Salesforce previewed new capabilities for its Field Service application suite on Tuesday, giving an early look at a new mobile application powered by the company’s EinsteinGPT generative AI engine.

Salesforce Field Service, which is a part of the company’s Service Cloud, offers applications designed to boost productivity of companies’ frontline workers, lower operating costs, and enhance customer experience.

In addition to the EinsteinGPT-powered Field Service Mobile app, updates to to the suite include Asset Service Management and Contractor Management, said Taksina Eammano, executive vice president of Field Service at Salesforce.

EinsteinGPT, which was showcased by the company last month, is Salesforce’s generative AI engine, trained on large language foundation models such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT and open source-based Anthropic.

The company had said that it would offer EinsteinGPT via five products — for service, sales, marketing, developers, and for its Slack workplace chat and collaboration application.

EinsteinGPT for field service employees

The EinsteinGPT-powered Field Service Mobile application, according to Eammano, can help enterprises achieve three goals — support technicians trying to complete service work and summarize it easily, drive more insights about customer experience by collecting more data points, and scale up revenue by upselling or cross-selling.

The application can help frontline service workers complete their work by automatically generating step-by-step guides and how-to content to address specific customer issues, including troubleshooting error codes for an appliance, Salesforce said. AI-generated work summarization can include contextual information, images and text.

In addition, Field Service Mobile will allow teams to coordinate customer issues and work orders in Slack, use prebuilt capabilities from Salesforce’s Component Library for tasks like finding nearby spare parts and managing timesheets, and help onboard employees quickly, the company added.

The generative AI-powered Field Service Mobile application is expected to be available in beta by December.

Asset service and contractor management

Salesforce also unveiled Asset Service Management and Contractual Management updates to its Field Service suite.

Asset Service Management, which is powered by the company’s Data Cloud, helps maintain enterprise equipment and machinery with real-time data collected from sensors and predictive maintenance based on usage, Eammano said. This minimizes preventable maintenance issues and extends the lifespan of expensive infrastructure. Asset Service Management is expected to available in beta by December 2023, the company said.

The Contractor Management feature, meanwhile, is designed to help enterprises manage their contractual workforce and has been added to the Flex Worker Management module inside Salesforce Field Service.

“Contractor Management with Flex Worker Management allows companies to easily scale their contractor workforce, and efficiently deploy them based on skills, distance, and available tools,” the company said in a statement, adding that the new capability is generally available now.

Enterprise Applications

How are modern CIOs making an impact with multi-cloud? A recently released VMware report, “CIO Essential Guidance: Modernizing Applications in a Multi-Cloud World,” outlines these four key factors that influence success:

Drive Developer Velocity

The best applications are created by the most talented developers, so it’s crucial to attract and retain the best talent. Taking it a step further, according to a recent Forrester poll, 69% of business leaders agreed that a good Developer Experience (DevEx) results in a better customer experience (CX).1 In fact, it’s clear that DevEx directly impacts CX: 45% of enterprise IT executives report that their dev teams push software releases on a monthly or faster pace (on average).2

With so much at stake, it’s critical to enable your developers to do what they do best: code. But all too often, barriers prevent this from happening. Cumbersome legacy platforms and tools slow down developers, which is why CIOs need to remove friction from the underlying development infrastructure and create an environment where teams can focus on achieving outcomes.

This may include creating agile workflows and automating manual processes as well as handoffs, provisioning and even meetings and paperwork. Adopting a cross-cloud development platform that offers the programs and codes your developers prefer, including pre-selected open-source products, will also elevate velocity, improve DevEx and unleash innovation.


Embrace Unified Cloud Management

Despite all the advantages of multi-cloud development environments, if you can’t easily manage your cloud estate, you’re not reaping the full benefits. You could be underutilizing resources from one cloud provider, while maxing out on another. Moreover, lack of visibility means greater risk.


A successful strategy for overcoming these types of challenges is to choose the best cloud provider for each app – whether it’s an application platform for developers, an observability app for risk management, automation for operations, or something else — yet manage all clouds as if they were one, using a single platform. This approach reduces operational complexity and presents opportunities for greater governance, cost savings and risk management. 

