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How Architech Accelerators Removes the Risk From Digital Transformation

Hewlett Packard spent $160 million—then lost five times as much. Revlon’s stock price dropped 6.9%. Nike invested $400 million, then lost $100 million and saw a 20% drop in their stock price. 

The common denominator? All of these businesses invested in digital transformation, only for things to go wrong. And they ended up paying a hefty price as a result. 

Failures like these can make digital transformation seem risky. But in today’s landscape, it’s also more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent rise of remote and hybrid work ramped up the need for digital processes, collaboration and access. Many businesses have been forced to move to the cloud and digitalize their business processes even quicker than they’d planned.  

But challenges have emerged as a result. Highly secure digital systems have been exposed to new threats and vulnerabilities online. Businesses have seen costs escalate well beyond their budgets. And organizations have realized the hard way that clearly defined privacy policies are more of a necessity than ever. Who can blame businesses, then, if they’re reluctant to embrace digital transformation? 

The Rise of Digital Transformation 

For years, digital transformation has been a necessity, and with the impact of the pandemic, it has become the pillar to achieving enterprise success, user satisfaction and increased revenue. Despite the clear advantages and need to modernize, Deloitte reported that IT departments allocate only 19% of their budgets towards innovation in contrast to 56% of budgets devoted to IT maintenance. 

The pandemic became a catalyst, though, pushing companies to go digital. According to Dell Technologies’ Digital Transformation Index 2020, eight out of 10 businesses fast-tracked at least some part of their digital transformations during the first year of the pandemic. 

But that left two out of 10 that didn’t—which isn’t surprising when you think of the risks involved. Some companies are reluctant to transform, not willing to take the chance of something going wrong. As the new outliers, they’re left at a competitive disadvantage instead.  

But even many of those who accepted digital transformation in the early days of the pandemic still have work to do now. Digital technology is ever-evolving and can be implemented in many different ways, with a wealth of options that may be confusing to choose between. The easiest ways aren’t always the most effective, either: a simple lift and shift doesn’t automatically yield the benefits that cloud infrastructure and native-cloud apps can provide, for example. Many businesses just don’t have the skills in house to lead an effective transformation, though.   

So how do you transform your business while avoiding the possible pitfalls? To mitigate risk and execute modernization with speed and quality, businesses need tried-and-true solutions with a foundation of digital transformation expertise. That’s where cloud adoption accelerators come in. Cloud accelerators offer a set of frameworks that allow customers to transform faster and more effectively, with fewer risks. For our team, we call it Architech Accelerators.

The Architech Accelerators Approach 

A cloud-based application modernization platform, Architech Accelerators accelerates even the most complex digital transformations, reducing time to market. And it does so while delivering a better quality transformation with speed. 

Based on an opinionated reference architecture, Architech Accelerators provides a template for digital transformation success—and is constantly evolving to stay innovative and relevant to our clients’ ongoing digital transformation journey. It offers: 

  1. A mature set of application modernization tools
  2. Out-of-the-box solutions that reduce project delivery time by up to 54% 
  3. Highly secure deployments that keep up with current demands 
  4. Pre-configured landing zones that provide a scalable, secure application environment
  5. Robust integration for data, microservices, API management, Kubernetes and design systems

Architech Accelerators consists of several layers that can transform your business end to end. 

The 4 Layers of Architech Accelerators 

Architech Accelerators are built with modern cloud-native microservice-based architecture and cloud-agnostic enterprise-grade security. A software-defined solution, it’s made up of four separate layers: 

1.   Landing Zone Accelerator Layer   

The Infrastructure Accelerator layer defines the foundation of your cloud environment. Designed based on industry best practices and security compliance and governance requirements, it incorporates generators for subscriptions, resources, security configuration and networking. 

Featuring landing zones with SOC2 compliance, built-in governance policies and minimum access for measurement, the Infrastructure Accelerator offers rigorous role-based control access, strict point-to-point traffic flow between environments and improved cybersecurity with zero-trust policy enforcement. 

  • Unified governance for a single tenant with support for multi-organization or multi-subsidiary structures.
  • Landing zones with SOC2 compliance with governance policies built-in and minimum access for telemetry.
  • Isolation of cloud cost per environment.
  • Limited egress and ingress traffic.
  • Strict Role-Based Control Access (RBAC).
  • Strict point-to-point traffic flow between environments with interoperability between on-premises and cloud through a unique hub.
  • Improved cyber security defence with zero-trust policy enforcement to reduce blast radius.
  • Protected environment and application security certificates.
  • Scalability based on end-user demand using cloud-native services, and Kubernetes and Docker containerized microservices.
  • Support of multi-region operations with synchronized cluster management for resilient and available mission-critical workloads.
  • Full-stack telemetry with distributed tracing for problem determination and resolution.

