By Malik Azeez, Director of PIM and Offshore Delivery
Success of a digital solution targeted at a business objective has a huge dependency on the current state of an organization’s technical landscape. A deep-rooted analysis of the fabric of current processes, dependencies, and gaps versus current business objectives guides us towards an efficient and robust solution. When the right resources and tools are utilized to build a holistic map of how critical components of an organizational process have been built over the years, they naturally reveal gaps that need to be addressed. Even when there are artifacts available, our observation is that they are either outdated or lacking the minute details. Any erroneous information in the existing documents can make it a cumbersome and prolonged effort to design a future-proof system.
It is imperative to conduct a current state assessment that includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Collating and reviewing data and process flows from various systems
- Documenting through surveys, reviews, and interviews with stakeholders across all levels and relevant functions
- Clarifying operating models, processes, and success criteria
- Identifying tools that accomplish specific activities, interoperability, and collaboration
- Building flow diagrams and documents to clearly articulate our understanding
Our findings from current state assessments should be stacked up against long term business goals to develop a future state architecture that both encompasses the past and adapts to upcoming challenges with minimal disruption to users. This exercise must build confidence in stakeholders that the previous solution is evolving into something that will better impact their efficiency, revenue, and market presence.
A future state architecture need not always be a complete revamp of current technology. It could be an optimization of certain aspects of data ingress and egress or a new layer to ease process roadblocks. A future state architecture should be viewed from various perspectives:
- Business growth plan and objectives
- IT infrastructure scalability
- Impact to dependent external applications
- Ease of user adoption
A well-defined current state assessment-fueled future state architecture will considerably reduce technical debt for an organization.
Let’s take it back…
In the early 80s, there were no known venues to sell a product other than a real (physical) store. Companies who assessed their current state were able to identify areas of improvement that could propel them with long-term growth potential. Some of those early adopters of IT systems to better track resources, inventory, and customer needs transported themselves into the online shopping era much faster than others. Similarly, from the context of today’s digital revolution, our ability to envision future growth into a metaverse-type ecosystem would require planning and execution of founding blocks ahead of time.
These efforts require a team that has proven expertise in identifying and deciphering an existing solution into a future dynamic absorbable technology landscape. By following a templatized approach, we can thoroughly evaluate governance, management, customer base, and industry standards, providing actionable insights and key success indicators. Without a doubt, an assessment should be a periodic activity to keep organizations informed on their potentials in the current climate of an ever-changing digital world.