How to develop a Digital Transformation strategy that works for your business

The term “Digital Transformation” has gained popularity in the business world, for a good reason. It’s a process that involves integrating digital technology into all areas of a business to improve its operations and enhance customer experience. However, developing a digital transformation strategy that works for your business can be daunting. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how to develop a digital transformation strategy that can help your business stay competitive and thrive in the digital age.


Identify Your Business Objectives

To develop a digital transformation strategy that works for your business, you must first identify your business objectives. Ask yourself, what do you hope to achieve by implementing digital technology? Is it to streamline your operations and reduce costs, improve customer experience and retention, or increase revenue? Once you have a clear understanding of your objectives, you can determine which technology solutions align with those objectives.

It’s important to keep in mind that digital transformation is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every business has unique objectives, challenges, and opportunities. Therefore, your digital transformation strategy should be tailored to your business’s specific needs and goals.

Assess Your Current Technology and Infrastructure

Evaluate your existing systems with a critical eye to pinpoint aspects that require enhancement. This assessment involves analyzing your current systems, processes, and infrastructure to determine which areas are outdated or inefficient. You should consider factors such as data security, integration capabilities, and scalability when assessing your current technology.

The assessment should also include identifying the gaps in your technology and infrastructure that need to be filled. For example, if you’re a retailer with an outdated point-of-sale system, you might consider adopting a modern, cloud-based system to streamline your sales process and improve inventory management.

Understand Your Customers

Customer experience is at the center of digital transformation. To develop a successful digital transformation strategy, you need to understand your customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviour. This understanding can be achieved by analyzing customer data, conducting surveys, or engaging with customers directly.

Analyzing customer data can help you identify patterns and trends in customer behaviour, such as which products or services are most popular and what channels they prefer to use for communication. This information can inform your digital transformation strategy by helping you create a more personalized and seamless customer experience.

Conducting surveys or engaging with customers directly can also provide valuable insights into their needs and preferences. For example, if you’re a hotel chain, you might conduct a survey to determine what amenities guests value most and how you can improve their overall experience. This information can inform your digital transformation strategy by helping you identify the technology solutions that will enhance the guest experience.

Prioritize Your Digital Transformation Initiatives

After identifying your business objectives, assessing your current technology and infrastructure, and understanding your customers’ needs and preferences, you should prioritize your digital transformation initiatives. This involves determining which initiatives will have the most significant impact on achieving your business objectives and addressing the gaps identified in the assessment.

Prioritization can be challenging, especially when dealing with limited resources and competing priorities. However, it’s crucial to prioritize initiatives that align with your business’s overall strategy and vision. Consider factors such as ROI, impact on customers and employees, and ease of implementation when prioritizing your initiatives.

Develop a Roadmap

Once you’ve identified your digital transformation initiatives and prioritized them, the next step is to develop a roadmap. A roadmap is a high-level plan that outlines how you will achieve your digital transformation objectives over a specified period, usually three to five years.

Your roadmap should include specific milestones, timelines, and budgets for each initiative. It should also consider potential roadblocks, such as regulatory hurdles or resistance to change, and strategies to mitigate those risks. Developing a roadmap ensures that everyone involved in the digital transformation process understands the goals, timelines, and responsibilities.

Implement and Monitor Your Digital Transformation Strategy

The final step in developing a digital transformation strategy that works for your business is to implement and monitor the strategy. Implementation involves deploying the technology solutions, processes, and systems identified in your roadmap.

Monitoring involves tracking the progress of your digital transformation initiatives against the established milestones and evaluating the impact on your business objectives. It’s important to continuously monitor and adjust your strategy as needed to ensure it remains aligned with your business’s goals and objectives.

To effectively monitor your digital transformation strategy, you should establish performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for each initiative. These metrics and KPIs should be aligned with your business objectives and provide insight into the effectiveness of your digital transformation efforts.

In conclusion, developing a digital transformation strategy that works for your business is crucial to stay competitive and thriving in the digital age. By identifying your business objectives, assessing your current technology and infrastructure, understanding your customers, choosing the right technology, developing a change management plan, and implementing and monitoring your strategy, you can achieve digital transformation success. Remember, digital transformation is not a one-time event, but an ongoing process that requires continuous improvement to adapt to the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Zero Defects Code: Vertex Launches Custom
Project Management Solution for a Fortune 50 Customer

Each profession has its state of nirvana (eternal bliss). A baseball pitcher’s nirvana is throwing a perfect game, not allowing a single opposing batter to get on base. A cricket bowler’s is getting a hat trick – three outs in three consecutive balls. These feats are rare, so when they’re attained, they are celebrated.

