Businesses have spent much of the past year scrambling to adapt to extraordinary circumstances. The coronavirus pandemic has left several organisations with uncertainty and wondering what the future holds for them. Most businesses have spent the last several months understanding the changing business landscape and how to adapt to the change.
The only certainty in our modern world of almost constant change, is that technology will continue to play a pivotal role in helping business leaders deal with a flurry of unpredictable events and opportunities. Organisations need to craft technology strategies, architectures and solutions that are shapeless and formless, yet always flowing – just like water – businesses can go beyond being ‘simply’ agile, speedy and responsive: they can wrap themselves around the cases at hand, assuming these will instantiate, break and renew themselves over and over again in an infinite number of different ways. What organisations need to respond to this unpredictability is the ability to be hyper-agile, according to Robert Kingston, our CTO at Capgemini in the UK.
This hyper agility that goes beyond speed is an ability to respond to customers and be able to transform themselves in real-time to be able to react to events in a hyper-responsive way would become a central focus.
The unpredictably bought by the pandemic and the need to be hyper agile has opened the door for a whole range of technologies that can support the shift. While there are many aspects of technology that can help organisations adapt, we will focus on three:
Low code or No Code platforms
While low-code platforms have been gaining prominence for some time, their popularity has surged alongside the many other digital transformation initiatives that have accelerated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether its business users creating an app themselves or simplifying the development process for coders by automating manual processes, low-code development makes it easier than ever to create flexible apps to get specific tasks done offering agility. In a recent report, Forrester predicts that the low-code market will experience hyper-growth in 2021 after ten years of development, with a forecast of 75% adoption among developers’ shops for software development. Low code or No code reduces the dependence on traditional IT to remove the need to work with engineers and developers to build an app or functionality. Low code platforms make app development so simple that even people in the operations team can quickly develop their apps and solve for a situation, like new customers to serve, automation with existing systems – the possibilities are many. This is also hugely beneficial in the current scenario where the workforce is now fluid and distributed and can deliver on tasks from anywhere.
API enabling the business
Low code or no code platforms thrive where there is a rich set of APIs available to use and develop functionalities like workflows, business processes or even service to the customers or partners in the ecosystem. APIs offer the business the platform, and the essential platform for adaptability and being able to consume data quickly and develop new services and enable different interactions as the world around us continues to change.
A shift to product-based operating models
As governments socially distanced people to halt the spread of the virus, technology has brought us closer together, facilitating collaboration, creativity and community. Companies migrated quickly to cloud-based platforms, allowing employees to work remotely. Technology allowed businesses to operate, retailers to sell, and companies to deliver-making almost every business a technology business, as mentioned in the latest edition of TechnoVision 2021 : Be like water.
This shift has seen businesses move to a product-based operating model as it enables the customer to get closer to the engineers and product managers removing any middle layer and therefore reducing the chance of customer experience being compromised. We expect a shift to a product-based organisation operating model where there is no difference between the IT department’s frontline operations. Instead, they are working together as one team only to always present and enhance services for the customer, which in turn helps the organisation improve its time to market.
An example of innovation at speed where the time taken to execute an idea has been reduced to days only would be of HMRC rapidly implementing a solution to enable employers across the country to furlough rather than release employees. This shift, that we predict that will become mainstream, is all about seeing how organisations structure themselves to make use of some of the latest technologies available and to deliver new services after than ever.