Navigating Infinite Change

5 Digital Assets for Innovation-Ready Infrastructure

To become ‘innovation-ready’, organizations must build IT infrastructure that provides a flexible environment to implement and take advantage of new technologies and services (see inset.)

This infrastructure should combine five key digital assets with hyperscaler cloud services (see figure below). Namely:

  • A unified digital platform
  • Agile solution delivery
  • Advanced analytics capabilities
  • Hyper-automation
  • Business-IT fusion
Digital assets that every organization needs to develop
Click to enlarge image Balance by design

Digital assets that every organization needs to develop


A unified digital platform of systems, processes and data provides the basis for the other infrastructural elements, connecting and orchestrating each element to meet requirements. Since this platform is intertwined with every activity and process within an organization, this platform is not a one-size-fits-all solution – instead, it’s a mix of custom developed software, configurable packaged software and cloud services. The platform should be ‘unified’, not ‘standardized’, with a clear integration strategy incorporating APIs and service busses to enable the organization to incorporate new functions, services and interfaces in future.

The remaining four digital assets sit atop this unified digital platform and are responsible for creating maximum business value and differentiated user experiences.

As the technological universe continues to expand, augment and adapt at a phenomenal rate, these digital assets will require constant attention, as the time available for organizations to adjust to new developments grows shorter and shorter. We explore each of the five assets in more detail in the following chapters.

Architect for Change: Capgemini’s TechnoVision Framework

To thrive, today’s businesses must fluidly adjust their strategy to challenges and opportunities, transforming their organization and technology in a continuous, operational flow. ‘StratOps’ enterprises embody this fluidity, by using technology to face any challenge or opportunity, while maintaining a powerful and directional flow towards their corporate purpose. Therefore, this year’s TechnoVision leitmotiv is “Being Like Water”, inspired by martial arts movie star Bruce Lee and his most famous quote:

Be like water makings its ways through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves. Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If your poor water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow, or it can crash. Be water, my friend.

- Bruce Lee

The task of developing and maintaining digital assets and selecting which technologies and services to implement in an organization’s infrastructure can be daunting; to know what to do, where to go and how to adapt, all for the future benefit and value of the organization. To respond more successfully, it requires more dialogue than ever, between everyone in the organization, regardless of business unit, role or technological affinity. Adopting new technologies too early often leads to failed experiments. Adopting them too late gives competitors a head start. Capgemini’s TechnoVision framework is designed to support organizations to make effective decisions around system implementation. Now in its 15th incarnation, this framework categorizes 37 technology trends into six well-defined containers, offering a snapshot of innovation from different perspectives (the ‘what’) – ranging from user experience and collaboration, via data and process automation, all the way to infrastructure and applications. A seventh container offers a series of overarching design principles to successfully apply to the trends and create transformational impact (the ‘how’).

Balance by design - People and Systems. Invisible Infostructure, Applications Unleashed, Thriving on Data, Process on the Fly, You Experience, We Collaborate
Click to enlarge image Balance by design

Balance by design


Applying this framework enables organizations to sharpen their mindset when considering any portfolio, program, project, architecture, innovation initiative or idea. In doing so, TechnoVision also shows teams how to incorporate these new elements into their IT infrastructure, to foster adaptability, responsiveness, creativity and resilience – all hallmarks of the innovation-ready enterprise – by prioritizing technology strategies, architectures and solutions that are shapeless and formless, yet constantly active.

You Experience: Immersive, low-touch, emphatic

You Experience forms the very definition of a highly personalized, seamless user experience. As technology entwines itself in our daily lives, the user experience is no longer a separate discipline. Fully immersive, it is now an integral part of life: at home, at work, or even in leisure time. Organizations can no longer take the well-loved “customer-first” route, but must consider “employee- first,” and even “partner-first” routes too, emphatically considering user experiences from a holistic, end-to-end perspective. They must ‘obsess’ not only about the needs, aspirations and desires of their customers, but also their employees and business partners. Loyalty, advocacy, and satisfaction remain buzz words, joined by talent retention, engagement, emotional connection, sustainability, and inclusiveness to boot.


We collaborate: teamed, distributed, creative

Many realities have changed irrevocably since the pandemic – how businesses operate and collaborate being one of them. Many aspects of value delivery are now entirely independent of location and time. People work together in different ways, increasingly at the very edges of what used to be considered the “core organization.” Consumers and employees expect creative, integrated experiences. It requires a new level of cross-organizational, cross-sector partnering to meet these expectations. Distribution is the leading design principle, together with mesh-style, loosely coupled collaboration. And as the physical and digital fuse, it’s no longer clear where technology ends, and business begins.

