When it Comes to Your Enterprise Transformation Journey, Don’t Get Distracted by Vanity Metrics

November 26, 2018 Jeff Kelly

If you can’t measure it, the old saying goes, you can’t improve it. While that’s certainly true, it’s equally important that you measure the right metrics. Otherwise, you risk seeing improvement where it doesn’t exist.

So how does this apply to digital transformation?

“IT executives who are in a similar spot I think tend to concentrate on - and this is where they fall down - on vanity metrics,” said Mike Koleno, Vice President of Technology and CTO, Cloud at Solstice. Too many IT executives measure things like the number of applications deployed last quarter, Koleno said, instead of focusing on metrics that truly communicate progress.

All of this begs the question: what are the right metrics? For Ahu Chhapgar, Managing Director and Global Head of Banking Channels Technology in Treasury & Trade Solutions at Citi, the answer is simple: value.

“It’s really important to be uber-focused on what true value are you really adding for the consumer,” said Chhapgar, speaking with Koleno during a Q&A session at SpringOne Platform 2018. “We have a really large client base. There are clients that have a lot of complexity that need a lot of simplicity. We work with Solstice to figure out exactly how do we think about the user journeys for that large group of clients that want a simpler experience. If you can create something of value for 80% of your user base, that is really meaningful.” (You can read the Q&A version of the session on the Solstice blog here.)

Focusing on value is a lesson learned that Chhapgar credits to PayPal, where he spent six years in a variety of engineering roles. “When we built anything at PayPal, it was always about the end user.”

Today, Chhapgar is helping Citi make the journey from monolith to microservices, all in the service of delivering value to the company’s enterprise and corporate clients. As part of the journey, Chhapgar and team are moving applications from Citi’s legacy environment to Pivotal Cloud Foundry in order to take advantage of the platform’s support for distributed architectures and improved developer productivity.

Solstice, a consultancy that specializes in helping large enterprises embrace modern, cloud-native development, is helping Citi determine which applications and capabilities to migrate to PCF first. The Chicago-based consultancy has deep expertise and experience in this area, which it recently translated into a DevOps acceleration service for enterprises looking to leverage PCF running on AWS.

Driving the decisions about what workloads to move to PCF at Citi are two important criteria. First and most important, does the application or capability in question deliver real value to users? And second, if it does, can it be measured? If the answers to these two questions are yes, then it’s a good candidate.

Chhapgar and Koleno had a lot more to share during their discussion. Check out the full session for more insights on Citi’s transformation journey.

 

About the Author

Jeff Kelly

Jeff Kelly is a Director of Partner Marketing at Pivotal Software. Prior to joining Pivotal, Jeff was the lead industry analyst covering Big Data analytics at Wikibon. Before that, Jeff covered enterprise software as a reporter and editor at TechTarget. He received his B.A. in American studies from Providence College and his M.A. in journalism from Northeastern University.

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