Economic activities are rapidly shifting to the digital; and to succeed and stay ahead in the competition, organizations must rework their designs, source, build and employ enterprise applications. The strategy which will push this business growth is ‘IT modernization/digital transformation’ which will further usher in new capabilities, innovations and efficiencies. Organizations are required to increase their reach, scale and momentum of their digital transformation; one that calls for adaptable technology infrastructure, setting up and managing a cloud environment, comprising embedded security and other compliances, and business association.
Aged/outdated IT infrastructure limits the possibility of providing citizens with convenient, cost-effective and quality services leading to a lack of confidence and negative perception in the government, while also posing operational and security risks. To change the citizen’s outlook, like private organizations, the US government too is looking toward IT modernization, moving beyond maintenance and operations. It is slowly moving to cloud services and approaches such as Agile and DevOps techniques. The MGT Act will allow agencies to fund IT modernization projects. The Trump government has also created The American Technology Council to assist in modernizing the government’s digital services and improve in government services and efficiencies.
IT modernization priorities
Software Delivery There is a vital need to shorten the software delivery cycle and iterative change, along with a focus on agile development methods. DevOps is a method for speed; while automation and assured collaboration between operations and development teams aids in revising platforms multiple times. Around 60% of organizations are planning/using DevOps to build and install software. There is a need to take calculated risks, learn and adjust accordingly.
Infrastructure and Application Architectures IT leaders are moving towards cloud and microservices based solutions. Transformation, scaling and matching different services becomes easier and quicker enabling businesses and agencies to offer varied services while meeting customer expectations. Netflix, Amazon, Twitter, eBay are some organizations which have moved from monolithic applications to microservices driven architecture. Cloud applications provide on-demand services and other computing resources such as codes. It is expected that by 2018, half of IT expenditure will be for cloud based services. Further, 60% of infrastructure and 70% of software, services, technology spending will be done by 2020. Nike, General Mills and US Federal government are a few organizations that have moved their workloads to cloud.
Innovation Digital leaders have moved to open source innovators and proofs of concept (POC). POC is used for evaluating substitute technologies. Further, iterative prototyping is being used for defining requirements to arrive at the best solution. Technologies modular, open source, open standards and APIs are governing the digital background. In fact open source software accounts for more than 50% of project and application slack. Egs. are Box and eBay that rely on open source software for innovations and speedy delivery. These digital leaders also contribute to projects such as Walmart Labs, Ericsson’s open-source hub etc., and focus on conversations to solve issues and obtain results.
Integrate data and systems For new products, applications and services, digital leaders use APIs and open platforms to share/integrate data, procedures and people to deliver innovations, customer value and interactions, restore internal processes, and expand digital scope. This also enhances the flow of structured and unstructured data reaching the right employee at the right time. Businesses also need analytical tools such as machine learning to obtain insights from structured/unstructured data. Further, advanced analytics is being used to detect and predict patterns from extensive, diverse and evolving data.
Build relationship between business and IT For enhanced outcomes, and creating an experience for employees and customers, a digital transformation is mandatory. Features and values, both are added with better and faster user experiences. Self-service tools add agility to business that deepen customer engagement while taking a shorter time to reach the market. IT professionals are also demanding solutions that can be used as software-as-a-service, uncomplicated to be established/rapid installations with instantaneous out-of-the-box functionality. Examples include Airbnb, DHL etc.
Government’s move toward IT Modernization:
To achieve IT modernization, every government agency must have the required skill sets. Agencies must look at creating a detailed project management plan with resource availability, activities, strategies, timelines, dependencies, skill set/gaps, deliverables and resources vital to each stage of IT modernization. There must also exist a communication and risk brainstorming session plan to keep all personnel informed and updated at all times.
Digital transformation is a reality now where delivery and change needs to be simultaneous. It is driven by transforming business standards, building innovative customer experiences, and empowering workforce modernization. Digital transformation shows promise but is also abounding with complexity. It is best to continuously monitor, discover and configure tools that can work in hybrid, multi-cloud environments for offering innovative consumer applications. It’s time to revolutionize.