Process on the Fly: binding, portable, self-driving

Strategy tends to be eaten for breakfast, by culture – but also by a lack of operational execution. Organizational aspirations remain simply “blah blah blah” without any ability to turn insight into action, quickly respond to events, or go with whatever flow the corporate purpose supposes. And all that goodness must be delivered against a scarcity of skilled resources and a need to reduce travel and energy consumption. This is where Process on the Fly shines brighter. Having been less in the spotlight than its complementary container, Thriving on Data (ever heard of “Big Process”?), breakthroughs within intelligent automation and a taste of touchless execution, firmly places this container center stage.

Thriving on Data: algorithmic, federated, shared

It’s no wonder organizations aspire to thrive on data, to be data-powered enterprises. With every business now being a de facto Technology Business, data is at its core. Dare we say, every Business is a Data Business? Data powers superior customer experiences, highly tuned operations, and smart, self-optimizing products and services. Data provides resilience, predictability, and effectiveness, but equally enables organizations to achieve their sustainability ambitions. It’s tempting to declare data to be the most important, corporate asset; owned, managed, and activated by business domains, and shared in lively exchanges inside and outside the organization.

Applications Unleashed: meshed, headless, augmented

At the heart of any Technology Business is its applications portfolio. A thriving heartbeat of the organization – part of the business, responsive to every demand. These applications mirror the new business dynamics, built, and continuously changed at high speed, to a high quality, and in whatever incarnation necessary. Yet, many applications no longer look like the ones we used to know, as they morph into a connected mesh of microservices. With agility and minimum viable products no longer the “new normal,” but the “well and truly established,” the quality of application services needs to be at enterprise level, with a continuous, flawless deployment throughout all business operations.


Invisible infostructure: omnipresent, autonomous, invisible

The odyssey towards a truly invisible IT infrastructure remains ongoing, but progress is being made. For many organizations, the pandemic accelerated a move towards the cloud; a signpost of increasing “invisibility.” To keep up with the pace of a Technology Business, IT infrastructure needs to be omnipresent, fluently adjusting to the whimsical ways of the time. A software and AI-driven, nearly autonomous supply chain is key – reliability built in. It also deals with the scarcity of skilled experts and excess energy consumption. But IT infrastructure also expands its reach, integrating Operational Technology and “things” at the edges of central IT, showing yet again that “Infostructure” is not a spelling mistake.

Balance by Design: overarching, transformational, purposeful

The essence of designing a Technology Business is to find and preserve several balances in parallel: balance between the interests of stakeholders, between short and long term, centralized and decentralized, friendly and authoritative, purposeful and spontaneous. Besides the WHAT of technology trends, TechnoVision offers a view of HOW to shape these balances within the organization – by purposeful design. The principles within this container aim to provide control questions for executives, a bouquet of perspectives for architects, and a systematic checklist for anybody involved in a Technology Business portfolio, program, project, or initiative.

  • Are business and technology the same?
    Move from alignment to unity of business and IT, creating seamless Technology Business strategy and operations.
  • Are systems and processes designed and built for change?
    Move adaptability from afterthought to prime time.
  • Are systems and processes open by default?
    Upgrade your technology platform to the ultimate Technology Business platform: a superior, open set of attractive services, acting as a magnet for active collaboration, internally and externally.
  • Do plans and actions contribute to societal good?
    Boost the organization’s societal purposes by saying ‘Yes’ to technology that boosts sustainability and say ‘No’ to what is energy-wasting or non-essential.
  • Is trust at the foundation of the organization?
    Power up the entire trust ecosystem – from the organization’s core to its edges – securing your existing business and pushing forward to its next permutation.
  • Is the data and AI applied human-centered?
    To deal with the irresistible ascension of data-fueled Artificial Intelligence, ensure a properly measured and monitored balance between relying on data and algorithms and the emotional curves of all involved. Here three – sometimes conflicting – notions play a role: the Corporate Intelligence Quotient, Creativity Quotient, and Emotional Quotient. We’re only humans after all.
  • Are all hands-free perspectives considered?
    Asume full, hands-free automation as the default for all new Technology Business processes.

To explore Capgemini's TechnoVision framework in detail, access the full TechnoVision report.