Organizations that can adapt quickly will focus externally on customers; those that are struggling will focus internally on team structure and organizations, thus to survive in Post-Covid business survival where Speed is of the core!

The pandemic has laid bare IT limitations as organizations scramble to set up the infrastructure needed to minimize the impact to their operations. They are also frantically looking for ways to reduce development time to address the dynamically-changing global situations and also to tackle urgent key problems.

The latest research report from OutSystems, “The Speed of Change: How Fast Are You?” highlights the importance of ingenuity and adaptability in the current dynamic environment. The bulk of survey respondents had indicated that their average application delivery time is about three to six months—considered an eternity these days. Given the speed of the COVID-19 spread, it is crucial for organizations to act fast.

Response-speed is critical

The research reveals that the pandemic crisis has widened the gap between organizations that can rapidly adapt to change, and those that struggle. Organizations that are invested in technological innovation and have high levels of technological maturity are able to muster the most agility and ingenuity, grasping new opportunities when others falter. They are leaders in the race to survive and thrive in this new era of digital urgency.

Another key difference that the report identified is that those organizations that can adapt quickly will focus externally on customers while those that are struggling will focus internally on team structure and organizations.

As a result, the forerunners are able to deal better with challenges such as changes in customer preferences and behavior. They are also less likely to fear being digitally-disrupted by competitors that are more agile and able to respond to customer changes faster. This is because leaders are deep in their adoption of tactics like Agile and DevOps and they deliver software projects faster.

Another notable difference is the investment in approaches and technology for increased delivery speed. Leaders invest significantly more in approaches that focus on getting closer to customers and experience. They invest 37% more in adopting design thinking and design sprints, and 26% more in customer journey mapping. Also, leaders are twice as likely to invest in containers, micro services, low-code, and new programming languages or frameworks.

When it comes to application development speed and cadence, leaders place more focus on new tools and methodologies to improve speed. This focus enables them to become more proficient in their agility investments and strive for continuous improvement, which in turn helps them to develop solutions even faster. These factors enable leaders to experience faster application delivery at their organizations compared to a year ago. To catch up with these leaders, other organizations need to invest more in the right tools, skills and processes that will help them accelerate their own transformation.

Winning in the race for speed

It is clear that digital-first and cloud-first transformation have become even more urgent. Yet, while COVID-19 has caused many disruptions, it also presents opportunities for digital innovation and differentiation. As a result, demand for applications is increasing: 41% of respondents from IT organizations in Southeast Asia have 25 or more applications scheduled for delivery in 2020, and 27% of respondents said that they have plans to deliver 100 or more applications during 2020.

For businesses to keep up with this demand, it is crucial that they learn from agility leaders by focusing on customer and user experiences, and shift their priorities to deliver value to customers as fast as possible. Here are some ways they can get the ball rolling:

  • Start with UX
    • Use customer journey mapping and design sprints to put the user at the center of the development process
  • Build for change
    • Adopt iterative, agile development practices to accommodate uncertainty, unclear directions or changing requests
  • Add new skills
    • Look for whatever skills the team needs next—web, mobile back-end, and modern stack
  • Focus on continuous delivery
    • Add technology to help teams achieve continuous delivery without assembling an array of DevOps tools and skills
  • Reach legacy
    • Find tools with built-in and DIY connectors for easy integration with any enterprise system, database, or web service

An example of a leader is business advisory group UBT. As part of their charitable organization Rapid Relief Team (RRT) UBT needed to get food boxes to families affected by COVID-19 across New South Wales fast. The company deployed an “Uber-Eats”-style app that was built in under 12 weeks using the our low-code application platform.

Before this app, RRT primarily used emails and spreadsheets to manage logistics. However, with increasing deliveries scheduled, they required an automated system to manage the process, and they needed it up and running as quickly as possible. Since April, RRT has delivered over 4,000 Food Boxes to people affected by COVID-19. With the app, RRT is now able to scale its Food Box delivery while exceeding the service level requirements of government and partners, and is ready to expand to other countries to help those in need.

What it all means

It is clear that speed is the name of the game all around the world. Organizations that focus on customer needs and offer developers an easy and fast path to innovation will be able to address changing customer preferences, improve agility and adaptability, and avoid disruptions from big tech.

A small percentage are already there, and they continue striving to get faster and better. Others have work to do when it comes to catching up with leaders and accelerating the speed of change within their organization—even more crucial during this period.

Whether organizations are executing their priorities or are just getting started, they have options not just to get in the game, but to win it.