At the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit that took place in London last month, focus was placed on the digitalization of business and how “fluid” application strategies were needed to support this change. In essence, it was “IT should adapt or it will become irrelevant and get bypassed” – never an enjoyable perspective.

Digitalization in an organization or a market is like water: It flows everywhere, bypassing obstructions. Have you tried to stop a flood by placing an obstacle in its path? Water just takes a circuitous route or dislodges the obstacle altogether. And like water, the disruption of digitalization goes on, flowing downhill, defying barriers. Consider for example digital currency such as Bitcoin: It bypasses financial and political controls simply because nobody can get a grasp on it, and when major retailers finally accept this digital currency there won’t be any going back. Or consider file sharing (Dropbox), over which IT is now struggling to regain control because it simply got bypassed.

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