Proverbs embody common wisdom. There is a saying much haste less speed. The meaning of this is of course that if you go too quickly the speed with which you are progressing is lower. This is a saying that we also have in the Netherlands as well as in Germany and even the ancient Greeks had similar saying: “Festina Lente”. The way that we look at the time to market is however changing!
What is the optimal speed in business?
Over the last couple of years we have seen that the time to market has become shorter. A decade ago, manufacturers took a couple of years to design and introduce a new model, for example for cars. Nowadays this has shrunk to less than two years. Automation, progress in digital design methods and standardization enable this shorter time to market. And they really must, because the competition is doing even more amazing stuff. With competition, I of course mean the new entrants to a century old industry. They don't play by the rules and they are not plagued by legacy systems.
Tesla is only 16 years old and now the market leader in electric vehicles. It is getting crazier with Byton, a primarily Chinese auto manufacturer being able to set up a complete company, two models of cars (Mbyte and Kbyte), production facilities and the distribution network in about five years or less. Dyson, famous for its electrical engines and vacuums, does the same. Dyson will also introduce an electric new car in the next couple of years. I think a couple of years ago no one would have thought this to be possible.
You are not that different
I'm going to make a bold statement and say that your business might not be so different from the automotive business when it comes to time to market. You simply do not have so much time. You too have competitors that would like to take your business from you. They also have a great business and great staff working for them. Whatever your product or service looks like, you need to keep in mind that you have a short time to market. So, the optimal speed to market looks to be a short one. That of course means that you need to take advantage of technologies that allow you to do that. What technologies do I mean? Digital technologies!
The right API strategy
For a fast Time to Market, it is a no-brainer to have an API-first strategy. An API first strategy that will make your APIs do what users expect them to do with less regard to how you manage it in the back end. There are several aspects that you need to think of:
- - Consistency
- - Scalability and flexibility
- - Ability to use and understand
- - Being Agile
- - Performant
- - Proper Security
The right definition
When you look at these aspects some of them have to do with the definition of the API and the amount of thinking about the implementation. This means developing it in such a way that others, inside and outside the organization, understand and see the potential. Other aspects have to do with the environment where you are going to run your APIs on. This of course means the cloud because the cloud gives us the speed that we need to survive in the business that is coming more and more competitive. Your biggest competitors might not be the ones that you've known for years, but they are startups, lean and agile, with no respect for how you do business and no legacy that slows them down. If you think I'm exaggerating, think of Airbnb, Uber and Lyft and the fintech industry eating away at banks’ market share and profitability.
The right infrastructure
Doing things right means doing things differently. Just like we do not need to own servers anymore since the cloud is so much faster, better and cheaper. We also don’t necessarily need to buy products anymore. About a year ago, after several discussions with colleagues and customers it occurred to me: we need to develop a PaaS Solution. PaaS stands for Platform as a Service and it is really a new paradigm that is a perfect fit to enable a faster time to market. It is a WSO2 Cloud platform and called "Connext". It's a cloud based, scalable, high available and performant platform running the WSO2 products. We manage it and make sure that it is performing, so the only thing that you need to do is taking care of your business.
Why manage a platform yourself?
Why make use of a PaaS platform instead of maintaining your own infrastructure? Using a platform like Connext means a fast track to (for example) API development. No hassle setting it up, configuring it, updating and monitoring it. A secure platform that’s managed and constantly improved by experts. A turnkey solution waiting for you to start. So that you can speed up your Time to Market!
If you did get curious about this platform, I would like to invite you to visit our Connext website and see for yourself how this will enable you to stay ahead of your competitors.