The shift to the cloud is coming. There’s no stopping it. Yet steering the massive ship of your enterprise IT toward the distant shores of a cloud-only environment will take, as Larry Ellison so elegantly put it, “a decade of coexistence.”
This means that all of our foreseeable futures will be shaped by our ability to adjust practices and mindsets to what I like to call Hybrid Reality.
Luckily, it’s a reality in which we can not only survive, but even thrive.
What is Hybrid Reality?
The starting point for the long journey to the Oracle cloud is today’s on-premise Oracle EBS. The end point, in the distant future, is a 100% Oracle Cloud Applications (SaaS) solutions.
In between, we have Hybrid Reality. Hybrid Reality encompasses all the gradual steps – both forward and occasionally backward – that you’re going to take on your way from on-premise to cloud. The thing is, these steps don’t just involve IT resources, they involve business processes. They span multiple platforms and locations, and involve multiple users and testers around the world.
The challenge of Hybrid Reality is that it demands coexistence between Oracle Cloud and Oracle On-Premise at the IT level, but also the constant tweaking of organizational practices to accommodate an ever-changing paradigm.
Oracle On-Premise Vs. Cloud = Stability Vs. Agility
One of the most basic challenges in Hybrid Reality is finding the balance between agility and stability. While Cloud applications are inherently agile, allowing fast change implementation, traditional ERP focuses on risk prevention and high certainty. This gap, if not properly addressed, can inhibit and slow change.
A good starting point is to consider and create goals enhance the agility of your existing on-premise EBS. This involves finding the golden path that accelerates change, while still maintaining the standardization that is the cornerstone of stability. To do this, consider focusing on three key challenges:
- Reducing time to market – Break new releases in phases (release impact investigation, testing scope definition and cycles, time per test cycle, etc.). For each phase, find ways to smooth and speed delivery.
- Reducing manual efforts – Measure the manual work hours the team spends on every activity, and consider how automation could impact each task.
- Reducing risk – Set a goal of identifying at least 80% of defects in the first phases of each release, and moving from single digit to zero defects after go live.
Testing in the Hybrid Reality
In Hybrid Reality, business processes are significantly more complex. This translates into an acute need for greater control and tighter management of testing, together with better collaboration between testers across globe and enhanced support for cross-platform scripting.
This means that enterprises need to adjust existing testing practices, including:
- Updating the test catalog to encompass business processes that span cloud and on-premise applications, and creating new management and scripting capabilities.
- Scaling testing practices to reflect the cloud’s ability to scale business faster and expand to multiple regions. Testing practices must support the cloud’s global approach, taking into consideration user-tester collaboration across diverse geographies.
- Controlling larger and more complex test cycles, while ensuring that business processes are validated across the board. This also impacts test managers and UAT coordinators, who still need to closely manage and control these cycles.
The Bottom Line
Hybrid Reality is already here. While coexistence is challenging, it is also unquestionably necessary. A solid first step on the road to coexistence is understanding: breaking down your organization’s transformation into simple steps that can be analyzed, streamlined, and enhanced. By adjusting your existing practices and adopting new and advanced technologies to facilitate change, you can not only survive Hybrid Reality – you can actually thrive within it.