Over the last few months, I’ve both written and spoken about the concept of Application Capital. Applications are now the primary vehicle through which digital businesses develop and deliver their goods and services. Moreover, the soaring valuations of the most well-known digital giants today are attributable to those companies’ application portfolios. Consider Facebook or Lyft.
Simply put, applications and the data they manipulate are the currency of the modern digital economy. For a growing number of companies, they are a balance sheet-worthy asset… an asset that can account for tremendous value creation. But also an asset that can be exploited and drive terrible value destruction. The single largest one-day drop in a company’s market value – Facebook’s $120 Billion drop in late July 2018, 19% of its market cap – happened after the company told investors that user growth had slowed in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that resulted in data from 87m Facebook profiles being used to enable a foreign power to interfere in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
While Facebook is an extreme example of a digital native, the lesson holds true even for aspiring digital companies. Effective stewardship of that valuable but vulnerable resource, an organization’s application portfolio, must extend beyond the confines of IT to the entire C-Suite. As applications ascend beyond being simply the nuts and bolts of how a company does business and increasingly become the business itself, the role of Corporate IT must evolve as well. In the Application Economy, Corporate IT has two imperatives: 1) embrace and enable Chaotic Innovation and 2) minimize enterprise risk.
Chaos has long been used as a tool for companies to unleash innovation. Some examples:
As a former management consultant, I’m often asked if this type of thinking applies to more than just technology companies… MTV recently surveyed Millennials on their work habits, and found that 78% believe it’s important to have a "side hustle" that could become a different career. And companies of all types are known to be explicitly tolerant of side-entrepreneurship.
These chaos-friendly companies understand the benefits of that openness. In fact, many start-ups are hatched by founders that launched their company while working elsewhere, then quit to pursue their passion full-time. And according to Chris Trimble, a professor at the Tuck School of Business, these types of policies give employees a taste of freedom as well as the frustration of not being fully able to embrace it… Chaotic innovation at its finest!
For current and aspiring digital businesses, chaotic innovation thrives when application developers are free to build and deploy new applications unencumbered by concerns about availability, stability, security, or compliance. Developers are in short supply. As the scarcest resource in the Application Economy, every second wasted by a developer impacts a company’s rate of value creation. Companies serious about building and enhancing their Application Capital are sorely in need of solutions that save developers time, reduce unnecessary complexity and expertise, and keep them focused on rapidly deploying the code they care about, and that the business values the most.
F5 is the leader in Multi-Cloud Application Services. Our multi-cloud application services enhance and secure your Application Capital in many ways. Here are a few:
Why F5? Why not other application service providers? Our value proposition is simple:
When made a core part of an enterprise-wide infrastructure, F5 provides a level of assurance to the business that its application portfolio remains available, reliable, and secure.
To survive in the digital economy, every company must enhance and secure their Application Capital. The solution is a consistent set of application services that can be applied to any app, anywhere. F5’s industry-leading Multi-Cloud Application Services improve the performance and end-user experience of your applications, make your developers more productive, and improve your enterprise security / risk posture. F5 is the best partner for enhancing and securing your Application Capital.