It is becoming clear to more and more companies that they need to take a new path to keep their ICT environment up to date. There is no set way of doing so. But despite the fact that every organization has its own needs and requirements, Paul Faas does see a structural path to a successful digital transformation.
Steeds vaker zie ik dat het applicatielandschap niet aansluit op wat organisaties echt nodig hebben. Dat weten ze zelf ook heel goed. Vaak weten ze zelfs al wat er ongeveer moet gebeuren. De uitdaging is dan echter om het ook met succes uit te voeren. Een verkeerd uitgevoerde transformatie kan nare gevolgen hebben. Applicaties worden gehaast de cloud in geforceerd, en dat zorgt alleen maar voor onbeheersbaarheid en teleurstelling in de prestaties. Tegelijkertijd lopen de kosten alleen maar op. Niet alleen van de omgeving zelf, maar ook in termen van verloren gegane productiviteit.
Step 1: the processes
How do you avoid it? For starters, it's important to remember that transformation takes time. Those who think an intensive six-month project will be enough will be disappointed. This has mainly to do with the fact that your business plan must be leading. It should be properly mapped out where the business has to comply with within now and the medium term. Note: what the business needs to meet, not the IT. It's all about the processes, whereon you customize your IT. The reason we see such globally successful innovative startups is because they came up with their own new business case and built their solution around it. Most organizations don't have that ability, but they can line up the expectations of their end customers.
Step 2: Make technical choices
Only when this is all clear, you then look at the technology. To be precise, at the uptime that each process needs. Not every process needs to run day and night, but there are also applications that need to be accesible a 100 percent. For example, a record of a patient must always be available to a surgeon. Therefore, the processes need to be build redundantly, with latency adequatley taken care of. However, a reservation system for a meeting room, for example, does not have to be ready at 2 a.m. Thus, it has to be set up differently. Too often you still see it being lumped together, with all applications using the same systems. That is not necessary. The same choices are made for scalability. The data behind a patient record will only grow in the coming years. So you'll have to build in the capacity for that as well. Or rather: the possibilities to expand that capacity without causing disruptions.
Stap 3: Involve your partners as soon as possible
already at the first two steps, it is important that you include the partners for the basic infrastructure in the whole process. I still see organizations come to us and ask if we can provide a few racks at a good price. This removes the opportunity for the partner to think about the solution. It's a crying shame, because often suppliers have the knowledge to come up with good, cost-effective solutions.
This is not easy, because, in order to find the right partner you have to know where you want your environment to be in two or three years. It also requires flexibility. Of course, contract is contract. But that doesn't mean that, from both sides, you can't leave room to bring the transformation to a succes. Digital transformation is not just a technical change, or an organizational one. Transformation is both technical, and organizational, and business.
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