3 Low-Risk Digital Transformation Strategies

When it comes to digital transformation, nearly every organization has a complex agenda for microservices, microapp, and cloud-services adoption. But with so many steps in the digital transformation process – and countless SaaS vendors pushing their “perfect” solutions onto your desk – planning and implementing a complete IT modernization strategy can feel like a Herculean task. 

To prevent you from getting overwhelmed, we suggest that you start by seizing the “low-hanging digital transformation fruit” first. These are the easy-to-implement, low-risk solutions that will bring immediate benefits without a lot of fuss. In this article, we’ll give you a list of questions that will help identify low-risk digital transformation wins, and we’ll suggest four easy strategies that will get you started on the right track – and save you money in the process!

  1. Ask These Questions First
  2. Easy Digital Transformation Suggestions That Could Benefit Your Organization
    1. Suggestion 1: Migrate Dev-Test Apps to the Cloud
    2. Suggestion 2: Move Rarely-Used Backup Data to Cloud Storage
    3. Suggestion 3: Convert to SaaS When It’s Painless

Ask These Questions First

No matter how simple a digital transformation objective appears, it’s important to analyze the potential advantages and disadvantages of implementation. By answering the following questions first, you should be able to identify the clear digital transformation wins: 

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  • What benefits will the strategy achieve?
  • Is the feature available through a service that you already use? Make sure that you’re not subscribing to a redundant solution that you already have access to through another provider. 
  • Can you identify any risks, downsides, or disadvantages to the strategy?
  • Does the strategy create any data compliance or regulatory concerns?
  • What administrative responsibilities does the strategy create?
  • What IT responsibilities will the strategy create?
  • Is there a skilled labor requirement?
  • Will you need to hire new staff?
  • What kind of staff training does the strategy require?
  • Does the strategy eliminate any team member positions?
  • Is your WAN infrastructure sufficient to service the strategy? Do remote employees have sufficient connectivity at home?
  • Will you need to take any production assets offline when implementing the strategy and for how long?
  • How much time and labor will implementation require?
  • What short-term and long-term costs will you eliminate and create?
  • How much money will the strategy save or cost based on different time frames?

While it takes a little bit of time to answer these questions before implementation, the process offers a layer of insurance against unintentionally wasting your time on an unprofitable venture. 

Easy Digital Transformation Suggestions That Could Benefit Your Organization

In the following sections, we provide four easy-to-implement digital transformation strategies that could save your organization a considerable amount of time, labor, and money (just remember to answer the above questions before pulling the trigger)!

Suggestion 1: Migrate Dev-Test Apps to the Cloud

Is your organization paying for the licensing and server resources required to host dev-test applications on-premises? Moving these assets to the cloud is an easy, no-risk proposition that will reduce your server licensing and resource expenditures. 

Dev-test applications are pre-production and non-operational assets – so moving them to the cloud during testing and development doesn’t threaten your critical systems. More importantly, developers aren’t working with dev-test apps 24-hours a day, and there is no reason to pay for on-site hosting while dev-test apps are idle. This is the advantage of a cloud-hosted test environment or sandbox: You only pay for the hosting hours you use.

By migrating your dev-test apps to the cloud, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Access mobility: A cloud-based dev-test environment is accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. This makes facilitates collaboration between developers, stakeholders, and app testers during the dev-test process.
  • Cost savings and flexible scaling: The ability to scale services up and down for the dev-test hosting environment – and the fact that you only pay for the environment when you’re using it – offers cost savings and flexibility.
  • Easier to develop cloud-ready apps: The dev-test environment is already in the cloud, which makes keeping the finished product in the cloud simpler. In this way, cloud-based dev-test environments support your long-term digital transformation goals. 

A lot of developer tools – including the DreamFactory API manager and iPaaS – offer cloud-based dev-test environments, so your team can develop new apps and services in a secure, scalable, cloud-hosted sandbox. Dreamfactory sandboxes provide developers with all of the tools they need – including automatic REST API generation tools – for developing and testing advanced apps for the web, mobile, and IoT.  

Suggestion 2: Move Rarely-Used Backup Data to Cloud Storage

On-premises IT infrastructures use a significant amount of their resources to store rarely-accessed backup data. Saving this backup data is usually necessary for compliance or analytics reasons, but it’s non-operational and non-mission-critical. As a result, taking these systems offline for a short time and migrating them to an affordable cloud storage service doesn’t pose any risk to your operational systems. Meanwhile, it eliminates the high cost of provisioning and maintaining the on-premises systems needed to host this data on-site.

In a cloud storage cost-benefit analysis, Faronics says: “Switching to a cloud-based storage solution can result in significant savings. In a study by MindSHIFT, a cloud services provider, 56% of companies surveyed, reported an average of $75,000 saved annually when they moved operations to a cloud environment. The potential return on investment for businesses or schools moving to a cloud storage service can be huge.” 

By moving your rarely-used backup data to cloud storage, you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Cost reduction: Eliminate the high cost of provisioning and maintaining on-premises backup data servers. 
  • Scalability: Pay only for the data storage you require with the freedom to scale up or down as business requirements fluctuate – while eliminating the cost of maintaining empty space on servers.
  • Security: Benefit from the latest cloud security and data encryption technology, while eliminating the risk of storing data on-site where physical servers are vulnerable.
  • Access mobility: Cloud-based access to back-up data makes it easier for users to access data from anywhere. 
  • Redundancy: A cloud-data back-up system offers redundancy because you’re automating backup to an offsite system. Storing this data in an offsite location adds to redundancy, and it better safeguards your data in the event of an onsite system failure.  

Suggestion 3: Convert to SaaS When It’s Painless

Many on-premises apps have made it easy to transition over to the cloud-based, SaaS versions of their products. For example, switching your team from on-premises Microsoft Office to cloud-based Office 365 is extremely simple and painless.

By taking advantage of these easy conversions to SaaS you’ll receive the following benefits:

  • Predictable pricing: SaaS products offer predictable monthly pricing plans that are simpler to plan into your budget. 
  • Automatic updates: Instead of needing to relicense software and manually install security updates, cloud-based SaaS solutions benefit from automatic updates and patches. This keeps your software secure and up-to-date and it eliminates the need for IT to constantly update software. 
  • Great for remote teams: The ability to access cloud-based SaaS solutions from anywhere supports remote teams – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic – because you can access SaaS platforms from anywhere.
  • Eliminate hosting and maintenance burdens: Fully-managed, cloud-based SaaS solutions eliminate the need to provision and maintain on-site hardware and licensing – which may have been needed to host the systems. 

Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API in minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how! Our guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database provided to you as part of the trial!

Start Your Digital Transformation Now

DreamFactory: Cloud-Based Development to Support Your Digital Transformation Agenda

The above suggestions are relatively painless “baby steps” on the long road to digital transformation. In addition to these ideas, you may also want to start incorporating various SaaS products and microservices into your existing IT infrastructure. This is where DreamFactory can help. 

As an iPaaS (Integration-Platform-as-a-Service) and API Gateway, DreamFactory dramatically simplifies the process of integrating new apps and services into your existing IT infrastructure. For example, DreamFactory’s native integrations for OAuth services allow you to quickly implement an SSO strategy across all of your business systems. Plus, with DreamFactory’s automatic API generation tools, you never have to worry about the time it takes to code REST APIs – DreamFactory takes care of that job in minutes to provide you with a fully Swagger documented REST API!

Want to learn how DreamFactory how can help you achieve your digital transformation goals? Contact the DreamFactory team and schedule a free hosted trial.