Analysing the trends of today with Thoughtworks

In the fast-paced world of technology, innovation isn’t just about creating new tools—it’s about shaping the industry itself. Scott Shaw, Chief Technology Officer for APAC at Thoughtworks, sheds light on how this global technology consultancy has influenced software delivery and technology strategies worldwide.

Founded 30 years ago with its roots deeply embedded in software delivery, Thoughtworks has grown from a small U.S. office to a global presence, employing over 10,500 people. Scott Shaw, who has been with the company since its early days when it had just 600 employees, discussed the evolutionary journey of Thoughtworks and its impact on the technology landscape.

“Initially known for our capabilities in software delivery, we’ve seen that success in this area requires alignment across all aspects of an organization,” Shaw explained. Thoughtworks has expanded its services to include strategy, design, and engineering, aiming to assist businesses in becoming successful digital entities.

Operating across North America, Latin America, Europe, India, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Thoughtworks has established itself as a prominent name in technology consultancy. Shaw highlighted the significance of their geographical diversity, “It allows us to bring a wealth of diverse expertise and perspectives to our clients globally.” The company also works in a variety of sectors, with Shaw particularly pointing out the focus on the Public Sector and Banking Financial Services in the ANZ region.

Over the years, Shaw has witnessed and contributed to the significant growth of Thoughtworks. From writing codes and architectures to consulting, his career evolution mirrors the company’s expansion. “Our advice is now sought after more than ever. We’ve had a profound influence on software delivery practices worldwide,” he noted, referencing the company’s contributions to popular methodologies like continuous delivery and microservices.

One of the innovative tools Thoughtworks has developed is the Technology Radar, a framework that helps organizations balance the risks and rewards of adopting new technologies. “The Technology Radar isn’t just an artifact; it’s a conversation facilitator that creates a shared understanding within a company about technology risks and opportunities,” Shaw stated.

The conversation shifted to the need for organisations to develop their own technology radar strategy, with Shaw saying, “I think the technology radar is a really good way to balance the risk of bringing in new technology with the reward of staying ahead of the game, being current with technology, and taking maximum business advantage of it.” Beyond this, Shaw believes having a Technology Radar can assist in speaking with executives and board members when making proposals, adding, “It’s a methodology as much as it is an artifact… It gives you a chance to show that this is a deliberate evolution and that you’re moving in a considered direction.”

The Technology Radar has evolved into a biannual publication that captures the latest trends and shifts in the tech landscape. “We’ve been doing this for over 15 years now, and each edition gives a snapshot of where technology stands at that moment,” Shaw added.

Artificial intelligence (AI) dominates the latest insights from the Technology Radar Report’s 30th edition. Shaw pointed out that the software industry is poised to be one of the sectors most impacted by generative AI. “There’s a lot of hype around AI, but the real value comes from using AI to enhance team collaboration and improve the structuring of knowledge within the software delivery process,” he explained.

Shaw also touched on the broader applications of AI in technology, from strategic consulting to optimizing internal processes. “AI first software delivery is now a standard expectation for our developers when the client is agreeable. This approach not only enhances efficiency but also fosters a deeper understanding of AI’s capabilities and limitations,” he commented.

As Thoughtworks continues to drive forward, the focus remains on integrating AI into business strategies and helping organizations prepare for an AI-driven future. Shaw concluded, “Our next steps involve deepening our understanding of AI’s role in software delivery and ensuring businesses are AI-ready, which includes having the right data infrastructure in place.”

Thoughtworks’ journey from a small software consultancy to a player in digital transformation exemplifies how dedicated focus on technology and continuous adaptation can lead to profound industry influence. Under the guidance of leaders like Scott Shaw, the company is set to navigate the next waves of technological advancements, making significant impacts on how businesses interact with and leverage technology.

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