Cloud RollOut Approach & Models
In this era of digital world, IT industry is undergoing tremendous transformation to provide client services at faster pace, competitive price with no compromise on quality. To live to the expectations of this journey, IT professionals are coming up with innovative methods and approaches in software delivery. As the subject (IT Services) is very vast, we are limiting our discussion to Rollout models and approaches for Cloud solutions.
With the advent of cloud based products, the infra, platform, software is available real time and the enterprise set up can be done in days’ time with minimal initial investment. The same activity earlier used to demand high initial investment with longer lead time to set up. Business is expecting similar agility & speed in solution deployment to markets across geographies. The challenging factors of business readiness, adoption, process harmonization etc. still remain the same. In the subsequent sections, we will talk about the ways and approaches to sail through the challenges and deliver the roll outs programs successfully with speed and agility.
Below are some key concepts that needs to be considered for Cloud based global rollout programs.
- Template Design
- Selection of Rollout Model
- Roll out Clustering Strategy
Traditionally roll out approach involved investing time and money in process harmonization across business units and developing a global template solution. This template solution was then deployed across regions and business units in a phased manner. The solution deployment involved rolling out of the already build global template with legal & statutory requirements specific to the region.
The traditional approach of building global template & subsequently rolling out to markets was well suited for On Premise implementations. With the advent of cloud products, the minimum viable solution can be set up easily & can be made available to markets in quick time with very minimum configurations. This has provided an opportunity to explore and evaluate other approaches along with traditional approach. In this section, we are presenting our thoughts on Minimum Viable Product( approach) and how this approach can be used to enhance the solution and finally deliver complete product.
- A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) would be built and implemented as a pilot solution for a region/business unit
- As part of release planning, product backlogs would be identified and prioritization of these backlogs would be done
- During further rollouts, the MVP would be iteratively build and enhanced with the backlogs identified using an agile based approach
- The MVP would be enhanced with additional functionality after having a business benefit case for each functionality/requirement against pre-set KPI’s using value based analysis
- Meticulously planned sequencing and smart retrofitting of incremental build packages to earlier rollouts
- Each rollout would thus have the below two primary elements:
- Enhancement of the template with product backlogs identified
- Market/Business Unit Rollout
Benefits of this approach:
- Long wait times with the traditional global template build approach are replaced with reduced Time to Market giving competitive edge to the customer
- Effective Change Management allowing adaptation of business processes with users across the regions/business unit
- Reduction of risks traditionally involved with big bang go-live
- Agile based ‘show and fine tune’ ensuring conformance to Standards and Quality
Note: The selection of the approach differs from client to client and solely depends on Client specific requirements and needs.
Roll out Models
Right selection of rollout model is very important for a successful deployment of the solution. In this section, we will provide details around various rollout models that can be considered for iterative template build.
The iterative MVP template build approach can be implemented using one of the below mentioned roll out models. However the roll out model best suited for a customer is dependent on the factors influencing the actual business situation. Major influencing factors for the roll out model are detailed below:
Pros and Cons of different roll out models:
Roll out Clustering Strategy
Right clustering strategy is needed to optimize the efforts in gathering requirements, building and deploying the solution across markets. The clustering strategy for roll out can be implemented using joint session with the customer validating the clustering and sequencing logic in order to baseline the same for the program. There are several influential factors like facts, constraints and business insights that determine the clustering strategy for roll out programs.
These key influential factors can be used to evaluate the complexity of a country using a scoring mechanism. An overall score is calculated using weighted points and countries can be categorized accordingly as low, medium or high complexity based on cumulative weighted point score. The scoring mechanism and proximity of the country to each other can be used for grouping countries into clusters for roll out. An illustrative example is provided below:
In this article, we discussed about some of the key concepts that are essential for picking up the right template approach, roll out model & clustering strategy for global template cloud solution deployments. In next blog, we will further discuss on the custom developments approach, risks, challenges and leanings from global roll outs.