Sogeti Technology Outlook 2022

Introduction

Human Happiness as the ultimate goal of innovation

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, empathically considering user experiences from a holistic, end-to-end perspective.

Loyalty, advocacy, and satisfaction remain buzz words, joined by talent retention, engagement, emotional connection, sustainability, and inclusiveness to boot. As mentioned before organizations must become customer obsessed and must strive to always be there to support its customer in their moment of need through well-designed task-oriented experiences that make it extremely easy to fullfil the need. By doing so, they create a personal trustful long-lived relationship with customer, or employees and partners for that matter.

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 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 new, corporate asset. But assets tend to be stacked, isolated, and safely put away. It’s much better to see data as a first-class product; 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 seventh 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 fusion 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 unified 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 social sustainability and digital happiness and say ‘No’ to what is energy-wasting, non-essential or detrimental to the individual digital happiness.

  • 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?
    Assume full, hands-free hyper-automation as the default for all new Technology Business processes.

Digital Assets

With the technology trends neatly grouped in the six containers of Technovision and its overarching principles of Balance by Design in mind, it is interesting to look in more detail at the five Digital Assets we identified that are crucial to technically enable the Innovation Ready enterprise. As a basis a unified digital platform of systems, processes and data is required, where all parts are interconnected and orchestrated in concert to meet every need for actionable data.

Since this platform is so intertwined with everything an organization does and all its business processes, this will never be a standard solution that fits all. Inherently it will be a heterogeneous mix of custom developed software, highly configurable packaged software, and cloud services. Instead of ‘standard’, the platform needs to be ‘unified’, pointing to the fact that a clear integration strategy must be deployed through API’s and service busses that is not only creating the desired level of integration but is also future proof and enables easy integration of new functions, services and interfaces.

On top of a unified digital platform an organization needs to develop four practices that are targeted at creating maximum business value and differentiating - amazing – experiences. These practices are Agile Solution Delivery, Advanced Analytics Capability, Hyper Automation Drive and last but not least Busines and IT fusion.