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Digital Executives

Your business is only as good as the software driving it

Does the success of your business depend on the flawless operation of software and information systems? It does for most businesses today.

Stop to think for a minute. What do you know about the systems your business relies on? Where do they come from? How is their quality managed? How do you know if something goes wrong? How can you reduce the risk of something going wrong? What are the biggest risks that may materialize? How likely will the biggest risks materialize?

Most business executives say they protect against information system risks by sanctioning their IT suppliers and integrators. Think again! If something goes wrong with your business and your customers suffer, what are the IT sanctions worth? Will they cover your losses? Will they bring back lost business? Will they reassure disappointed customers?

Given all the systems, applications, and integrations, there may easily be more than 1,000 version updates a year, and each of them may affect your vital business processes. Unfortunately, these updates are not as independent as they may seem. An individual app or system may work perfectly alone, but when you combine it with those 300 other systems, the entire ecosystem may become unstable. The devil is in the dependencies.

“Perfectly correct IT” or “100% quality assurance” only exists in fairy tales. You cannot fully control and assure your IT operation. In fact, you don’t even know where all your critical business systems are, or how and when they are being updated. You can, however, systematically reduce and manage the risk associated with your business-critical information systems.

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This blog series discusses the approaches you can, and probably should take to:

  1. Focus on risks and dependencies
  2. Train your digital operations people in DevOps
  3. Start viewing your IT investments as products rather than projects
  4. Shift testing left – and shift testing right
  5. Automate
  6. Measure

And finally, remember who’s in charge: it’s you. Because your business is only as good as the software driving it.

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Every day something you depend on gets changed somewhere. It is quite normal for a larger corporation to go through as many as 5,000 version updates per year. Some of them are highly critical, some may carry a lesser risk.

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