Shift Security Left

Shifting security left – meaning building in features that bolster security across the entire app pipeline, from the build phase all the way through deployment and optimization – is essential in today’s complex threat landscape. This approach, combined with a unifying security platform and modern development principles, reduces risks and allows you to identify vulnerabilities and issues faster.


When security management controls reside on a central platform, CIOs can better manage risk,compliance, and more across their overall cloud strategy – spanning entire application development and operations processes.

Take a Platform-as-a-Product Approach

Unifying platforms are vitally important to the success of your modern apps in a multi-cloud world. The operation of these platforms should be of the utmost importance, seeing as they are the product that keeps the company running.

If you view your unifying multi-cloud platforms as drivers of innovation, growth and data protection, and run them as a product, you can reimagine the way you prioritize and manage your apps and cloud estate. With a Platform-as-a-Product approach, it’s easier to keep your focus on the big picture.

Bringing It All Together

With almost 75% of businesses operating across multiple public clouds 5, it’s become clear that efforts to modernize need to be executed strategically. CIOs who’ve enjoyed success in this area are realizing cost savings, revenue growth, and improved innovation. They have taken the time to standardize functions across clouds, chosen the clouds that best meet the needs of their apps, and operated unifying platforms that maintain seamless business control over multiple cloud providers. They have also improved DevEx to make the best use of one of their greatest assets: their Dev team.

For more ways to influence multi-cloud success, download the complete report: CIO Essential Guidance: Modernizing Applications in a Multi-Cloud World

Learn more by clicking here.

[1] Taking it a step further, according to a recent Forrester poll, 69% of business leaders agreed that a good Developer Experience (DevEx) results in a better customer experience (CX).

[2] In fact, it’s clear that DevEx directly impacts CX: 45% of enterprise IT executives report that their dev teams push software releases on a monthly or faster pace (on average).


We’ve entered another year where current economic conditions are pressuring organizations to do more with less, all while still executing against digital transformation imperatives to keep the business running and competitive. To understand how organizations may be approaching their cloud strategies and tech investments in 2023, members of VMware’s Tanzu Vanguard community shared their insights on what trends will take shape.

Tanzu Vanguards, which includes leaders, engineers, and developers from DATEV, Dell, GAIG, and TeraSky, provided their perspectives on analyst predictions and industry data that point to larger trends impacting cloud computing, application development, and technology decisions.

Trend #1: More organizations will take on a cloud-native first strategy, accelerating the shift to containers and Kubernetes as the backbone for current and new applications.

According to Forrester, forty percent of firms will take a cloud-native first strategy. Forrester’s Infrastructure Cloud Survey 2022 reveals that cloud decision-makers have implemented containerized applications that account for half of the total workloads in their organizations. Kubernetes will propel application modernization with DevOps automation, low-code capabilities, and site reliability engineering (SRE) and organizations should accelerate investment in this area as their distributed compute backbone.

“I agree on the cloud-native first strategy [prediction] since Kubernetes is the base for modern infrastructure. But you have to take into account that cloud native first does not mean public cloud first. Especially in regulated environments, public clouds or the big hyperscalers won’t always be an option,” says Juergen Sussner, cloud platform engineer and developer at DATEV. “If you look into the startup world, they start in public clouds, but as they grow to a certain scale, cloud costs will become a big problem and the need for more control might come up to bring things back into their own infrastructures or sovereign clouds. So cloud-native first, yes but maybe not public cloud first to the same degree.”

While Scott Rosenberg, practice leader of cloud technologies and automation at TeraSky, agrees with Forrester’s prediction, he notes that there is nuance in the details. “The growth of Kubernetes, and the benefits it brings to organizations, is not something that is going away. Kubernetes and containerized environments are here to stay, and their footprint will continue to grow. As Kubernetes is becoming more mature, and the ecosystem around it as well is stabilizing, I believe that the challenges we are experiencing around knowledge gaps, and technical difficulties are going to get smaller over the next few years. With that being said, due to the maturity of Kubernetes, I believe that over the next year, the industry will understand which types of workloads are fit for Kubernetes and which types of workloads, truly should not be run in a containerized environment. I believe VM-based and container-based workloads will live together and in harmony for many more years, however, I see the management layers of the 2 unifying in the near future, as is evident by the rise of ecosystem tooling like Crossplane, VMware Tanzu VM Operator, KubeVirt and more.”

