Each year, hundreds of new services and tools claim to be the “next big thing” in digital platform development. These constant changes can leave businesses unsure about how and when to modernize their digital platforms — what technology should they adopt? How do they know when the timing is right?
Unfortunately, there are no simple answers to those questions. However, there are some tell-tale signs that indicate when your digital platform is not serving your customers or your business goals as well as it could be. In this article, we’ll dive into these red-flag scenarios and share advice to help you get started on the path to digital platform modernization.
1. Lack of automation
Few things have been more transformational for digital platform development than automation. What used to take dozens of hours to complete manually (e.g. application testing, quality checks, compliance reviews, building and deployment, etc.) can now be done instantly with the help of automated tools.
If your business relies heavily on manual development processes, it’s time to consider upgrading. With automated solutions, your developers and QA teams can spend more time on high-value tasks like product updates, performance enhancements, and security reinforcements — and spend less time scanning for errors and trying to diagnose problems.
2. Poor architecture or implementation
Just like when you build a home, you need a strong foundation when building digital products. If your platform’s architecture is poor, any new features you add could create issues across other areas of your product. These unexpected challenges add extra work for your developers, contribute to costly downtime and provide an unreliable experience for your users. To strengthen your platform’s architecture, you’ll want to move toward an encapsulated system, which prevents widespread crashes and security threats by deploying applications to isolated containers.
Similarly, poor implementation can create unpredictable obstacles for developers. For example, you may want to adopt machine learning to help your platform deliver better search results for users, but your existing technology stack is not compatible with that application. Or, you may want to adopt a new feature on your platform, but in order to make it work, you would have to make significant, fundamental changes to your code. In both cases, poor implementation makes it nearly impossible to reap the full benefits of the new technology. To solve this problem, you'll want to examine, standardize and document your code implementation practices across your system.
3. Outdated technology
If the technology you use for your digital platform is is no longer supported, it’s time to modernize ASAP. Unsupported or legacy technology can leave you at risk of security threats or system failures because patches will no longer be released to fix bugs or security weaknesses.
Ideally, your business would migrate to a new platform before its technology is out-of-date. However, if you currently rely on unsupported technology, we recommend taking this opportunity to migrate to a solution that truly satisfies your business needs.
How to modernize your digital platform
When you decide to modernize your digital platform, remember that there is no magic recipe for success; your business needs and project scope are unique, and so is your perfect solution. That being said, we recommend that every modernization project begins with examining your existing platform and identifying:
- What you would like to keep about your current solution.
- What you need to change in order to achieve your overall business goals.
Next, we recommend that you take a closer look at your documentation; if many people have handled your code over the years, you’ll want to ensure that your definitions and dependencies are clear and consistent. If they’re not, you’ll want to streamline these crucial details before you move any further.
When it comes time to migrate to a new solution, it’s best to move in small pieces. Start by optimizing the most important parts of your platform and relaunching them as decoupled components that won’t affect the larger system. This approach allows you to maintain business continuity and maximize the benefits to users as quickly as possible.
Of course, if you have to upgrade your technology because it’s no longer supported or is too old, then most likely you’ll need to migrate everything at once. In this case, your main goal should be selecting the best solution for your new business needs. For example, if you have different systems that rely on the same data (such as mobile, web and OTT applications), you need technology that decouples your user interfaces from this shared data and supports each UI accordingly.
Trusted partners in modernization
Tackling a modernization project on your own can be challenging. Combining the right strategy and technology to achieve your business goals, maximize your investment and maintain long-term success is easier said than done. At Zemoga, we take a 360-degree approach to modernization, helping companies optimize their platforms for:
- Data storage and dependencies
- And more
If you’d like to learn more about modernizing your digital platform with Zemoga, reach out to us today!