Traditional, tightly coupled applications are giving way to agile, reusable business components that help companies accelerate time to market. But doing so will take more than a cloud-native, software as a service (SaaS) model. You’ll need to make organizational changes, too. Chris Nøkkentved, chief technology officer of Enterprise and Cloud Applications at DXC Technology, shares key steps to help get you there, and delves more deeply into enterprise application strategies in this position paper on improving digital application experiences.
1. Rethink monolithic enterprise applications
- What we’re seeing is that companies are deconstructing the tightly coupled, integrated applications of the past. This is being done at the edges. Companies are deconstructing key parts of applications that connect to partners, employees, customers, governments and universities. The deconstruction typically starts with procurement, and continues through human resources; Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ); sales; services; and marketing. It moves from the outside in rather than from the inside out.
2. Take the step toward SaaS
- These decoupled applications are being pushed out to software as a service (SaaS) applications. Business logic is then created on top of the SaaS application as cloud-native extensions. All knowledge has to be migrated from code to business rules, which are added as configuration rules on top of SaaS. You’re creating reusable business components.
- This is a very important trend that enables companies to move faster, develop new APIs, and build libraries of app components. It also allows developers to experiment freely, something they can’t do in an SAP environment. With SAP, every change needs to be tested, and you end up back in a waterfall development environment even though you’ve moved to agile.
3. Be ready to change the IT organization
- Companies have massive teams developing applications, and many of the teams’ skills need to change. Technical skills need to evolve, and interpersonal skills do as well. Continuous delivery is a more experimental form of delivery that requires you to think about what you’re working on as a product. Its success directly relates to financial success, and the way you manage IT organizations shifts from using them as service centers or cost centers to having them be full-fledged partners with the business. So, IT is not just an enabler of the business, but a core part of the business that can help transform the business model and create new business opportunities through applications.