Software developers also have a state of nirvana. That is producing zero-defect code. As in baseball and cricket, this feat is seldom achieved. Even the titans of our industry – Microsoft, Google, Apple, IBM – talk about zero-defect code as a holy grail they only dream of.

Vertex recently achieved this holy grail by developing a zero-defect software system for a custom application we developed for a Fortune 50 US-based enterprise. Our feat is even more satisfying because we were able to produce high-quality software for a highly complex business problem for which the customer had only a strawman of what they wanted to do and had no specific requirements.

This is a story of how the talented Vertex team achieved a feat that few have done in our industry.

The Customer and the Problem Statement

For confidentiality reasons, the customer cannot be named, but to set the context, let me just say that they are a Fortune 50 CPG company with over 80 brands operating in most of the global regions. Most products and brands are sold worldwide, with some variance for regional demographics and preferences. Product launches (called initiatives) are a big deal with the customer; it takes bringing together globally distributed teams to plan, design, and execute product launches.

When a new initiative is launched, there are usually around 1,000 collaborators spread across several world regions, and functional roles and technical expertise that come together to gate the decisions that need to be made to keep steady and timely progress. The customer had no effective tool to capture, communicate, track, and keep up with such a humongous undertaking.

This is where we entered and built a custom solution.



Building the Vision and Evolving Through Discovery

All engineering projects are guided by a few basic principles. When you build a ship, you start by designing the hull of the ship. When you build a house, you start with building the foundation. Software development projects, like other engineering disciplines, should start with defining the requirements of the solution. In our situation, the customer only knew about the problem that they wanted to solve. They did not have a vision of what a solution would look like. We used the requirements gathering stage to define the key problem statements and build a vision of what the solution should do. We spent about 30% of the entire duration on the requirements definition. This helped us to align with the customer to build a holistic scope of the system. The requirements document thoroughly defined the project boundaries and were built iteratively with customer’s inputs.

Design First

In a trade school, carpenters are taught to measure twice and cut once. In software engineering, it should be first design, then build. Our approach was thorough and detailed. We were launching the project for the Initiatives team of just one product category. Our customer had told us that if the solution was successful, they were going to open it up for all categories. We knew that our design had to accommodate changes in the future.

Data Model Design: The primary goal of the data model was to keep the database lean with lesser objects, denormalized to reduce network latency and the number of calls. We avoided direct relations in tables, limited applying constraints, and eliminated all kinds of cascading operations to reduce over-dependency on the database. All kinds of database programming were eliminated. Constraints and on-demand relations were controlled from the program’s entity framework model to allow more flexibility to the overall design.


Application/API Design: The application design went through phased stages (refer to diagram), something we did not try before. The principle was to establish a working prototype or template solution using few modules (as API or services). Once the prototype was tested and benchmarked the team was ready for continuous programming for the rest of the application building and focus on the functional aspects. The primary concept of API architecture was to identify services from business contexts, define micro-modules adhering to the core principles of microservices, build communication patterns between modules and yet develop it for a single Cloud Platform-As-A-Service (PAAS) solution. Each module represented a business functionality in the product and was designed to work independently. 90% of the system was designed to be Administrator controlled, hence a loosely coupled service-based architecture was the need.

Our Approach

Our Approach

We saved time by reducing a large upfront effort on mockup or wireframe by sharing an outline of the UX using PowerPoint and engaged with the customer in designing the system flow. This provided more touchpoints with the customer during the design stage, helping them visualize their system before it was built.

Agile Development

Before development started, the development team was fully immersed in the requirements document, which gave them the roadmap for the entire system. We adopted an agile development approach, with sprint cycles defined well in advance with tasks to be achieved. Each sprint consisted of 10 days. The building principle was to develop fast, fail fast, and recover fast. For each sprint cycle, we dedicated 75% of the time for development, 15% for integration testing, and 10% for issue fixing before turning it over to the users as a beta release. The development team was engaged in daily scrum calls, beyond other technical brainstorming sessions to reduce understanding gaps. Communication helped in reducing friction between modules built by multiple developers to ensure smoother integration. This ensured that each sprint cycle was defect-free and the users were asked to just validate the system. We presumed that about 20% of the requirements would change as we were building the system. Our agile method and our modular design approach gave us the flexibility to accommodate these changes without introducing defects.

