Gartner suggests that a cost optimization strategy for the digital business economy includes three elements:
- IT cost optimization: Reduce IT costs while maximizing business value
- Business cost optimization: Use IT to digitalize and optimize business processes
- Digital business: Prepare for a digital future by digitalizing physical assets, data and business processes
Look at item numbers one & two:
Use IT to digitize and optimize business processes & digitize physical assets, data, and business processes
You know that this means?
Reduce costs while writing and maintaining more software.
Where will the cost savings come from?
We’ve arbitraged all we can out of labor. So, we’re not going to get much more out of labor cost optimization.
The next step is better efficiency (aka DevOps). That’s going to have to get much better if we want to achieve meaningful savings.
Digital Transformation is a problem of scale — a lot more software to digitize and take advantage of all the digital assets that have been created.
When the computing world was PCs — there were a few hundred million of them. Now there’s an order of magnitude more computing devices AND they’re no longer a homogenous operating system / metaphor.
I’m not sure even the most sophisticated DevOps on its own is going to get an order of magnitude improvement in the amount of software that enterprises created without something more changing.
What else is needed?
There needs to be a way to get more software created at no additional cost.
Fortunately, we have a model.
Both Apple and Google have platforms — phones — that benefit by having apps that take advantage of digital assets. Anyone can write software followed by ‘a little app store governance’, and the software created is available for anyone to use.
If we think of the enterprise as a platform, why can’t they have ‘a little platform governance’ to enable anyone that cares and knows how to write code create apps the way I used to create macros to optimize excel when I was 20-something?
All it would take is a few APIs, security built into the platform, governance around quality & automated deployment, and a great developer community to encourage collaboration the way open plan workspaces enable collaboration in physical space.
Simple. (Not really.)