It might still be very early to talk about the contours of the exact strategy and execution post Covid19. However, Governments across the world have started to think about opening up economic activities gradually. China is already returning to near-normal in terms of commercial activities. The President of the US has indicated a plan in the offing to resume economic activities, so has India. But the impact on companies is going to be felt for a long time. Hence, it becomes interesting to see how businesses will respond to the emerging situation.
The Digital Is Going To Shape The Future
What is sure is that digital capabilities will assume an even greater significance. Digital capabilities will shape how we work, manufacture, supply, sell and deliver. And since these capabilities are going to assume significance, delivering them in perfect alignment with the overall strategic requirements will also be of paramount importance. So the delivery capabilities will become the backbone of digital capabilities, which in turn will drive the relevance of a business in the future to come. McKinsey, in one of their articles, although in a different context, sums up the characteristics of such delivery capabilities nicely. While talking about the resilience of Asian companies, McKinsey says;
In an increasingly volatile world, Asian companies have demonstrated dynamism, speed, and agility, which have all contributed to the region’s macroeconomic stability. Asian companies have to be resilient: they operate in highly dynamic, fast-growing markets, against the same backdrop of digital disruption and rapidly evolving consumer demands that every organization currently faces.
Emerging Characteristics Of Delivery Capabilities
For any company across to world to survive and grow, it will need to adopt these three characteristics, dynamism, speed, and agility when it comes to their software delivery strategy. Let’s expand on that a bit to understand the nuances and see how we can do that.
The capabilities of software delivery are increasingly being demonstrated in the following three areas;
- 1. Improved time to market
- 2. Increase value per cycle
- 3. Improvements in productivity
While these areas were always important, they assumed renewed criticality in light of the setbacks due to Coronavirus. At BillionApps, we have been collaborating heavily internally as well as our clients to determine a high-level framework to respond to the post Covid19 challenges. This rough framework involves both technical as well as process aspects. The objective is to provide an organization with the means to establish an edge in the market. Primary constituents of this framework are;
- 1. Eliminate rework through standardized processes
- 2. Integrated, flexible change management processes
- 3. Improved business and technical collaboration
- 4. Stringent prioritization of requirements and needs
- 5. Loosely coupled applications, leveraging established and emerging concepts like microservices architecture and serverless deployments
- 6. Modernization of application environments and utilization of patterns
- 7. Eliminate non-value added work through automation for testing and deployment
- 8. Scale continuous delivery implementations to manage many pipelines simultaneous for larger projects and organizations
On the practical front, the framework is supported by Cloud infrastructure, microservices-based architecture, and DevOps for automation of quality and delivery. The extent of adoption of these three facets will determine whether your organization will be able to enhance its delivery capabilities or not.
Dissolving Boundaries & Expanding Horizons
Another trend that will be strengthened is the trend of looking beyond the organizational boundaries for new product & services roll-out. The Oxford Economics Workforce 2020 Report found that over 83% of responding executives said that they plan to increase the use of contingent, intermittent, or consultant employees in the next three years. This change will be done to accelerate release cycles and faster go-to-market timelines. Leaders are looking towards increased partnerships and co-development opportunities far beyond the deliveries only. They are also looking at partnerships across the value chain from research to development to delivery.
To do that, the partners like BillionApps will need to bring in the processes that enhance transparency and collaboration. The shift means a mindset and behavior change across the board, for clients as well as vendors. The team structures would become flatter, and fluid within the organization, to provide flexibility and creativity of ideas. Reporting hierarchies and lines will also get blurred and fluid to promote increased cross-functional collaboration. Lack of structure may give rise to chaos. That’s where organizations will also need to think of redefined project governance processes to ensure that the collaborative energies are channelized appropriately.
Micro-level Changes Will Dictate The Growth
However, no matter what we anticipate at this moment, there are just too many uncertainties that will drive the future. One of the most crucial aspects of these uncertainties is customer behavior. Most experts anticipate a change in how and what people will buy. That means you will need to carefully observe your sales metrics to identify patterns and micro-level changes in consumer behavior. For the foreseeable future, it is expected that this behavior will be volatile. There will be some time before it stabilizes at a point where organizations again can start thinking in terms of long-term strategies. But in the immediate future, organizations will need to be extremely flexible, and agile, and shift the strategy and tactics quickly in response to the changes in consumer behavior.
The agility is going to be the factor that decides the extent of your growth. We shared our thoughts in this article that might help you ensure you are agile and continue to grow even through these uncertain times.