Applications are the new strategic business asset. To successfully compete in today’s technology-driven, hyper-competitive environment, firms should implement three new applications strategies. Liquid applications offer the speed and agility required to be responsive to business demands. Intelligent applications embed intelligence throughout the organization to effectively manage the onslaught of data firms are continually wrestling with. And as I explained in my previous post, connected applications link internal and external ecosystems to drive new business opportunities.

But there’s more. For these strategies to work together effectively, financial services businesses should put a new business model in place that blends IT with operations, staffed with four new key roles. The over-arching goal is to make software a revenue-generating product.

First, by blending business and IT, firms should be in a position to make their products more market relevant as well as identify new markets for product introduction. This effort requires a tech-savvy organization that is deeply invested in software development. At the heart of this new business model is a process of continuous innovation.

Continuous Innovation
Source: “The Future of Applications – Three Strategies for the High-velocity, Software-driven Business,” Accenture 2015. Access at:


Staffing to stay ahead of the competition

Within this new, blended business model, delivering liquid, intelligent and connected applications will depend on the knowledge, skills and actions of the following four new roles:

  1. Platform directors. Platform directors architect and execute the abstraction strategies that allow liquid applications. These roles should always have an eye on “the next big thing,” directing developers and maintaining an “always on” developer experience. Lastly, platform directors are responsible for governance models that permit open innovation while enforcing software development standards.
  2. Intelligence architects. Intelligence architects curate data sources and design intelligent capabilities into applications, as well as embedding intelligence and making it useful to the business domain it’s created for.
  3. Ecosystem builders. Ecosystem builders permit collaboration with new partners, suppliers and competitors, while identifying potential new customer ecosystem opportunities.
  4. Citizen developers. Citizen developers reside in the lines of business, or even outside the firm. They are a valuable resource for assembling functional solutions or liquid applications as needed, and within very short feedback cycles—thereby supporting speed and agility.

Taking the lead

In today’s software-driven environment, applications are now driving strategy and competitive differentiation—permitting new services and new markets. The velocity of change and disruptive potential of software are unprecedented and should be met with proactive responses.Is your firm ready to meet these challenges? Do you have the tech know-how and planning process for driving your firm’s strategy with software?

By viewing applications as a business asset, creating a new, blended business model and staffing your firm with the knowledge and skills required to execute the three applications strategies, you can stay ahead of the competition.

Being a “fast follower” is not fast enough. Firms are strongly encouraged to take the lead.

For additional detail, please see:

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


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