DSI: Switching Applications to Platforms


The notion of application platform is now well established, in any case well documented 😉 The GAFAs have shown how to scale them and make them the heart of their digital services, which underlies their business models based on The data they collect and manipulate. The company has appropriated this conquest of the Internet with digital, whether it takes the form of e-commerce, online services or extranets customers. This digital development is often driven by the business itself, outside the ISD, and generates revenue. In a way, we can also consider that ERPs, when they have been used globally within the company and have been updated regularly, are platforms that share a single database between the multiple modules that equip the company's processes. Compared to the previous digital platform, they constitute the transactional system, or more simply the back office that records and manages the resources of the company. The question that GreenSI poses in this post is there is still a future for business applications, which would not be connected to one of these two worlds being structured in platforms, Digital business and ERP back office? Corollary, how will evolve the "RA", the managers of applications "at the ISD and who will be responsible for the platforms? A trend in companies is the increase in IT budgets that pass under the control of business.This trend is consistent with the increase in the scope of the digital platform of companies and the proliferation of offers in SaaS, even the explosion of the "shadow-IT" and the arrival of the "low-code." The question around the applications therefore switches to use and how to derive more value from the control of the selected technology and its implementation to reduce costs.Thus the technical roles at the ISD, focused on the selection of applications and their implementation, must evolve towards roles that are more familiar with the business and the business benefits of uses Transforming buyers into salespeople to simplify, and become aware of the conduct of the changes that will be required implement 😉 In terms of business, what has been called "MOA" for years, especially in France, is becoming Product Owner with the deployment of agile methodologies used for the development of new products (and not their on-shelf purchase) and continuous innovation. Some CIOs might be tempted to call Product Owner former Application Managers and take over this role in their teams. But for GreenSI it would be a confusion, not sustainable in the medium term, because the Product Owner is carrier of business and customer satisfaction related to the use of these applications, which is not usually the case with a Manager of Application within a DSI cost center. The evolution of the Application Managers to the business, and the development of their skills for this, is however a necessary scenario to operate in the world of platforms. But this scenario is not enough. IT operating models must also support a pace of change, or even innovation, high, because the interest of a Product Owner is to constantly adapt digital services to business conditions. To find out if the gap is big or not, look at the SLAs of the ISD and compare them to the company's commitments to its customers for business impact applications. A more radical scenario would be to totally switch part of the ISD into a commercial organization that would commercialize its applications or application services when they are in SaaS, the company of course but also largely externally. After all, it's a way to check that these applications are competitive on the market, no? "Open for Business" was also the credo that GreenSI used to address the transformation of the ISD in 2014. But this week, the return to the CAC40 of Dassault Systèmes with a valuation of 35 billion euros, shows that this model can also operate on a large scale. Dassault Systèmes began as a Dassault Aviation design office in the 1970s to respond with computing power and CAD to the development of the aircraft manufacturer's products. Their application CATIA gradually established itself internally then ten years later became an independent subsidiary, today 3DS.Au departure she relied on IBM for the commercialization of its software at the world level then bought back to IBM this commercial structure. Today, with 230,000 companies subscribing to its services, and of course always Dassault Aviation, it finds itself at the heart of the industry 4.0, with the virtualization of industrial objects (see the note on the "digital twins") at the elbow at elbow with two other Americans. In a global IT market dominated by the United States, 3DS is the French exception in Digital, as SAP is the German exception in ERP. So why not align the stakes of the ISD with those of the business, and shift part of the ISD into a commercial structure that would build the future industry-leading platform in your industry? The other question is the future of applications that would still be platform independent. GreenSI think that you are already convinced that an application no longer has as support a CD-ROM that allows to install it on a local server, but a Docker available on all public or private Cloud. The technical and application components have changed a lot with the Cloud.But to converge on internal platforms and reinvigorate an ERP sometimes breathless, the organization of applications, traditionally silos by domain, will probably federate more transversally in the company. ERP can serve as a base for them to functionally enrich. This also means more cross-functional and less compartmentalised SI skills by functional area, or at least multidisciplinary teams working together from the IS strategy. GreenSI's vision is therefore that the application information system is progressively organized around two poles, which are two strategic platforms, one internal, the other external to connect with customers, suppliers and partners. This evolution will require CIOs, who have not already done so, to switch over to co-creation with agile trades and methods have shown their strengths for this, but especially to align the results objectives of the information system with the business results of the company.

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