Digital TransformationExpert Speak

The Key to Business Continuity? Next-Generation Apps

Written by Ahmed Auda, Managing Director, METNA, VMware

In the last few months, we have witnessed how recent events have accelerated digital transformation trends that were already under way. From the death of cash to more people working from home, a lot of different changes in consumer behaviours are no longer long-term socio-economic shifts, but firmly established, contemporary trends within society.

This acceleration in digital has driven new business models, but also workforce flexibility and continuity in the business. In seeking to drive business performance while keeping their employees and customers safe – many organisations have been reliant on the ability to deliver next-generation applications into the business, at speed.

What’s become apparent, however, is that a company’s ability to successfully adapt has very much come down to how advanced they are in digitising their operations, and the ease with which they can deploy these applications and services strategically. For every fully integrated digital workspace solution, there’s a mash of unsecure and siloed freemium collaboration tools; for every omnichannel retailing experience, there’s a website queuing system.

But how exactly do enterprises prime themselves to support and modernise legacy app portfolios while adopting new cloud native app practices – and deliver these securely in a multi cloud world?

Today’s CEOs and senior executives need to be tech-savvy
Two things are required – CEOs and senior executives with real technology know-how, and a digital foundation on which to consistently manage, secure, develop and deploy applications – irrespective of their data centre of cloud environment.

Firstly, the tech-infused leader. According to new VMware research, almost three quarters of EMEA business leaders believe CEOs and executive leadership positions should be filled by people with technology career backgrounds, such as in app or software development. Why? Because their expertise, and ability to implement change, drives improved efficiency, organisation-wide; increased business performance; greater innovation potential; and a better customer experience.

This push from a high level is critical for infusing the culture needed to innovate and take smart and decisive decisions to build continuity and resiliency into the business. Ultimately, it’s creating future-ready environments to delight customers and empower employees. Yet it requires technology too – more specifically, a robust foundation upon which the applications driving that innovation must be built.

All businesses are reliant on software that can be developed and used as fast as possible, adapted to changing marketplace requirements, and run on infrastructure that deals with and scales to these rapid changes. But IT teams are challenged by inconsistent data center and cloud operations, making it harder to achieve security, control, speed, portability, and collaboration benefits within these applications. A digital foundation provides the platform – and choice of where to run IT – to drive business value, create the best environment for developers and help IT effectively manage any application, over any cloud, to any device with intrinsic security.

Businesses need a digital foundation that is consistent across environments and platforms, that makes it simple to operate and manage apps, that makes their development and deployment quick, all underpinned by in-built security as standard.

These attributes are directly linked to overall business performance. Data shows that high-performing companies are more likely to get new applications through production compared to underperforming organisations (66% of the time compared to 41% of the time). Moreover, 70% of application efforts make it to production in the planned timeframe in said high performers, compared to 41% in their underperforming counterparts.

Better customer experience means better returns
Being able to deploy modern applications means being able to enhance the customer experience – it’s that simple. New VMware research bears this out – 80% of EMEA app developers and tech leaders believe that without successfully modernising applications, organizations will not be able to deliver a best-in-class experience.

Modern applications enable employees to work remotely, can deliver reliable uptime to keep customers engaged, and have greater ability than their legacy counterparts to update seamlessly, meaning they can maintain the user experience while adapting to changing landscapes.

Better performance in disrupted times
Times are tough; there’s no denying that. Yet as companies adapt, they want to go beyond simply continuing, and move into succeeding once more. To overcome this much uncertainty, there are two fundamentals: leadership with technology in its DNA, combined with a digital foundation that can help accelerate the pace of delivering new apps and services. Struggle to deploy either, and organisations will not be able to create and launch the applications that deliver experiences customers will pay more for.

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Chris Fernando

Chris N. Fernando is an experienced media professional with over two decades of journalistic experience. He is the Editor of Arabian Reseller magazine, the authoritative guide to the regional IT industry. Follow him on Twitter (@chris508) and Instagram (@chris2508).

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