By Emmanuel Oluebube, Correspondent UK
Over the past five years, organizations have been gradually moving from legacy on-premises “dinosaur” enterprise applications toward modern SaaS and cloud-enabled modular applications. These efforts received a seismic jolt when COVID-19 and the sudden shift to remote work put a spotlight on the inadequacies of legacy software. According to a recent International Data Corporation (IDC) survey, 75 per cent of organizations are currently adjusting their IT road maps to reduce the costs of current systems, enable easy execution, and create operational efficiencies in financial reporting, project management, and employee experience.
Organizations now demand modern enterprise applications as they move toward complete automation and digitization. Modular enterprise applications are focused on delivering business capabilities that are constructed to be fluid and quickly consume data, logic, intelligence, and workflows. Modular enterprise applications can be built into any configuration such that the outcome achieved from them is significantly better than the sum of its components. Innovations such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence, machine learning, predictive analytics, natural language processing, blockchain, virtual assistants, IoT, and AR/VR make the applications more streamlined and intelligent. And configuring outcomes is easier with modular components as they allow the business to run the way it needs but without adding complex workflows.
Modular applications become transformational for business when tasks can be added quickly to augment and extend business processes. Constructing business processes becomes easier by using TaskApps to digitize, automate, and complete one aspect of a business process yielding immediate efficiency and productivity gains. TaskApps can be part of a larger cloud-based application or connect to these larger individual enterprise applications via APIs. TaskApps are closely related to the low-code/no-code development movement, where nontechnical employees can create standalone mobile, web, or PC applications. TaskApp builders give the application users the ability to streamline a particular workflow or distill a specific task embedded in a larger platform into a simpler interface.
“Measuring the success of modern, modular, and transformational enterprise applications will be done by reducing the clicks, streamlining workflows, automating manual processes, and ultimately saving time,” said vice president, Enterprise Applications and Digital Commerce, Mickey North Rizza. “We also expect metrics and KPIs will improve with more actionable insights that bring better business performance regardless of the employee location and device used because of the interactions with the modular enterprise application.”
Modular enterprise applications bring a multitude of benefits for the enterprise buyer. The benefits most associated with these new modular enterprise applications and TaskApps include:
- Adaptability, flexibility, and automation
- Convergence of previously siloed workflows
- Creation of new automated workflows
- Use of capabilities as needed
- Ease of innovation and scalability
- Line-of-business empowerment
- Pathway toward autonomous enterprise
- Increased efficiency and productivity resulting in better KPIs
- Actionable insights that drive real value creation
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. The power of these modular enterprise applications is in the full value creation realized by the enterprise as it uses the systems. Organizations already using modular enterprise applications have commented on the power of the systems, their real-time aspects, the ability to quickly scale up or down as needed, and the capacity to connect customers, employees, and suppliers as required.
The IDC report, The New Enterprise Applications: Modern, Modular, and Transformational (Doc #US469724), looks at the deconstruction of enterprise applications and the movement toward more modern, modular, and transformational enterprise applications. This is the first of three reports that will explore the evolution of enterprise applications to meet the demands of the digital economy.
IDC’s Future of Digital Innovation Research Practice
In a digital economy, enterprises will need to become major producers of software-based digital services for their own customers and markets as well as consumers of software for their own operations. Operating as a software-driven “digital innovation factory” will be at the core of the enterprise’s ability to sustainably differentiate and compete in their own industries. IDC’s Future of Digital Innovation research practice helps organizations build and execute the planning, sourcing, development, and distribution strategies necessary to become high-performance software producers.