Even if organizations decide to take a containerized approach to their applications,  Jim Kohl, application and developer consultant at GAIG, says “there still is heavy lifting in moving the company project portfolio over to the new system. Even then, companies will have a blend of VM-centered workloads alongside containerized workloads.”

Similarly, Thomas Rudrof, cloud platform engineer at DATEV eG, agrees that we won’t necessarily see the end of VM-based workloads. “Our organization, as well as the majority of the industry, is already adopting a cloud-native-first or a Kubernetes-native-first strategy and will increase their investment in technologies like Kubernetes and containers in the coming years. Especially for new apps or when modernizing existing apps. However, it is also important to note that there are still many apps that run on virtual machines and do not work natively in containers, especially in the case of third-party software. Therefore, I think there will still be a need for VM workloads in the coming years,” says Rudrof.       

“This year, companies will focus on cost optimization and better use of existing hardware resources. Using containerization will allow you to better control application environments along with their lifecycle. It will also allow for more effective and faster delivery of the application to the customer. IT departments should reorganize some IT processes that use a VM-based approach rather than containers,” says Lukasz Zasko, principal engineer at Dell.

Trend #2: Optimizing costs and operational efficiency will be a focus for organizations looking to improve their financial position amidst an economic downturn and skills shortages. IT leaders and executives must use AI and cloud platforms, and adopt platform engineering, to improve costs, operations, and software delivery.

Gartner’s Top Strategic Technology Trends for 2023 advises that this year is an opportunity for organizations to optimize IT systems and costs through a “digital immune system” that combines software engineering strategies like observability, AI/automation, and design and testing, to deliver resilient systems that mitigate operational and security risks. Additionally, with ongoing supply chain issues and skills shortages, organizations can scale productivity by using industry cloud platforms and platform engineering to empower agile teams with self-service capabilities to increase the pace of product delivery. Lastly, as organizations look to control cloud costs, Gartner states that investments in sustainable technology will have the potential to create greater operational resiliency and financial performance, while also improving environmental and social ecosystems.

“Eliminating cognitive load from your developers by using platform engineering techniques makes them more productive and therefore more efficient. There’s always a discussion about what can be centralized, and what should and should not be centralized as it can cause too much process overhead when not giving this specific control to your developer teams,” Sussner says. “The rise of AI in this case can’t be overlooked, like GitHub Copilot and many intelligent tools for managing security and many other aspects of supply chains.”

However, cost savings isn’t necessarily a new prediction or trend for organizations in 2023, according to Martin Zimmer – Technology Lead Modern Application Platforms at Bechtle GmbH. “I have heard this for 10 or more years. Also, AI will not help with [cost savings] because the initial costs are way too high at the moment.”

On the other hand, Rudrof says, “AI has the potential to significantly improve the efficiency, productivity, and effectiveness of IT professionals and organizations, and is likely to play an increasingly important role in the industry in the coming years.” He is also optimistic about platform engineering as a trend that will impact enterprise strategies. “I believe that platform teams are essential in helping DevOps teams focus on creating business value and in providing golden paths to enhance the overall developer experience,” says Rudrof.

Trend #3: Infrastructure and operations leaders will need to rethink their methods for growing skills to keep pace with the rapid changes in technology and ways of working.

Gartner predicts that through 2025, 80% of the operational tasks will require skills that less than half the workforce is trained in today. Gartner recommends that leaders implement a prioritized set of methods to change the skills portfolio of the infrastructure and operations organization by creating a skills roadmap that emphasizes connected learning, digital dexterity, collaboration, and problem-solving.

“The main problem in 2023 will be how can we learn new skills fast and stay on top of all the new tools and technologies in every area. If you implement a toolchain today, tomorrow it’s old,” Zimmer says. He adds that implementing a skills portfolio is nothing new. “Connected learning, digital dexterity, collaboration, and problem-solving should be the ‘normal’ skills of everyone who works inside the IT organization. The days where an IT ‘guru’ sits in his dark room and runs away when you try to talk with him are long gone.”

While developing digital and human skills will always be important for current and future workforces as hybrid work and digital transformation initiatives take hold, organizations must also look inward to evolve company culture. Sussner believes that being able to react and adapt to change is a skill in itself that an organization has to develop. “Not only do DevOps teams have to adapt to changing requirements, but also company structures. If you take Conway’s law seriously, this means being able to develop software in an agile way, would also raise the necessity to be able to change company structures accordingly.” Conway’s law states that organizations design systems that mirror their own communication structure.

