Cloud Solution Design

In 2022, it is a good time to move your existing legacy solution design to cloud solution. Many existing migration is mostly focused on infrastructure. Although this allows you to take advantage of cloud infrastructure, you cannot utilise the full potential of it. Thus, it is time to refactor your application solution for cloud. These are some of steps that you should be starting.

Decoupling Step

Legacy applications design are usually highly coupled. Some examples are J2EE or web tiered framework where database and application logic reside within a single server. This makes it difficult for you to migrate to cloud because of dependencies. Decoupling removes and clean up these dependencies. Thus, you can move easily or change to other cloud design.

REST your Integration

Decoupling step will push you towards the usage of REST API. These steps also help you to standardise all your integration points and connectivity. You can also move your customisation out of the products and connect via REST API. This step let you remove the coupling within application. You will also find this step useful if you will decide to move to SaaS (Software as a Service).

There are two important steps to start planning if you have intention to change to cloud design. You must look into how you can decouple your existing applications. The design to use REST will help you determine on how you can easily move to SaaS. These steps will transition your legacy applications into cloud design.

Goodbye 2021

It was a quick year of 2021 due to COVID pandemic. There are so many strains of COVID that we are getting used to it. Notable mention are Delta and Omicron strain. As we say goodbye to 2021, I looked forward to a year of 2022 with less restrictions. It is also a year that we will expect with more “digital transformation”.

Roller Coaster 2021

2021 is a year of COVID roller coaster because of the impact of COVID variant and vaccines. It is a cat and mouse effects because vaccines are not a fail safe approach. The mindset to endemic is still far because of uncertainty. On the digital front, work from home remains default and IT is being spiked by the need of digitalisation. You can say that 2021 is a crossroads for digital transformation and transforming to Cloud. It will take a year or more for IT to fully aligned with business and be transformed.

2022 Realisation

Year 2022 will see many gaps created by digital transformation. As expected, many organisations started digital transformation without a holistic view from business. Like the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) era, digital transformation is viewed as IT implementation. It is Deja vu for many as we grapple with the disconnect of business and IT. Thus, I will expect to see increased hiring for “digital transformers” to help bridge the gaps.

As I see the last of 2021, the pace of digital transformation is liken to that of COVID. Uncertainty and risks are high because of many unknowns. However, it is a great year because this paves the way for 2022. I can see more exciting digitalisation ahead. It is up to organisations to grab the required resources with the mindset to bridge these gaps.

2022 Clouded Space

2022 will see a year of COVID normalisation. Similarly, the “clouded” space will see emergence of key players. Every organisations are expected to deploy application in at least 3 major cloud platforms aka multicloud. By then, teams are expected to be equipped with cloud skills that are generic across different cloud platforms. The clouded space will continue to increase during 2022 as major software shifted to cloud.

Cloud Transformation

You will soon see that digital transformation will be changed to cloud transformation. The stabilisation of COVID pandemic will give rise to future cloud transformation that will work well across geographical locations. The increased usage of cloud creates demand for skills that can adapt and transform applications to cloud based platform.

Agile Applications

Applications time to market will continue to be DevOps and Agile. The redesign of AMS (Application Managed Support) towards DevOps will continue throughout 2022. Organisations will continue to invest for in-house capabilities and obtain the optimum Agile application and team. We will expect to see continuous struggle to eliminate traditional project managment approach in favor for Agile methods.

In 2022, it is near impossible to escape from the “clouded” space. Cloud transformation is expected to dominate with increasing usage of in-house generic cloud architect. We will continue the battle for full Agile approach to align with cloud capabilities.

Why PM is Outdated

In the world of Agile, there is no PM (Project Manager) role. I have questioned on the relevance of PM in Agile project. With Agile gaining grounds, it is time to determine that PM role is outdated. These are reasons why you can run your Agile project without PM. To be specific, it is time to put a stop to freeloaders working as PM for Agile projects.

