"Agile" - The New Development Enviornment

By Dr. Anand Deshpande, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, Persistent Systems

Dr. Anand Deshpande, Founder, Chairman & Managing Director, Persistent Systems

As we look back ten or even just five years, entire industries are being disrupted by technology. And much of that is being driven by digital. In 2015, we believe digital will continue to dominate. Mobile. Agile development. Application life cycle management. BYOD. These are just some of the technologies and methodologies that are driving businesses today as software is unquestionably reshaping the world and our lives.

At Persistent we see this as a great opportunity to extensively rethink what we can mean to our customers, and how to drive this market opportunity for our next phase of growth. We believe there will continue to be a strong adoption of SMAC (Social, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud) as organizations aggressively pursue their digital transformation to move from being software enabled to software driven businesses.

But an interesting component is taking shape. As technology moves faster and the imperative to be more nimble in adapting to new disruptive technologies increases, development cycles are being compressed and with that agile has become the new development environment. I should note that digital transformation is fundamentally different from IT modernization. With that, digital capabilities will be built like a software product or platform, which is a key area where our software product DNA differentiates us and our workforce.

This brings me to another trend we are seeing - a shift in thinking from "why" to the "how". With that in mind, the "how" principles for enterprises building a software-driven business should be built on three pillars:
- Separate digital transformation from IT modernization programs for responsiveness.
- Abstract or intermediate legacy systems of record to create new digital experiences, faster.
- Software product mindset in how to build the digital business.

So in their digital transformation, we advise our customers to commit to the principles of agile and think of it as a journey; and also highlight the importance of building it like a software product or platform that keeps pace with customer and market dynamics. As I said, this is a big change from IT systems or thinking that focuses on efficiently supporting a more static business process or function.

The market opportunity is tremendous for India but we have challenges, not the least of which is developing talent. Today there are close to a million students studying computer science, but our engineering programs have a serious gap in terms of quality courseware they receive as well as their access to qualified and experienced teachers. With that reality, this year we inaugurate the Persistent Computing Institute, to find ways to narrow this gap, to help students learn better, so that the next wave of digital innovation comes from India.

The next five years hold great promise for our industry and for our company. We believe the potential and imperative of digital is transformative.

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