“This huge step in company culture requires brave managers adopting agile principles. So in my opinion, it’s not only about technology transformation, it’s also about company culture that has to evolve. If neither technology nor culture does not take part in this game, all will fail,” Sussner adds.

At a time when budgets and margins are tightening, leaders should take this time to re-evaluate investments and prioritize the technologies and skills that build a resilient business. As business success increasingly relies on the organization’s ability to deliver software and services quickly and securely, building a company culture that prioritizes the developer experience and removes infrastructure complexity to drive productivity and efficiency will be critical for 2023 and beyond.

To learn more, visit us here.

Cloud Computing

Imagine booking a room at a small, charming, off-the-beaten-path hotel on the Hawaiian island of Kauai using a popular mobile travel app, only to discover that the room is… haunted!  That’s what happened to my friend Dana. As Dana told it, she went to bed at midnight after a long travel day. But that didn’t go as planned. She struggled to sleep. Then, at 3 A.M., Dana claims she saw a pale, vaporous head of an older fellow floating above her bed, mouthing words she could not hear. (Believe me, Dana’s rather unique customer adventure is worth a blog all its own.)

I haven’t had the chance to travel all that much lately, but when I get back to it, I sure hope I don’t experience what Dana went through. In fact, I’d want to know in advance things about where I am staying that may be a bit off center, like, is the place haunted? 

Wouldn’t it be practical, then, if your favorite travel app can not only give a “your hotel may be haunted” notification, but also provide a bit of history behind the why – without you having to hunt for some random Top Ten blog or Tik Tok video that may not even include your particular hotel?

Does such a travel app exist? Nope, not at the moment.

And yet, perhaps there IS a ghost of a chance that this kind of app will be materializing soon.

When that happens, the reveal could be at the SAP Innovation Awards!  Even now, an SAP customer or partner could be developing such a tool. If so, I can’t wait for this app to be celebrated at a future Innovation Awards show. Honestly, think of how much fun that would be!

In keeping with the Halloween spirit

This is Halloween after all, so indulge me as I share stories about a couple of my hometown hotels with their own unique haunted histories – information not found on any travel app that I’m aware of.

Room 33

In San Francisco’s North Beach district, there exists a small, quaint hotel that was built amidst the ruins of the 1906 earthquake by Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini. It’s one that I used to walk past every day when I worked in the area. Today, it’s a popular place to stay for budget-minded travelers who want to enjoy the neighborhood’s Italian restaurants near Fisherman’s Wharf.

But what is not commonly known is that this family-owned hotel once thrived as a busy brothel during the City’s wild Barbary Coast days. Its former madam, famous for her boisterous larger-than-life personality, still roams the halls of her former establishment, knocking on doors with Room 33 being her favorite haunt. But she’s not alone. A sad little ghost girl has occasionally been seen in the hallways — always reaching for the doorknob of one room in particular. Reason? Unknown.

Room 207

If you’re into classic art deco décor but demand all the comforts of a modern hotel, then there’s a century-old hotel off Union Square that is right for you. But, be warned. Room 207 is where you might encounter one hotel guest who doesn’t want to leave — even though she has long since departed this mortal plain. Reports of doors mysteriously opening and closing, and small objects appearing or disappearing have been ongoing for years. It is thought that the disruptive spirit haunting the room is that of famous playwright Lillian Hellman, who had regular liaisons there in the 1920s with writer Dashiell Hammett, author of The Maltese Falcon. Perhaps the ghost of Miss Hellman is still searching for the elusive jewel-encrusted blackbird, much like Brigid O’Shaughnessy, the fictional femme fatale from the book written by her lover — which, coincidentally, was set in San Francisco.