Why Agile Obsolete PM

In waterfall project, PM is required to work on project management e.g. schedule, scope. There is a lot of trackers to track schedule, gaps or issue logs. In contrast, Agile focus on self empowerment and self organising. There is no need for PM in this framework based on this key principles. You will not need a PM to chase or track after deliverables. As an analogy, waterfall is like a baby with constant minding from the guardian. Agile places the collective accountability to the Agile team.

Adaptability Outpace PM

A PM mainly function like an observer to the project. Monitoring and tracking does not provide the adaptability required by Agile. Often, PM is outpaced by Agile team. The additional communication layer of PM becomes redundant. Users or customers can work in close collaboration with Agile team. This is a key reason why Agile do not require PM. If you are running an Agile project, do expect to be frustrated by the placement of the PM.

It is time to realise that you no longer require PM for Agile projects. We should not continue to be in self denial mode to have this role for historical reasons. Agile team is highly independent to get things done and adapt quickly with users or customers.

P.S. Self declared PM continued to exist during digital transformation period. It is time to wake up and transform PM role as well!

PMO for Agile?

PMO (Project Management Office) will be facing a dilemma soon. This is because many of the standards from PMO derives from waterfall model. As organisations shift towards Agile for project implementation, can we transform these PMO for Agile approach? This is one area that digital transformation can consider!

Photo by Ethan
PMO Relevance

Like all trends, project methodology moves towards Agile as mobile apps and Cloud become prevalent. PMO functions as “enforcer” or standards for standards like PMP or PRINCE2. It also serves to facilitate, support or even control project implementation. Relative to Agile, this is like a scrum master role! Does this means that PMO is no longer relevant with rise of Agile? Should PMO be transformed to scrum master roles?

Transforming PMO

For starters, I will advocate the transformation of PMO as scrum master if your organisation is going to adopt Agile as the main project approach. There will be a gap in project alignment when you are transitioning from waterfall to Agile. Rather than digital transformation, I will deem it as a project transformation journey. The new scrum master (formerly PMO) should be in charge of guiding the project transformation to Agile.

The adoption of Agile become stronger and stronger as organisations require speed and adaptability for projects. PMO will no longer be relevant because of these digital transformation. Thus, project transformation should be driven by the transformed PMO (scrum master). By now, you will realise that digital transformation involves the need for PMO to transform for Agile.

Composability 101

Composability is an interesting term I came across in this article. It will redefine how teams are structured and managed in organisations. In summary, composability is a design principle to view the interaction between different systems. Organisations must move towards highly composable architecture to satisfy continuous user needs. Basically, it is how you are able mix and match your components together with ease.

Being Composable

The shift to composability is not new. Web services or SOA (Service oriented architecture) are earlier design of composability. The push to be highly composable is triggered by COVID-19 pandemic to be resilient and adaptive to business requirements. Unlike SOA, composability aims to be modular yet stateless. It is the vision to fully plug and play with quick and minimal cost.

Composable Technologies

Cloud platform is the best example of Composable technologies. You can quickly deploy and configure different architectural model within a short time frame. Different services can also integrate quickly using REST API. These technologies disrupts the traditional way of implementation business requirements. You will need to utilise Composable technologies to accelerate your collaboration and system delivery.

Organisations are now digitally transforming to composability mindset. The typical approach is to migrate to Cloud. Teams will be formed to be Composable and Agile. The ability to react will be the future way on how we develop our technologies as enabled to business needs.

Co-creation 101

Have you tried Co-creation process with your consumer or contractor? It is a form of collaborative method where two or more parties work to contribute to the product development. Open source software is a good example of this approach. With Cloud platform, you can also adopt this method to actively digital transform and create your knowledge capabilities in-house.

Why Co-creation?

Self-service and satisfaction are the major push for co-creation. The need of self-service allows users to create products with closer fit to their expectations and requirements. This brings increase satisfaction and commitment to the success of the product. Co-creation also allows greater participation throughout the product lifecycle. It is best aligned with agile process to adapt to changes.

