Building a Modern Business with Software at the Center
Software is at the center of all business, but getting to a software-centric model can be daunting.
The following is an excerpt from my book Digitally Remastered, which outlines how to successfully build a software factory to support your digital transformation efforts now and into the future:
Incorporating software development as an integral part of business may seem like a daunting task. The first important step is to recognize the fundamentally different nature of software’s role in business today. This is not simply a matter of traditional IT with some added responsibility. The ability to deliver customer-facing, software-based experiences is an entirely new capability that you may need to build from the ground up.
Your focus needs to shift outside the enterprise to the customer. You will need to create software execution competency—a kind of modern software factory—that will enable you to continuously deliver software experiences at scale to your customers. You will need to revisit your priorities and shift your investments. You will need to enable a more efficient and collaborative operating model optimized for both speed and customer value. And using digital engagement, you will need to create feedback loops so you can provide your business with a steady flow of actionable insights.
The good news is you don’t have to change all at once. Your goal should not be perfection; transformation is a messy process. Your goal is to create the right environment for continuous improvement, discovery, and experimentation. Your mission is to create a framework to enable the possible and to embrace open-ended change.
The days of discrete projects with neat, linear timelines from start to finish are gone. So, too, are projects that deliver features and functionality—at great expense and strain on precious resources—that nobody really wanted in the first place. Your goal is not transformation; that will happen naturally along the way. Your real goal is to uncover the clarity that comes from knowing your customers through the software you build. If you adopt a simple strategic and technological framework and identify some obvious first steps, you can begin to adapt your business to an increasingly software-centric world and set a direction that will continue to guide you into the future.