Digital enables large-scale innovation and disruption, driving efficiency gains and transforming how customers are engaged and served. This is pushing organisations to reinvent themselves to become more diverse, relevant, competitive and differentiated in the marketplace.
Digital Overlay Architecture
There is a tension between continuing to serve customers, hitting sales targets and embarking on a digital transformation journey all at the same time. ‘Business as usual’ does not future-proof an organisation, nor does delaying the transformation of operations.
Customers’ needs and expectations generate Business priorities that in turn must be provided by the underlying IT foundation. With the current systems, IT teams scramble to give Business teams the tools and solutions to better address Customers’ demands. Organisations are transforming their structures to embrace the Digital Economy, however, they are not hostages of the context and can also play the game by taking advantage of technology and by streamlining processes, adopting an agile mindset and revisiting the existing operational model.
Current IT Architectures are, typically, a result of a series of mergers and acquisitions and independent transformation programs with inconsistent technological waves and architectural paradigms. The outcome? A multitude of IT systems’ stacks segregated by line of business, customer segment or by type of offer or service.
Architectures have become complex and slow evolution environments, unable to meet current business requirements. They also lack a clear path to address the digital business scenarios and specific needs in terms of flexibility, openness, speed and cost-effectiveness.
A Path to Full Digitalisation
As business is constantly evolving, IT architectures’ responsiveness to change must be improved to be more flexible by design. An evolutionary IT architecture:
- Enables incremental changes over time - becoming crucial to being able to cope with a new reality that demands agility and fast pace;
- Relys on innovative and scalable frameworks with self-contained capabilities.
An overlay architecture makes the most of legacy systems and of mature landscapes that support the business effectively and provide single integrated processes and data view over existing independent stacks to all channels. It also allows for the deploying of basilar foundations, providing a transient evolutionary path to support next-generation service delivery, deliver fit-for-purpose business insight leveraged on Big Data and Machine Learning Technologies, whilst driving the architecture to a fully digital state at the end of the process.
It ensures the introduction of the necessary changes in the adopted architectural patterns, in a non-disruptive fashion, to ensure the feasibility in preparing for the fast and exponentially growing demands and needs of the future.
The full digital architecture cannot be achieved with a one-size-fits all approach. Instead, it may be accomplished by dividing systems into smaller components augmented by specific capabilities, in line with the microservices paradigm, or replaced with third-party SaaS solutions, depending on specific corporative needs or strategy.
Celfocus Digital Overlay Architecture
Celfocus Digital Overlay Architecture is the first step towards full digital embracement, a phased approach that paves the way to the migration from legacy to full digital architecture, introducing or moving the required functions and functional domains.
Digital Overlay is supported by five pillars:
- Data: Leverage on information to drive and make decisions;
- Abstraction: Simplify the complexity of supporting building blocks to ease adoption by consuming parties;
- API: Open relevant functions to promote reusability;
- Autonomy: Combine multiple paradigms to ensure evolvability and adaptability;
- Cloud: Take advantage of its characteristics to support business and operations at scale.
Together the key pillars create and promote a matrix of capabilities required to support the needs of modern digital companies, which cover the supporting infrastructural needs, the processing of information and the ability to launch offers and adapt to market and behavioural or contextual needs promptly, while introducing a common vision for available offering and processes.
Celfocus Digital Overlay Architecture strategy considers:
- Systems of Engagement – user-centric systems that promote peer collaboration and interactions;
- Systems of Record – reliable, reference systems that are the authoritative data source for a data element or entity;
- Systems of Insight – analysis systems that support and improve customer experience through the analysis of data with statistical modelling tools to detect patterns, report, predict outcomes with a high degree of confidence, apply business rules and policies, and provide actionable insights.
Using this grouping, the Celfocus Digital Overlay Architecture overview introduces a Digital Platform composed by three main layers and three cross-cutting blocks:
We believe that Celfocus Digital Overlay Architecture concepts can be applied across different industries. To provide a general understanding of how this overview can be applied to one in particular, access the white paper to see how Celfocus Digital Overlay Architecture fits in the Telco World!