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Future software organizations – Agile goals and roles

Digital transformation is rapidly causing major, even disruptive changes in many industries. Moreover, global developments like digital platforms (cloud) and IoT create fundamentally new connections at many levels between objects, organizations and people (systems-of-systems). These are by nature dynamic and often work in real time – further increasing the complexity. These systemic changes bring up new profound questions: What are those new software-intensive systems like? How are they created and developed? Which principles should guide such organizational design? Agile enterprises are by definition proficient with such capabilities. What solutions are the current scaled agile frameworks such as SAFe and LeSS proposing, and why? In this paper, we aim to recognize the design principles of future software organizations and discuss existing experiences from various different organizations under transformations, and the insights gained. The purpose is to systematize this by proposing a competence development impact-mapping grid for new digitalization drivers and goals with potential solutions based on our agile software enterprise transformation experiences. Our research approach is based on the resource-based and competence-based views (RBV, CBV) of organizations. We point out how most decision-making in companies will be more and more software-related when companies focus on software. This has profound impacts on organizational designs, roles and competencies. Moreover, increasing data-intensification poses new demands for more efficient organizational data processing and effective knowledge utilization capabilities. However, decisive systematic transformations of companies bring new powerful tools for steering successfully under such new business conditions. We demonstrate this via real-life examples.