How to move from innovation to execution with the Modern Software Factory
In his CA World 2017 keynote, CEO Mike Gregoire talked about the tools organizations need to confront the challenges of the digital world.
Scientific studies have concluded that the average human, chimpanzee or squirrel is more conservative than he or she really needs to be. Within each species, there is a small “outlier” group that demonstrates less fear and even prefers choices with more risk.
“The ones who are not afraid of risks will drive change in organizations,” Gregoire said. “While new ideas can cause friction, playing it safe can actually be the riskiest decision you can make.”
According to Gregoire, everyone has to develop a new sense of digital intuition in the increasingly digital world of business: “We need to cultivate a deep understanding of where the data is coming from, what it means and how to use it responsibly.”
This applies to every industry. Gregoire pointed out that more and more enterprise-class products are now using data to enhance the user experience, just like consumer applications. He used Optum, the digital arm of United Healthcare, as an example of the future.
Optum possesses the most healthcare data in the industry, derived from hundreds of millions of claims. Optum now leverages that data to enhance the user experience. Doctors and patients can make better decisions about healthcare, whether it is identifying diseases, addressing gaps in care, or managing costs. Optum uses a suite of CA solutions including Agile Central, Project & Portfolio Management, API Management, Service Virtualization and BlazeMeter to harness and synthesize their data.
CA’s CTO Otto Berkes recently wrote a book “Digitally Remastered”, which is the blueprint for what CA calls the Modern Software Factory. It frames how organizations transform themselves by leveraging agile, automation, insights and security. Gregoire pointed out that the benefits of the Modern Software Factory are not limited to just businesses. It can also enhance the relationship between government and citizens.
In Singapore, they were trying to solve for a vexing problem. People were calling the police department for everything. Loud construction projects. A broken water pipe. A dangerous intersection. Everything. Enter Singapore’s Government Technology Agency. They faced a tangle of 11,000 datasets. Instead of trying to migrate all that into one system, they had a better idea — build a single engagement layer across all of these disparate agencies for one stop shopping. And that’s what they did using API Gateway technology. Today, the 5.7 million people of Singapore can access any department of government using the OneService app.
Gregoire emphasized that it doesn’t matter how big your company is or how much market share it has. There is no such thing as “too big to fail.” To stay viable, the best-run firms in tech are always chasing the next wave.
The ability to move from inspiration all the way to delivery is the secret ingredient to success. Most companies in our industry are operationally efficient. But operational efficiency on its own is not the mother of invention. It is the balancing of execution and creativity that leads to success.
Gregoire noted that winners have a common trait in how they react when things go wrong. The historian Bernard Lewis has summarized the two basic ways people and nations respond to adversity. The winners are the people who when they hit the wall ask a simple question: “What did we do wrong?” Which leads to a second question, “How do we make it right?” The rest are the people who can only think of one question: “Who did this to us?”
“Software is the creative medium of our age,” Gregoire stated. “We’ve seen it change the world – and be changed by it. Both Eudora for email and Netscape for browsing had initial revolutionary impact. But the world continued to change and passed them by. True value comes from being willing and able to change.”
Gregoire noted that it is a complex world out there for business decision-makers and that there are few obvious answers for when and how to pivot: “You need to have vision and insight. You need to be a good listener. You have to know when to follow your gut and when to rein yourself in. You have to be persistent and thoughtful, cast aside convention and execute thoroughly with determination.”
“First among the tools to confront these challenges is your Modern Software Factory. It ensures that your company is built to change and can adapt to an accelerating digital world. Building your own Modern Software Factory is a prerequisite for staying competitive,” Gregoire concluded.