Information systems can be adopted in order to provide the business with a more agile environment. The term ‘Agility’ in this context is the capacity to respond to change. This change can be either internal such as varying demand on system use or external such as fluctuations in the market.
True agility can help businesses expand at times of prosperity and contract during economic downturns.
The benefit of agility is at the heart of the business case for many modern concepts such as cloud, as-a-service and mobility.
Continued global economic pressures have elevated agility as a strategic driver in many organisations because of a growing need to reduce services and cut costs to better align to economic cycles.
In order to better understand this demand it’s important to remember recent history. The ICT industry experienced unprecedented growth in the 1990’s, but in 2000-2001 the dot-com bust caught many off guard. Suddenly all expenses were scrutinised and in many cases heavy investment in infrastructure remained underutilised but costs could not be recovered.
More recently, the 2007 GFC once again put ICT expenditure under a microscope and whilst user numbers decreased due to job losses the cost of maintaining applications and infrastructure remained constant.
As a result, businesses began looking for better ways to structure their ICT services. It became clear that static ICT environments were not well aligned to a volatile world.
What does an agile service provide?
Businesses can aim for technical and/or commercial agility in their strategy.
How is an agile service delivered?
Technical agility can include;
- Cloud services that are easily ramped up or scaled down
- Application Mobility
- Mobile workforce
- Application platform independence (desktop, mobile, tablet)
Commercial agility is delivered through service definitions and contractual terms.
You may also be interested inThe role of Information Technology in Business
How Will Netflix Change the Way DTH Business Works?