Why an Agile Process is Great for Digital Transformation
Agility is imperative to the success of any business. The aim for all of us is to be an organization that can respond to new opportunities or competitive threats as quickly and effectively as possible. Organizations that are unable to change quickly are the ones bound to be slow in capturing market shifts—and the ones facing the threat of becoming irrelevant.
The agile process in technology is an emerging approach that enterprises are adopting to introduce new applications for the digital age. This includes the quick consulting and assessment of whether a solution works for the organization or not, designing the solution, and testing it for success or failure—all as quickly and cost effectively as possible. By following this process for applications design and adoption enterprise wide, agility delivers a significantly lower risk and investment of time and resources. And gaining the experience or learning is a key to improvement.
With this process, the months that it would generally take a team to build a solution are minimized to weeks or days. The major challenge (and I would say also an opportunity) is getting consensus. The needs for customized applications vary by organization, but needs become even more specific at a business unit level and a country or culture level. Achieving consensus from the involved business units or countries early in the process enables you to design the right solution for the right team, minimizes where you could go wrong, and achieves financial buy-in from your internal stakeholders. An agile organization ultimately empowers its local units and geographies to be more responsive and adapt to local customer trends, creating the right mix of bureaucracy with nimbleness and innovation.
Moving businesses to the digital age by adopting an agile process is possible only if your technology platform has three characteristics: open, modular and easily extensible. Your platform should support the design, creation and deployment of advanced applications, without developers having to acquire specialized communications expertise. By being open, the platform will be much easier for your organization to leverage and integrate with virtually any third-party data and applications. Being modular means the platform allows you to select a range of capabilities over time to meet your company’s goals and initiatives and drive business results that will change over time. Extensible means having a platform that can expand and adapt as your business changes, shaping new, innovative and differentiated customer and employee experiences, as well as accommodating new and future requirements.
The agile process is a great new approach to deliver on your digital transformation objectives and that of your peers. It has evolved to be a proven successful approach to change. Take small cost-effective steps, and examine trial and error to keep up as the world’s technology continuously moves forward.