An automated discovery

26th March 2024

Making the first step to application transformation quicker and more cost-effective

By Andrew Mansfield, Customer Solutions Consultant, Civica

Businesses in every sector are aware of the benefits of digital transformation. But transformation isn’t simply a destination to reach. It’s a process to go through.

How you get to your goal could be just as important as where you want to go.

In our February Lunch & Learn episode, we discussed how Civica’s approach to digital transformation uses automation to accelerate the process. In this follow-up, we’re exploring how this tooling can help you quickly identify your transformation journey, cutting out much of the time and budget impact on your organisation.

Not all approaches are equal

A traditional approach to digital transformation takes a legacy estate, physically identifies every asset, transforms them on site, then moves them onto the cloud. It can take weeks just looking at documentation sets, gathering information and coordinating the outputs. All the while, your capacity is diminished for other projects.

Of course, this approach still brings many of the benefits of cloud technology, like increased security, scalability and reliability. It might even be the preferred option if you have a highly customised set of legacy systems or very strict compliance events.

But you won’t be taking advantage of the full capabilities of the cloud platform. You won’t be working at maximum efficiency.

The modern alternative – going straight into a cloud landing zone – means lower cost, complexity, effort, and impact on the business. And crucially, a much faster transformation. At Civica, we use automation tooling to make this process simple and accessible to any size organisation.

A quicker first step

Automation tooling provides a base to build your transformation project on. It scans the estate in minutes, giving you a thorough overview of your applications and your options for transformation.

Rather than going back to the documentation and tying up your teams to pull together a complete map of your estate, you can jump straight to the decision-making. Skipping out tedious information gathering during discovery means you can focus more on putting together the transformation picture and planning your approach.

Many of Civica’s clients are unsure of what they've got in their estate. Others just want another assessment to confirm their own evaluation. Sometimes clients have tried the process themselves but failed or reached a certain point and stalled. Automation helps get the ball rolling to identify what they need to do, what they want, what the constraints are on the process, what the value is, and what outcomes they're looking to get.

Maximum insight, minimum impact

Once an organisation decides to go ahead with an automated discovery, the only essential requirement is allowing access to the machines to be scanned. That’s it.

The automation tooling is very lightweight. It’s a background process, and the orchestration handles the install of the agents without any manual intervention. Simply point it to the inventory you want to scan and wait for the results.

The nature of the tooling means far less input is needed from various team members. The architecture team will need to be involved to discuss what’s needed, the technical leads who manage the applications will want some input, and assurance will need to be satisfied too. Other than that, the only consideration is planning the business outcomes, which could involve as little as a few project coordinators or as much as a whole committee.

Automation tooling lets you focus on the important questions

Automation tooling is platform agnostic. It works across Windows servers or Java estates and searches for applications that can be containerised within the automation platform. The list of supported applications is growing all the time, and anything more suited to manual intervention will be flagged up. This means that most of the information gathering work can be left alone and you can plan your strategy around what the tool identifies.

The organisation might decide to stick with on-prem solutions or go for a hybrid approach. In fact, it’s quite normal to mix and match. The advantage of using the tooling is that it helps you make decisions like this more effectively.

Reduce your time to value

Transformation brings huge benefits to your business. You can take away stranded assets and business processes, and you can bring additional capacity to your organisation. But to get there, you need to start with a true picture of what you have and what options exist for your estate.

By automating much of the work, you can quickly start to make informed decisions. Will you take a sequential business unit approach? Maybe start with finance, then move on to procurement? Will you have a hybrid estate? Do you need to start changing your internal resource profile?

Civica’s clients find that engaging an external partner is an extremely valuable way to gain that dispassionate view of the true condition of their environment. A transformation partner can also give you expert guidance and a plan of action.

Get in touch to find out more about Civica’s application transformation services.

You can also take a look at our Lunch & Learn schedule, and other on-demand episodes, here.