Across the Fairmont

Arguably, San Francisco’s most famous ghost concerns one Flora Sommerton, a comely 18-year-old debutante who disappeared in 1876. Legend has it that she ran away to escape a pre-arranged marriage to a rich but much older gentleman. So she bailed from her grand engagement party, held at her home across the street from the historic Fairmont Hotel, and was never seen again. That is, until 50 years later. In 1926, the withered body of an old woman was discovered in a cheap hotel room in Butte, Montana — reportedly wearing the same 19th century white ball gown and jewelry that Flora fled in. There were old, brittle newspaper clippings of Flora’s disappearance pinned to the walls of the small, dank flophouse room. It was her. Flora had finally been found. Her body was brought back to San Francisco where she was buried in the family plot. But Flora’s story does not end there. Today, as you approach the Fairmont Hotel on any given sunny afternoon, keep an eye out for what many people have seen throughout the years: the ghostly figure of fair, young Flora, parasol in hand, quickly walking down California Street, then vanishing as she rounds the corner to where her home once stood — and always in that flowing, white, ballroom gown.

There are many more stories to be had about haunted hotels and their spooky history here in the San Francisco Bay Area. And in your city, too, no doubt. But I will have to wait patiently for some future travel app to clue me in on which ones. Maybe I will get my wish at the upcoming 10th Anniversary SAP Innovation Awards 2023, spirits willing.

Happy Halloween!

Mari Kure

Devops, Software Development

Oracle on Wednesday said that it is opening up its ERP applications platform to customer developers and partners, unveiled new B2B commerce services, and announced a variety of additions to its enterprise planning management (EPM), supply chain management (SCM) and human capital management (HCM) Fusion Cloud offerings.

The updates, which were announced at the company’s ongoing CloudWorld 2022 conference, are meant to not only to enhance its ERP offerings for customers, but also  compete with rivals such as Microsoft, SAP, Infor and IFS.

These announcements come at a time when competition in the ERP market is heating up.

By 2024, at least 50% of existing customers of large ERP vendors will evaluate multiple vendors, rather than automatically adopt the latest version of their incumbent ERP suite, according to a Gartner report.  

Oracle’s Fusion Cloud service, the market research firm noted, is targeted toward upper-midsize and large enterprises.

The company, which has been adding incremental updates in the past twelve months, has been baking in more automation and analytics into its Fusion Cloud ERP and EPM suite.

Oracle opens app platform to developers

Now, as enterprises look to add applications to their ERP suite, Oracle said that it was opening up its applications platform to allow customer developers and partners to design their own applications for their ERP systems.

“With Oracle Applications Platform, we’re giving customers and partners access to the same tools that Oracle’s own development organization uses to enable them to extend and personalize our applications to fit their unique needs,” Jenny Lam, senior vice president of user experience design at Oracle, said in a statement.

The platform consists of several tools, including the company’s Redwood UX Building Blocks, a low-code development suite, a search and recommendation engine, a digital assistant, and analytics features.  

Oracle describes the UX Building Blocks as a software development toolkit that allows developers to modify and assemble UX (user experience) components without the need for lengthy software development projects, thereby saving time.

The toolkit resources include Redwood reference application, page templates, a component repository, reference architecture, and design guides.

The search component of the platform allows developers to integrate self-tuning search capabilities in applications, the company said, adding that self-tuning is achieved by the incorporation of machine learning in the system.

The components of the platform include a machine-learning based recommendation engine for developers, allowing them to create user interfaces that adapt to user needs, according to predictions of user behavior.

Further, the platform comes with Oracle’s Visual Builder Studio, a low-code development platform, and analytics components from Oracle Analytics Cloud, to allow developers to embed data visualizations within their applications.

B2B service automates transactions among Oracle customers

Claiming to reduce the cost of doing business, Oracle has added a set of services, dubbed B2B Commerce, designed to integrate and automate business-to-business transactions.

The company’s strategy is to bring together most of its ERP customers and build transactional connectivity in between them, if possible, said Natalia Rachelson, group vice president of outbound product management in the cloud applications division at Oracle.

In order to launch the new set of services, which will be offered via the Fusion Cloud ERP suite, the company has partnered with JP Morgan and FedEx.

“Oracle B2B Commerce will combine direct connectivity between Oracle Cloud ERP and service providers ranging from J.P. Morgan Payments and FedEx to other financial services firms, insurance companies, and delivery services with a unified data model and secure workflows to digitize the entire B2B commerce process for mutual customers,” Oracle said in a statement.

Oracle will work with FedEx partnership to offer an integrated logistics solution that they claim will eliminate the need for custom integrations and provide features including real-time rate quoting as well as shipping and tracking capabilities.

