How to Approach Enterprise Agility and De-layered Thinking in 2022

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Join ISG’s CMO, Paul Gottsegen, as he interviews ISG Advisor, Prashant Kelker, about enterprise agility trends and predictions for 2022, especially the ones most people have missed: agile financial operations and architecture.

Transcript:

Prashant 

We are seeing a trail of moving away from large ERP programs to – like we discussed earlier – continuous transformation in this angle and partners play a huge role in this. 

Paul 

How do you make it there? 

When we think about the technology stack and the processes at any organization, how do you become more agile so that you have the wherewithal to transition to this continuous mindset, or as you're making changes to what seems like a consumer experience interface. Like you said, with the curbside pickup, you have to be very agile to changing your backend, because it's really mainly a backend order management. Or invoicing or whatever issues. 

So, talk a little bit about enterprise agility. I know it's a topic that comes up with a lot of our client base, and you have a lot of experience talking to leaders about this. What can you tell us about what you're seeing? 

Prashant 

Oh, that's a lovely question, Paul. Actually, let me use this question to go beyond what is being spoken about in the press. The press talks about organizational agility in in the form of culture. And I want to tick that box and move on to the topics that are not spoken about – and that is financing and architecture. 

The best strategy of organizational agility will be brought to its knees by the legacy architecture. You won't be able to move. So, if we can apply the word “agility” to how one should think architecture, one should think as de-layered as possible. 

Now, thinking as de-layered as possible unfortunately means that ERP or software-as-a-service is not always your answer. The very fact that you can buy software for a process shows that every other organization is actually doing that process already. It's not going to differentiate you. 

I think the world is a mix of SaaS, ERP and, like in the old days, bespoke development. 

So, thinking architecture in terms of delayering because that delayering gives you the best flexibility. And you should also be doing very careful buy versus build, and not going too much towards buy. I think the innovativeness comes in the build part. 

Now, if you want to bring this to life, you’ve got to start looking at how you think CapEx and OpEx, and that's where the finance part comes in. It’s the “how?” 

  • How do you go away from annual budgeting towards delayering continuously? 
  • How do you go from thinking of a budget for a program to doing agile sprints? 

These are the new problems which interest us at ISG. 

About the authors

Paul Gottsegen

Paul serves as Partner and President of ISG Research and Client Experience and is responsible for the ISG Research business globally, including such products as ISG Provider Lens™ provider evaluation research, ISG Momentum® market research and ISG Events. In addition, Paul leads the firm’s entire Client Experience, including digital and product marketing, partnerships and alliances, sales enablement and corporate communications. He was previously CMO and Americas Head for Mindtree during the six-year span in which Mindtree, a fast-growing technology services company, expanded from $400 million to $1 billion in revenue. Prior to Mindtree, Paul held executive positions with Infosys, HP and Dell. Paul earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Brandeis University and a master’s degree in business administration from The Wharton School. He serves as the co-chairman of The Gastric Cancer Foundation. 

Prashant Kelker

Prashant works with enterprises to shape their operating models for a digital journey and brings 20 years of expertise in all aspects of applications and platforms, from designing transformations through the whole sourcing lifecycle. Prashant’s experience spans a range of industries, including Financial Services, Telecom and Media, Automotive and Utilities, and a range of geographies, including Europe, the Americas and India. Recently, he helped a Fortune 100 automotive giant consolidate its next-generation sourcing for applications, executing digital transformations right up to application management. He has also structured and run a digital transformation strategy and multi-project execution for a large logistics firm in the Nordics and set up a captive offshoring unit for agile product development in India for one of the world’s largest publicly-listed European entertainment companies.

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