What Do You Need for Innovation and Growth?

By: Gunnar Risberg - Leave a comment


Innovation and growth start with a good idea, but how do you know if your idea is “good” and not something that’ll eventually fizzle out? How do you know if your IT infrastructure can support it?

To determine if the idea has potential, the business will do market research, which is so important because it helps validate the market opportunity and identify the potential for cross-industry disruption. After all, there are many examples of rapid disruption and change that came from unpredictable sources, such as Uber and other new mobile apps designed to make life more practical. During this time, IT can begin assessing the impact and how to leverage a hybrid cloud environment to meet the needs of the business.

Once the company has determined that the idea is worth pursuing, the next step is to decide how to bring it to market. This is where IT has an opportunity to shine. It’s often easier to say no, or that the development and deployment will take six months. Designing, developing, testing and monitoring new applications requires a new set of tools, after all. You need a platform to bring the idea from prototype to production. You need to build a DevOps environment that helps maximize innovation and accelerate time to market. Bringing your idea to life with a hybrid cloud model allows IT to capitalize on cloud while still making the most of existing, on-premises resources.

To this end, you’ll need a powerful development platform that assists you in managing all application life cycle management tasks while still allowing you to be innovative.

How Can You Bring Your Idea to Market?

Once you have a platform with a business model that can support you and your innovation you need to test and validate the idea. Start by analyzing data. You probably have a huge knowledge capital in your dark data, collected by the enterprise over the years, and insights you can draw from it could inform the right development and deployment decision.

When selecting a development platform, you have a series of hurdles to overcome. You need to validate the services, application program interfaces (APIs) and analytic solutions necessary to support your app.

To drive innovation while increasing agility and speed to market, you also need to establish the right team. Keep in mind the team you need is probably a fragmented group of teams or individuals that are already within your enterprise. Traditionally, there may not be a great deal of cross-departmental integration of teams and functions, but by implementing a practice such as DevOps, you can support the change and release process. DevOps promotes a set of processes and methods for thinking about communication and collaboration between development, quality assurance and IT operation. The team model actually implements organizational cultural change, opening the team up to innovative thinking and allowing it to approach business problems from different angles.

The Importance of Speed to Market

Picture of an IBMer's DevOps T-Shirt

A key advantage of a good DevOps platform is that it will serve as a foundation for continuous development, which can start small and grow. Be experimental and release your work in small batches rather than starting a huge development project that hastily goes to market all at once. Otherwise, you may fail and the window of opportunity will have passed because the solution didn’t fit the purpose.

Strive to use a platform that supports the deployment of your app in small steps, and scaling and growing it to meet market needs. Then you’ll be ready to harvest the benefit of all your innovative thinking, analytics, agile development and seamless deployment in a rapidly evolving market on a hybrid cloud platform.

Now, you’re ready to adopt hybrid IT to address the dependencies on your business requirement and the legacy application you have to interact with. This will help you manage compliance, adhere to the security framework, use the suitable deployment model and placement of every component, engage the open API, tap advanced analytics and be cognitive in your thinking. To take this to next level of integration and agility, you might start thinking of mobility, but that’s a story for another day.

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About The Author

Gunnar Risberg

IBM Cloud Technical Sales, IT-Architect, IBM

Gunnar Risberg is an IBM Senior Integration IT architect with focus on Cloud solutions. He began his career with design and develop CAD/CAM and Geometry systems 1984 and came to IBM 2000 as IT Architect in Business consulting. In 2008, he moved to Technology Services and started working with cloud computing at 2010. Hybrid cloud... Read More