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Driving Digital Profitability

Paul Roberts

By Paul Roberts8.28.14

 

Shareholders care about profits. CEOs care about shareholders. And, it seems, CEOs have identified digital business as a means of pleasing their shareholders. Recent quotes from leading executives regarding their business strategy validates the notion that they see digital platforms as a gateway to increased revenue, reduced costs, and improved levels of loyalty that will have customers returning for more:

“We are making progress in our efforts to drive U.S. traffic and sales, improve our Canadian operations and advance Target’s digital transformation.” – John Mulligan, CFO and interim CEO, Target Corporation

“Digital can help drive greater share of wallet…and help reduce the total cost to serve our customers.” 
Helena Foulkes, EVP, CVS Caremark and President of CVS/pharmacy

“Customer service drives the business, and the biggest challenge now is how to become more digital in sales and servicing.”
Michael Jackson, CEO, AutoNation

the strategy is clear, But obvious challenges exist

Time-to-Market
Profits are judged on an annual basis. Digital innovation, which is revenue-generating, cannot wait an indefinite period. CEOs cannot wait years for digital platform delivery and shareholders will not stand for it. The “window” of competitive advantage will likely disappear quickly so immediate action is necessary to capitalize.

Developer Productivity
Developers are responsible for bringing digital innovation to market. Yet, great developers are hard to find, difficult to retain, and remain an expensive resource.  Developer productivity, therefore, has to be maximized to fully realize their value and keep them happily focused on innovation.

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Application Legacy
Chances are an organization’s latest round of digital products and services is not their first. Perhaps an earlier version of an application almost delivered game-changing innovation, but not quite. Something as simple as a multi-tenant, SaaS-based delivery model, or streamlined patching and versioning, might make it the perfect solution, yet it was just too difficult or time consuming to implement the first time around.

Inefficient Infrastructure and Processes
IT Operations is tasked with enabling digital delivery. However, to be a valued partner to business and support the digital strategy, IT Operations must rid itself of underutilized, expensive infrastructure and inefficient processes (such as manual provisioning) as they slow innovation and provide more obstacles than solutions.

IT Risk
With increased digital presence comes increased risk exposure. New applications may be gathering private customer data that has to be safeguarded to avoid putting the company in news headlines. IT Operations must, therefore, keep the enterprise and its customers protected, while not slowing down innovation or time-to-market. An IT executive at a large enterprise Apprenda customer uses a fantastic metaphor that works perfectly in this situation. He describes IT Operations as needing to use automated resource and deployment policies in order to act like TSA Pre-Check, which keep airport passengers just as safe as if they were going through the regular line, but speed up their delivery to the departure gate.

While challenges exist, there is a relatively simple solution that many enterprises are implementing or evaluating in order to facilitate digital strategy.

That solution is Private PaaS

Private PaaS helps organizations boost the productivity of developers and get applications to market quicker to generate revenue earlier. Furthermore, Private PaaS addresses the underlying infrastructure, making infrastructure significantly more efficient and cheaper to run while ensuring hosted applications are secure and compliant.

To summarize, in order to achieve the levels of profitability that shareholders demand, enterprises can either grow top-line revenues with new digital applications or reduce bottom-line IT costs. Private PaaS helps to achieve both and helps enterprises profit digitally.

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Paul Roberts
Paul Roberts

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