In today's business world speed and agility, or the lack thereof, can mean the difference between success and failure. IT systems of yesteryear are today's anchors dragging down companies. Business strategies and ways of thinking that brought successes in the past, today prolong their inevitable demise. It is not just the investments of the past that weigh down a business, but old thinking.
Agility is not just a programming and project management methodology, but a business requirement. I recently attended a talk by Todd Lutwak, a Partner at the VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. He said the cost of forming and running a startup company is down 100Xs that which it once cost. Why? It is due to things like open source technologies, cloud computing, SaaS business models, globalization and LinkedIn. LinkedIn? Indeed! He said LinkedIn enables startups to quickly, efficiently and cost effectively find the experts they need in ways never before possible.
All of the innovations and efficiencies Lutwak identified as helping startups, contribute to efficiencies, speed and agility. No longer does a startup need to invest much of their investor funds into business systems just to start operating. They can subscribe to SaaS solutions and be operating in 24 hours without significant upfront investments. This speed enables the startup to focus on the innovative products and services, getting them to market, solving customer problems and making money. Their focus can be on that which makes the business successful.
I believe the trend in enterprise mobility away from expensive on-premise MADP (mobile application development platforms) to MbaaS (mobile backend as a service) business models and solutions align with Lutwak's observations. Companies don't want to make massive budget, time and resource commitments to platforms that may restrict their future agility and speed to market.
Many companies today believe the only way they can be successful in the future is to buy startups, or spin-off their own startups and build up from there. They have concluded that the fossilized thinking, processes and systems of the traditional business are not conducive to future success. That is sad, but often an all too accurate conclusion.
Let's just make sure that we build the next phase of our businesses with speed, agility, innovation and creative thinking at the core.
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Senior Analyst, Digital Transformation, EBA, Center for the Future of Work Cognizant
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***Full Disclosure: These are my personal opinions. No company is silly enough to claim them. I am a mobility and digital transformation analyst, consultant and writer. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles.