Erhan OK/ March 3, 2019/ IRPA, LEGACY/ 0 comments

IRPA and Legacy in Digital Transformation

The world is changing faster than ever before!

I never forget this phrase, since I heard it in one of the fastest growing and ethical organizations. It put me in thoughts for more than 2 years. Why that was necessary to highlight in every discussion or meeting?

The fact; if you get into the market products today offered at the enterprise scale, usually leveraging old fashion back-end systems or the infrastructure. Meanwhile, we have Industry 4.0 keeps evolving faster than ever before.

Once, put them together, you can think oh the discrepancy between legacy vs. industry 4.0 offerings, as well as what I’ll articulate along the post.

What does it mean for an organization?

Most of the organizations are digitally transforming in these days and in which we take part as well. If you assess how it is being managed, for the most;

  1. Check what we have currently? e.g. 200 applications
  2. How can we make re-use of them more effective? e.g. integration, version upgrade, further development…
  3. What capability else are we missing among our applications? e.g. data reader, data validator, renderer, and connector…
  4. What does the current market offer for our need? e.g. X solution – almost the same capability as we have already in place, but with smaller differences
  5. Does it respond to our current need? e.g. yes, move on with the implementation or the development

As a summary, are we able to supply our need towards digitalization of our operations? Yes, we do so. But with short term benefits!

Why does it sound like a short term benefit?

As long as you develop and/or purchase a need-based solution, it usually supplies the requirements. But when the operational processes or the application inventory is getting more complex, then you’ll end up with trouble in long run.

Let’s elaborate on that further with an example;

You’re running 500 people operations to serve globally. X location, Y function/department, Z team has an operational bottleneck. You dig down into options and come up with a resolution, that requires new system capability/feature. When you follow the process defined above, you will end up with a new tool purchase or additional development in the current systems in order to digitalize.

We ensured the digitalization of the operations, right? What if after 6 months, A location, B function/department, C team has the same need but with different systems used and that is not compatible with your recently implemented solution?

When you run over 10000 people operations to serve globally, could you estimate how big probability you will have to have the same needs existing in different entities? And those needs won’t appear in the first attempt of analysis, to bring up a proper solution implemented globally.

Therefore, running a digitalization program globally may not help to eliminate the complexity we will bring, in case we implement a digital solution as per need in certain a location/team/process.

How effectively can we run the digitalization (digital transformation)?

  • Go agile! Bring the agility to adapt to the fast changing world and operations!
  • The needs at our operations have been already existing and can be little more patient for the right implementation with long-run benefits.
  • Open the doors for everyone in the organization. There is not a bad idea, rather unfeasible or low beneficial idea.
  • Cluster the needs and solution components. Define what “core technologies” needed.
  • Is it available in-house? Should we look for it outside?
  • What are our dimensions to decide on what to onboard?
  • As we go agile, does it bring agility in case further utilization?
  • What are my dependencies if it should be rolled out to another entity or to another system?

Questions above give you the direction to select a capable, flexible, scalable and independent solutions/technologies.

Why capability, flexibility, scalability, and independence of the technology matters?

Now we can summarize Intelligent Automation and/or Legacy Systems, as the digitalization is all about these four;

  • Capability: Delivering more results with less complexity, granting the hands-on ability to operations, fewer efforts with more benefits, increasing simplicity, core for the built on
  • Flexibility: Apply the same core technology on multiple different systems/platforms, easy to extend (simple drag-drop) and adjust, centralized/decentralize
  • Scalability: Easy to communicate/integrate with other core technologies (simple drag-drop), no coding required, zero cost in upgrades, easy to manage and change
  • Independence: Stand on one’s own feet – all about nonstop ability to deliver faster, to gain more

As a summary; legacy systems will still part of our operations in short-run. Therefore, get to know what you have in place, and in case of any new need focus on core technology application from industry 4.0 offerings, rather further developing/enhancing the legacies. It will ensure the right transformation towards digitalization and prepare you well for the Future of Work!

Don’t forget, the world is changing faster than ever before. The winners will be the fastest adapting/reflecting ones.

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