Has your digital transformation actually been a success?

Joel Wermut General Manager at Versent

Joel Wermut

API & Microservices Practice Director

June 1, 2018

Like me, you’ve likely sat through project status update meetings where month in, month out we’re told our program is ‘green’ until all of a sudden one day, it’s ‘red’…

Here are three simple tests you can kick-off on your own to get a finger on the pulse and check if the actual health of your project is ‘green’.

Test 1: Invite a friendly {read: partner} app development team in for a day to try and use some of your newly built services and APIs.

Test conditions

  1. ‍Not allowed to point the friendly at the team that built the APIs.
  2. ‍No system on-boarding into your company is allowed – site access and security clearances are still cool.

The test fails if:

  • Your friendly team is not able to discover the APIs in the first place.
  • Your friendly team is sent a static PDF of the APIs.
  • ‍Your security team denies your partners access because they didn’t know you were doing this test.
  • ‍Your friendly team’s access is pending manual action in someone’s backlog / queue.

The test passes if

  • ‍Your friendly team has gone to a website you host that follows standard API conventions to work out where your APIs are hosted and documented.
  • ‍Your friendly team has registered and been automatically granted access to a sandpit environment to start building.


  • ‍Your friendly team got so far in one day that they’ve come up with an idea you never thought possible. Just so happens it’s commercially attractive too.

Test 2: Try changing an API or releasing a new version of your app, right now (yes – in production) and see how you go…

Test conditions

  1. ‍Not allowed to call a mate in the change management team.
  2. ‍Not allowed to call a mate in the security team.
  3. ‍No firewall burns…
  4. ‍No infrastructure requests.

The test fails if:

  • ‍You still haven’t got anything into production…
  • ‍Your development team are looking at you with a Scrooge McDuck face as they scramble for reasons NOT to do it today.
  • ‍You’ve been pushed out to quarterly release.
  • ‍You made the change, but you broke ‘stuff’ and either had to fix on fail or roll back to before you had started.
  • ‍You couldn’t get past change management.
  • ‍Your security team/process slowed you down.
  • ‍Your architecture team has not endorsed this pattern.

The test passes if:

  • ‍You’ve successfully made your change and your mobile / web team still wants to buy you coffee.
  • ‍The previous version you supported has a sustainable lifecycle to justify its existence.


  • ‍The change you made enabled a ‘test and learn’ business feature that’s been in your backlog for ages, but you never had the confidence to release. You’ve proven you can reliably deliver same-day value to your customers for things they’re actually asking you for.

Test 3: Ask the CMO if they’d like to run a marketing campaign on your developer portal

The test fails if:

  • ‍You don’t have a developer portal – no-one’s suggested why it’s important.
  • ‍You’ve got a developer portal, but the marketing team has never heard of it.
  • ‍The campaign is on, the PR’s gone out but none of your developers can get access because your security is so secure (read: not standard).
  • ‍You’re told it’s not a great idea as you’ll likely kill one of your core systems or back ends if you run it.
  • ‍You run a campaign on a developer portal that doesn’t bring usage to your APIs.
  • ‍You have to first consult your infrastructure team to provision ‘some cloud’.
  • ‍You managed to run the campaign, the added traffic is gone but now you’re stuck with a fleet of redundant ‘cloud’ items that are costing you unnecessarily.

The test passes if:

  • ‍You’ve successfully run your campaign, got some ace feedback on your data and services, and you’ve now got a customer-led prioritised backlog of value-add initiatives to pursue.
  • ‍You’ve successfully run your campaign, the ‘cloud’ scaled up, you got an incremental bill for what you used, and the ‘cloud’ scaled down (no humans were harmed in the scaling of said-cloud).


  • ‍Your marketing team had their ‘light-bulb’ moment and wants to do it regularly.
  • ‍Your marketing team can put a dollar value on your data and services and has found a partner who is willing to pay for it.

If you’ve just moved your first transformed application into ‘the cloud’, put down a bar tab at ‘the local’ for the release of your website or your mobile app, or invested in a new ‘integration’ platform, and you haven’t passed the tests in this blog post, don’t fret, you’re not alone!

If you’d like to connect to a community of like-minded people who are living through these same experiences, contact us for a confidential chat or further insights. info@versent.com.au

Joel is an end to end digital leader, with strong commercial accumen and a solid track record in delivering customer centric digital strategies, and leading teams to success. Outside the office, you can find him chilling with family and friends, kicking a footy, almost any shape will do, or riding the roller coaster of emotions that comes along with supporting clubs like the roosters, the tahs and Liverpool FC.



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