We often lament those decades- or centuries-old monolithic organisations – comparing them unfavourably to today’s lightning-fast digital upstarts and their advanced architectures.
We’re quick to consign them to oblivion – saying they’re destined to join the growing pile of corporate failures that were killed off by faster-moving competitors: Kodak… Blockbuster… Sears… Blackberry… Circuit City… Compaq…
Look at Financial Services for example: In the face of advancing FinTech companies, how can an enormous lumbering bank hope to compete, with its tens of thousands of staff, hundreds of branches, and vestiges of infrastructure from as far back as the 1970s?
Will the capex-heavy models of the Industrial giants, Oil and Gas utilities and Manufacturing plants be able to compete in new digital economies, where everything is delivered ‘as a service’, where everything is digital?
And what will happen to those labour-intensive businesses as AI makes further inroads into the way we work?
Maximising your investment in Technology
But the outlook need not be so dire for the old-world organisations of yesteryear. While transforming into the digital era certainly requires sweeping changes – from culture, to product and service lines, to processes and systems – there is a way to avoid the scrapheap of failures we alluded to earlier.
You don’t need to try to replace the core of your legacy architecture. Instead, you can get different legacy systems to mesh tightly with with each other, allowing you to surface data held within the bowels of the organisation, speed up transaction processing, and quickly integrate with the latest advanced technology.
As many organisations in the process of transformation are realising, it’s not enough to simply employ an Enterprise Services Bus, Middleware architecture, or front-end interfaces to ‘float’ on the surface of your enterprise architecture. You must integrate at strategic points, up and down the entire technology stack.
With a low-code digital platform like OutSystems, it becomes easier to introduce new microservices and other Cloud-delivered software, and to start developing one’s ‘modern’ IT estate. The legacy systems continue to tick away in the background, but with no further need for enhancements, as the digital platform becomes the layer in which any changes are made.
Getting the most from your People
“The chains of habit are too light to be felt, until they are too heavy to be broken,” proclaimed philosopher Bertrand Russell. For most IT staff, these chains have wrapped themselves around us over the years, making it tough to free ourselves, re-skill ourselves, and add higher value in the modern era.
Breaking the chains requires us to augment traditional IT and Business Analysis skills with a new curriculum in solution design. This even extends beyond the core profession, and into the softer skills that are allied to Digital: the ability to influence, to guide, to generate buy-in, and to envisage the transformative benefits of technology within a particular business.
Start seeing business analysis as ‘requirements engineering’, start seeing business solutions as something richer than the standard approach of SDLC. By identifying those critical gaps in the classically-trained IT professional.
Starting in May, OutSystems South Africa is launching a new internship programme that helps fast-track individuals into new digital skillsets – with a raft of assessments and learning materials for individuals, as well as tools to better manage projects.
Our internship programme helps individuals build the required low-code skills.
Getting the most from your Investments
Large organisations are spending billions on painstaking renewals of legacy architecture. By the time many of these multi-year programmes are complete, they may well be out of date once again. But imagine you could rapidly build applications that integrated into your back-end systems of record, with something as simple as a drag-and-drop interface?
Low-code digital platforms enable business leaders to start re-channeling their spend, towards modern-age microservices and the exploration of new technologies (rather than on expensive hourly developer rates and bloated upgrade fees for legacy systems).
Independent research* has shown the low-code platforms typically show returns on investment very quickly. And the savings from reduced legacy maintenance is just the tip of the iceberg. The real ROI benefits are felt in areas like:
- Rolling-out new digital services or applications
- Enhancing digital customer experiences
- Quickly reaching new markets and customer segments
Yes, it’s possible to ‘work with what you’ve got’, using low-code platforms like OutSystems to enable a target state: where a rapidly-iterating customer-centric front end syncs in perfect harmony with a resilient, transactional-focused legacy back-end.
Find out how you can simplify digital transformation – Click here to download OutSystems State of Application Development Report