This blog focuses on enabling clients to become Future Proof while remaining responsible for day-to-day Application Management (AM) – often this takes the form of enabling clients to seize the Digital Future, enabling business models to be reborn in the Cloud, etc.
As you would recall, Part 1 dealt with the relevance of Applications in today’s world and understanding Digital in the context of AM. Part 2 now touches upon value scenarios for Cloud Architecture, the blending of new application and rejuvenated old applications to deliver an effective Application Landscape.
Value scenarios where Cloud Architecture is effective
Cloud Architecture is most effective in certain value scenarios, viz., (a) at the edge of the enterprise (such as CRM, On-Boarding applications, Marketing sites that leverage cloud-based multi-channel analytics engines, etc.), (b) Network effect (Supply Chain, Procurement, etc.), (c) API economy (APIs are IT components and perhaps more pertinently connectors within and outside the enterprise which can create a LEGO like effect), (d) Support Functions (HR, Finance) etc. Many SaaS applications now promote the fact that they can make multiple releases a week or even a day – some of this is on account of ongoing functional enrichment, while otherwise being necessary due to the omnipresent need to accommodate marginally different use cases that emerge from all over the place. Hence picking Cloud applications off-the-shelf from a malleable product catalog is meaningful only for certain value scenarios.
Successful applications are often victims of their own success but regain prowess on Rejuvenation Successful applications can often start relatively small in size and as more-and-more functionality gets added, over time, they tend to be come large and often intractable. Given their functional richness and being a part of the ‘secret sauce’ of the firm, a considered view needs to be taken on the Rejuvenation strategy for each application (which involves: incorporating improvements based on day-to-day insights gleaned from AM, adding Business capabilities to win in the marketplace, exposing back-end capabilities to the front-end Digital systems and enhancing IT Agility) rather than just simplistic rationalization.
The refresh of applications is best executed in effective IT factories (addressing component cohesion, decoupling, etc.) that cascade from effective definition of the firm’s Target Operation Model (TOM). Merely producing application components at say 60% the cost of the original IT development cost, does not alone contribute much to the ability of the client to win in the marketplace!
Application Landscape where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts
Rejuvenated Old and New applications implemented to deliver the effective end-to-end functioning of key business processes enable the realization of a powerful Point of Arrival Application Landscape (rather than just rejuvenated or new application that can be great in isolation). To substantiate this further, I cite the published experience of P&G, from amongst 1,000s of business processes, about 100 key business processes were selected for selective digitization (these were already serviced by applications that needed refresh) based on key business KPIs to be delivered, and top-down and bottom-up analysis to deliver substantial business impact.
A powerful Point of Arrival Application Landscape maximizes the usage of common enterprise systems, sharing of data, minimizing local systems, and deliver superior business outcomes. One Capgemini client, had a Board governed KPI to reduce the number of applications by 50% in the TOM, in view of the Time-to-Market advantages, etc.
In the course of another AM engagement for a Retailer, Capgemini rejuvenated the COTS application involved in the Forecast & Replenishment cycle and help support the client’s ambition to grow the number of Stores by 80%. While doing so, value scenarios that are suitable candidates to be reborn in the Cloud need to be exploited – as an example, for a Consumer Goods firm, while delivering AM services Capgemini assessed and found 100+ applications suitable for Cloud migration. Given the workload of Digital projects faced by client IT Departments, Capgemini tends to make ongoing efforts to apply Rejuvenation within approved engagements (or as meaningful extensions).
Effectively Rejuvenated applications (embody Cost Reduction and innovation that leads to Business Outcomes being similar to two sides of the same coin) that blend with new applications to deliver an effective Application Landscape, which accelerates clients’ ability to seize the Digital Gold or business models to be reborn in the Cloud.