Our Approach


Customer Insights

We kept engaging with the customer closely during the construction stage to exchange thoughts and demonstrate the continuous progress of the product. Wherever certain things were either technically not feasible or contradicted good design principles, we logically explained the reasons and adjusted our design accordingly. The customer was assured of the best design principles being adopted at every stage of the build. Using agile development principles helped in including our customer’s thoughts and adopting late changes in the product lifecycle easily. Including customer insights at key stages of the development helped us reach a high level of customer satisfaction at the end.

Analyze and Remediate

A key component towards a zero-defect journey was to predict defects before they arose. Our vast experience in custom development helped us to conceive a checklist of potential defects from a typical web development process. Developers treated the checkpoints as part of their development process, thus strengthening the unit testing practice. Quality software checks included performance checks and negative validation. Fixed issues which impacted core design were repeatedly checked after every sprint to ensure the particular functional area was not impacted due to other changes.

It is Not UAT Anymore, but UVA

Most custom software falls into the trap of a User Acceptance Test (UAT) stage. We did not want the user to test; we wanted them to validate the function. We started by calling the stage UVA – User Validation and Acceptance. This name change shifted the mindset of the developers and users. The users came into this stage with the mindset that they were being provided a functioning system and they just had to validate that the functions existed.

Yes, Zero-Defect Code is Possible

Custom software development often scares organizations. They are unsure of what needs to be built, how it should be built, and whether they will get what they want.  Our journey proved that with the right approach, we can build software that will deliver with zero defects. Our journey is repeatable. It is just a matter of discipline.

Enterprise IT Transformation with Microsoft

Application Integration for Digital Transformation

Application Integration is the process of enabling different digital applications – each developed for a specific purpose – to work with each other. When configured properly, integration allows distinct systems to seamlessly communicate.

In today’s world, Enterprise IT Transformation invariably includes leveraging the Cloud.  As organizations re-engineer their business processes, leveraging On-Premise systems and investments that are already in place and integrating them with new cloud-based solutions is key to cost-effectively stand up new capabilities and services.

Cloud-based app integration is pivotal in business process augmentation, involving various tools and technologies. With clear planning, app integration can reduce IT silos and improve connectivity to integrate applications that unify management, ease access, and limit manual intervention by utilizing various ready-to-plug-in Microsoft Azure Cloud tools and services.

Microsoft offers several App Integration options to build solutions that connect applications and services on-premises and in the cloud.

  • Azure Integration Services enable scalable systems that can orchestrate business processes to connect On-Premise and cloud services using Service Bus, Logic Apps, API Management, and Event Grid.
  • Power Automate (earlier MS Flow) is a service-level offering that can be used to build codeless workflows to integrate business processes using hundreds of inbuilt connectors with disparate M365-based or marketplace applications.
  • Robotics Process Automation through the Power Automate platform using UI Flows builds end-to-end business process automation solutions. Coupled with AI-enabled Power Virtual Agents, it lets domain experts in your company create bots with a guided, no-code graphical interface to automate repetitive and manual efforts to improve productivity.
  • Azure Integrated Security powered by Azure Active Directory and Microsoft Graph allows seamless security integration among users in an organization and all tools and services hosted in Cloud or On-Premise. Features likes Azure B2B and Azure B2C helps extend application access capabilities and controlled permission management to vendors and partners outside the organization.
  • Microsoft BizTalk ESB Toolkit provides the capabilities to build message-based enterprise applications using a collection of tools and libraries that extend BizTalk Server’s capabilities of supporting dynamic messaging architecture to enable rapid mediation between services and their consumers.

App Integration Use Cases

Vertex App Integration

Why Vertex?

As a Gold Certified Microsoft Application Integration Partner, we have certified resources ready to go on all these empowering technologies. Vertex can help you evaluate your integration landscape and cloud integration strategy and build a migration path. Microsoft has recognized our expertise in the areas of Application Integration and Enterprise Business Process Automation.

