Liquid Delivery

Over the period of time perception of software has changed from an enabler of business operations the business itself. Uber, the world’s largest taxi company; Facebook, the largest social media company; Alibaba, the world’s biggest retailer; and Airbnb, the largest accommodations provider, are all built on software.

The term “Liquid“ represent the continuous flow of something. In the context of application delivery it is called “Liquid Delivery“. “Liquid“ is more than just a new approach to application development. It’s the foundation upon which you can build your business for future growth and competitive advantage. In the new order, the ability to roll out business capabilities continuously will be the difference between companies that can evolve and ones that stagnate.

To Survive the Unknown, enterprises must:

  • Have an innovative business culture that constantly brings new ideas forward which are acted upon
  • Has an access layer that delivers the best possible customer experience
  • Has a delivery methodology that ensures shortest/quickest time to market, is agile and can deliver a continuous update of customer experience
  • Has a Core that can deliver real-time insight 24/7 anywhere and is agnostic with respect to end-user services / experiences (any device and IoT/ M2M included)
  • Become Liquid

The new “Liquid Application Strategy“ involves closing the gap between IT delivery and business needs over time.

Liquid Application Strategy

To go liquid, companies will need to adopt more modular Lightweight architectures, next-generation integration techniques and a cloud-first, mobile first mindset.

Liquid Applications“ represent a fundamentally new way to build software representing a shift to a world of smaller, more fundamental components that can be assembled at a very rapid pace using new development approaches to continuously deliver software in support of dynamic business needs.

Liquid applications looks at Vertical Decoupling in typical agile front-end and stable back-end functionalities with focus to obtain more agility with faster time-to-market deployment.

The move from monolithic architectures to Horizontal Decoupled Architectures provided re-use and more business agility. The focus was on process orchestration and business flexibility.

Liquid applications are..

  • Incorporates Vertical decoupling (coexists with other styles of applications)
  • Focus on time-to-market
  • Even more Smaller, simpler and more agile
  • Cloud enabled and use of light weight architectures where possible
  • Bimodal IT Applicable
  • DevOps enabled
  • More suitable for distribution (commercial) capabilities
Liquid applications

Liquid Application Delivery“ accelerates critical building blocks for Digital Transformation through “Stability, Reliability, and Availability ”at the core along side rapid release cycles for customer-centric digital innovation.

Liquid Delivery Model

Software-based organizations are using software to monetize data and to create hybrid product/service offerings. They are able to change software code hundreds of times per day, innovating rapidly to personalize the customer experience recognizing their changing needs.

Organizations need to “go liquid,” operating in a world of smaller components that can be rapidly assembled using new development approaches. Going liquid calls for companies to adopt more modular architectures, next-generation integration techniques and a cloud-first, mobile-first mindset.

Four key elements of going liquid:-

[A] Liquid architectures: Companies can take advantage of micro-service-based architectures to build more dynamic applications which should be built upon lightweight and virtualized platforms. Such application architectures are modular, featuring reusable components; and such applications could be assembled from pre-built components.

[B] Lean agile practices and automation: Delivery processes should adopt DevOps, test automation and Agile practices to roll out functionality incrementally. DevOps uses automation techniques for deployment, environment set-up, and configuration and monitoring. Automated testing can facilitate a continuous and instantaneously deployable pipeline of change.

[C] Operating model: one team owns the product from idea through to experience. This requires a culture shift and a collaborative environment.

[D] Design Thinking: Human-centered design is a practical, repeatable approach to arriving at innovative solutions. This approach differs from the analytical scientific method, which begins by thoroughly defining all parameters of a problem with an aim to create a single, correct solution. Design thinking identifies and investigates with known and ambiguous aspects of the current situation to discover hidden parameters and open alternative paths that may lead to the goal. Because design thinking is iterative, intermediate “solutions” are also potential starting points of alternative paths, including redefining of the initial problem, in a process of co-evolution of problem and solution.

Liquid ApplicationsDesign Principles & Reference Architecture
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An API Centric architecture based on a Cloud First & Mobile First approach enables creation of future proofed platforms with baked in reuse thereby imparting improved agility, quality and time to market.

Liquid Delivery –Using Agile Delivery method
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Adoption of agile delivery methods for Digital innovations which will complement traditional (iterative sequential methods) for core systems.

Agile Delivery Methods for Digital Innovations
Liquid Delivery –Using Automation
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End to End automated & unattended testing along with Automated Code & Security reviews increases the pace of delivering change accompanied with improves quality.

Liquid Delivery –Using DevOps
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DevOps combined with automated environments that are seamlessly provisioned, set up on cloud. Continuous Integration to enable high velocity releases to “live” environments with precision.

Liquid Delivery –Using Liquid Workforce
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This idea focuses on ensuring the workforce is highly adaptable and change-ready. It’s about adapting to disruption and anticipating constant change.

By having a liquid workforce component, companies can find the right combination of internal employees, freelancers, and technologies.

The liquid workforce comprises of both

  • Traditional employees and
  • Variety of non-employee workers

The level of adaptability of Traditional employees can increases exponentially by

  • Ensuring employees are ready for it through critical skills training
  • Implementing agile ways of working

Non-employee works might include

  • Consultants
  • Temporary workers
  • Independent contractors
  • Freelance and
  • Outsourced staffs

Non-human workers can all contribute some work in lieu of an actual human being also comprise the liquid workforce like

  • Robots
  • Drones
  • Cognitive computing applications
Why a Liquid Workforce?
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Fluidity in the workforce allows companies to focus on workplace innovation. When this occurs, people become their strategic differentiators. A liquid workforce allows companies to optimize their competitive performance. For example, extra help allows them to react to fluctuations in the market. Traditionally, retailers like Amazon, Flipkart and Service providers like Swiggy, zomato, etc, hire additional hands to handle the high short-term demand for the holiday seasons or during covid lockdown period when most part of the country was under lockdown. This benefits the company for having to only pay for additional help during its busiest periods, which optimizes its competitive performance, caters to the need of unusually high-demand and balances labor costs.
Companies that use this newer liquid workforce may also elect to bring in experts for specific development projects or project launches. Through the use of technology and collaboration tools, these liquid employees can now reside anywhere in the world.

Also check my blog on Continuous Delivery (CD): Continuous Delivery (CD) is the process that moves codes from Test environment to Acceptance environment to Prod environment, taking out dependency from human being and reassign dependency on process with high degree of automation where releasing software becomes routine. Please see my blog on Continuous Delivery.

Also check my blog on Continuous Integration (CI): In software engineering, Continuous Integration is the practice of merging and building (and automation testing) all developer working copies to a shared mainline several times a day or sometimes on every code check-in (if infrastructure supports that). CI keeps the entire development team in sync, removing the delays due to integration issues. Please see my blog on “Continuous Integration”.

@Mohammad Sami -Agile Transformation Coach

NOTE: Please note that due to some technical issues we have lost users comments until February 2022. My apologies. Please do comment and share your thoughts in the comments below


Gartner Special Reports | Gartner

The Secret to Digital Natives’ Success | CIO Insight

Emerging Market Trends: Liquid Workforce | ProcessMaker Blog

How (And Why) Companies Should Engage The Liquid Workforce (

The Liquid Workforce in “The New Normal” | SAP Blogs

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