When most businesses have claimed to turned into complete digital or going through digital transformation, It is important that we understand what it means actually. The change need to be in every aspect of business from HR to Sales, from marketing to IT, from finance to external communication. True Digital transformation strategy should aim to empower not only customers but also end-users, stakeholders, employees and everyone involved in supporting business process and organisation.
Digital transformation is continuous and ongoing process. Growth, getting more users and more usability of the service with maintaining quality is the heart of every business. Your business plan , product roadmap should lead towards (high -growth if you are a startup) scalable services (scalable resources ), available from anywhere (cloud resources).
Change is constant
Executives need to build strategy around constant change. continuous improvement in the services and operation to reflect recent requirements. Companies need to build culture of embracing constant change by changing gradually by small improvements that lead to bigger outcome at the end. All small change that lead to be empowering your team, investing in your employees and customers, acquiring startups for innovations or investing in innovation and research. Taking little calculative risks to try new things is very essential for innovation and improvement in services and products.
Moving to Cloud
Most of the IT cost of business is in maintenance of software services and resources and towards man hours invested in this task. By storing software resources in the cloud you will only pay for the services or resources you use per hours. Cloud resources are scalable and reliable, hence you can scale up or down as per your business needs. Almost all businesses consider the upfront price of the software and fail to project real maintenance and support cost of the software services which lead to keep total ownership of everything in-house and it is really costly compare to cloud resources.
Iaas (Infrastructure as a service) – This provides basic compute processing, storage , networking services which can be accessed from anywhere. Owners get maximum control on resources and can choose their operating system, security rules. With control, owners also need to manage the resources like installing updates and patches. Example: Azure VMs, AWS compute instance etc.
Paas (Platform as a service) – This provides the platform to develop software and services using programming languages, apis and tools supported by providers. Owners have less control on infrastructure but they do not manage them. Example : Azure app, website on AWS etc.
Saas (Software as a service) – Businesses buy the software as services and do not need to worry about managing infrastructure or developing software. They are already built application running in the cloud. Owners don’t have much option to customise it. Example: outlook, office 365, etc.
To support digital transformation road-map our software infrastructure, services and product should lead to the next evolution in software architecture, which allow services to be faster, scalable and more manageable.
Traditional monolithic applications are built with tightly coupled components which are deployed as single entity. This makes development, testing and deployment difficult and therefore providing releases, new features and updates are very tedious and long process. Micro-services architecture breakdown this tightly coupled components and model them into individually deployable.
Because of being independent these components can be developed, tested and deployed separately and also can be scaled separately as well. You see your whole service or application does not need to be highly scaled most of the time only particular components and this can be achieved through Microservices. Isn’t that beautiful!!
Keeping components separate gives freedom to choose different technologies, languages and platforms. This makes it possible them to be build and managed by separate teams.
Containers provide better way to manage your IT infrastructure and better way to deploy and maintain your application, which will significantly speed up the digital transformation process. Containers provide isolated environment to run your services. It holds all necessary components like dlls, config files, environment files and variables to run that (micro) service or software. You can put constrains on how much physical resources – memory and CPU can be used by a container, so a single container can not consume beyond that limit. Beautiful again !! Control on machines is beautiful !!
In the era where DevOps is rising, It is important that we don’t forget continuous deployment and test driven development. DevOps is an approach that fills the gap between software development and delivery process. It encourages automating and monitoring build, deployment, testing , integration and releasing product/service or change. Let’s machines and bots take the repetitive task and let humans focus on solving real problems.
As a final note, Digital Transformation is just a new term of empowering and supporting our employees, customers, services, everyone and everything that supports Growth and helps to fulfil the organisation’s purpose. Growth without purpose is like a road to no where so make sure you don’t loose the purpose on your journey!! Embrace the change. Nothing is more beautiful than a change!!