Infosys’ blog on industry solutions, trends, business process transformation and global implementation in Oracle.

« Reverse Logistics For A Forward Thrust To Sustainment Quotient | Main | If the Terminator T-800 takes over ERP world »

Co- existence - A Step Towards Cloud Adoption

Nowadays, with all the buzz around the word 'CLOUD', enterprises are progressively looking at possibilities of cloud adoption which principally has become an acronym for key trends like - Digitization, Modernization and Automation. While for enterprises, looking for green field implementations, it is easier to look at cloud options, embrace them and bring forth the much needed change, the real challenge is with organizations with large scale investment into existing applications which are STILL working. So, in this blog, will provide some insight into one of the most commonly used 'co- existence' approach of embracing cloud.

To start with, let us first understand the driver for such a change, process followed and then why and how co- existence!

Why Change is needed - The conventional on premise applications like Siebel or EBS were a huge hit owing to their ability to provide full breadth of CRM features within one single platform along with major customization/ configuration capabilities that extended the base functionality even further to allow organizations to meet their specific business process needs.

But, with the explosion of SMART epoch, customer demands have changed manifolds to include

  1. Mobility everywhere
  2. Agility of channel
  3. Shorter Development cycles
  4. Cost effectiveness
  5. Focus on user experience
  6. Proactive services
  7. Focus on business processes rather than infrastructure

All of this being gaps in the on premise world necessitated a change in the technology and application development process.

Why Cloud - The 3 key reasons for the increasing inclination towards cloud are

Lower Cost

  1. These contemporary needs have been incorporated as out of the box (OOTB) capabilities into best of breed cloud applications thereby curtailing the need for extensive customizations in the  search for advanced capabilities.
  2. Cloud applications bring in easy to integrate solutions with whole array of packaged integrations or connectors which not only reduce the time to market but also lower the cost of building custom integrations from scratch. For example- Oracle Service Cloud comes with pre-built connectors with Oracle Siebel and EBS for Incident/ Case management updates.

Speed

  1. With most of the modern needs pre-built into the cloud applications along with easy-to-integrate solutions, the time to market is relatively LESSER.

Flexibility

  1. Customers get flexible licensing options to choose and get started on their cloud journey.

What are the Problems associated with movement to Cloud - Characteristically, for enterprises who are holding onto large on premise applications like EBS or Siebel or SAP, some imminent challenges in embracing a new platform would be

While the list of snags looks BIG, there are indeed approaches of starting with cloud adoption addressing each of the challenges stated above.

Ways to Resolve - People resist sudden changes but give in to phased or gradual changes. There lies our answer to address all the cited challenges in moving to CLOUD. Co- existence provides this initial gradual way of adopting cloud benefits before taking the big decision of complete transformation to cloud platform. While this could be an interim approach of cloud implementation for some enterprises with the vision of complete movement to cloud world, for some this could be an approach of adding the benefits of the cloud platform to the existing on premise landscape. To this, 2 suggested co- existence flavors are-

  • Augment - This approach encompasses complementing the existing on premise implementation with advanced OOTB functions of the cloud applications. With this approach, the existing processes housed within the legacy/ on- premise apps continue to hold good without any change. The intent of this phase is to bring in additional capabilities of the CX Cloud stack which are either gaps within the existing landscape or are much needed modernization needs.

Indicative Use Cases

In all these use cases, the existing capabilities of Siebel application is being enhanced further with OOTB advanced capabilities of the cloud applications thereby providing digitization and modernization flavors to the existing implementation.

  • Hybrid - This approach is about sharing of business processes between the existing on- premise and the cloud applications. The approach, as the name suggests is a hybrid model utilizing best of both the applications while keeping the backend processes of data migration/ data sync between the applications to minimal.

Indicative Use Cases

Either of the 2 suggested adoption approaches could be picked up either independently or as a sequential approach for cloud induction. The process augmentation or division between the legacy and cloud applications could be finalized during the Discovery/ Assessment phases to bring out the best ROI.

Benefits of Co- existence - The benefits of the co- existence approach are manifolds but only if the co- existence strategy is carefully chosen and implemented. Some of the immediate benefits of this approach are -

  1. Organizational Change Management which with this gradual or phased manner of adoption is smoother and easier compared to the big bang approach wherein OCM at times becomes a daunting task.
  2. Early Time to Market - With the augment approach, customers get an early taste of the cloud flavors enabling them to make the necessary decisions/ cost benefit analysis.

  3. Minimal Risk - The gradual cloud adoption strategy minimizes some of the conventional risks associated with the big bang approach of implementation.

  4. Advanced capabilities with minimal or no customization - With these augmentation or hybrid approaches customers can induct modern capabilities into the landscape  using the OOTB features of cloud applications thereby reducing the need for any customization for feature advancement.

Considerations before choosing Co- existence - Co- existence as the name says is a parallel presence of 2 different technologies serving similar functions for similar or common users. Hence the whole approach requires prudent consideration and planning to make it a success and be able to reap the indicated benefits. Few of the important considerations could be -

  1. Change Driver Analysis - Before looking at the movement from on- premise to cloud, analyze the change drivers. Unless the motive is to get the additional benefits provided by the cloud applications which need extensive customization within Siebel or EBS, the argument of moving to cloud simply because cloud is the word to go, becomes weak.  

  2. Selection of apt cloud adoption method - Perform a detailed assessment for overlapping functions, pain points, application roadmap etc.to identify whether the business needs a complete transformation or co- existence.

  3. Process Division @ Co- existence - A collaborative approach with business and IT stakeholders should be followed to arrive at the processes division between the systems. The process division should take into account the usability aspects of the personas minimizing the need for accessing multiple applications for achieving the E2E flow.

  4. Data exchange @ Co- existence - Proper approach should be followed for minimizing the effort for data migration, data sync between the 2 systems.

  5. End State Architecture - A technical roadmap should be worked out manifesting the sequence of adoption along with final end state architecture which could be complete migration to cloud depending on the customer requirements and maturity of the chosen cloud stack. 

  6. Data Security - A careful analysis of the data security aspects - data access, application level access, access sharing between the 2 co- existing applications, should be done.

On a summary note, while it looks to be a daunting task to move a decade old, working application to CLOUD, but with the co- existence approach of cloud adoption, not only the enterprises are able to get an early taste of the cloud platter but also are able to minimize the risks associated with the big bang lift shift implementation approach. Powered by co- existence approach, the BIG movement to the cloud world is possible!



Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Please key in the two words you see in the box to validate your identity as an authentic user and reduce spam.

Subscribe to this blog's feed

Follow us on

Blogger Profiles