The Agile Enterprise: A Welcome Change

Today, everything in enterprise is getting faster – from critical business processes, ECM and capture, to human resource management, marketing and email. Attempts to keep up with the increasing speed of the enterprise by many organizations have conversely, slowed things down. This is because these organizations apply the same strategies and deployment architectures that were effective a decade ago.

For example, recent research by AIIM found that 72% of those polled are using single-vendor general purpose suites as their main ECM systems, while only 13% are using integrated best-of-breed (©Copyright AIIM). The problem with the popular centralized, single-vendor ECM is that it is not conducive to the highly kinetic, dynamic enterprise of today. Even when multiple systems are in place, they remain isolated from each other and from the line-of-business systems they are intended to support.

The solution is an enterprise needs to become more agile and responsive to customer needs. ECM, BPM and other critical business systems must be nimble enough to deal with problems that did not exist yesterday, while taking advantage of the opportunities of tomorrow. This must be done without massive investment. The agile enterprise leverages its flexibility for efficiency, finesse and recycled value. A more agile enterprise allows businesses to:

– Leverage existing technologies to solve new problems through reuse

– Outsource business processes to the cloud

– Improve collaboration among an unbound workforce

– Implement incremental change and operational improvements across the enterprise.

Executive leaders, IT professionals, software developers and business managers need to understand that the era of enterprise software dominance is ending. It is being replaced by business apps that are fast, flexible and easy to build. In the ‘90s, the growth of enterprise software was fueled by exponentially expanding computing power and dramatically dropping hardware prices (Bidgoli, Hossein, The Internet Encyclopedia, Volume I, 2004. John Wiley &Sons, Inc. P. 707). Despite being designed with the noble goal of “facilitating the flow of information between all business functions,” the outcomes of enterprise software did not always deliver. The failures were due to a gross underestimation of the challenges and complexities in delivering organization-wide change management software.

The Rise Of The Business App

The unveiling of the iPhone, the creation of the App Store and the eruption of the web with powerful SaaS-based applications that came with highly usable interfaces and low barriers to entry was the catalyst for change. Suddenly, employees could share files on Google Apps and Dropbox and store content in Evernote. This change was driven by technology users, rather than IT, establishing technology expectations beyond what most IT organizations were capable of delivering. This completely changed the traditional role of IT.

By 2015, 75% of enterprises had adopted a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy and 70% were using two or more apps beyond email. Business apps started filling the gaps where enterprise software fell short. These apps eliminated barriers and gave access to real-time information, while enabling the enterprise to keep up with constantly evolving customers, competitors and technology.

Today, business apps are agile and leverage the power of existing investments without the pain of custom software development. They allow for rapid and highly customizable collaborative solutions, are designed with the end user in mind, give real-time access to information and allow seamless integration with existing LOB applications. They can also be applied to any type of business process, meet the varying needs of unique environments while retaining the security and integrity of underlying sources of information (Mobility Index Report Q3 2015, TechTarget, November 2014).

Smart business applications are designed with agility and flexibility in mind. They can be assembled quickly and can be changed on the fly, without impacting application design or infrastructure. They also put users at the center, eliminating the need for multiple applications and interfaces. Smart business applications have the power to span an organization, drive business outcomes and deliver true competitive advantage. K2 has allowed over 1.5 million users in more than 84 countries, including 30 of the Fortune 100, to turn complex work into powerful business process applications.

Linxus is focused on accelerating the enterprise through automation, technology and change management in order to enable businesses to keep up with the changing business and technology landscapes and the competition. This is because technology obsolescence is fast and difficult to predict. Solutions that worked yesterday may not cut it today. Successful organizations today depend on fluid solutions that can be easily tweaked, fitted and adapted to meet specific needs. As the future of business apps continues to evolve, the benefits of a more adaptable, agile enterprise are becoming more obvious.

Conclusion

To survive in the age of customer centricity, business must future-proof their processes in a way that drives efficiency and flexibility. Traditional enterprise software can no longer address these obligations. However, businesses can use Linxus and K2 to work smarter, increase agility and accelerate growth.

Click here to learn how Linxus and K2 can help introduce a new way of working to your business.