November 26, 2015

Do you need a digital platform?

Ari Hirvonen

Head of Enterprise Architecture Consulting, Tieto

All organizations are hunting for new ideas to disrupt their market and create new digital businesses. Agile way of working, try ten fail nine, innovativeness and intrapreneurship among others are key characteristics of digital mode and are getting full attention and focus of business and IT people.

Dual mode is the winning recipe

I have recently been in couple discussions where it was claimed that it is enough just to build new sexy digital services quickly. No need to put that much attention to legacy, as a lot of those old applications and technologies will disappear soon anyway. But is that the case?

A typical IT landscape has several categories of IT. In discovery area a lot of agile digitalization related development is happening. Digital mode alone is not enough to run the business successfully. Continuity of current business must be secured and that is and will be managed by applications like ERPs and different kind of legacy apps, which support organization’s core processes. No doubt, there is typically a lot of room for rationalization in these areas.

These two modes, the digital and the traditional, can be developed in isolation, but likely results will be unsatisfactory. The traditional mode applications have true assets also from digitalization point of view in functionality and data, customer behaviour or product data to mention couple, which is crucial for new digital services. Applying these assets in digital mode development enables double speed and improvement also in the success rate.

Digital platform is the enabler

Digital platform is the enabler of these integrations. It provides also other platform functionalities like Business Process execution or support for data analytics. Increasingly these functionalities are provided from cloud and supported by cloud execution platform like Tieto’s TECO.

My claim in recent discussions has been that organizations with mature digital platform are far ahead of their competitors. Having digital platform and well governed Service Oriented Architecture enables a much quicker starting point to all new digital development compared to an organization with complex and unmanageable point to point integrations and just with basic software development tools.

Other key success factor in addition to digital platform in dual mode is transformation management and enterprise architecture governance. Both capable to drive agile digital and traditional development. Not in isolation, but as a whole, understanding differences of these two modes.

- - -

Stay up-to-date

Get all the latest blogs sent you now!