Creating business value with an outcome led data modernization
- Posted on February 3, 2022
- Estimated reading time 4 minutes
When a Fortune100 conglomerate came to Avanade with a Data Modernization challenge, the magnitude of data across a multi-national distributed team was colossal.
- Over 6000+ applications
- 36TB of data stored in Legacy systems
- 14 billion records of PoS data processing every month
- 35,000+ business users
Focusing on outcomes
On exploring the business challenges behind this data modernization requirement, we found these to be equally confounding:
- Business Executives couldn't effectively determine the right portfolio and geography mix across millions of products
- Sales teams struggled to identify hidden patterns in data: signs of declining sales, new cross and up sell opportunities
- R&D teams couldn't reliably collaborate on research data across the scientific community
- Overall, the business was suffering from poor time to market due to data accessibility challenges across R&D data
It quickly became clear that the organization was unable to renew and grow sufficiently. Having confirmed the issues they were facing, we helped them to focus on the business outcomes that would constitute success and built a roadmap that would deliver value at every step.
Prioritizing efforts that deliver outcomes
Data modernization enables organizations to unlock "trapped value" that allows them to rethink their businesses and embrace continual change. But with the complexity of a multinational organization and the volume, variety, veracity and velocity of data, the client needed to rethink their approach entirely.
Avanade guided the client through a model of working that had 3 core guiding principles for their Data Driven reinvention.
- Future-ready: Embrace an innovation driven model that is continually future focused
- Change-oriented: Data first culture that proactively embraced continual change
- Outcome-led: Business outcomes and value delivered iteratively
Tactical vs. strategic
The work with the client started with a focus on modernizing PoS data, leveraging powerful, new Big Data tooling. However, we soon discovered that the challenge was bigger than just PoS data modernization.
We worked closely with our client on evaluating immediate challenges, whilst defining the overall strategy and roadmap for change. The long-term goal would be to implement a Data platform that could evolve with new technologies and an empowered culture to embrace this change - along with a renewed mindset, tools and processes.
Minimizing risk - start small, demonstrate value and iterate
Avanade started with a small assessment and Minimum Viable Project (MVP) as a first phase for the first 3 months. The MVP approach allowed our client to experiment, within a well-defined scope, rather than adopting a big bang approach for data modernization. Key Performance Indicators were defined for business personas, including key decision-makers across the organization. Based on this user-centric need, workloads were modernized iteratively, to deliver against mission critical reporting requirements. The delivery of this MVP received immediate buy-in from stakeholders, and the client was soon asking us to provide a multi-year-managed service contract. This value-based model would help create funding mechanisms for ongoing innovation.
While the initial work was focused on overcoming challenges around gaining high value insights from data, the client quickly began to share further details around their strategy and longer-term innovation goals. However, they had previously struggled to get buy-in from the broader business for more innovative work, as there were some internal concerns about the business value this could bring.
Most managed services approaches rely on consulting firms to provide ongoing build and maintain services. Yet, this traditional model rarely takes into consideration the evolution of data tools, innovation in the marketplace and its potential impact. Our client wanted a model that could keep up with new tools and methodologies.
Therefore, our managed services model was built with innovation in mind. We worked on a 5-year commercial construct that allowed for significant cost savings as Avanade leveraged near-shore and offshore agile delivery pods to build and manage the Data estate. Yearly discounts built into the cost model allowed Avanade and the client to invest savings into ongoing innovation projects.
An evolutionary mindset
This approach not only led to close collaboration on innovation, but also the opportunity to help the client develop new functionalities, features, and tooling as part of a managed service. As for innovation? The priorities changed as the market shifted, and our flexibility allowed us to enable the client to evolve their thinking and pivot rapidly, knowing they had a partner who could help them to embrace continual change.