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December 11, 2014

Innovative app strategies key in software-driven world

Accenture report introduces three application strategies.

By Ellie Burns

According to a new report by Accenture, software is fast becoming a key driver of differentiation and innovation. In order to keep up with today’s software-driven world, every company needs to rethink its potential and reinvent itself.

Changing the way applications are designed, built and used can start this reinvention, alongside adopting a new operating model that enables business and IT to jointly develop software to enter new markets.

"When long-term competitive advantage depends on software, being a ‘fast follower’ may not be fast enough anymore," said Bhaskar Ghosh, group chief executive, Accenture Technology Delivery.

"Software strategies are quickly becoming business strategies. The business of applications needs a dynamic and high-impact makeover using new strategies that will help companies not just sustain a business advantage, but to gain ground on the competition."

The Accenture report, titled "The Future of Applications: Three Strategies for the High-velocity, Software-driven Business," introduces three application strategies – Liquid, Intelligent and Connected applications.

The Liquid application approach requires modular architectures, next-generation integration techniques and a cloud-first, mobile-first mindset. Engineering innovations such as Agile and DevOps further accelerate development and deployment.

Intelligent applications involve the embedding of software intelligence everywhere to manage growing volume, velocity and complexity, and to maximise the business value of internal and external data — including that from the physical world.

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Connected applications require the opening of multiple dimensions of application connectivity — with business partner and customer ecosystems, as well as with the rapidly growing Internet of Things that are essential to delivering new services.

"In the digital world, software doesn’t merely support the business, but rather is the business. Most companies’ existing operating model for software development is not fit for purpose in this business environment," said Paul Daugherty, chief technology officer, Accenture.

"Innovation must be driven jointly by business and IT, and the operating model must embrace new technology stakeholders – from R&D to marketing to operations."

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