What is Business Agility?
Business Agility is the quality of an organization to respond to the changing environment, both internal or external, in a timely and cost-effective manner.
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What enables Business Agility in an Enterprise?
IT could play a significant role in enabling Business Agility in an enterprise. Followings are the three key enablers for business agility,
- Hyper-awareness: ability to quickly detect and monitor changes in a business environment
- Informed Decision-Making: ability to make the best decision possible in a given situation
- Faster Execution: carry out its plans quickly and effectively
Checkout CISCO’s mind-map for the Digital Business Agility enablers here.
What IT platforms are needed?
- Big data
- Agile Architecture
How does Big Data enable Business Agility?
Ninety percent of the total world’s data has been created in last two years, says IBM. In such a day and age of Data Explosion where quintillions of bytes of data is created every day, it would be criminal to not make use of it to enable business agility. These data could be monitored to bring about the hyper-awareness needed in strategizing business plans and could hugely assist the critical decision making process.
What does it take to build a Big Data platform?
Big Data is a dataset so large in its variety, volume, velocity and that it is impossible to process them using the conventional database tools. The processing and storage needs of big data world are so different that standing up the platforms for it could be easily get beyond the reach of small or medium organizations. Cloud computing with its already built in state-of-art infrastructure to handle big data and could be inexpensive option for such companies.
What is Agile Architecture? How does it relate to Business Agility?
The architecture of an Enterprise needs to be re-organized such that Business Agility becomes and emergent quality of the Enterprise.
- Micro-services: As a system of systems, an enterprise needs to look at itself as a collection of business components interacting dynamically with each other to provide a value stream. The more fine-grained these business components are, the more adaptive an enterprise as a system of systems would be.
- DevOps: The cultural shift needed to build and run these fined-grained business components to maximize business velocity. CI/CD, IaaC, automated governance are some of the key components DevOps.
How about the up-front investment in building the platforms needed to support Agile Architecture?
There is definitely some up-front investment in bringing about the cultural shift and to stand up the infrastructure needed to support Agile Architecture. Bimodal IT, where the traditional IT co-exists alongside with the Cloud could be a good option. Most of the main-stream cloud providers have a rich set platforms available to support for agile architecture. Since no up-front cost for building and managing these platforms is needed, total cost of ownership should be evaluated.