Written on 4th February 2016 - 2 minutes

A guide for the CIO: Improve business agility with loose coupling

Business agility is one of the most important challenges facing organisations today. We all know that processes, people, customers and technology are not static; they change all the time. Business agility enables you to be flexible in responding to that change and take advantage of new opportunities quickly. And the term ‘loose coupling’ is critical to that goal.

What is loose coupling and why do CIOs and CFOs need to know about it?

Loose coupling refers to developing your business applications and systems so that they depend on each other the least but share some common components such as data or functionality. Each component has minimal knowledge of other components; but it knows enough to ensure the system performs as expected.

This means that if you need to change something later, for example connect your CRM to your accounting software, both systems are significantly less likely to break. Too often, attempts to enhance existing software feels so difficult that organisations either continue with inefficient processes or spend unnecessary budget to replace them.

The benefits of loose coupling for business agility

1. Adopt innovation

Loosely coupled systems allow your IT team to concentrate on integrating new and innovative technology solutions quickly rather than spending time fixing bugs. They can be confident that components will work as expected without the need to recode.

2. Protect your IT investment

With the changing technology landscape it has become even more critical to protect your investment for the long term. Loose coupling saves you money by seamlessly allowing your technology to grow along with your business.

3. Reduce risk

A tightly or closely coupled system means components are so dependent on one another that you couldn’t possibly change one without changing the other. Attempts to do so could cause outages and impact system performance.

4. Improve quality

Because loose coupling of systems mean less internal connections (and interconnections!), it is far simpler for your developers to isolate issues and fix problems. This also makes it quicker to test applications so your business will reap the benefits sooner.

5. Increase productivity

Emerging technologies help your business work better. From mobile apps that help staff stay connected to cloud solutions which enable you to scale up when needed. It is loose coupling that allows you to take advantage of these technologies and improve the way you work.

Perhaps the biggest benefit of loose coupling for CIOs and CFOs is significant savings in terms of budget and resource. This is achieved because it is easier and quicker to respond to change, the key goal of business agility.

For further guidance about the coupling of your IT systems, why not get in touch with us today. .

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