Digitalisation is taking off unprecedentedly, but by no means every organisation is equipped to respond to it. Because companies spend a lot of money on maintaining expensive and inflexible systems, this is ultimately at the expense of customer satisfaction and competitiveness. How can your organisation become effective again?

Digitising is no longer a choice for companies, but a necessity. Consumers want to be helped faster than before. Companies that make effective moves within the market increase their competitive position.The problem is that many companies have little insight into the number of applications. In addition, it is often not known how high the current and future costs are for maintaining all this software. The vast majority of the budget is therefore not spent on innovation, but on maintaining (outdated) IT systems.

As strong as the weakest link

The speed of an organisation is ultimately determined by the weakest link in the chain. This is the (standard) package to which only complexity and therefore time and money is added. Everyone knows that if you add complexity to complexity, problems just get bigger.

In order to maintain a good market position in the future, each organisation will therefore have to spend its IT budget and resources significantly differently. A well-designed IT platform offers a solution and creates more overview, quality, development speed and opportunities for exponential growth. This is how technology helps to control costs and to transform the organisation into a digital organisation.

Unlike monolithic software, which does not facilitate “continuous delivery”, orchestrated software does. Platforms facilitate reuse and compliance so that simple components can be converted into new products. Maintenance is also relatively easy because individual components can be replaced.

Slimming and strengthening

In order to make the IT in an organisation agile and to keep it that way, it is important that the complexity is drastically reduced. The number of applications must be reduced as well. At the same time, knowledge and skills must be gained to build and integrate platforms into the existing infrastructure. The big challenge for IT departments is to carry out this transition while the regular operation continues.

Building a necessary lean and agile organisation does not only require good IT platforms. It is equally important that the management takes real ownership and shows leadership to reduce the existing complexity. A digital business requires a strategic focus on quality, cost control, speed and exponential growth in demand.

Companies wanting to maintain their competitive position will have to develop a culture that can cope with a constantly changing world.

Organisational form under the microscope

Therefore, building up the necessary cultural competences and integrating the software go hand in hand. The organisational form, leadership, mindset and skillset of the employees should be placed under the microscope. This means an existential transformation in which the focus is on subscribing, buying, building and integrating software.

This completely changes the speed and way of working, speaking in terms of weeks instead of years and days instead of weeks, no hierarchy involved. Continuous customer value is created and products are created and only driven by “outcome”. In short, a real agile organisation.

This article is based on the story Andy Kyte told Gartner during the OutSystems Nextstep of October 8, 2018 in Amsterdam.

Marcel Kuiper

Author Marcel Kuiper

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