Setting Ground Rules

The approach to implement co-creation depends on your needs. It is important to set ground rules if you wanted to engage your users or contractors for co-creation process. Some of these ground rules involves the level of control or access the co-creation can cover. Other forms of collaboration involves the communication and risk entails by the participants. The most important portion is to ensure information transparency among the collaborators.

Co-creation approach works well with Agile for Cloud. It is the best middle ground approach between outsourcing and insourcing model. You can gain internal capabilities and ensure better satisfaction for your users with self-service technologies. However, do take note to set ground rules before you embark on your first co-creation project.

Sorry! You are not ready for Digital Transformation…

Digital Transformation is pushing the demand on IT to achieve the impossible. Learning from the ERP era, we have understood the importance of user readiness and business alignment to IT. This is one of the key failures in many ERP project. Likewise, organisations are now placing a huge risk on digital transformation role that may follow the footsteps of ERP role.

Why User Readiness is Important?

Digital Transformation must not be conducted blindly and you need to spot the alarm bells. Pre-analysis of the user readiness is an important task that digital transformation role must be accountable. It is not surprising that many organisations are following the same path as ERP and dive straight into the IT part of digital transformation. The level of user readiness will help to determine if digital transformation should be proceed or delayed. If users are not ready, you will need more time to focus and prep the users. Pressing ahead for digital transformation will be disastrous.

Blind Faith

Digital Transformation is not an IT solution or asking for IT options. This is like seeking blind faith without understanding of user readiness. Many business users or even digital transformation role will think that IT implementation qualify as the success of digital transformation project. It must be a total efforts that transform existing processes and human behaviors to leverage technologies. If you are just adding technology, then your digital transformation is blind faith!

While the hype of digital transformation is ongoing, we are still having blind faith in this process. Like our predecessors of ERP, digital transformation is not just an IT project. You will need to ensure users readiness as your first checkpoint to proceed with digital transformation. It is best to engage someone with the right mindset in this role to ensure success in your digital transformation journey.

ORDS 101

ORDS (Oracle REST Data Services) is a cool feature to extend your Oracle database for integration via HTTPS. It will change and digital transform the way you interact and integrate to applications. This is why you need to enable ORDS for your database for future API.

Why Change to REST?

REST is changing the way applications can quickly communicate with each other. It is much simpler to setup than SOAP/XML. In a way, it can replace many of legacy integration with XML and flat file. ORDS helps to enable access via RESTful web services to data and stored procedures in your Oracle database.

Time to ORDS

Another key advantages of ORDS is security and real time performance with your Oracle database. The REST API endpoints are quick and simple to setup. The quick deployment reduces traditional integration method by eliminating the need of complex middleware setup. JSON format and paged results helps to support the ease of data responses.

If you are using Oracle database, it is time to ORDS and enable your REST capabilities. This will digital transform your integration method for other applications and agile your development.

Digital Transformation Role

Digital transformation role are seen sprouting all over organisations as we are pushing digitalisation amid the pandemic. There is an increased creation of such roles for many organisations. How effective is this role? Who should be best fit for this role?

Characteristics of Digital Transformation

Digital transformation role involves a complex mindset change. This role is closely tied to the track record of the person who champion behavioural change across organisations. You should find a technology savvy person who will envision how technology must improve the business processes. You will realise that implementation hands are crucial for this role as you can create and showcase POC (Proof of Concept) with no reference model.

Setting Expectations

Digital transformation is another trend in the IT history. ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), BPR (Business Process Reengineering) or BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) are some past trends that we can learn. It is important to set clear expectations of this role and what should be done to follow through its vision. Many of this disruptive change failed from the lack of buy in and follow through with users.

Digital Transformation role is a new role that many organisations have high expectations. However, there are some unique characteristics required for this role. You should also set realistic expectations and have a best fit person for the role. Thus, it is advisable to get one who are used to changes and innovation solution implementation for this role.