Software-Driven Businesses Need New App Strategies

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Application Strategies

Transforming into a software-driven business is not easy, as many companies are trying to compete with applications that are better suited to the last century.

Strategy 3: Connected Applications

To grow revenue and defend their market position, companies will need to create new competitive frontiers using software. Doing so requires opening multiple dimensions of application connectivity.

Connected applications offer companies the technical means to dynamically interface with the Internet of things and with business partner and customer ecosystems. As the IoT matures, connected applications will run everywhere—not just on traditional hardware such as phones, tablets and PCs, but also in manufacturing, pipelines, industrial equipment, cars, wearables and more—to convert products into connected product-service hybrids.

These applications can change the way companies operate by opening up their manufacturing operations, production facilities, products and services to new technologies. Connected applications are also required to dynamically interface with business partner and customer ecosystems in today’s highly networked, digital business environment.

When properly designed and managed, an ecosystem multiplies the power of all the participants, leading to combinations of functionality—and revenue opportunities—that previously would have been difficult to achieve.

These three new application strategies also depend on embracing an entirely new operating model for software development, encompassing custom, ERP and software as a service (SaaS). For many companies, the existing operating model for IT delivery is not suitable for today’s high-velocity business environment. Going forward, IT must be prepared to define and execute business strategy through software.

The business must also strive to gain more technology insight and vision as it assumes a bigger role in building software. Innovations must be driven jointly and tied to new strategic planning processes that span both the business and IT.

This also entails an understanding—by the business and IT—of what it means to be a software-driven business. Both groups need to understand how software can spur growth, shape new markets and reach new customers.

In addition, business and IT must work together closely to orchestrate new business solutions. When long-term competitive advantage depends on software, being a “fast follower” may not be fast enough.

Are you ready to take the lead?

Bhaskar Ghosh is the group chief executive of Accenture Technology Delivery.

This article was originally published on 2015-02-25
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