The technological shifts on the horizon make focussing on Human Centric Innovation more important than ever in 2018.

More devices and ‘things’ are connecting to the internet at a near exponential rate. Alongside this, an evolution in artificial intelligence is forcing a reshape of traditional models.

It’s a huge driver for what’s next. And because technological obstacles of old are now removed, success is delivered by designing a digital business to operate at pace.

Being able to develop new services within hours enables your business to change direction radically. But as well as speed and innovation, it should be about delivering a highly personalised experience for your customer.

Digital leaders are transforming their businesses with better user experiences, lower prices and data at scale, but they also need to create new value and engage with customers.

I see this year as a great opportunity to reimagine your business.

How can Hybrid IT enable digitisation?

The co-existence of traditional and digital native styles of IT are key to a successful Hybrid IT strategy.

As I mentioned earlier, technology is no longer the barrier. It’s essential to underpinning the real value of digitalisation.

Within Hybrid IT there are a number areas enabling this. Cloud-native thinking is one: its power is the ability to integrate cloud services from suppliers across the internet to create new solutions quickly.

It’s inevitable the cloud will be the underpinning elements of your digital transformation story. The cloud empowers you to create and deliver new experiences anywhere with ease and with minimal investment.

Consider what cloud-native technologies already exist: AI, machine learning, the internet of things (IoT), and blockchain will likely exist in some form across your organisations before long. These will require APIs to integrate with your existing systems – APIs are the lifeblood of any digital service.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, APIs are a common language that enables developer platforms and other technologies to exchange information seamlessly. APIs effectively enable developers to reduce their development effort and consider what is important in a specific service, often the user experience, highly efficient process or value of the data provided (securely of course).

They are also key to enabling cross-department efficiency, in building an ecosystem and enabling your partners to work together seamlessly. APIs exist for just about every common task today and can be instantly consumed and integrated to your applications. This means you can build applications at a pace profoundly different than ever before.

The underpinning building blocks of API’s are often microservices, another important consideration in accelerating development, improving security and reducing cost.

Microservice architectures along with continuous integration and delivery technology is a far more scalable way of building applications in an enterprise. They are arguably one of the most important enablers for enabling distributed parallel development and ultimately increase the speed of application releases enabling you to operate on a level playing field with born in the cloud based start-ups and disrupters.

An effective modern application architecture, cloud native development approach and an effective API strategy should now be a critical consideration to your Hybrid IT strategy.

Getting this right will lay the groundwork for accelerating product development, differentiated services and innovation at speed in 2018.

Brad Mallard

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An innovative and influential leader with over 20 years in a wide variety of technology roles working with and for some of the largest organisations in the UK, Brad is currently CTO End User Services, Digital Workplace, Cloud & Hybrid IT, Fujitsu EMEIA.

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