2.   DevSecOps Layer

According to the 2022 Open-Source Security & Risk Analysis Report, 97% of enterprise software uses open source solutions and 81% contains at least one known vulnerability. If those vulnerabilities aren’t addressed, they can open up the risk of cyberattack. Integrating security that draws on traditional DevOps methods, can help detect cybersecurity issues earlier in the development cycle. That’s the basis of DevSecOps, which weaves development, security and operations together from day one, and throughout your modernization journey. 

Architech Accelerators has full end-to-end DevSecOps capabilities, including automated continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) pipelines. Every layer is built with Security-as-Code (SaC), integration pipelines that auto-scan open source libraries for dependencies and vulnerabilities, and deployment pipelines that are optimized for automatic backend, functional and regression testing.

  • All layers are built with Security-as-Code (SaC) whereby organizations analyze their security configuration, change, and redeploy easily. They can also continuously monitor the state of their security configuration to evaluate whether it matches policies throughout development and deployment.
  • Integration pipelines auto-scan open-source libraries for dependencies, vulnerabilities, secret and access tokens, and code quality. This speeds up vulnerability detection and patching early in the software lifecycle.
  • Deployment pipelines are optimized for automated back-end, functional, and regression testing.
  • Decoupling of CI from CD Pipelines (a) allows “build once, run anywhere” for consistency and reusability, and rerun, reconfigure, or rollback deployments without requiring rebuilds.
  • Manual intervention allows for control points to govern promotion to higher environments, especially if unwanted deployments tend to propagate.
  • You can test and validate the state of the entire environment, not just a singular component.

3.   Cloud Automation Layer 

Starting your digital transformation project with a set of CI/CD pipelines predefined to deliver infrastructure changes and business values fast can help significantly reduce project warm-up time and move the focus from repeatable tasks to more advanced activities. Architech Accelerators was developed with that in mind, in order to speed up the software development lifecycle. 

By orchestrating and configuring resources and complete composite environments across all layers of Architech Accelerators, the cloud automation layer delivers speed and reusability in a way that’s consistent, reliable and secure. The automation that’s delivered accelerates the enablement of new environments and avoids costly human or manual mistakes.

4.   Application Accelerator Layer 

Finally, the Application Accelerator layer builds the scaffolding that keeps all of the other layers running smoothly. It makes deploying, configuring, scaling, tuning and managing apps as easy as possible. 

This layer enables developers to focus on innovation and on better meeting their business requirements. By providing prototypes that can be quickly validated and auto-scaled up or out, down or in, it meets demand and enables clients to customize their operating expenses. 

  • Application modules and APIs written using various modern, purpose-built languages – the entire application doesn’t need to be written in a single language. This avoids enterprise lock-in to a language and versions of the language. You can write data-intensive in Python, web-facing interfaces can be done in JavaScript, and business integration can be written in Java – all within a single microservices architecture.
  • API management layers allow for better microservices architectures and the potential to monetize API services.
  • You can auto-scale up or out, down or in to respond to demand or optimize operating expense.
  • Edge-optimized multi-regional support with web caching for application acceleration.
  • A pre-integrated design system with automated component library pipelines enables faster prototyping and release of modern and accessible user interfaces – no matter the device form factor or web framework used.
  • Allows for tokenization and extraction of CSS settings for speedier and more accurate development of front-end application interfaces.
  • Bootstrapping of essential cloud services and common services required in modern web-scale applications are optimized in Dev/QA environments for on-demand use and dedicated clustering in production environments for performance and low latency.
  • Legacy workloads are revitalized using Kubernetes containers with on-demand scalability, automated resource allocation, and load balancing.
  • Blue/Green and Canary deployments to minimize enterprise downtime and impact on developers and users.
  • Boilerplate application templates to accelerate application modernization.

Where to Start 

Building a successful digital transformation strategy starts not just by understanding the maturity of your current capabilities, but also by understanding your limitations. It means recognizing how to better manage user data and comply with data privacy regulations—as well as realizing the related risks involved. It also requires clearly defined goals, metrics to measure your success and the right talent to guide you through – all delivered in an Agile way that will break the process down into easy-to-manage stages and get you up and running quickly.  

And the truth is, you may not have that talent or bandwidth available to you in-house to take on all of that. 

Successfully navigating your transformation, then, often means first finding a partner that understands every step along the way. That’s where Architech fits in. After defining a preliminary modernization plan, our Architech Accelerators toolset can help bring your digital transformation goals to fruition quickly and effectively, putting all of the pieces in place.  

From there, we can help you develop and validate a new system prototype—and begin the ongoing process of transforming your entire business.  

Want to learn more? Contact an Architech account representative. 

Pawel Kurdziel 

Technical Lead