This article provides the much needed checklist for CIOs, to assess the digital-readiness of their enterprises.
The goal of nearly every enterprise – regardless of industry focus or vertical – is to position its products and services to reach the masses as quickly and efficiently as possible. But to do so in today’s modern business environment, an enterprise must operate as a digital business.
Embodying a modern digital business requires that CIOs make a conscious and strategic effort to ensure they’re providing the newest experiences, offerings, and business models that users are looking for – or risk losing out to the competition. At its core, this objective hinges on enterprise CIOs’ ability to maintain IT infrastructure that can nimbly evolve and scale with the ever-changing digital environment.
Here is a checklist of the top features that define modern digital-ready enterprises to help CIOs quickly assess whether they’re meeting the mark – and form a tangible plan for modernisation if not.
When assessing digital readiness, the first factor a CIO must evaluate is IT team structure. Are various IT environments unified, or do different subgroups have their own processes, technologies, and objectives? If the latter, CIOs will face a larger challenge managing resources, skills, and objectives across the enterprise – which is a threat to innovation, agility, and scalability. IT teams with distinct and isolated islands of technical knowledge will not be able to quickly execute on the projects needed to achieve modern digital-readiness.
The client experience is critical to the success of a modern enterprise, and customer demands are more fast-moving than ever before due to factors like mobile technology, automation, and machine learning. As a result, an enterprise’s customer and user experiences must be visually appealing as well as fully responsive so individuals can make contact with the firm quickly and intuitively from any channel, device, or location. Rapid access to this feedback and engagement is a key part of refining technical and operational business processes from the CIO perspective – so it’s important that the digital customer journey includes well-defined touchpoints across multiple channels to facilitate client responsiveness.
Being a modern digital enterprise requires having a software infrastructure that is capable of scaling with growing business demands. In many cases, achieving the level of speed and agility needed to remain competitive can be addressed through the adoption of cloud-native software, which is designed to harness the efficiency of cloud computing delivery models. CIOs that have not yet implemented cloud-native technology are forfeiting numerous benefits, including flexible application development, faster-acting IT systems, and reduced operating costs.
Cloud functionality and continuous delivery capabilities go hand in hand. Implementing continuous delivery models allows CIOs to create a strong feedback loop between the business and its customers by enabling software updates to be built, tested, and released rapidly at the touch of a button without affecting usage. Enterprises that employ a continuous delivery model to optimise their IT investments will have an edge on overall organizational performance as compared to the ones that that are not able to deliver their value as quickly and reliably to end-users.
Maintaining a digital-ready IT infrastructure also requires assessing the connectivity of systems used with the enterprise. The typical business leverages a wide range of systems – including internal enterprise systems, external tools the firm has adopted (like a CRM), and hybrid applications that the enterprise is developing. Do these three buckets of systems interact to share data in an integrated manner? A lack of streamlined connectivity can paralyse an enterprise’s ability to respond to changing user demands from an IT infrastructure perspective.
Attaining the above checklist items is all part of maturing as a digital enterprise and investing in the long-term viability of IT infrastructure. However, a final component of a holistic digital-readiness checklist is assessing whether CIOs have a plan in place for closing any gaps in modernized capabilities. If an enterprise isn’t quite hitting the mark, there are many system integrators, low-code platforms, and industry specialists firms can tap into to maintain a modern IT environment capable of agile growth and scale without disrupting the productivity.
Originally published by Vijay Pullur, CEO WaveMaker, in Enterprise-CIO.com
Highlighting four prevalent myths holding developers, and IT leaders back from successful legacy application modernization projects.
As new cloud, AI, and mobile technologies continue to shape the tech landscape, it’s increasingly challenging for developers and IT leaders to maintain up-to-date applications in the face of nonstop innovation. It’s no wonder that many industry professionals are concerned about their ability to effectively and affordably complete an application modernization project, citing obstacles such as a lack of funding, skill, or experience to pull the process off.
However, many of these fears are commonly believed myths that can be overcome with the right approach and a strategic use of third-party resources. In this day and age, tackling legacy application modernization does not have to be costly, complex, or disruptive.
Revamping an application’s UI is simply not enough to cross modernization off an enterprise’s to-do list. When it comes to anything but the most basic legacy applications, a fresh look is just a starting point. Most enterprise applications are extensive and have complex workflows, meaning that a UI facelift will not necessarily improve the end-user’s experience or address a company’s larger business goals. Projects must target the deeper tech layer of an application in order to result in meaningful modernization.
Minimally invasive modernization projects are within reach with the availability of new technologies and Rapid Application Development platforms. For example, wrapping is a process in which developers can apply a layer of API to a legacy system in order to refresh an application’s capabilities without touching the original architecture. Developers can also connect an API directly to the back-end of a legacy application, individually wrapping each system and eliminating the need to integrate local service data. Not all modernization scenarios require a painful platform switch – instead, APIs can be used to integrate new, fresh functionalities into the existing legacy system.
In-depth technical knowledge is not a prerequisite for application modernization – there are many low-code platforms and services that offer templates, widgets, and other “drag and drop” features that can streamline IT teams’ time and resources. In addition to giving developers the tools to quickly and intuitively build and deploy new functionalities, Rapid Application Development platforms simplify the modernization process through automation. Features like automatic data integration, security checks, and cross-platform support can reduce the time developers must spend fixing basic, error-prone, and technical aspects of a project, freeing up their resources to focus on bigger picture business and functionality goals.
Taking the time to identify the top priorities for a modernization project in advance can keep processes affordable and financially strategic. IT leaders must closely examine their own business objectives as well as their existing application architecture in order to choose a focused path toward modernization that will be impactful, yet versatile enough to be a future-proof investment. For example, many enterprises may find integrating open source software during a modernization project to be a productive investment that pays off in terms of cost efficiency and the long-term flexibility of avoiding vendor lock-in when future updates need to be made.
Moreover, in today’s ever-changing digital environment, enterprises cannot afford to let their applications stagnate – especially considering the fact that 90 percent of consumers would consider taking their business elsewhere rather than work with a company that uses outdated technology. Understanding the common myths surrounding modernization projects will help developers and IT leaders shake off their concerns and identify the resources they need to update legacy applications while balancing risk, cost, flexibility, and speed.
Originally published by Vijay Pullur, CEO WaveMaker, in App Developer Magazine