Target audience: C-level execs, startup founders and Healthtech leaders
A strategic technology roadmap is an essential tool for any C-suite executive. When you have a flexible and scalable foundation that is anchored in the correct technology, you can achieve the agility, speed, and efficiency that will set you apart from your competitors and put you in a better position for business success. A strong execution of said strategy could go as far as to improve the stock of your company if you communicate your story effectively to stakeholders, such as investors. Are you also properly assessing scope creep and communication within your teams? Neglecting all these moves can undermine your execution.
In this blog post, we will share a success story with you on how we excelled in executing a technology roadmap that was both highly effective and in alignment with our valued client’s strategic vision.
As a leader, you may already be privy to the best practices when it comes to the execution strategy of any technology roadmap. This includes securing the resources needed at the early stage to evaluate and understand how to actually develop said technologies, selecting roadmap layers thoughtfully, and involving cross-functional roles within and beyond the company to execute a holistic strategy that considers factors like product development, customer segmentation, and technology readiness level.
But the practical implications really extend to the internal principles you enforce within the company from the very beginning of the client engagement. Here’s how we did it successfully.
The client is a cutting-edge health technology startup with a passion for leveraging technology to transform healthcare delivery. This forward-thinking company is dedicated to creating innovative solutions that improve patient outcomes and streamline healthcare processes. It is poised to disrupt the industry with its focus on telemedicine, wearable health devices, and data-driven healthcare analytics. Their commitment to patient-centric care and data security sets them apart, making them a promising client for any technology consultant looking to drive healthcare innovation.
Healthtech is a dynamic and ever-evolving landscape, marked by rapid advancements, regulatory demands, and a clear focus on delivering exceptional patient care. In this environment, it is not enough to simply execute a technology roadmap as a “nice-to-have”.
- The client came to us with an urgent need for a second team to integrate solid DevOps practices in order to give them more control over their environment.
- We came on the scene to also help them adhere to the extensive standards required by any company in such a regulated industry. In this sense, we were able to look into security and compliance.
- The client required feature development at a rapid pace to meet the needs of their user base, and we were expected to achieve this through a strong core development team.
4 aspects of our successful execution strategy
Unique engagement model
A clear role and communication plan
From the onset of any client relationship, we usually aim to create shared value. We carefully assessed their business goals and the stated consulting requirement and pivoted that strategy accordingly after investigation and findings of our own. We assumed full control of communication and agreements with the client, allowing only the consultant to have the final say to ensure a high-quality delivery. By establishing an effective communication plan, we were also able to set expectations for all stakeholders and decision-makers involved to ensure that the rationale of our roadmap strategy resonated with every member of our team and that value was demonstrated.
Non-invasive team formation
We implemented minor changes to the client’s existing environment to demonstrate the value and strength of our consulting practices. This strategy increased the client’s trust in us and allowed us to incorporate our core values into our mutual understanding. After building trust in our capabilities, we slowly started bringing our engineers into the picture and giving them responsibilities, with daily monitoring happening in the background. At this stage, the consultants took a back seat and supervised the daily execution of activities.
Optimised resource planning
Due diligence on infrastructure, risk, and security concerns
A thorough analysis of the existing backlog in their project management tools was conducted. This helped us understand the gap between technical and business deliveries. We first checked back on the client’s product at the inception phase and prioritised any non-disruptive changes to their platform engineering practices before making changes to the core application platform. A regulatory compliance analysis and infrastructure assessment were carried out, and thereafter we were able to implement the following strategy:
One of our initial actions was to identify and optimise any over-provisioned or underutilised resources, such as EC2 instances. By right-sizing these resources, we were able to effectively eliminate unnecessary costs and confidently optimise performance, all while maintaining the stability and sustainability of our system.
- Analysing resource utilisation to identify over-provisioned or underutilised resources
- Adjusting resource capacity based on workload demands to optimise performance and cost
- Implementing monitoring and automation tools to continuously track resource usage and make data-driven rightsizing decisions
Further strategies we plan to use:
Rightsizing the RDS instances: analyse and adjust the capacity of RDS instances based on workload demands to optimise performance and reduce costs.
A flexible approach to performance
We were careful about maintaining the tradeoff between performance and cost. Minimising downtime could not be neglected for this product. Of course, these background processes inevitably freed up space for a healthy innovation framework in rapid release of new features. Here are the strategies we used:
We confidently enhanced the auto-scaling configuration. This empowered us to seamlessly adapt the number of EC2 instances in response to traffic, leading to significant cost savings during periods of low activity. This intelligent scaling strategy guarantees that we are solely investing in the resources we truly require, as demand dictates.
- Monitor traffic levels and adjust the number of instances accordingly to match the demand.
- Continuously analyse and optimise auto-scaling parameters to achieve the most cost-effective resource allocation.
Cost optimisation as a KPI
We introduced new tool sets that minimised manual work and inspections on the platform and software development. As part of this, we introduced cost optimisation techniques and tools that focused directly on reducing AWS monthly costs. Using AWS Cost Explorer and Cloud Cost Optimisation tools, we were able to monitor and optimise data transfer costs. Keeping cloud costs as a KPI, the team took a disciplined approach to clock in cost analysis on a daily basis and compare, side-by-side at a later date, the weekly and monthly trajectories. For these routine check-ins, we used AWS Budgets and CloudWatch alarms.
Leveraging spot instances
For fault-tolerant workloads, we have selected to utilise EC2 Spot Instances. These instances offer significant cost savings in comparison to on-demand pricing, enabling us to operate our applications at a considerably lower expense while maintaining optimal performance and reliability.
Software lifecycle policies
Implementing lifecycle policies for EBS and S3 data to automate data tiering: Set up policies to automatically move data between different storage tiers based on usage patterns, allowing for cost optimisation without sacrificing accessibility.
Further strategies we plan to use:
Purchasing Reserved Instances for Predictable Workloads: Reserve EC2 instances in advance for a specific duration to benefit from lower hourly rates and ensure cost savings for long-term, predictable workloads.
Effective project management
Healthy and well-defined workflows
We created multiple task pipelines based on business value, technical complexity, stakeholder priorities, and business expansion. Our well-defined task pipelines have helped us address critical and time-sensitive activities first in a world of initiatives and projects for this one client and contributed to effective risk mitigation and identifying bottlenecks and delays as well.
Using effective and business-aligned methodologies
We agreed on several delivery principles and execution strategies with the client to maintain transparency. For example, we adopted Agile delivery and ITSM/ITIL practices. Insighture embraces agile methodologies, valuing individuals and interactions, working software, customer collaboration, and responding to change. In this sense, we are able to secure the long-term sustainability of the project.
The above strategies and approaches resulted in cost savings of 10.4% on the client’s AWS bill within a mere 3-month timeline. Cloud cost optimisation is of utmost importance for modern businesses, as it directly influences their overall success and potential for growth.
For this client in particular, the implications are massive given that operations in this industry can be resource-intensive (for instance, the need to deal with vast amounts of patient records), the high amount of regulation (costs must be freed up to invest in security and compliance), and the criticality of speed to market and innovate in such a highly competitive environment.
A strategic technology roadmap is critical for the sustainability and growth of any business. It can help you:
- Plan for growth and sustainability.
- Invest in the necessary technologies to achieve your goals.
- Avoid overspending and technology redundancy.
- Efficiently manage your investment, deployment, and adoption of new technologies.
However, it is important to remain principled and conscientious to help your client realise better strategies for themselves and their goals. Breaking down silos is also a necessary measure. When needed, we need to use automations, tools, and practices that boost development efficiency internally.
We hope we were able to shed some light on the importance of thoughtful execution.