Updated: Mar 18, 2022
Slack, Zapier, Groove, and GitLab. What do these companies have in common? While you’re thinking, I will make a spoiler: all of them are famous distributed enterprises. Yes, some businesses predict trends or even create them.
Recently, Gartner called distributed enterprises one of the top strategic tech trends for 2022. We’re here to dig deeper into this concept and discover how to turn a traditional company into a full-fledged distributed enterprise.
Distributed Enterprises are Top Strategic Technology Trend for 2022. Why?
A few days ago, I came across the news: EY reported that 77% of retail customers want to get back to their previous life. But the case is it will never be like in 2019. During this period, we gained new habits and preferences. We created our new normal.
What does it mean for business? Customers want to get goods and services through digital channels usage. Employees prefer to work remotely, sunbathing in Hawaii. Companies should satisfy all of them, providing desirable flexibility. Turning into distributed enterprises seems like a great solution.
What’s a distributed enterprise?
It's a company that uses a distributed computing environment to manage staff and satisfy customers worldwide. Usually, it has a scalable hybrid or cloud IT infrastructure, helping provide access, real-time data exchange, and quick response to challenges.
Looks familiar? I can compare it with microservice architecture or blockchain technology.
Each traditional company is a centralized “monolith” with a strict vertical hierarchy. Staff operation depends on top management decisions. All people are located in offices and use closely tied software products.
A distributed enterprise is a set of employees and departments - “microservices”. Each component has its management center, runs a limited number of processes, and performs them better than in a “monolithic” environment. Here the staff also uses integrated software, but it is focused on the particular segment needs and is available from anywhere.
You may also like: Migrating Monolith To Microservices: What Pricing Model Is Applicable
Why will companies never get back a “monolithic” organizational structure?
Believe it or not, but companies are already distributed enterprises in some manner. Following the poll, 51% of responded workers worldwide expect to switch to the Work from Home. Open Indeed to make sure. Choose an industry of interest, and you’ll see hundreds of remote opportunities. The thing is, people felt the taste of real work-life balance. They will not change it to offices again.
All that remains is to adapt the software following new work conditions. It is exactly what the business is doing, buying VR communication products, modernizing its legacy systems, etc.
What benefits will a distributed enterprise concept bring to companies?
Let’s see. At first glance, conservative management can suffer from the decentralization process. But it's a matter of habit when it comes to significant advantages companies can receive. Among them:
Low operational costs & Robust software. A company can save on office maintenance, devices for employees, and cookies in a kitchen. It's one side of the coin. On the other side, a distributed enterprise is always about robust, scalable software. Digital transformation brings an impressive economy to software maintenance. It also prevents downtime losses and optimizes business processes.
Put the pieces together, and you’ll see how a new concept can save your resources.
International talent involvement. To hunt all local talents in a market is good. But your company will become stronger due to foreign employees. Just look at managers in Google, Amazon, and other giants. They all represent different countries and cultures. It’s what makes distributed companies more powerful and versatile.
Moreover, if you have employees in different time zones, make sure your business will operate 24/7, satisfying customer needs.
Isn't that what every enterprise dreams of?
Compliance with sustainability principles. Werner Vogels, CTO at Amazon, named sustainability-conscious decisions the core tech trend in 2022. It is well deserved since the future prosperity of every second company depends on its sustainability strategy.
Turning into a distributed enterprise, a business can:
cut energy consumption due to optimized processes
use green software and create environmental-friendly digital products
build a reputable eco brand
provide a decent standard of living for employees from different countries
improve its non-financial reporting
These are what make a company sustainable and attractive to investment. So, if your enterprise plans to be sustainable, it should become distributed first.
You may also like: Sustainable Software Products Development: How To Follow The New Eco Trend
How To Turn Your Company Into A Distributed Enterprise
All the above looks too tempting to refuse. That's why you probably think about how to transform your business into a distributed one. If so, I have several tips for you.
#1 Create a flexible IT infrastructure
Here all begins from the environmental conditions and continues with software. Widespread legacy systems can't provide a desired level of service and fail frequently.
Start your transformation from digital products. Analyze your business processes and determine core bottlenecks to eliminate them in the future. You can solve your issues through migration to microservices, cloud, or modernization. Companies have dozens of options here. The case is, you have to choose the most appropriate way to improve the current situation.
#2 Use Industry 4.0 technologies benefits
It's arduous to imagine a distributed enterprise without real-time data exchange, intelligent equipment, live communication, and operational predictions. Here, management should monitor even more than it usually keeps on the eye in ordinary conditions.
A company should implement 5G, IoT, AI, and VR technologies to become a distributed one.
The first two will provide a seamless information movement, robust integrations, and accurate data models.
Artificial intelligence can make hardware smart, helping manage and serve it.
Virtual reality will cross borders between your employees and enable them to communicate in an appropriate digital business environment. Just remember the new Zoom’s feature recreating a meeting room space.
#3 Take care of cyber security
Companies are afraid to make the first step towards innovations because of some security issues. In this case, the risk of their arising is significant, but businesses can prevent it.
An enterprise should perform accurate segregation of duties and manage data access. Forbes recommended enterprises to try Secure Access Service Edge for this purpose. This tool enables security and employee efficiency anywhere, no matter what devices your staff members use.
Meanwhile, management also has to think about data encryption since information will move through different channels and sources. Distributed enterprises inspect all traffic content to prevent attacks.
Distributed enterprise concept is here, and most likely, your company has been partially complying with it. You should control this process and support it to get the most of this trend.
JEVERA Software has been helping clients worldwide to perform digital modernization & transformation for over 11 years. If you feel insecure about your software - drop us a line. Our specialists will help you to upgrade it.