More advanced capabilities that look to reduce delivery costs and improve performance are already in the works, Oracle said.

JP Morgan and Oracle also expect to offer a mobile application for employee reimbursements and an integrated travel card.

Meanwhile, Oracle will work with JP Morgan to offer integrated banking services that they say will not only reduce time for deployment but also add capabilities such as understanding real-time cash positions and predictive cash forecasting.

HCM gets talent acquisition updates

At a time when enterprises are dealing with issues around skilled labor, Oracle has introduced a new talent acquisition feature, dubbed Oracle Recruiting Booster, that allows enterprises to improve engagement with candidates, build communities of top talent and personalize the hiring process, the company said.

Recruiting Booster, which is an addition to the existing Oracle Fusion Cloud Recruiting tool offered under the HCM suite, adds capabilities for hiring-event promotion, two-way messaging with candidates, an interview management streamlining tool and a digital assistant.

The digital assistant includes features that allow candidates to sign up for and check into recruiting events, receive job recommendations based on preferences and qualifications, complete job applications, answer pre-screening questions, and schedule interviews.

The assistant can also conduct candidate surveys to help recruiters better understand overall sentiment, the company said, adding that the interview management tool can identify ideal times for interviews that align with the hiring team’s availability.

In April, the company launched a new employee experience platform, dubbed Oracle ME, under its Fusion HCM suite to help enterprises with workforce challenges such as attrition in the wake of the Great Resignation and the pandemic.

Automation helps prevent asset downtime

At a time when enterprises are looking at ways to deal with economic headwinds, Oracle has launched a new service to automate the prevention of asset downtime, specifically targeted toward high tech and manufacturing industry sectors.

The service, which will be offered as part of Oracle Cloud Fusion Applications suite, will help enterprises predict and prevent asset downtime to reduce costs, and optimize service efficiency, the company said, adding that the service was pre-integrated with the Fusion SCM suite.

The services includes proactive monitoring and maintenance, automated field service capabilities, and capabilities for depot repair automation.

Under the depot repair automation feature, the service automatically generates repair estimates and authorizations while creating work orders and following the workflow to purchase new parts.

AI updated for Unity customer data suite

Oracle also said that it was adding 15 baseline AI models to its Unity Customer Data Platform (CDP), an offering inside Oracle’s Fusion Customer Experience suite.

As part of the update, Unity will blend these AI models with industry-specific data to deliver highly personalized, industry-specific analysis capabilities across sectors such as automotive, consumer packaged goods, communications, financial services, healthcare, and high-tech.

In May, the company had enabled the integration of data from Unity into its customer service offering, dubbed Oracle Service.

Oracle gave the following information for availability of the Fusion Cloud updates: the apps platform development capabilities, the Recruiting Booster, asset services for high tech and manufacturing, and the Unity updates are generally available now; the B2B commerce services will be available “soon.”

(This story has been updated with details for availability of the new Oracle software.)

Cloud Computing, Developer, ERP Systems

Increasing adoption of digital technologies are making apps inevitable in our everyday life. Apps are pivotal in enabling companies to innovate and gain a competitive edge in digital interactions, from social selling to data-driven marketing.

“With customers gaining control over the way companies deliver experiences, enterprises must provide new customer experiences to meet and exceed customer demands. From a technology perspective, this means having an agile and flexible IT environment,” said Paul Chik, Hong Kong Solution Leader at Kyndryl.

To keep up with customers’ evolving expectations and competition in the marketplace, modernisation of legacy apps, from user facing to mission-critical systems, empowers businesses to stay ahead of the competition. Companies can anchor on a basic framework based on the integration of a cloud adoption strategy with DevSecOps for agile delivery of services and customer experience or the modernisation of legacy apps for a seamless multi-channel experience.

Enterprises should also understand that modernising apps is not an all-or-nothing transformation approach. Decisions on which and how apps are modernised should be aligned with business objectives, with a strategy to integrate systems into the wider enterprise IT estate, which is becoming increasingly hybrid.

App modernisation continues to rise in priority. According to IDC’s Q4 2021 Application Services Survey, 51% of APAC organisations rate app modernisation as a high or top priority today; in three years, it will be a high or top priority for 88% of APAC organisations. A separate study echoes this finding: nearly half or 45% of APAC CIOs are currently focused on modernising infrastructure and apps for this year, higher than their US and EMEA counterparts, according to Foundry’s annual State of the CIO study.

