One of the most challenging tasks in product management is a major architecture shift of a product. Primarily a software related issue (although there are architecture transitions in hardware that are thorny too), the point when an old architecture is holding you back, and market forces are driving the discussion in your market space, a clean rewrite is what is required.
Especially, if your existing product has a long history, and started in a very different world, with significant “crufty-ness”, or features being added on a creaky underlying foundation, threatening to implode under the strain.
Digital Transformation, it’s all the rage, and doing a simple Google search yields a plethora of hits, from training to consultants, to the big market research companies, all weighing in. This wave of disruption continues to grow, and brings with it myriad opportunities to completely change the business.
In a nutshell, in the late ‘oughts, with the introduction of the Apple iPhone, the convergence of ubiquitous network connectivity, and the rise of the “*cloud*,” the stage was set for yet another transformation of business. Suddenly, the paradigm of where you work, and what tasks you perform were being disrupted. From the simple: an app on your smartphone to approve purchase requisitions, to the complex: integration of the CRM, the Marketing systems, and the ERP system to provide deep insight into the function and flow of business, and much more were realized every day.
A recent gig has me investigating the topic of Business Transformation, or as is also referred to as the Digital Transformation of the Business. If you do even a cursory Google search on it, you will discover reams of information about it.
In a nutshell, it is how the pervasive confluence of cloud computing, big data and analytics, the rise of software, and rapid development are all coming together to greatly disrupt the organization. Pick up any of the big analysts reports, Forrester, Gartner, and even some publications by the largest consultancies (EY, McKinsey, and others) and it is impossible to miss out on this trend.