Volatility in the current business environment means firms have to be flexible and able to act quickly—continually innovating processes and offerings to stay ahead of the competition. Applications are a strategic business asset in this effort.

In my previous post, I talked about three applications strategies financial services businesses should adopt if they’re going to succeed in this dynamic environment. Liquid applications, the first of these three strategies, delivers the speed and agility firms need to keep up with the rapid pace of change they are facing today.

Liquid applications are modularly architected applications assembled through next-generation integration techniques, based on a cloud-first/mobile-first mindset.Why does this matter? Complex application coding and massive, multi-year system implementations are no longer affordable in any way. Firms need to be fast and nimble when it comes to adding new capabilities, or they’ll be left behind. Liquid applications support that needed speed and agility.

How liquid applications work

Modular architectures allow pre-built components to be sourced internally or externally, and reused according to need. Flexible, standardized, open integration and business process management services easily configure and connect these applications with business information across the organization to meet business demands. Robust application programming interfaces (APIs) allow application accessibility, both within the business and to outside customers and partners. Liquid applications are built to operate in the cloud for greater flexibility and scalability, although they can be deployable on premises infrastructure. Designed and engineered for mobile, they serve employees and customers wherever they are.

By applying new development approaches that incorporate smaller and reusable components, liquid applications deliver continuous software delivery. Continuous capability rollouts put an end to disruptive, protracted and expensive software implementations—creating a foundation for future growth and competitive advantage.

Mobilizing for liquid

Companies should follow these three critical steps when preparing for and integrating liquid applications across the business:

  1. Implement new architecture and abstraction strategies. Before moving to liquid applications, your enterprise architecture should first be able to support platform integration capabilities, security, monitoring and API lifecycle services. Application frameworks should also be updated to include appropriate abstraction strategies that can isolate technical complexity into platforms and away from business functionality. Breaking applications into smaller components that perform discrete functions makes them easier to update, replace, remove or augment. Maximizing decoupling from legacy systems and allowing application components to integrate with each other regardless of the technology used to run them is the key to developing liquid applications.
  2. Shift to a DevOps culture. Applying liquid applications is more than a technology process; it also requires a culture shift. DevOps uses automation techniques for deployment, environment set-up and configuration, and monitoring—streamlining and accelerating interaction between development and operations teams. This type of culture permits faster, more predictable and more efficient deployments in support of continuous software delivery. “You built it, you run it” is the new paradigm.
  3. Future-proof applications. Liquid applications focus on digital enablement, and are more about business processes and less about a specific technology. To successfully utilize them, firms should have high user experience expectations and engineering standards that embrace the digital world and cloud-first/mobile-first principles. At every opportunity, firms should take advantage of emerging concepts that support seamless deployment across platforms.

In my next post, I’ll share how intelligent applications can make your business smarter.

For additional detail, please see:

The Future of Applications: Three Strategies for the High-velocity, Software-driven Business



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