywhere””not just on phones, tablets and PCs, but also in manufacturing, pipelines, industrial equipment, cars, wearables and more””to convert products into product-service hybrids.
“œIn contrast to today’s monolithic applications, future applications need to be more nimble,” said Prasad Sankaran, senior managing director, Accenture Technology, Application Services. “œCompanies should begin their reinvention now in order to benefit from applications that can adapt to the pace of business, manage rising complexity and open doors to more interconnected business environments.”
“œIn the digital world, software doesn’t merely support the business, but rather is the business. Most companies’ existing operating model for software development is not fit for purpose in this business environment,” said Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer, Accenture. “œInnovation must be driven jointly by business and IT, and the operating model must embrace new technology stakeholders ““ from R&D to marketing to operations.”