Blog

"Enterprise Agile Solutions & IT Transformation Services"


Laurence Wood

Agile Transformation Lead

The digital advantage for some can be the undoing for others. Whilst digital upstarts have the first mover technology advantage to accelerate ahead, traditional businesses lack the agility to respond to the dynamically changing business landscape. In order to thrive and keep pace with unprecedented industry developments, traditional businesses must undergo IT transformation using Agile development processes.

However, addressing complex, enterprise level IT transformations with Agile principles is quite difficult. What businesses need is Enterprise Agile, a flexible and scalable delivery model that:

  • Cope with scale (as the scope of transformation is large, it will affect numerous systems)
  • Provide value early on and frequently (in order to keep pace with digital upstarts)
  • Is flexible enough to test the waters and respond as required without losing momentum - as there is no cookie cutter approach that businesses can emulate.

At Mastek, our Enterprise Agile services offer this flexibility at scale, enabling organisations to deliver enterprise-wide IT transformation quickly and effectively.

The Dilemma of the Digital Age

Customer loyalty and competitor barriers to entry are disappearing in the Digital Age. Organisations must move faster than ever to keep pace with digital ‘upstarts’, new market entrants with none of the constraints of traditional businesses. For most, however, moving fast needs substantial investment in the IT landscape and a new way of delivering software. Agile gives us great flexibility and faster returns but delivering enterprise wide transformation in agile is far from easy. Very few suppliers are successfully delivering major IT programmes in agile. Mastek is one of those few.

Today, consumers want the right product at the right price and with the right user experience or they will go elsewhere. Competitive advantage used to be threatened by occasional price wars or regulations, but today the threats are constant - falling customer loyalty and price comparison sites mean regular brand switching and low barriers to entry. New entrants gain ground quickly because they outmanoeuvre their less agile competitors and can offer something different. For most organisations, however, keeping pace requires fundamental changes to their application landscape to make them more ‘agile’. Unfortunately, ‘keeping pace’ also requires new ways of delivering IT change because traditional methods won’t keep you in the race.

No One Size Fits All Anymore

There cannot be a ready-made solution to your specific business problems. In this world we’re in, every situation is unique – you have to find the right solutions for the time you’re in and you need to make it extensible for where you think you’ll be in five years. These are complex business decisions and require major changes. But the problem isn’t just about finding the right path for your organization – equally important is how you get there.

realising true project values

Traditional delivery models don’t help because it’s not possible to define everything up front - you can’t control exactly what your users want and what your competitors will do, so you have to sense and respond, accelerating what works and rolling back what doesn’t. You also have to deliver fast. Like it or not, you are in a race. The ability to deliver quickly means the difference between establishing distance, or being reeled in by your competitors. Forrester Research calls this the Agility Advantage. Those that are more agile will always outmanoeuvre their slower counterparts.

These are new times that need new ways of working – ways which result in the right solution for you, but deliver fast enough to keep you in the race - ways which can also deal with complex IT change and uncertainty, but don’t drown you in bureaucracy and inertia. We call this new way of working Enterprise Agile.

But, You Don’t Have to Take Our Word for It

At Mastek, we’re delivering some of the biggest agile IT transformation programmes in the world. We recently built one of the largest identity and access management infrastructures globally for one of our government clients, helping them move away from their legacy COTS infrastructure in favour of a much more responsive, user-centric, modular application built on open source technologies. By doing so, we slashed their cost of ownership and improved user response times by 400%. We’re also helping other parts of government deliver the next generation of applications to control entry to UK borders and developed software products in use in over 22,000 schools for one of our private sector clients. These are substantial, complex programmes, successfully delivered in agile.

Most failed agile programmes, especially large ones, collapse because the big picture isn’t considered and it’s too hard to make it all fit at a later date. This is why there are so few partners successfully delivering this type of IT change using agile in today’s market – not only do they struggle to see the big picture, but they also struggle to deploy sufficient agile skilled personnel to deliver this type of complex change.

At Mastek we bring to bear 30 years of successfully building large, business critical applications for global customers when we design our solutions – we fundamentally understand the foundations that need to be in place before you start delivering software if your programme is to be successful. We also have over 1000 certified agile practitioners, allowing us to scale quickly to meet the demands of some of the largest IT transformations.

Who Says it’s Impossible to Scale New Heights?

Agile Transformation New Heights

Keys to our agile successes are the frameworks and accelerators we use on every project. The first of these is our Enterprise Agile method, which forms part of our ISO9001 accredited Quality Management System. This provides repeatable processes and best practice lifecycle artefacts which help programmes start up and execute in a controlled manner. Our second major accelerator is our test automation suite, SWIFT. SWIFT is a hybrid automation framework which interfaces with industry standard automation tools to substantially reduce the time taken to create automated test cases. This not only increases product quality by allowing you to run more scripts sooner, it also reduces time to market by reducing manual effort. We’ve recently put SWIFT into open source to allow others to benefit from our products.

We’re always looking to find ways in which we can help our customers deliver quicker, with less expense and higher degrees of certainty and it’s in our nature to capture learnings from one programme for the benefit of others. Most recently, we’ve been creating templates for non-functional and system level requirements to maximize efficiency during Foundations phases or ‘Sprint Zero’.

It’s the Culture That Comes Alive Every Single Day

It's the Culture That Comes Alive Every Single Day

At Mastek, we’ve delivered some the largest and most critical IT systems in the world and recently we’ve been doing this in agile. Agile development at this scale takes more than digital agencies can give you – it takes processes and techniques battle hardened over 30 years in the trenches, an ability to see the big picture and the scale to handle complex enterprise IT transformations. Very few IT partners can help you deliver this type of change successfully and our track record proves that we are one of them.

Beyond our track record, our clients always single out our culture as a key reason they want to work with us – the fact that over 80% of our business is repeat business is evidence for this. At Mastek we’re technology and vendor independent, so we’re entirely focused on you and building solutions to meet your deepest needs. Helping our customers succeed and building relationships of lasting value is what motivates us (click here for more information on our culture) and it’s our passion and commitment to delivering results that our customers love about us.