Pathway to app modernisation

A successful app modernisation initiative ensures cost savings and improvement in efficiency and customer experience. Instead of a one-size-fits-all, a strategic approach to app modernisation is essential to avoid pitfalls throughout the process.

More importantly, it helps companies protect their traditional assets and maximise the benefits of cloud, a key enabler in enterprise digital transformation journey. Based on Kyndryl’s experience with customers across different industries, a typical cloud migration and modernisation strategy comprises:

Planning: This early-on assessment and planning is critical. Enterprises need to decide how to place the right workload in the right platform. Simply lift-and-shift from on-premises to cloud could increase overall cloud spending. Through app discovery and dependency mapping, we can compile the overall modernisation strategy and decide whether any particular application should be lift-and-shift, re-platformed, or re-architected. A wave plan could then be developed to put modernisation to work.Modernising: This is a process of up-versioning an organisation’s existing apps to meet cloud requirements. This stage involves the conversion of the apps’ source code to be cloud ready with operational testing and integration of an agile DevSecOps for security. Security is essential for an app environment and needs to be integrated early-on as it can minimise the risk of hacking and fraud when they are deployed.Operating: This phase focuses on app testing, deployment, and hybrid cloud platform management, ensuring legacy and cloud-native apps sit on a single platform to enable integrated operational agility.

While this makes up a typical modernisation framework, Chik cautioned that different organisations might embark on a whole different journey.


“Each enterprise has its own objectives and is at different stages of the transformation journey. It is important to have a purpose-built strategy, create an enterprise architectural blueprint and governance model according to your business needs,” he added.

IT leaders everywhere are acutely familiar with the complexity and immense effort required of a cloud migration and modernisation journey. Chik outlined some best practices to smoothen and fast track the process:

Employ a container approach to modernisation for agility benefits and TCO savings. Container platforms have become an integral part of the hybrid and multi-cloud landscape, helping companies to accelerate multi-cloud adoption and infrastructure cost optimisation, speeding up the deployment of apps, and increasing the availability of apps. Legacy apps would be modernised to microservice-based architecture and run on containers to become cloud-native.Embrace DevSecOps. Security remains top of mind for IT leaders, given the increasing sophistication of the threat landscape. Integrating security helps minimise risk for container contents and its interactions from the start, while embracing its culture of continuous improvement for learnings and operation management.Collaborate with service providers to expedite cloud migration and modernisation and ensure seamless hybrid cloud integration. Enterprises can leverage the provider’s technology and industry knowhow, local and global expertise, as well as deep partnerships with leading cloud hyperscalers and technology ecosystem.

“While IT needs to be efficient from Day 0 to Day 2, service providers can offer a global delivery model and use cloud native tooling to drive operations and cost efficiencies based on CloudOps and DevSecOps. It’s also important that the service provider takes on a lifecycle approach to ensure success and continuous improvement in every stage of the transformation journey,” Chik added.

App modernisation improves business agility by helping companies scale faster, improve time to market, and reduce IT operating cost. A partner with a deep understanding of the enterprise’s business requirements and its stage of cloud journey is key to drive end-to-end transformation and minimise business disruptions for a smooth and secure transition to modernisation.

Find out more about how Kyndryl can help your company in app modernisation and cloud transformation journey here.

Digital Transformation

Even software developers can use a hand. That’s the intent of Thoughtworks’ homegrown Network Enabled Organization (NEO) toolbox, a development portal that has sped up application development from idea to deliverable on average 30% faster by automating much of the grunt work — and advanced tasks, too — out of the development process.

“Making developers more productive and getting them to deliver things faster is obviously a good thing,” says David Whalley, CIO of Thoughtworks. “But actually, it’s about delivering value to the customer, and in our case, that’s our internal business leaders.”

Thoughtworks, an IT consultancy founded 20 years ago in Chicago, competes with the likes of Cognizant and Wipro in 17 nations and has grown from 30 employees to more than 12,000 globally today — 55% of whom are developers. Projects like NEO aimed at making those developers more efficient has a significant impact on Thoughtworks’ ability to compete in a hot market.

