The world is on the brink of the next major industrial revolution. With technology like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and 3D printing increasingly advancing into the mainstream to join the now-established digital disruptors of social media, cloud, mobile and analytics, further disruptions are coming that will effect change in every single industry at an unprecedented level.
For organisations, the challenge that’s presented is to find ways and means to adapt and evolve current offerings and business models in ways that embrace the new digital disruptions that are coming from all angles. Digital Transformation initiatives must now be conceived and put into action quickly – especially for established companies still running legacy operations. Brand new industry disruptors are entering the fold to offer consumers better digital experiences, better choice and better services. Market leaders too, are already reacting to become true digital transformers and disruptors in their own right.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)
This is the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The First made use of coal, water and steam power to accelerate and mechanise production for the first time. The Second harnessed the powers of electricity to create mass production. The Third used electronics and IT to automate production. And now here we are at the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a digital revolution, building upon the Third, now fusing technologies to blur the lines between the physical, digital and biological realms.
The pace of the 4IR’s evolution is unmatched by any of its predecessors. Driven in no small part by the billions of constantly-connected digitally mobile consumers – all of whom increasingly demand greater convenience and improved digital experiences in all aspects of their lives – the 4IR is disrupting practically every industry in every country. No matter if it’s making a payment, checking a bank balance, accessing the news, listening to music, or ordering a taxi – organisations are expected to deliver an automated, one-click solution that is as reliable and secure and it is practical and personalised.
Efficiency of service is the challenge for businesses competing in the 4IR. No matter if its consumers or businesses that form your customer base, innovating and improving how these customers are served is the only thing that counts. Digital Transformation initiatives must now seek to enhance products and services with digital capabilities that increase their value – or else bring completely new digitally enhanced offerings to the market altogether.
In short, the 4IR is forcing companies to rethink and indeed reinvent business models to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing environment.
DevOps Will Underpin the 4IR
In November, the Free Enterprise Group published Alan Mak MP’s Masters of the Revolution report, which calls for the 4IR to be at the heart of Britain’s new industrial strategy.
The report highlights the importance of adopting a pro-innovation approach to embrace the 4IR, and to move away from “the EU’s over-reliance on the precautionary principle”, using Brexit as a catalyst to accelerate Britain’s 4IR leadership role.
At an organisational level, keeping pace with the Fourth Industrial Revolution means developing and deploying new digital services, establishing a new operating model for IT that increases the speed at which new and/or altered products are brought to market, and improving operating efficiency.
This means DevOps.
DevOps is an emerging model of product delivery that facilitates higher and faster rates of change through the optimisation of development and delivery processes. It is a working culture that breaks down the traditional siloes between development, operations and all stakeholders in the delivery process that ultimately drives better business outcomes rapidly.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution presses upon us all, we and many in our industry believe successful Digital Transformation initiatives will need DevOps to be the driving force. DevOps techniques are already being used by 74% of technology professionals working today (at enterprise level, this figure rises to 81%), and IDC believes that 80% of the top 1,000 companies will be embracing DevOps practices by 2019. Indeed, it is almost certain that DevOps will underpin the 4IR – it’s happening already.
Bringing DevOps to Your Organisation
There is no stopping the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Digital Transformation strategies must be employed by all companies in all industries to cope with the disruption and remain competitive. In an age where a start-up can enter an established market with a new business model that can redefine a whole industry overnight, no organisation can risk being slow to react.
In our white paper – DevOps: Unlocking the Value from Digital Transformation – we explore the challenges and solutions to bringing Digital Transformation initiatives to organisations in a range of industries, and how DevOps can be deployed for success.