3 ways to effectively prepare for process improvements in your digital journey

In our journey to transform our ways of working, our focus on our customers wishes and our plans to pivot to a digital business there is always a need for process improvement.

While the transformation to a digital business can encompass many aspects that are new to your organization, there are always existing investments in technologies and processes that need to be evaluated.

Some can be modernized and migrated on to the new infrastructure that will support the digital business and others end up remaining in place as legacy systems of record.

One thing is for sure, evaluating existing business processes and looking to improve their effectiveness is going to be a necessary step. With that in mind, here are three ways to effectively prepare for process improvements in your digital journey.

1. Effective BPM theory

The first step in any journey is to plan effectively and gather as much information from the experts as you can. For this step you have many options, but the following example previews the open technology and tooling that will ensure you are ready to tackle process improvements.

2. Inventory existing processes

Identifying the list of existing processes in a business, both automated and non-automated processes will be the next step on the journey.

Businesses have processes in place that might be automated in some form, but showing signs of age or lack of effective execution. Others might have partial automation and exhibit a need for further automation at the time of evaluation. Finally, there can potentially be processes in your business that are crying out for automation and are hindering other processes with their lack of automation.

Collect all this information for evaluation without regard for size, level of automation or making decisions on priority for the next step.

3. Short list processes

Now that you’re able to browse all processes in your organization, identifying the short list where quick wins on process improvements is critical to the project’s success.
Everyone wants to see gains and building momentum with processes that can be improved both quickly and effectively builds confidence. Identify processes that have impact, are visible and can be effectively improved without having major impacts to the existing architecture or business process owner perceptions. This will be different for every organization, but crucial to building success and ensuring a smoother transition on your digital journey.
Armed with these three guidelines you’re ready to effectively prepare for process improvements in your digital journey.

Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes and Spring Boot – details you want to know

Have you read the announcement of the alpha release of Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes (RHOAR)? We also posted an introduction to the component in RHOAR earlier. This post dives into more detail on the Spring Boot certification support that is expected to be included with RHOAR.

First things first, Spring Boot remains part of the Spring Framework that is controlled by Pivotal. Red Hat and Pivotal are not announcing any sort of alliance to alter how elements of the Spring Framework, including Spring Boot, are defined or brought to market.

Instead, with RHOAR, Red Hat is working to certify some technologies and support others (when generally available) that Spring Boot will interoperate with. Conceptually, Red Hat wants to welcome Spring users to the Red Hat ecosystem and enhance their ability to deliver effective cloud native applications on the OpenShift Container Platform (OCP) using the Spring Boot java development framework. So let’s dive into the details a bit more.

First, lets look at some of what RHOAR will offer Spring Boot developers. For starters, if you’re new to working with Spring Boot, Red Hat will be offering a browser based utility to get started with multiple cloud-native runtimes, including Spring Boot. The utility known as a launchpad will create a fully-functional starter application for you. You can download the starter application as a zip file, or interact with an OCP instance. When the later is done, code is pushed to a GitHub namespace, sets up a build pipeline for for continuous delivery, and ensures it’s triggered to run on each push to your git repository. Now, the choice of OCP instance is up to you. You could certainly use a centralized public or private OCP deployment. But you could also use a local OCP environment right on your desktop. Pretty cool.

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Summit Notes: Tuesday Morning General Session

If you missed it, the keynote speeches are available on the Summit page or on YouTube.

“You don’t need to focus on technology. You need to empower your developers.”

There are certain patterns in the middleware / application development tracks for Red Hat Summit this year, and they revolve a lot around microservices. That makes a certain kind of sense (microservices are the new hotness in app development), but it’s also reflective of a larger current in technology, a continuing push toward … something.

In his opening keynote, Red Hat EVP Paul Cormier noted that one of the themes of Summit 2016 was “dev and ops coming together through common architectures, processes, and platforms.” This echoes major trends in technology — DevOps and architectures, process, and platform as a unifying IT strategy — and yet none of these concepts are really new. Two decades ago, there were developers and operations, there was enterprise architecture, application platforms, and internal processes. So what’s new and what is bringing the urgency now?

I think the difference comes down to speed (and eventually differences in degree become differences in kind). Twenty years ago, an application was released yearly, sometimes even every couple of years. A patch or security update could take a few months to move in the pipeline from development to testing to production.

Now customers expect patches for security vulnerabilities within hours of them being detected, and the expanding number of applications (from consumer mobile apps to internal systems to IoT devices) means that enterprises have potentially dozens of touchpoints and hundreds of services to maintain.

The “modern” part of modern application development isn’t in the app — it’s in the speed.

This year’s Summit kicked off with three interlocking demos, each showing the different paths and progressions that an IT environment will face as they juggle modernizing existing applications and creating new ones within a heterogeneous (and dynamically changing) ecosystem.

 Lifting and Shifting (Windup)

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Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes + JBoss EAP for fast, lightweight, Java EE cloud applications

Have you read the announcement of the alpha release of Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes (RHOAR)? We also posted an introduction to the component in RHOAR earlier.

