Business Computing World | April 16, 2015

Enabling The Software-Defined Enterprise


People across the globe are increasingly expecting to power their lives with software. We now watch movies via Netflix instead of renting from Blockbuster, and we read books from Amazon on our Kindle instead of going to a library or bookstore. Custom software is now indispensable for business growth and competitive differentiation. In response to this trend, we’re seeing organisations attempting to re-invent themselves as software companies with the goal of becoming a software-defined enterprise.

All this is fine, but how do you actually get from here to there? In a world where the corporate IT department is all too often maxed out simply maintaining existing applications and infrastructure, becoming a software-defined enterprise can seem a big leap to make.

In response to this, organisations need to put software – and software developers – at the heart of their business strategies. However, the emergence of the software-defined enterprise requires a new approach to IT, particularly as the current IT model is too high-friction, making it hard to empower developers and for IT executives to build the custom software necessary to drive next-generation value.

In order to support custom software development, organisations need to find ways to remove the complexities of building and delivering modern software applications – allowing teams to innovate faster. By decoupling applications from their underlying infrastructure, enterprise development teams can start to securely deliver an entire ecosystem of data, services, applications and APIs to both internal and external customers across any infrastructure. Software becomes increasingly valuable, while technology is effectively delivered as a self-service utility.

It’s an approach that works well for developers, IT professionals and executive teams. Software developers benefit from increased independence from IT, with the ability to leverage powerful cloud services or cloud-enable existing legacy apps contributing directly to being able to build better applications faster. By adopting a hybrid-IT model, professionals in turn are able to reduce IT complexity and costs by empowering developers to do more while reducing risk and friction. By managing applications and infrastructure through policy, IT can actually leverage cloud on their own terms, while at the same time gain greater control over complex IT environments.

For executives, the need to achieve a competitive edge – and unlock their organisation’s disruptive innovation capacity – starts to become a reachable goal. Gaining greater control over the software development process means they can effectively align their IT with business innovation goals, speed time to market for new products, and capture new revenue opportunities. Enterprises seeking to leverage software to generate sustainable competitive advantages need to take immediate steps if they are to seize the opportunity to become software-defined enterprises.

Organisations also need to move forward on hybrid cloud strategies to stay agile. PaaS, with their ability to remove the complexities of building and delivering modern software applications, are an essential component in enabling enterprises to innovate faster. A private Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) managed by central IT empowers developers by giving them the freedom and simplicity of a self-service, policy-driven, world-class PaaS that overlays both internal IT and public cloud.