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The Modern Software Factory: The Business Imperatives and How Service Providers Can Capitalize

Author: CA’s Ken Vanderweel

Today, your customers need to establish a modern software factory so they can deliver the compelling user experiences that are essential to competing and winning in their markets. For your organization, it will be critical to support customers in pursuing this objective. Review this post and discover how the modern software factory is emerging as a vital imperative for enterprises, and the business opportunities this market shift will present to service providers.

Introduction: Aligning Service Catalogs with Shifting Markets

Today’s enterprises face unprecedented challenges. Digital disruption. Compressed innovation cycles. New forms of competition. Rising customer expectations. Never before has there been such urgency around incubating new ideas, nurturing innovation and delivering compelling new solutions to market.

Customers now connect with businesses through Internet-connected applications, and expect to do so from anywhere and at any time. This reality is forcing an enormous shift in how we think about technology:

  • Software isn’t just a productivity tool for a given business group—it’s the way businesses understand and interact with customers.
  • The modern business doesn’t just use software, it is powered by software.
  • Businesses have a new mission: They need to better understand customers through the software experiences they deliver.
  • Every dollar that gets invested in technology must quickly deliver business results.

For all these reasons, building a modern software factory has become essential.

The Opportunity: Delivering Services in Support of the Modern Software Factory

As internal teams start to focus on building the modern software factory, they need a range of new services to help guide, accelerate and sustain this effort. Successful modern software factories are built on four key objectives:

1. Creating an agile business

Organizations need to go beyond agile development and make every part of the business built to change. To realize the agility required, organizations will need help with planning, prioritizing and tracking—so they can manage the entire innovation lifecycle and make more informed strategic investments. They’ll need to establish a modern application architecture, and automate business service delivery, so they shrink the time it takes to go from ideas to business outcomes.

2. Building better applications, faster

In the application economy, business innovation will be fueled by application innovation. To keep up with customer demand and stay ahead of the competition, organizations need to continuously deliver high-quality applications and compelling user experiences. To realize these objectives, customers will need help with establishing automated development, testing and release. They’ll need to establish the agile workflows needed to rapidly prototype new applications and services, and continuously test them throughout the innovation lifecycle.

3. Making security a competitive advantage

In today’s digital world, strong security is critical for protecting business users, data and reputations. That means robust security controls need to be applied to applications, data and infrastructure—and to the DevOps workflows that encompass these elements. Companies need to keep data safe, without frustrating users, which requires capabilities like risk-based safeguards for managing mobile access. Finally, to ensure compliance with security policies and regulatory mandates, businesses will need help with protecting data privacy.

4. Maximizing application performance

To keep customers happy, it is vital that businesses continuously deliver amazing experiences—and avoid downtime at all costs. Consequently, the modern software factory will need to be equipped with application performance management capabilities that span the entire development lifecycle and the IT ecosystem—from mobile to the mainframe. They’ll need the infrastructure management and user experience monitoring capabilities that enable end-to-end tracking and optimization of the digital experience. Finally, they’ll require help with monitoring APIs and related microservices, which is vital in enabling DevOps teams to address issues faster and collaborate more effectively.

Why Service Providers Need to Adapt and Respond

By delivering services that support customers in achieving the objectives above, service providers will be well poised to address a strategic customer demand and capitalize on a rapidly growing market.

Ready or not, many service providers will need to fundamentally transform their service catalog so their offerings are effectively aligned with emerging customer requirements, technology environments and business objectives. Today, that means supporting customers on their journey of building a modern software factory.

Now, delivering digital services that provide an optimized user experience is paramount. Given this customer imperative, service providers will need to move from their traditional, infrastructure-centric services and into more application- and user-focused service offerings.

While many service providers have been successful with traditional, infrastructure-oriented services, they’re going to encounter significant challenges if they don’t adapt:

  • Infrastructure-focused service catalogs will fail to address an increasing share of customers’ requirements. These service gaps will mean customers will be compelled to look elsewhere.
  • Traditional infrastructure-centric managed services continue to face increased commoditization, representing a market segment where expanding numbers of providers compete on price.
  • Further, as the volume of workloads running in cloud environments continues to grow, cloud service providers stand poised to expand their services—and make steady inroads into markets traditionally served by managed service providers.

Conclusion

Delivering services focused on support of the modern software factory won’t just be a mandate for growth; it will be a prerequisite for establishing differentiation, sustaining relevance and ultimately staying viable. Quite simply, now’s the time for service providers to incorporate these application-centric, modern-software-factory-enabling offerings into their service mix—or start losing market share to those who do.

The modern software factory—and the opportunities it presents for service providers—were a major focus of this year’s CA World event (November 13-17, 2017). This year’s CA World featured a comprehensive set of opportunities that were specifically geared toward MSPs. In case you missed it, be sure to check out our previous post, and get complete details on all the MSP-focused activities at this year’s event.


Ken Vanderweel is senior director of service provider solutions marketing at CA Technologies. Read more CA blogs here.

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