7 factors for application modernization
It is amazing to hear from customers around the world on how they are taking on different approaches in their modernization projects. While some of them are applying more accuracy in assessing success by incorporating measurements and KPIs, others are still unable to track and present the results of their modernization efforts.
Customers modernization projects at MWC
While at MWC in Barcelona last week, I had the opportunity to take part in many discussions with such customers while sharing the new Business Agility Framework–an offshoot of the Ericsson's Modernization Framework that was presented at MWC 2017.
These discussions were a pleasant affirmation that Ericsson is indeed on the right track with its fresh perspective on how to embrace and measure these types of projects.
7 factors that need to be considered in modernization
It is important to realize that modernization is not exclusive to applications. You must take into account all related and critical factors surrounding the modernization effort sooner or later to be successful. For example:
- Define your Business Agility with a dashboard: I really love this topic! It's our new value proposition in this area and reinforces the need for speed AND quality! What we touch upon is the Ericsson WASP: Market Agility Streamline Pipeline concept which provides a single view of the different elements of the IT landscape–whether off-the-shelf or home grown applications.The pipeline helps identify whether you are contributing positively or negatively with your digital products and proposals. I like to describe this as a multidimensional matrix, where you can identify which parts of your IT are holding you back vs. the parts that are helping you realize your strategy. While Time to Market (TTM) is important, there are other factors that must be understood such as: Net Promoter Score, Cost of Service for product launch, Return on Investment, % Service Delivery Agility, % Automation, Average Resolution Rate, Test Coverage and many more indicators. The main idea here is to take advantage of your opportunity agile window while taking into consideration how the market is disrupted with the new product being launched versus how your competitors are performing.
- Delivery maturity: This is about establishing a right way to measure and monitor the KPIs that really matter to your business. Here we assess and define the most relevant KPIs for delivery such as: Process Management, Requirement Management, Application Project Portfolio Management, Application Security and Project Management. To help assess maturity in this area, we have developed a “Software Development Lifecycle Management Maturity” questionnaire with the main objective of understanding the best starting point based on strategic goals.
- Managing your event horizon: Here it is important to define your application roadmap and use the modernization framework I wrote about in a previous blog titled: Modernize your applications now with a full KPI-driven framework. Here I emphasize the importance of being able to measure success throughout the modernization journey.
- Automation: This means adopting a mindset that thinks "continuous everything." Here you need to measure how you are progressing in your automation and make sure you have the right metrics in place for future deployments, unit testing, test coverage, productivity rate, code commits, etc. The main objective is getting a clear view on how automation is bringing benefits to your digital strategy.
- Securing your API’s: When it comes to APIs, you need to consider safeguarding your digital channels. This means having a clear view of how everything is connected. You need to have a simple way to understand the implication of one API when you are modernizing it, keeping in consideration the service part of it and how it adheres to security.
- API Data ownership: Once APIs are exposed towards your digital channels, you should keep a consistent view of the ownership of your data. This means keeping tabs on 3 fundamental aspects: Data ownership (who is updating what); Business Process Accountability (which process is in charge of the update); and Data access (who can access it and when).
- Heading DevSecOps: Last but not least, if you have started the modernization journey with the mandate of doing everything in an iterative and KPI driven way, you cannot forget that Security needs to be a fundamental part of everything you do. While becoming more relevant in the digital economy is ideal, it is also more risky. Now that you are open and more exposed, you need to consider setting the right security metrics in place for application delivery, mobile access, cloud, threat management, and managing the security of your containers.
I firmly believe that whether you are already on this journey or taking your first steps, it is important to take these aspects into consideration. And most importantly, you must have a method in which you are able to extract and present results of your modernization efforts to your organization.
You don’t want to be in a middle of another project where the company is investing money but not seeing any improvements. After all, if you cannot measure, you cannot be successful!
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Read more how to Transform your business, and stay tuned for more on this topic in future blogs.