A progressive replatforming strategy for modernisation and innovation
Until now, many enterprise organisations have relied on a one-size-fits-all IT service management (ITSM) system to design, build, operate, and control their business. But these out-of-the-box monoliths dramatically limit a business’s ability to flex and scale. In fact, a monolith may need to be heavily customised to suit an organisation’s needs. With the current pace of digital transformation skyrocketing, monolithic solutions simply aren’t cutting it.
What is the actual cost of sticking with monoliths?
To start, you may not be using everything you’re buying. Some solutions won’t fit all your needs, or they’ll offer capabilities you don’t need. In that case, not only will you be locked into expensive licensing contracts, but you probably aren’t getting the full benefit of the product.
Then, suppose the needs of your company shift; some platforms don’t offer enough tools for your organisation to diversify and innovate with the times. Monoliths are, by their nature, standardised and hard to tailor without heavy customisation. They’re also limited to standardised ways of working, forcing different areas of the business to operate at the same pace. While that may not immediately seem like an obstacle, it will stop teams from working at their respective optimal speeds.
The biggest challenge, however, is changing the mindset that administering all your business operations in one platform is more efficient than multiple integrated services. Change is always daunting, and abandoning investment in a legacy platform that underpins your entire business is risky. Your day-to-day processes, finances and reputation are all on the line. Making those decisions is difficult, especially when C-suite executives are risk-averse and have a surface-level understanding of the technology.
Any off-the-shelf solution that forces you to change how you work isn’t ideal. Business leaders need to change the focus – from tech to products. This means concentrating on your business and offerings rather than searching too hard for the perfect platform. When in fact, you should be looking for an adaptable, customisable way to use the services you need.
But why change? And why now?
A supercharged digital transformation is unfolding before us at a blistering pace. To capitalise on the current landscape, businesses need to be more agile and responsive. Modernising should be the first step – but what does that entail?
For every organisation, modernisation will have a different meaning. Some will prioritise cloud migration, while others still need to focus on moving away from an all-in-one platform to a set of microservices. However, all of them must allow enough room for innovation without disturbing core business practices.
Ideally, businesses need a solution that is fit for today and adaptable to tomorrow’s challenges. A solution that can keep pace with the latest digital trends and industry innovations. Something quickly scalable and easy to adapt and flex that won’t require you to migrate again in a few years’ time.
Instead of reaching for pre-packaged monoliths, businesses should adopt microservices that support an agile way of working. This way, you’ll be able to pick and choose the services you need, when you need them.
So, what are your choices?
In essence, businesses have two options:
The first is to move to another monolith. But that will only be a short-term solution that potentially solves only a few of today’s problems. And it won’t be future-proofed. So once the platform falls short again, you’ll be in the market for a new monolith and a new laundry list of asks.
Or you could take on progressively replatforming.
It’s a gradual process through which businesses can compose their own bespoke architecture – tying together the best services for your specific needs, as and when they arise. All in an ecosystem which supports full interoperability and communication between these services.
Progressive replatforming is highly agile, easily scalable, and, as the name suggests, you can migrate in phases. There’s no need to rip and replace all your processes. You can pick and choose each component that meets your exact needs by staying vendor-neutral.
Plus, the cost of ownership, profits, and revenue of specific disciplines – for example, email marketing, customer service, CRM, and PIM – become more visible. Compared to a monolith where the cost of the ITSM platform is treated as a lump sum business overhead.
Sounds challenging. How do we implement it?
The thought of jumping ship and abandoning legacy infrastructure can be hair-raising.
You may be tied into lengthy contracts, have a sizeable skills gap, or lack supporting infrastructure. Your C-suite may be wary of the costs, delays and difficulty of building something bespoke.
But in reality, delivering scalable and composable solutions by progressively replatforming can be faster than swapping your old monolith for a new one. Switching monoliths can take years, whereas composable solutions are quickly delivered with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and built up as you add the rest of the components.
Step 1: Guide your management team
To implement replatforming and reap its benefits, the first step will probably include coaching your organisation’s C-suite in agile ways of working and helping them realise that sizeable benefits are just around the corner. Then, identify all your current systems of record for products, customers, and fulfilment before aligning them with the business roadmap to ensure you’re considering future developments.
Step 2: Build your architecture, one step at a time
Start by segmenting your touchpoints. The more you can segment your product lines, geographic regions, customer service teams, and operational disciplines, the more agile and flexible you’ll be in the marketplace. Use a phased approach to set up services progressively and make sure they align with the product development teams. Rather than migrating everything in one day, start small – with a single segmented touchpoint, product line, or geographic region. Then add more at your own pace.
Step 3: Equip your teams with the skills to manage their own services
At AND Digital, our aim is to always help you make the most of your investment and give you the tools to become independent. We empower you to own your infrastructure, develop your staff, and attract and retain more clients. Together we’ll help you leave legacy tech and outdated company culture behind. We’ll equip you with all the skills you need to optimise and succeed in the future.
Explore your options for modernisation today and save your organisation needless complications in the long run. AND Digital helps clients build scalable, composable ecosystems and applications, supporting them throughout their replatforming journey.
Want to understand more about the replatforming process? Curious about how to craft a modernisation strategy?
Sign up for our ‘Building a Progressive Replatforming Strategy’ webinar on 28 July 2022 when James Sharpe, Chief of Strategic Alliances and Lee Pentecost, Principal Consultant and Commerce Lead at AND Digital will be talking to consultant Nick McKenna about Norgren – world leaders in fluid and motion control technologies – and their replatforming experience.
Together, we’ll discuss how we worked with our alliance partner Elastic Path and share successes from Norgren’s modernisation. We’ll be exploring how both the agile method and adopting new cultures can assist to bring your organisation on board with a progressive replatforming and help to attain sustainable user and customer experience.