How DigitalOps links together business models and digital platforms

DigitalOps, short for digital operations, is a process that involves linking business operations and digital platforms, and allows for automation of tasks and processes. An increasingly utilised engine room of digital transformation, this emerging technology allows for further agility for developers and customers.

“DigtalOps is about analysing the customer journey and identifying areas where technology can be used to improve the quality and efficiency of processes, especially where manual intervention by employees is required,” said Philip White, managing director at Audacia.

“Such improvements in process automation remove bottlenecks in business processes and enable businesses to scale whilst improving the overall customer experience.”

“DigitalOps borrows from the agile approaches employed so successfully by consumer-first digital innovators such as Netflix, organisations looking to replicate this customer-centric model need to reset their mindsets,” said Sarndeep Nijjar, digital delivery and agile transformation lead at ECS.

But how can organisations best link digital and traditional processes together in this way?

Three steps to successful implementation

Matt Shearer, director of product innovation at Data Language, provided three steps a company should take in order to ensure that business models and digital platforms work together effectively.

“Step one is creating a shared and living ‘map’ of your business,” said Shearer. “We would recommend using Domain Driven Design, as it gives the DigitalOps team a good way to communicate with teams on important business elements, how they relate to one another, to users and to revenue. It also provides a pattern to follow when implementing new digital services.

“Next you’ll need to determine the areas that are both mission critical and market differentiating. Everything else should be brought in or delivered with a partner. Focus on your core strengths and specialisms as this is where you stand the best chance of success.

“Last but not least, this must be underpinned with a commitment to a culture of rapid innovation, with your users integrated into your product process. Without this, you simply can’t hope to succeed and good intentions can quickly turn into missed opportunities and lost competitive advantage.”

Staying on the topic of culture within the workplace, White commented: “DigitalOps follows the same approach to other XOps approaches, such as DevOps, by focussing on the removal of barriers, silos and increasing collaboration between cross-functional teams.

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“Further to this, at the core of DigitalOps is the empowerment of internal teams to identify inefficiencies and deploy solutions, which has led to an increase in demand for technologies such as no-code development platforms, cognitive services and (robotic) process automation.

“However, whilst moving towards an environment where internal teams are provided more opportunities to contribute towards innovation and transformation, care must be taken to ensure that projects have an appropriate degree of formality to capture objectives, track progress against milestones, and manage risk; specifically any risks associated with information security.”

Continuous intelligence

Alongside mapping out operations, determining the areas in which to implement DigitalOps and ensuring an innovative culture, companies must get the best out of their data.

“DigitalOps enables companies to spot trends and make predictions and, more importantly, act on them,” said Clive McDonald, head of sales engineering EMEA at Sumo Logic.

“Getting this data as it is captured and analysing it in a real-time stream provides a form of ongoing, continuous information about a company’s business. Many companies use data today for operational and security analytics, but this data can offer so much more to a digital business. This data not only helps the company run its operations effectively and deliver a satisfying experience securely to its customers, but also holds a wide variety of business insights.

“Continuous intelligence not only aids the resilience of these digital operating models, it will also yield a wealth of digital insights from the unprecedented demand these models are currently experiencing. Adopting continuous intelligence into DigitalOps will position these companies ahead from a market readiness perspective as we enter into the upturn.”

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“And don’t stand still,” added Nijjar. “Capture all the data and analyse it using advanced analytics and AI tools so you can act promptly on the insights gained and keep the needs of customers front and centre.

“Once you have created a solid DigitalOps foundation, experiment with fine-tuning your business processes to become even more nimble – with the goal of enhancing your products/services while also reducing time-to-market.”

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.