Digital transformation is speeding up the rate at which companies make or break. A couple of decades ago, a Fortune 500 company would last for about 75 years. In the last 15 years, 52% of Fortune 500 companies have gone. The average lifespan for even the largest of companies is now down to 15 years.

Successful companies are able to innovate quickly, are agile, listen to their customers and provide the best possible digital experience. Those that adapt quickly to the digital world are 26% more profitable than their industry peers, according to research by MIT Sloan.

All this acceleration is down to the fact that success (or failure) is just one social share away from any of your customers. The game has become highly competitive. If customers don’t like the experience you provide, they’ll quickly switch vendors, and they share almost everything online: the good, the bad, the ugly.

Your best bet is to be faster, to innovate and simplify. You need bi-modal IT, as Gartner calls it. This means having, on the one end, mature enterprise technology, and on the other end, being agile, fast, innovative. Make sure that your back-end is robust and stable, then go wild on the front-end without risk.

Moving fast on the front-end means, for many businesses, going into the cloud. IDC predicts that by 2020, 67% of all enterprise IT infrastructure and software spending will be for cloud-based offerings. Here’s how you can test fast and shorten the time from idea to delivery, using cloud-based content management systems.

Being innovative means trying out stuff, experimenting and risking failure. Click to Tweet

Safe to fail

Being innovative means trying out stuff, experimenting and risking failure. Choose solutions that reduce risk, make failure less costly and remove obstacles for you to test new ideas. Increase flexibility so that you can innovate faster out there in the market. You wouldn’t want to wait months for IT resources to be available. You need to onboard staff quickly and move with your digital transformation.

Empower front-end developers

Many CMS products still carry a risk, or a divide between front-end and back-end. In the classical way of doing things, you would have a graphic designer, then someone does HTML, CSS and so on. Then it goes to the back-end developers to create templates, and you need to test again. It’s never how you wanted and takes forever. In the old world, the learning curve was steep. Enterprise technology is complex. You have to learn how to customize in a Java environment and work on templates at the back-end.

The new world is more API-driven and uses standard front-end frameworks. No more compilation or build time or restarting the system after changes. Front-end developers already understand Javascript and they can now create templates. Depending on your needs, you can work exclusively with the front-end and not use Java at all. This speeds up development and makes things happen fast.

And what if those front-end developers did all the work that you really needed, using the latest Javascript frameworks? Java is still one of the most used programming languages in the world. It’s really solid, enterprise-quality, mature technology. This is heavy lifting, but for getting ahead today, it’s about being agile on the front-end. Enter the Javascript community, with all those amazing frameworks and innovation that’s happening in that space.

Easy deployment and live testing

Simplify operations with cloud-based products. In the old world, you needed heavy lifting in the back-end to deploy a product and this took time. In the new world, press a button and the platform deploys automatically – all done in a best-practice setup.

Simplify bug fixes. No more waiting for the next rollout and being exposed to security risks. With the cloud, you’re always on the latest security update and the latest version with new functionality.

Test against live data. If you’re happy with the results, just click again and you’re switched to whatever version just released. You can also roll back if you prefer to stay with the previous version.

Businesses now want live websites in weeks, instead three - six months. Click to Tweet

Simplify rollout

Businesses now want live websites in weeks, instead of the usual three to six months. But even more crucial than the time it takes for the initial rollout is the time it takes to add new features. It is the day-to-day, incremental innovations that make the difference. That’s why Magnolia launched its cloud-based CMS, Magnolia NOW. The cloud environment allows you to change anything at any point in time, totally risk-free. You can even start with smaller sites, then add functions and grow content. Continuous integration lets you release features as often as needed.

Take the risk ouf of innovation with a cloud-based CMS. Work in a light and live environment and shorten the time from idea to launch – a simple, elegant and no-fuss way to innovate.