As I have argued in my previous posts, an iterative approach is the right decision when you are modernizing your applications. But how can you measure success? How can you understand your true starting point before starting a migration? How can you help your team embark on a smooth and full migration to a new way of working? How can you move your technology forward and keep it aligned with the rest of the industry?
Here is some guidance to make your migration simple and easy to measure.
Indentify targets for application modernization
Before jumping into a modernization journey, we should identify the targets to fulfill, the main drivers and the real status of the applications and create the continuous plan. I call this phase “Embark”, and in this phase you need to clearly understand the rationale behind the change of your application. Is it lack of competence, complexity, cost of maintenance, IT business alignment or technology challenges?
It could be a combination, but the important thing is to challenge the organization to improve the KPIs that are driving the change. In this phase you also need to understand the status of your application regarding six key aspects:
- alignment with your digital strategy
- cost of ownership
- ecosystem maturity
- operating model
With these aspect, you can easily understand the real status of your application, and if you combine that with a clean status for your application demographics and the connection of your application in the IT landscape, you will finally see everything clearly!
And you don’t need to go through two years of a big consulting process to do so. The technology is there to help you; for this phase you can easily define the KPIs, for example: a percentage of ecosystem covered during the study, quality of deliverables in comparison with the ecosystem, compliance to schedule and customer Satisfaction/ feedback with the process.
The next phase I call “Realize”. Here you need to do a true analysis on how to change your way of working, how fast your delivery needs to be and how you can improve the quality of your products and align them with your business needs. In this phase, you need to enable the cultural change from a traditional way of working to establishing DevOps starting in small teams and products and moving forward to institutionalize the new way of working, using the new technology on the market.
You must also reduce your cost of infrastructure and developing, going for a progressive agile adoption and synchronizing your transformation between the legacy application and the modernized one, using automation and code refactoring as much as possible.
Here are some suggested KPIs for this phase:
- conversion of work packages to agile
- decrease of incident volumes
- reduce the mean time to recover
- reduction of lead time from development to deployment
- percentage of deployment frequency
- effectiveness of releases and cost reduction after the changes.
Define and adopt your target architecture
The following phase is “Modernize”, in which you define your target architecture and adopt it, following the main principle of changing monolithic applications to API services and easy interphases, as well as managing functions in the legacy application and the new services in the modernized application in a smooth way.
This helps you start to realize that the dream of NoOps application can become true someday! In this phase you can measure effectiveness with KPIs such as:
- percentage of automatic transcoding
- defects reported after migration
- reduction in release cycle
- adherence to release cycle
- customer of people, process and technology
- reduction again of the TCO after this phase
Monitor for continuous improvement
Last but not least is the phase that I call “Optimize”, in which you monitor for continuous improvement after implementation and receive feedback from business and customers as well as from monitoring the application. Here are some suggested KPIs:
- time from Incident to problem resolution
- percentage of successful releases
- incident responsiveness
- effectiveness of service improvement program
- efficiency in opex reduction, because this type of project ideally needs to be driven by the opex reduction driver
State of the art open source technology
To modernize your applications, you need to have clear motivations for change, and you need to monitor the effectiveness of that change closely, define the KPIs for each cycle and then monitor success.
You have to think of it like changing the wheel of car while it’s running! You cannot stop your business; you cannot aim for a big bang or do three years’ worth of projects at once. There are plenty of successful transformations. Just measure your success and use the right framework to do so.
At Mobile World Congress this week, Ericsson is unveiling a proven Modernization Studio and Framework. It is fully KPI driven, based on an Iterative approach and uses state of the art open source technology and target architecture that will help you to evolve your application to the next level.