Painful Lawsuits: Huge Toll Taken On Executives At Uber, Equifax,
St. Jude, And Provident Financial
By Brett Martin
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Half of the Fortune 500 will be displaced within the next decade.
Depending on the strength of your engineering team, either you see disruptive technology as an opportunity to take market share from competitors, or a threat to your business’ survival.
If your company wants to weaponize disruption, rather than be a victim of it, each facet of product development, testing, and deployment will require greater scrutiny and speed.
The convergence and amplification of cloud, virtualization, IoT, big data, and software-defined infrastructure are driving more upgrades in today’s technology landscape than ever.
Still, as Dr. Mik Kersten, CEO of Tasktop, learned, the massive productivity gains promised were not found!
In his book, Project to Product, How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption, Dr. Kersten describes:
“Top companies are seeing a greater portion of their budgets shift toward technology as market success increasingly is directed by software manufacturing. But, the productivity of software delivery at companies is falling behind that of tech giants. So, the promise of digital transformation is failing to deliver business results.”
LARGE COMPANIES FACE SPEED AND PERFECTION PRESSURE, AND THEY GOOF-UP!
A huge shift is happening.
For the last 300 years, cheaper production and financing have triggered the explosion of new business and the consequent extinction of the inefficient businesses.
All major companies are now under sharp pressure to manage complexity, perfectly every time. The past few years have seen an increase in the number and severity of software glitches. These epic software “fails” negatively impact customer satisfaction, public reputation, and business valuation.
One colossal glitch in 2017 caused 1.25 million pickup trucks to be recalled because it caused airbags and seatbelts to fail during crashes!
BIG SOFTWARE. BIG HEADACHES.
American Airlines – No pilots for the holidays
A computer glitch in their scheduling platform accidentally allowed too many of its pilots to time off the week of Christmas, affecting around 15,000 flights. American Airlines had to pay pilots time and a half wages at the last minute to salvage the error.
Provident Financial – Stocks tank after bug disclosure
A UK-based loan company targeting low-income customers suffered a significant software bug. Management admitted the glitch kept the company from collecting debts, resulting in lost revenue totaling $158,256,000. Following their announcement, stocks tumbled $2.2 billion in one day, as 800,000 vulnerable customers were put in financial harm.
Fiat Chrysler – Life-threatening recall
Fiat Chrysler found itself in hot water after it was discovered code errors temporarily disabled airbags and seat belt functionality in a rollover. After two crashes, one fatal, there was a recall of over one million trucks.
Equifax – Security hack cover-up
In a 2017 data breach of Equifax, hackers managed to steal personal data, including social security numbers and credit card numbers, of 145 million consumers. Public outrage followed the announcement, after it was learned that Senior Leaders at Equifax were well aware that 50% of Americans were at risk of identity theft.
Suncorp Bank – Vanishing cash
A routine software upgrade caused a malfunction and the disappearance of money from customers’ bank accounts. Additional customer complaints included overdrawn and locked out accounts.
Bitcoin – Unlimited node crash
Nearly 70% of the nodes running Bitcoin Unlimited disappeared from the network completely after a software glitch crashed over 100 Bitcoin Unlimited nodes.
(NOTE: Want to take control of your technology? Talk to the CTO in a one-on-one free phone session. De-risk your business outcomes and technology alignment. Get a 6-12-24 month product road map and know exactly what to say to your investors and Board. Learn more here!)
NEW COMPANIES NOW HAVE THE ADVANTAGE
Yes. You can expect success by managing software to success measures of time, budget and cost reduction. But only if every puzzle piece in a company’s projects fit perfectly with every other piece, AND if all projects get delivered on time and on budget.
For example, Bank of America has hired some 95,000 IT workers (hiring ahead of digital transformation). To its credit, BofA is efficient and creative in using its software to play both offense and defense with disruptors.
But many startups are building and iterating quickly without legacy systems or customers to lose, so smaller companies are disrupting industries ranging from health insurance to cryptocurrencies.
Competitive business leaders avoid negative press attention, angry customers, and frustrated employees by embracing CTO-led software outsourcing.
This is especially important given the increasing prevalence of Agile and DevOps methodologies.
The frequency of change involved in these approaches can’t be handled using traditional account manager- and engineer-run projects without risking an epic software failure.
Waiting to test until after changes have been deployed is no better. Business strategy, in alignment with technology deployment, needs to be checked at the design, development, test and delivery phases to avoid failure.
One primary reason companies are embracing CTO-led onshore/offshore custom software manufacturing is because it allows them to design defects out at lower costs, before projects move to production.
Clearly, cost reduction can be a critical component of transformation. Yet, executives who are measured on the business outcomes below aren’t waiting until something breaks to design and build software right:
- DevOps speed to market
- More competitive product offerings
- Increased efficiency in delivery
Closeloop Technologies custom software solutions support the dynamic and quality focus nature of today’s small and mid-sized companies. You can learn more about lowering the risk of software manufacturing here.
Director of Customer Solutions