BTOES Insights Official
April 30, 2022

Enterprise Architecture Live - SPEAKER'S ARTICLE : Strategy execution for the agile enterprise – be a digital business faster.

Courtesy of Software AG's, Dr. Ulrich Kalex wrote a synopsis of her speaking session discussing 'Strategy execution for the agile enterprise – be a digital business faster'.


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There’s reason enough for wanting to offer more digital products and services today: higher revenue growth, better customer experience, greater return on invest and stronger resiliency against business disruptions. But it needs to be done right. A digital transformation needs to be swift and sure.
Here’s why:
  • “Winner takes all” markets are becoming more common even outside the software industry
  • First mover advantage and brand building are increasingly connected to digital products and services
  • The customer (customer care, customer experience and customer service) is at the center of all activities and is driving the new digital product-centric management paradigm
  • Digital amplifies and accelerates the differentiation of customer needs
These trends require companies to adapt fast to the fact that competition is no longer only on cost or quality, but – increasingly - speed to market with digital products and services. Agility is core to digital business success. But Agile can be a two-edged sword if proper governance isn’t applied.
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In some companies it could be a case of wrong interpretation of the Agile manifesto. In taking a hands-off approach to Agile development governance, they think they are maintaining the spirit of entrepreneurship. However, lack of guidance will lead the company off its strategic path. It could put the company at risk for non-compliance of external regulations. It could endanger business continuity if internal policies aren’t followed. And it wastes resources in striving for local optima and losing sight of the bigger picture. Personal preferences weigh in stronger than company strategy. Performance against objectives remains inconsistent.
Another disconnect often found is the disregard of the knowledge being won by Agile product managers and developers. It is not inherently seen as something that should inform and influence the digital business strategy and journey. Yet, failure to adapt the digital business strategy to market realities threatens the company’s competitiveness.
Failure to establish the two-way highway between strategy and execution can result in constant failure (or significant slowness) in delivering products and services to market. Products and services don’t conform to strategy and the company will not be flexible enough to adapt the strategy to market realities.
Companies need to understand that “Agile” needs to be a holistic approach embraced in every phase of the digital business value stream. They need to establish a constant flow of information and decisions between strategists, lean portfolio managers and agile development teams to ensure the digital business strategy is executed on. This will also assure maintenance of a quick pace in delivering digital solutions, continuous refinement and perfection of the digital business strategy, and cultivation of a laser-sharp customer focus from strategy to execution.


About the Author

more (56)-3Dr. Ulrich Kalex,
SVP Product Management / R&D, 
Software AG.

Dr. Ulrich Kalex is responsible for the product strategy, roadmap and development execution for Software AG’s Alfabet product line. Under his aegis, Software AG has contributed significantly to defining and shaping the EA, Strategic IT Planning and Portfolio Management markets.


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