This is the final part of my Top IT Trends for 2018. This calls attention to processes that have been evolving over the past few years as enterprises buy into digital transformation for greater efficiency, and innovative new solutions. This is not about technology. This is about processes that are enablers for digital transformation and create innovation.
9. The Extension of Agile Methodologies Across the Enterprise
Agile is a process methodology in which a cross functional team uses iteration and continuous feedback to successfully refine and deliver a process outcome. The Agile methodology has been developed in the world of software development over the past few decades where it has been paired with DevOps. Agile is mostly about process while DevOps is about automated build, test automation, continuous Integration and continuous delivery.
Digital Transformation is all about efficiency and working together to drive faster and more relevant business outcomes, and that is why more Information Technology organizations are adopting the Agile methodology. IT organizations have a legacy of siloed operations with server, network, storage, data base, virtualization, and now cloud administrators passing change notices back and forth to deliver a business outcome. Many would argue that IT was more focused on IT outcomes and not business outcomes. Even when data centers used technology to create shared data repositories to break down the data silos, the different functions were still focused on their own objectives and not on the overall business objectives. Now with cross functional teams including business as well as IT functions working together using iterative Agile sprints of two to four weeks, IT can focus on relevant business out comes and deliver it more efficiently.
Hitachi Vantara’s IT under the leadership of our CIO, Renee Mckaskle, has been using Agile methodologies over the past two years to drive Digital Transformation. And the results have been very impactful. This past year, our IT has been able to convert to a new CRM system, which is integrated with the rest of our business, Moved our data center from Indianapolis to a co-location facility in Colorado where it is providing services for sister Hitachi companies in the Americas, updated our web services to be mobile friendly, and changed the branding of three companies, Hitachi Data Systems, Hitachi Insight, and Pentaho into Hitachi Vantara on our electronic systems and service desks worldwide in less than 30 Hours! IT was also part of a larger Agile team lead by our Chief Communications Officer, Mary Ann Gallo, including other key stakeholders, like sales, supply chain, HR, legal, DevOPs, etc. which completed the process of rebranding in less than 6 months, a process which would otherwise have taken over a year. Hitachi Vantara has expanded the use of Agile from its beginnings in software development across the entire organization. Agile provides us with a nimble approach, where small cross functional teams, with a clear direction and strategic milestones can iterate through short sprints to ensure alignment across the board, communicate effectively, and focus on problem solving and achieving our common business goals.
2018 will see more enterprises move to Agile and DevOps in software development, with Agile methodologies being extended across the enterprise. This is especially important for IT if they want to be relevant to business outcome.
10. Co Creation of Value
We are witnessing a shift in value creation away from producer centric, solution value creation to a co-creation paradigm for value creation. Traditional business thinking starts with the premise that the producer autonomously determines value through its choice of products and services. Consumers were consulted through market research but are passively involved in the process of creating solutions and value. Producers and consumers can no longer survive in the digital world with this traditional approach to value creation. In the digital world, the pace of change is relentless, problems span across multiple domains, with a blurring of industry domains and boundaries. Producers cannot take years to develop a solution and consumers cannot plan their business on multi-year roadmaps that may not deliver what they need. If consumers and producers are to innovate they must be active participants in the value creation process as co-creators. Hitachi sees co-creation as the process of collaborating with customers and ecosystem players in order to innovate and create new value for business stakeholders, customers and society at large.
Hitachi has been co-creating with a number of customers like Daicel and Curtin University and developed a co-creation methodology. This methodology starts with engagement to identify the use cases, building an analytical model, doing a proof of concept and if that POC is successful, follow with a proof of value then iterate as needed. When the solution is successfully concluded, the solution is operationalized by integration with the business, deployment, and operation and management. Operationalization can be done as a service by Hitachi, the consumer, a third party or any combination thereof.
451 Research recommends to consumers that “Finding the right partner with domain expertise in your business area is essential, as is that partner’s ability to collaborate with key stakeholders to identify technologies, skill gaps and opportunities for organizational process improvements.” Hitachi is a large company with expertise in many domains, but it might not be the right partner for your particular domain, in that case Hitachi could still play a supporting role in the ecosystem with our portfolio of content, infrastructure and analytic tools.
Paul Lewis, Americas CTO and Greg Knieiermen, Technology Evangelist, and will cover all Ten IT trends for 2018 in a BrightTalk webinar on December 13 at 8:00 am Pacific time.
A special BrightTalk webinar for Asia Pacific will be held on December 12, 11:00 am Hong Kong time with Russell Skingsley, CTO for Asia Pacific, and Greg Knieriemen.