Whalley teamed up with Thoughtworks Chief Digital Officer Swapnil Deshpande to develop the NEO Developer Experience Portal, which earned the company a CIO 100 Award for IT leadership and innovation.

The NEO toolbox includes APIs, predefined code, and SaaS plug-ins to free up Thoughtworks’ developers to innovate rather than focus on common tasks. NEO also abstracts myriad common and complex development tasks such as machine language models into a single platform that improves the speed and quality of sophisticated business applications.

Thoughtworks’ platforms team leans on NEO to deliver applications for the company’s C-suite and chief marketing officer, who interact with major customers such as Lenovo, John Deere, BP, Credit Suisse, Bosch, PayPal, and Standard Chartered, as well as major public sector entities such as the US Department of Veterans Affairs.

David Whalley, CIO, Thoughtworks


“The whole concept is about building a platform that allows developers to innovate,” Whalley says, noting that he leads the internal IT organization that provides services to the internal business. “What we’re doing essentially is abstracting a lot of the noise away from them, so they don’t have to worry about cloud services or security, because the platform provides those built in so they can focus on the business value that is needed.”

Manjunath Bhat, a vice president and analyst at Gartner, says tools like NEO streamline and organize the development process just as SaaS and apps simplify business processes.

“Developer portals are to developers what trails are to hikers in a jungle,” Bhat says. “They provide a well-trodden path from concept to customer value amid a chaotic mix of tools and practices.”

Facilitating innovation

Thoughtworks has not productized this in-house platform. But it has partnered with enterprise customer Spotify to create a like-minded open-source developer portal called Backstage. And in September 2021, Thoughtworks also partnered with customer Telus on the development of a Backstage-based portal for that company’s 8,000 developers.

As for NEO, the platform generates reports on key metrics such as the performance of fragmented teams, legacy technology that needs to be updated, applications that are duplicated, and any ill-defined business processes or other issue that could affect delivery cycles, Whalley says.

Through NEO, Thoughtworks has modernized its development process by replacing older components, such as event streaming and hosting, replacing it with Kafka and Google Cloud Platform. It has also consolidated features from API platforms, Heroku, and GitHub, for example, to ensure developers have all they need without redundancy.

In-house developers who use NEO like it.

“With NEO, the processes that used to be demanding and considerable effort were greatly streamlined. Being able to manage our projects, in addition to having access to infrastructure information and the resources available within the same platform, has considerably increased our productivity and organization,” says Rodrigo Denubilla, tech lead at Thoughtworks in Brazil. “NEO has had an extraordinary impact on our daily lives.” 

In addition to helping jumpstart the development process, NEO also enables developers to experiment more. For example, with NEO, Deshpande can run a series of hackathons to push the limits on innovation. “We can spin those up in a matter of hours using the platform so people can come up with an idea and build it because all the basic building blocks are there for them,” the CDO says.  

The developer edge

For a company that is growing “north of 20% annually,” NEO’s ability to track fragmented teams globally is another significant benefit, Whalley says. The platform, for instance, integrates data from SaaS systems such as Workday to give project leaders up-to-date employment information about the company’s developers, as well as their availability.

“If you want some financial data and headcount, it’s there,” Whalley says. “Obviously, all this is done through permissioning. Not everybody has access to confidential information, so it’s all authorized.”

Pawan Shah, a San Francisco-based Thoughtworks developer, also lauded NEO’s many benefits. “NEO has provided the perfect platform to assist developers to publish, discover, and consume these core assets through events and API, thus making the internal system integrations more seamless,” Shah says. “As a consumer of NEO, I see this as a huge benefit which has helped us move faster with our integrations so that we can focus on providing the right value for the business.”

Gartner’s Bhat says such portals help declutter developers’ desktops and workflows.

“Most organizations use a complex collection of platforms, tools, and frameworks across different layers of the technology stack. This internal maze of technologies creates unnecessary overhead, duplicates effort, and hurts developer productivity,” Bhat says. “Developer portals help solve the problem of too many unknowns, poor asset discoverability, and tool fragmentation.”

By abstracting away the underlying complexity across multiple technology layers, from the data layer, to programming language and scaffolding frameworks, to infrastructure and APIs, developer portals like NEO can help make development work streamlined and consistent, Bhat says — a recipe for better business outcomes.

CIO 100, Software Development