Building a Faster, Smarter, Safer Digital Transformation

Here are three critical capabilities IT needs to develop to accelerate its DX initiatives.

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Virtually overnight, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has forced organizations to become digital in all aspects of business. Companies are fast-tracking digital transformation (DX) initiatives to support the dramatic shift in the way employees are working, and to accommodate the rapidly changing needs of customers. As companies implement the strategies of a digital transformation, developing and delivering innovative software will play a critical role as part of any solution.  IT organizations will be required to apply agile and DevOps practices. Those will serve as the engine that drives transformation, making companies faster, smarter, and safer, while delivering more value.  

Transforming development and delivery process at the organizational level is necessary to ensure digital success. But scaling agile and DevOps throughout the enterprise is a challenge.  Enterprise IT is complex.  Even considering the fact that the majority of the enterprise has adopted agile and DevOps practices, most are only using these practices in small teams. Less than a quarter of these companies have moved to actually rolling out DevOps across the entire enterprise1.  Given the current state of the pandemic, teams are regularly scattered across the globe, in traditional and hybrid IT environments, with demands for security, compliance, innovation, and availability. The key question is, how do you overcome this complexity to create a seamless DX?

Here are three critical capabilities that IT needs to develop in order to safely and successfully accelerate its DX initiatives.

Make Work Visible

To move fast and innovate, agile and DevOps teams need the freedom to choose the tools and environments that let them do their best work. But if they continue to manage and optimize only in their individual worlds, opportunities to improve across the product lifecycle will be invisible.  Very few companies have the visibility and the “system-wide” understanding of how they deliver value to their customers.  Understanding how the “current state” operates is critical.  A common view of the system, backlogs, and the work in progress needs to be observable to all. Without this visibility, organizations cannot map dependencies, identify and fix defects easily, or provide an audit trail for regulatory scrutiny.

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         ALM Octane Dashboard

Agile and DevOps management solutions provide common enterprise views of the work in progress (WIP), enabling the business to track artifacts and manage dependencies across all phases of the lifecycle—which means IT can identify bottlenecks, remove constraints, and build a robust audit trail. This keeps IT teams on the same page with a single reference into the work schedule and effectively tracks progress – a mission-critical metric to any successful digital transformation.

Augment automation with AI

Digital transformation demands increased innovation with less risk, but the rate and volume of change is overwhelming IT organizations’ ability to deliver.  Automation has been touted as the savior, but adoption in key areas is low due to the cost of developing and maintaining automation scripts.  For example, one of the biggest constraints in implementing the DevOps practice of continuous delivery is manual testing. Test automation is extremely important, yet adoption currently hovers around 20%. Developing and maintaining test automation scripts across multiple platforms is extremely expensive. 

Health-care provider Independent Health was able to leverage Micro Focus’s UFT One’s AI-based capabilities to reduce test automation script development from hours to minutes.  Leveraging machine and deep learning, Natural Language Processing (NLP), and Perception (Computer Vision), UFT recognizes the delta between platforms and allows the same test cases to be written once and used multiple times. It’s smart enough to recognize platform differences.  With the accelerated rate of change, smarter automation with AI/ML embedded is required to augment human intelligence.

Optimize the customer experience

Successful organizations accelerate their DX by putting their customer experience first.  High-performing software is essential to deliver an enhanced customer experience with superior quality.  Without it, organizations will be challenged to keep pace with the digital world.  Too often performance testing is viewed as a task done at the end of the product lifecycle.  This leads to poor application design, higher costs of change, release delays, and production issues.

Agile and DevOps practices require real-time feedback. “Shifting Left” to resolve performance and customer experience issues early on in the process can deliver big results. Sky UK Limited, Europe’s leading direct-to-consumer media and entertainment company adopted, as part of its DX program, Micro Focus’ LoadRunner Enterprise to support its fast-paced, large scale CI/CD DevOps environment.   Sky has been able to deliver greater innovation while consistently meeting peak traffic demands all at a lower cost.

The pandemic has brought to light how vulnerable companies can be.  For many, the only option is to accelerate its DX initiatives. In order for a faster, safer transition, capabilities must be developed to ensure IT organizations have a broad, clear view forward to efficiently and effectively deliver the positive business outcomes that are required to win in this digital economy.

Powering digital transformation

Micro Focus helps organizations run and transform their business. Driven by customer-centric innovation, our software provides the critical tools they need to accelerate, simplify, secure, and analyze the enterprise. By design, these tools bridge the gap between existing and emerging technologies -- enabling faster innovation, with less risk, in the race to digital transformation.

1IDC survey: Source: IDC US, DevOps Survey, July 2019

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