So, you’re ready to start taking your older, monolithic, on-premises applications and turning them into responsive, cloud-native, microservices powered experiences.
Congratulations! Unfortunately, we’re about to deflate you with a rather dispiriting statistic – research suggests that only five percent of digital transformations fully succeed. Even though they may not fail outright, they still take too long, go over budget, or fail to fully meet the requirements that were laid down at the outset of the project.
Fortunately, failure is not pre-ordained. If you take a careful approach, you’ll find yourself able to accomplish quick wins, iterate on previous success, reverse failures, and create projects that dramatically enrich your organisation. What does this process look like?
Talk to your stakeholders and address pain points
Your C-suite, your IT department, your users, and your customers may all have complaints about your applications. If you try to satisfy everybody all at once, you’re going to fail right away. How do you prioritise their needs in order to make the digital transformation work?
The solution to this is to set up your digital transformation as something smaller than a vast and overarching mandate. You may have a big picture in mind, but momentum requires that you perform the actions that achieve the biggest change with the smallest effort – quick wins, in other words.
Quick wins are valuable for a digital transformation because they create visible change, validate your process, and build momentum for your team. Plus, they’re relatively low stakes – the opposite of a quick win is a small defeat. Get back up and try again! But first – which of your opportunities represents a quick win?
Assess which applications are ready for the cloud
Many digital transformations start with migrating applications to the cloud. Does one of your quick wins lie in that direction? It all depends on what your applications currently look like.
The easiest method of moving applications to the cloud is known as a “lift and shift.” This involves taking an existing application, compressing it into a VM or two, and then moving the application into a cloud environment. Microsoft Azure has an extremely straightforward guide on how to migrate applications in this manner.
Not every application is suitable for a lift and shift. If you’re trying to migrate a varied environment involving more than a few servers or involved business units, you need to take another approach. In addition, applications containing potentially sensitive data will need a second look.
In short, you’ll get the quickest wins from shifting relatively simple applications to the cloud. Here, they’ll benefit from the speed and scalability of cloud architecture, and your customers and users will be able to access them from any device. More complex applications might be over-provisions, have too many dependencies, or import potentially insecure configurations to their new home. Consider a hybrid cloud implementation for these applications. Why not have a look at the MOQdigital 15-Minute Assessment eBook, for more insights on how to select your approach.
Begin agile development
Eventually, you’re going to need to either develop new applications or substantially rework the ones you already have – refactoring and re-architecting applications as opposed to just shifting them to the cloud. If you want to develop faster, you’ll need to adopt an Agile philosophy, a good example is SCRUM.
The SCRUM Agile philosophy is a delivery approach that breaks down the software development lifecycle into iterative sprints. Each sprint results in a functional unit of work that gets published to your application as a new feature. This process is designed to rapidly create new software with the most important features delivered first.
There are several methods of implementing Agile, but they all have one thing in common – every stakeholder is involved in software development. This doesn’t necessarily mean that users are going to turn into coders, but it does mean that they’re going to have a much more active role in using the software, testing new features, and creating a roadmap. This participation will increase user adoption and result in applications that are a better fit for your organisation.
Keep adding new skills with MOQdigital
Your digital transformation is a moving target as is the approach. Agile has formed the bedrock for how most modern software has been delivered since the early 2000s – the standard has driven additional concepts like DevOps and its consistently evolving. We are already seeing the exploration of AIOps, which uses machine learning components to automatically monitor and maintain complex environments. While it’s important not to get ahead of yourself, it’s also important to constantly learn about new technologies and best practices.
When you work with MOQdigital, you gain a valuable partner in your digital transformation. Having shepherded many successful projects, we’re experts at creating roadmaps, identifying priorities, and implementing advanced technologies. For more information about how we can help bring your digital transformation to fruition, contact us today.