Right now, we are helping our customers run and transform their IT. But what does that mean? Lars Rossen, Micro Focus Chief Technology Officer, cites his recent thought leadership piece as offering a relatable perspective on our new mindset.
Our enterprise customers are taking stock of the strategic impact of COVID. The pandemic has either accelerated their plans for digital transformation, or sent them on a new tangent. No two customer experiences are the same and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. (Although, fortunately, we have more than 300 products to help take our customers into tomorrow.)
One thing that will be consistent for all of them is the digital dilemma of balancing today’s needs against tomorrow’s opportunities. While it must feel like a one or the other choice to our customers, that’s not the case—and this is why we help them run and transform—at the same time.
Digital dilemma—or third way?
Micro Focus is offering an alternative. Our mantra of “run and transform—at the same time” offers our customers a broad portfolio of enterprise software products and services that enable them to keep the lights on today—to run—while embracing innovation to support future business success—transforming. Running and transforming, at the same time, leverages new value from IT investments to buy success in a digital economy.
Wise words, for sure, but what does this look like at the product level? I was asked to share my views on how customers can facilitate that change. And I offer a unique perspective grounded in emerging standards
I am a member of and chair of the board of The Open Group, an expert consortium and standard organisation that links business objectives with technology standards. I co-created the first version of the IT4IT™ Reference Architecture and I remain the lead architect for the IT4IT initiative underpinning the development of the Hybrid IT management portfolio of products.
Network, or not work?
In my piece, How Your Network Can Solve Your Digital Dilemma, I argue that the drive to successful transformation has an understandable focus on software and programs while the network facilitating change is treated as a separate entity—a strategic mistake. Instead, treating the network as a product puts it into a context our customers can understand.
In the article, I suggest that Network Computing readers think of “the network” as an IT ecosystem that folds in everything—the hardware, software, applications, and programs that make the magic happen. Because the word “products” helps make the mental leap from “running services” to “managing products” less of a jolt.
Many of our customers sell software and other technology products, so the phrase “product management” is well understood to encompass both the value and cost of the service the product delivers. Which, in the case of the network supporting all that change, is considerable.
By commodifying the network, we reposition the broad term “network” in a language customers can easily understand. Terms like “product management”, “roadmaps”, and “value-creation calculations” are relatable to those we talk to every day.
My suggestion, therefore, is to adopt a run and transform philosophy of evaluating what the network is now, and what it needs to be to support your transformation program. Because the network must be ever-present, there’s no digital dilemma—the network must be there today, tomorrow, and beyond.
As a manufactured “thing”, its future should be charted in a fully funded roadmap that leads to a future-enabled “product” that supports digital transformation.
Your network—supporting transformation
This blog cherry-picks and abbreviates my longer-form observations, but the conclusion is easily summarized. Get the network-as-product process right and you create a network services factory modelled on the same digital manufacturing that creates your business applications.
We believe “run and transform” represents a day-to-day path to digital transformation that works at the speed of our customers’ business.
Micro Focus is in the run and transform business, helping our customers balance today’s needs with tomorrow’s opportunities. Our broad portfolio of enterprise software products and services enable them to accelerate, simplify, strengthen, and analyze their core operations.
These actions translate as quantifiable milestones on the transformative journey, specifically:
- Accelerate Application Delivery: Deliver at high speed with low risk.
- Simplify IT Transformation: Cut complexity and build agility.
- Strengthen Cyber Resilience: Adapt with intelligence.
- Analyze Data in Time to Act: Accelerate prediction accuracy.
Lead by example
Micro Focus applied this product mindset to our own software development lifecycle by maintaining normal functionality today while transforming core IT. We included the network (and everything in it) to support the IT services and structures that will take advantage of tomorrow’s opportunities.
So, we can help our customers keep the lights on and accelerate to the future—and all while maintain the road beneath them. Read my article here, and when you’re ready to talk to a digital transformation expert, we’re ready to help you run and transform, at the same time.