How The Internet of Things (IoT) is Transforming the Way We Do Business

In just a few short years, small internet-enabled devices, known collectively as the Internet of Things (IoT), have transformed how we live in ways that continue to grow and evolve.

The IoT revolution really began with consumer-facing products – smartwatches, thermostats, and television remotes. While today your IoT-enabled refrigerator might tell you that you need to get more milk or your smart garage door opener may send you a text asking if you meant to leave the door open, the IoT is now set to transform and revolutionize business processes and operations.

While the roots of Industry 4.0 started in the 1990s, it is the rise of interconnected systems communicating via the internet that is truly leading to a revolution in manufacturing. Not only can machines on factory floors communicate more intelligently with each other across physical and geographical barriers, but these smart machines are also able to monitor, detect and predict faults, suggesting preventive measures and remedial action before downtime occurs.

The IoT also allows manufacturing processes to be completely virtually visualized, monitored, and managed from remote locations. Industry 4.0 puts machines, people, processes, and infrastructure into a single, connected manufacturing process, which provides businesses with full disclosure over the entire workings of their manufacturing and production. Using this information makes overall management highly efficient.

Supply Chain Management

Just one way that the IoT will create efficiencies for the world of business, be it B2B or B2C, is in supply chain management.

From factory to shelf, the IoT cannot only make existing processes more efficient, but it can also detect potentially expensive problems in advance of them impacting your business. Picture a small component in a factory. As a ‘dumb’ cog in the machinery, the part could fail without notice, shutting down an assembly line for several days. As a ‘smart’ cog, a similar part could tell engineers that it was set to fail days in advance, automatically place an order for its replacement, and direct staff to its location in the factory to replace it.

The same technology makes it easier for businesses to track inventory around the world, creating opportunities for supply chain and logistics optimization. Connected manufacturing and the IoT provide employees with visibility over company assets worldwide. Standard asset management tasks such as transfers, disposals, and adjustments can be streamlined and managed centrally and in real-time.

Similarly, the IoT has been used to handle logistics for the maintenance of a shipper’s fleet. With equipment requiring regularly scheduled maintenance, knowing where a given truck is on a given day, scheduling it for service, and making sure that there are enough trucks in the right place to cover customer needs. Easier scheduling, reduced downtime, and balanced fleet usage all translate to savings.

Asset Tracking & Waste Reduction

IoT sensors on both vehicles and product packaging can provide insight into where a company’s inventory is at any given time. When a company always knows exactly where their inventory is, they can be agile with moving it to where the need is the greatest. Furthermore, the same sensors are able to detect changes in temperature, light, and other environmental factors, ensuring that potentially perishable items do not go to waste.

With real-time insight into buyer behavior, retailers can stay up to date not only with on-shelf product stocking, but also by tracking which goods are most popular in a given setting, allowing them to increase their profits with efficient sales and stock management.

Advanced Workforce

Frontline workers need access to accurate and up-to-date information in order to solve problems and increase productivity. Access to information, guidance, training, and support which was previously delivered in person can now be delivered directly to the shop floor.

Manufacturers and industrial companies of every size can now access digital transformation initiatives in order to maintain business operations and business continuity. Technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) can now be a part of the toolkit available to workers on the shop floor and are crucial to making the most of a workforce that is increasingly spread across the world.

Advanced Analytics & AI

With information coming in from sources as disparate IoT sensors on factory floors, lighting systems, sales data, supply chain, and customer demand, there are massive amounts of data to sift through. Thanks to advances in data and analytics, manufacturers are more capable than ever of using that data to make informed decisions to improve internal processes.

Taking it to the next level, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning can be leveraged to further process your data, using it to reach conclusions that go beyond the obvious. Some examples include forecasting market changes and predicting machine downtime.

Customer Engagement and Real-Time Insights

Stepping outside of the shop floor, as the IoT and its associated cloud platforms become more prevalent, companies will be able to gain deeper insight into how their products are being used, potentially leading to new marketing channels, improved customer service, product improvements, and ultimately, increased customer satisfaction.

Transform Your Business

As the IoT landscape continues to evolve, market research from Gartner and Cisco predicts that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will grow even larger, improving asset management, operational visibility, safety, and security. With all of these interconnected devices, the amount of data grows exponentially. By partnering with a technology company experienced in supply chain management, big data, machine learning, and data visualization, you can transform your business for the 21st Century.

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