Skip to main content Skip to Footer

LATEST THINKING


The future of applications in Consumer Goods 

Explore three new strategies for winning in the digital era.

Overview

Consumer goods companies are facing significant challenges as they move into the digital future. Although technologies, competition and consumer expectations are evolving at hyperspeed, business applications are slow and struggling to keep up.

To seize the digital opportunity, consumer goods companies need to fundamentally rethink how applications should be built and deployed. Below lists the three new strategies for application development which are becoming increasingly important.

LIQUID APPLICATIONS

A fundamentally new way to build software.

To compete with agility and speed, companies can no longer focus only on complex, lengthy and expensive coding of applications, or monolithic systems built from the ground up. What’s needed is a new way to build software—one that is faster, flexible and more liquid.

Modular architectures. Liquid applications require enterprises to create application architectures that are modular, featuring reusable components sourced internally or externally. One of the key components is emerging software platforms—including platforms as a service, which provide well-defined technical architectures along with standards, governance and reusable code. Platforms facilitate more rapid creation and assembly of liquid business solutions, as applications are increasingly assembled from prebuilt components.

Next-generation integration techniques. Liquid applications must be underpinned by a liquid architecture that has important, new characteristics. Investment in flexible, standardized, open integration services provides the ability to efficiently connect applications and information across the company.

Orchestration and business process management services allow applications to be configured and continuously tuned to meet the needs of the business. And APIs provide the glue to enable reusable components to be accessed from within a company as well as by external customers and business partners.

INTELLIGENT APPLICATIONS ​

When applications comprehend, act and learn.

To manage growing volume, velocity and complexity, and to maximize the business value of internal and external data, companies need to embed software intelligence everywhere. Software intelligence is made possible by increased processing power, advances in data science, and innovations in natural language processing, machine learning and cognitive computing. Thanks to these advancements, software can be taught to automate decision making through rule-based algorithms, and evolve and innovate on its own through advanced learning techniques.

By automating routine tasks, intelligent applications offload complexity and supplement human effort through technologies such as auto-correction and robotics.

Intelligent applications offer three critical capabilities—intelligent automation, integrated analytics and self-governance

CONNECTED APPLICATIONS

Extending company boundaries through software.

Connectivity in the age of the software-driven business is about more than application integration. It’s about creating new competitive frontiers using software. To grow revenue and defend their market position, businesses must open new 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.

Connected applications are required to dynamically interface with business partner and customer ecosystems in today’s highly networked, digital business environment. When properly designed and managed, an ecosystem multiplies the power of all the participants, leading to combinations of functionality—and revenue opportunities—that would previously have been difficult to achieve.

Conclusion

Today, the business of applications is changing how companies operate and grow. No longer a supporting capability, applications are a driver of strategy and competitive differentiation. They can enable entirely new services for new markets. The future of applications is an exciting one for companies that are willing to develop a new operating model for software development and then fundamentally change the way they build software.

Both IT and business leaders must understand what it means to be a software-driven business. They need to understand how software can spur growth, shape new markets and reach new customers. And, they must work together closely to orchestrate new business solutions.