Businesses that want to be agile need an adaptive digital platform that stays in tune with their business model

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Why agility in IT matters

Agile businesses have the ability to adapt to market changes faster and grow faster.

In the face of near-constant changes to market conditions, the design of the enterprise is itself changing. Today, business agility – the ability to adapt to market conditions – is recognized as an important competitive differentiator.

Agility, and inevitably growth, is hampered by the ability of information systems to adapt in a timely way line with new business models and changing organizational information demands.

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Enterprise information management systems represent huge investments by companies to optimize their business processes and leverage their corporate information assets. They take a long time to get right, and they’re not so easy to change.

or business managers, exploiting the knowledge they’ve already acquired is hampered by the complexity of IT systems architectures made up of many disparate data repositories originally designed to serve operating silos and peculiar business processes.

And providing knowledge workers with the new applications needed to respond to the business situations they face is inhibited by corporate capacity and the high cost of change and the need to repeatedly invest in shrink-wrapped software or fund high-risk software developments.

In consequence, businesses lack the insights and optimized processes they need to adapt and respond to new market situations, opportunities, and competitive threats.

An approach to creating so-called AGILE IT is to adopt a digital platform purposely-designed to support the information services your enterprise needs.

The underlying ethos of this approach is to enable information consumers to serve themselves with the new applications and views of information they demand through composite applications to harvest pre-structured data feeds from disparate back-office systems and public sources. The holy grail is to completely remove the frictional cost of transforming IT systems and one of the major ingredients to make this possible is to remove the complexity (and therefore IT skills) required of today’s business analysts and software applications developers.

Architectural layers

The principal building blocks and technologies of a Services Oriented Architecture fall into four main architectural layers.
These are:
1. Data management (the ‘data’ layer)
2. Orchestration and administration of services (the ‘orchestration’ layer)
3. Portals and user interface (the ‘consumer’ layer)
4. Platform administration and security (the ‘platform governance’ layer)

Technology Building Blocks

 The technology building blocks of digital platforms are:
• Data management
• Extract transform and load (ETL)
• Data interrogation and data quality analysis
• SOA library management
• Enterprise mashups/composite applications and BPM platform
• Social collaborative features
• Business intelligence
• Geo-spatial mapping
• Web portal architecture
• Cloud services and administration platform