Red Hat Intends to include entitlements for the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) as part of a Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes (RHOAR) subscription.  The reasoning for this is dead simple, there is still strong demand for a Java application platform the implements the Java EE specification. JBoss EAP 7 fits that requirements with certified full platform and web profile support for the Java EE 7 specification. Best of all, JBoss EAP offers Java EE 7 capabilities in a small, fast, cloud ready footprint. It has been available on the OpenShift Cloud Platform (OCP) since version 6. JBoss EAP is cloud ready and deserves to be included as a RHOAR component.

I want to believe. Prove that JBoss is small and fast!

First lets agree on what a Java EE application platform is. I propose a minimalist definition. That being, a Java EE application platform is verified to have implemented a specific Java EE specification. The current Java EE 7 specification is extensive and runs 290 pages long. Implementing the details is no trivial task. As of the date of this article, there are eight products that have been verified by Oracle to be Java EE 7 full platform compatible implementations. Red Hat JBoss EAP 7 is one of those products. However, Apache Tomcat, JBoss Web Server, and Pivotal tcServer are not on the list. Those products are not Java EE application platforms.

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Announcing the Alpha release of Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes

Today Red Hat announced the alpha release of Red Hat OpenShift Application Runtimes (RHOAR). This is the first of many articles on the subject that will be published on the JBoss Middleware blog.

So what is RHOAR?

RHOAR provides application developers with a variety of application runtimes running on the OpenShift Container Platform. Specifically, the following application runtimes will be included in RHOAR:

  • Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP) – existing Java EE / Spring apps.
  • WildFly Swarm running MicroProfile – Java EE centric MSA
  • Spring Boot / Cloud – Spring centric MSA
  • Vert.x – greenfield reactive Java
  • Node.js – greenfield reactive JavaScript

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Red Hat Summit 2017 – Planning your JBoss labs

This year in Boston, MA you can attend the Red Hat Summit 2017, the event to get your updates on open source technologies and meet with all the experts you follow throughout the year.

It’s taking place from May 2-4 and is full of interesting sessions, keynotes, and labs.

This year I was part of the process of selecting the labs you are going to experience at Red Hat Summit and wanted to share here some to help you plan your JBoss labs experience. These labs are for you to spend time with the experts who will teach you hands-on how to get the most out of your JBoss middleware products.

Each lab is a 2-hour session, so planning is essential to getting the most out of your days at Red Hat Summit.

As you might be struggling to find and plan your sessions together with some lab time, here is an overview of the labs you can find in the session catalog for exact room and times. Each entry includes the lab number, title, abstract, instructors and is linked to the session catalog entry:

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Five Links: Get Where You Are Going Edition

Happy (St Patrick’s) Friday, everyone.

This is a general “stuff” kind of post. From working with the technical debt of legacy systems (and processes) to navigating new regulations for cybersecurity, these links look at the different and daily aspects of maintaining IT infrastructure that supports your organizational strategies. Even the most glamorous of projects are really only glamorous in planning and in hindsight; the work of implementing those projects is (ahem) work.

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Five Links: Band of Brothers Edition

Happy Friday, everyone.

Red Hat has a lot of corporate blogs (worth reading!), but a huge part of our culture as a company is collaboration and meritocracy. As in … letting our opinions be known. There’s a reason we actually made a t-shirt to commemorate our corporation-wide mailing list.

happy-friday

From Pinterest

A lot of Red Hatters have personal blogs (or active LinkedIn postings) precisely because of the value that we as a group place on transparency, defending ideas, and innovation.

This week, I want to highlight some of the blogs by Red Hatters that I’ve read recently. I’m not even going to call this a “top 5,” because we have a lot of prolific and interesting writers on a million different topics. These are a random sampling of the blogs that I hit periodically.

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Architecture, Process, Platform

Digital transformation is a hot topic in enterprises these days, and like any such topic it’s associated with a wide range of use, overuse, and misuse. But the phrase does get at something that we can all sense is really going on, a truly profound change. As different businesses undergo or undertake variants of digital transformation, we see a number of common characteristics of the more digital world:

  • More things happen (or are expected to happen) in real time
  • More different sources and kinds of data are brought together
  • Activities are more decentralized and ad hoc
  • There is a broadening of participation in both the building and the use of I.T.
  • There is a shift from analysis and planning to trial-and-error experimentation

Each of those ideas deserves elaboration–topics for future blogs–but going for the moment with whatever came to mind for those bullets as a rough characterization of digital transformation, let’s explore the interplay of architecture, process, and platform in helping enterprises compete and succeed in this emerging digital world.

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Five Links: A Little Bit of This Edition

Happy Friday, everyone!

I’ve still been running through year-end retrospectives and new year predictions, and I haven’t hit on a theme yet. (The character of 2017 is still enigmatic.) As always, though, there are lots of good things on the interwebz, and this week covers the gamut — containers, big data, machine learning, and Alexa.

happy-friday-quotes

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