Drive Digital Transformation in real world

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Undoubtedly ‘Digital Transformation’ is a hackneyed term with more theoretical frameworks than sustainable execution models on the ground. Moreover the current COVID 19 situation is unarguably transforming Business landscape across all industries and accelerated the need to deploy agile digital transformation models to drive operational efficiencies, cost optimization, and deliver meaningful business impact. Digital transformation is interpreted differently by Organizations. Some Organizations consider moving from On-premises systems to hybrid clouds as evidence of digital transformations. Others optimize their software by adopting Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. Some others use digital technologies to improve on CX (Customer Experience). Organizations may undertake one of them or all three, but without changes to existing Business processes or products, Such projects qualify for as optimization, not transformation 

Digital Strategy for any organization entails the process of exploring, identifying, articulating, and executing digital opportunities that helps increase an organization’s competitive advantage. The common problems that organizations face on undertaking digital journey & improve Business performance revolve around the following:

  • Bulky systems
  • Legacy systems
  • Tightly coupled Monolithic systems and architecture
  • High manual coordination between teams
  • Absence of Modular agility
  • Systems Tied up with mainframe systems
  • Lack of omnichannel experience

Due to the above problem/s area, The end Customer experience deteriorates substantially and adversely impacts Business retention and growth

In order to ensure successful and swift digital transformation, Businesses and Enterprises are required to do the following:

  1. Identify Business Value & Key metrics. eg Business growth, customer experience, etc. So identify metrics where the value for your Business resides 
  2. Prepare ‘To Be’ Business Model. This is basis Value & Key Business metrics, 
  3. Prepare all the Internal Stakeholders and Team & align them with ‘To Be’ Business Model & update with relevant changes in their function – This is to iron out any change management issues during or post-implementation
  4. Design Scalable Technology solution to target Satisfying and profitable customer experience journeys & take advantage of future improvements in technology
  5. Implement Solution. This can be done in phase wise or Instant manner depending on Business & nature of change. Important is to deliver a solution without impacting the current Business

As a first step it is important to identify Business problems and Key metrics that impact their Business and end-customer experience. This requires a thorough analysis of Business needs and impact that must cover impacts of changes to data sources, models, consumption, and governance. The next step on Internal preparation for creating ‘To Be’ Business model and aligning multi-disciplinary internal teams towards the new model requires effective collaboration across functions. Best practice organizations generally have a steering committee to guide their digital transformation efforts and rely on a center of excellence or transformation team. It’s important to have people with Process, technical, and change management skills. On designing scalable technology solution, Let’s see  an example as to how the Business requirement can be translated into executable actionable steps to design scalable technology solution for an organization using monolithic database and wants to undergo Legacy transformation project to achieve digital transformation :

  1. Build a Business model with underlying services (Focus on Domain-driven Design, Reactive architecture Principles)
  2. Identify new and existing modules & identify which one can be separated from the monolithic database & wrapped into microservice (eg. UI Module) to interact with other modules
  3. Expose API and points
  4. Pick out module system with high churn (i.e undergoing constant change)
  5. Delink any dependency between microservice to monolithic database
  6. Monitor shadow traffic (Monolithic system versus new microservice)
  7. Validation of data between Monolith & Microservice (Use tool to compare the data to compare data motion between Monolith and Microservice)
  8. Control flow of traffic through routing logic
  9. Cut the cord with Monolithic system & start using a new system for Monolithic database start interacting with microservice through unidirectional relationship
  10. Keep the Monolithic system for compliance reasons if required

Above is an example of how swiftly organizations can move away from Legacy systems towards embracing digital transformation combining Business problems with sound and agile technology solutions to create value for their Business. The digital transformation is not a one-time project however the digital journey should pave way for scalability since  it is like embracing perpetual change for Business growth

In the end, It’s important to come out of logically sounding theoretical frameworks and focus on core areas to drive digital transformation in the real world. 

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Written by 

Atul is Vice President at Knoldus and has over 20+ years of experience in IT & IT-enabled services as a Techno-functional & Business Management Professional. He is a Lean digital & Green belt certified senior IT management professional with excellence in setting up, stabilizing & leading the entire scope of Program management spanning across Service Delivery, Pre-sales, Consulting, Account Management, etc for Tier 1 organizations. He has played diverse leadership roles globally in different management functions and led multiple digital transformation projects & Process improvement initiatives for Global clients across different industries. He is also ITIL, Lean digital, RPA & Blockchain certified professional

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