LeanIX’s 9th birthday coincides with another remarkable company milestone: its 300th employee. Following a year like no other, this growth is an incredible achievement for us, and I am proud to blow out the candles of this birthday cake with more colleagues than ever before.
Though this year’s celebration is virtual, I still wish to reflect together on our achievements in 2020 while looking to the future as I do every year. But to properly honor what is truly a unique anniversary, it’s worth noting just how much LeanIX’s current success is a result of priorities set many years ago.
Never losing sight
From the very start, in 2012, my co-founder and I branded and engineered LeanIX to deliver IT business value. This decision led us to distill our vision of modern EA to its very essence and showcase our earliest customers a product that was:
- Intuitive to use (no need for extensive training)
- Ready to use (offering a predefined IT management model)
- Secure to use (separate workspaces for each company and using SSL for communication)
Even at this time, it was clear to us that only a dedicated tool could carry out EA's value in modern business environments and help maximize architecture for employees. This led us to build an enterprise architecture (EA) repository where information could be accessed quickly without specifying all search criteria. Further, in addition to wiki-like mechanisms for documenting IT entities at a user’s preferred pace, we made sure LeanIX came packaged with out-of-the-box analytics reports to ensure productivity from day one.
Value maximization and employee engagement remain cornerstones of LeanIX’s current design. However, as our customers — which now amount to more than 380 worldwide — evolve, we’ve expanded the capabilities of our solution to push the limits of architectural efficiency for their increasingly diverse use cases. In so doing, I’ve come to re-imagine the core beliefs of LeanIX and have narrowed down three ways to frame our solution’s strategic roadmap for 2021 and beyond.
1. Transformation is continuous
Over the last year, the IT industry has spent much time discussing the importance of business transformation and, in particular, digital transformation. But whether in regard to massive projects such as cloud migrations, ERP rollouts, or modernizing monolithic landscapes, the changes which are most vital to the success of today’s enterprises will never have an obvious end date — nor should they. Architectural improvement is a continuous process, and any project related to delivering superior technological competencies will inevitably be replaced by another. A solution like LeanIX is indispensable for giving companies the means to prioritize and facilitate continuous transformation using a data-driven platform for IT and business users.
2. Great customer experience requires better EA
It’s no longer shocking to hear that every enterprise will become a technology company one day. Every industry has examples of market leaders who've proven this prophecy right, and today’s business leaders are dead set on finding solutions to speed up this process. Many modern CIOs, CTOs, and CDOs alike are actively involved in identifying gaps in technological capabilities with IT staff to accelerate and keep close track of this journey. But as demonstrated by Amazon and Spotify, these transformations will inevitably fall short of expectations unless architecture mirrors the habits and needs of customers. Therefore it will become more important to analyze the fitness of the IT landscape against the requirements of customer journeys and establish platforms to increase accountability of the teams. EAs can facilitate this shift from a project- to a product-centric organization with matching toolset.
3. Adoption of cloud native needs speed & control
Last but not least, LeanIX’s third core belief is to help customers adopt cloud native technology with speed and control. A well-understood paradigm for leveraging state-of-the-art digital solutions, enterprises that are in the process of adopting cloud native technology don't yet have the luxury of investing like cloud-born companies (e.g., Netflix and Facebook), who developed their own tooling to manage their cloud native adoption. Instead, enterprises must balance the speed and scalability of transitions to decentralized environments with absolute efficiency and control — therein creating a profound need for cloud governance solutions we offer.
An equilibrium like this can’t be found by shielding engineers from cloud native technologies. Forcing engineers to interact with cloud native technologies via external portals designed mostly for making orders means compromising flexibility. As evidenced by LeanIX’s own developers, today’s engineers want to interact with these services through infrastructure-as-code via solutions like Terraform. A restricted governance model does not help any aspiring cloud native enterprise to make the most of their new technologies.
Following a year in which LeanIX’s customer base grew to more than 380 and our funding increased to $120M thanks to a recent finance round led by Goldman Sachs, LeanIX will use these core beliefs to demonstrate why Gartner recognized us as a Challenger in its 2020 Magic Quadrant. We will carry out this year's company mission of enabling companies to continuously transform by building out our current platform while also introducing new capabilities for our two products — the Enterprise Architecture Suite (EAS) and the Cloud Native Suite (CNS).
Much of this will be discussed in detail in the coming weeks and months, but let me quickly explain what's on the roadmap for the very near future.
To help corporate IT build technology landscapes to power outstanding customer experiences, the EAS will be extended to include a SaaS auto-discovery add-on for our Application Portfolio Management module. Regarding our Business Transformation Management (BTM) module, we will be adding capabilities like Product Inventory and Customer Journey & Value Streams. For CNS, in Q1 alone, we will be launching two new capabilities: Cloud Tagging Management (for Cloud Intelligence) and the Microservices Discovery & Catalog (for Microservices Intelligence).
LeanIX can't be stopped
In each of the past nine years, as LeanIX has continued growing bigger than before, I’ve been proud to say that our global identity has remained tied to a series of key values:
- Customer obsession
- Diversity and inclusion
- Winning and losing as a team
- Striving for excellence
These are the standards to which I hold myself, and I am optimistic that no matter what 2021 throws our way, LeanIX will stay focused on what matters most to our customers and employees. Simply put, we can’t be stopped.