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Digital transformation requires a continuous approach to change

There is no such thing as a one-shot business transformation. It's an on-going approach to deploying new ideas and technologies that grow the business

Opening the Cloud Foundry 2019 Summit in the Hague, Abby Kearns, executive director at the Cloud Foundry Foundation, discussed the need for enterprises to shift from one-off transformations to the continuous deployment of new ideas.

“Working in the enterprise is a tough job. Are you being as innovative as you possibly can? Real transformation isn’t about adapting to shiny new technology,” said Kearns in her keynote presentation.

“There is a river rapid of new and shiny things and it’s not slowing down. We have to figure out how to master these rapids and plan for continuous learning and adapting.”

To be successful, Kearns said organisations need systems and practices in place that enable them to take advantage of new technologies on an ongoing basis, as part of a continuous adoption process.

Research for Cloud Foundry suggests that 69% of IT decision makers believe digital transformation is important. She said that organisations which can adapt to a fast pace of change will be the ones that succeed at digital transformation.

Kearns said success will depend on organisations being able to fail fast and work in an iterative and innovate way, and that software development is a key prerequisite needed to power continuous business transformation.

In effect, software development is used as a factory that converts technology-driven ideas into production. Cloud Foundry positions itself as a platform for software development teams, enabling them to get code into production rapidly.

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During the opening keynote, carmaker Daimler was recognised for its MercedesMe app, built using Cloud Foundry.

As part of its digital transformation, Daimler is rolling out a 100% software-defined architecture in its Frankfurt datacentre, with Cloud Foundry and Pivotal as the developer platform.

MercedesMe is a consumer-facing iOS and Android app that tracks drivers’ car telemetric data, and provides mobility services and assisted parking.

Describing the project, Thomas Müller, PCF platform product owner at Daimler, said: “In 2018, we decided to invest in Cloud Foundry, and we built a proof of concept by mid 2018.

“By March 2019, we had a stable environment, which was integrated into Daimler’s cloud and supported roughly 50 application projects, of which 30 are in production.”

Along with using Cloud Foundry, Daimler has a hybrid cloud strategy that uses Kubernetes on-premise and Alibaba for public cloud computing.

“We are building a platform for Daimler developers,” said Müller. This platform supports DevOps, is self service and means that developers do not have to think about building up infrastructure, enabling developers to build customer-facing applications.

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