In this Continuous Excellence Enablement event for CLSAs, Mark Guthrie (@GUTHM - Pega Senior Director, Modernization) and Miguel Garcia Alvarez (@GARCM - Principal Service Assurance Advisor, Modernization, CLSA) present what Modernization entails, walk through the assessment details, and describe the best practice patterns that are available.
Learn how Pega and their partners are investing to support clients along their Modernization journeys, and how you can use that support for your clients. Learn also how to position Modernisation as it benefits your clients, cover lessons learned, and detail some previous examples where clients have adopted a modernization approach.
In this post you will find:
The recording of the webinar (including the Q&A answered live during the Asia Pacific event);
All software released by Pegasystems (including products from Chordiant, Antenna, OpenSpan, and other products obtained by Pega via acquisition) prior to the release of Pega Infinity is currently in Extended Support. Extended Support for these products, including all related versions, ends on June 30, 2023.
How do I enable myself around modernization in Pega?
How does modernization differ from digital process automations?
Digital process automation can be a critical part of your Modernization journey, so I think they are complementary things rather than differing things
Often as an LSA, a lot of the IT delivery and infrastructure decisions are not in your control. Where this has been done successfully, what strategy was deployed to get modernisation on the radar of the decision makers?
This is where the Pega/Partner Account teams should get involved to engage the Client and make recommendations around both. We have included these key aspects in the Modernization Assessment.
Of course, the extended support policy helps Clients to focus on getting their Pega implementations current, and that should open the door for the conversations around modernization.
Suppose an application has been built in 8.x (lower than 8.7) with OOTB rules only but with complex logic and processes ... Can I assume that - since only OOTB rules are used - migration to any higher version (8.7 and onwards) would be simple? Or we do we have to take the help of a Modernization assessment to assess the effort?
If the application has been built to best practices and have a high guardrail compliance (90+, ideally 95+) then the 'update' should be simple - however an update is only one part of a modernisation journey.
Modernisation is about adopting many of the latest capabilities of the platform - such as Stage Based Case Design, Live Data (strong Data Page patterns), etc.
Considering clients with large number of relatively small/medium complexity applications. Do you have guidance how quick the assessment should typically be? As you mentioned the tool undergoes updates, would recommendations change much? Or the tool updates are to support new strategic or Pega app versions?
The recommendations do not really change. New items are added, but most changes to the tool now are focused on helping assess Strategic Applications such as Customer Service or 1:1 Customer Engagement (Marketing).
In general, small/medium complexity apps can be assessed in a week of work with an LSA and a UI focused person (assuming a typically customised Pega UI).
Can we upgrade from 7.3 to 8.1 by running the UI Assist tool and then upgrade from 8.1 to 8.7 by running the update tools that are available in Pega Marketplace?
We always recommend a direct update to the latest Pega version. Use the Modernization Tool; there is no cost involved.
Are upgrades/modernisations projects always Pega-led or partner-led? Can clients request for the modernization tool (along with the implementation guide) and perform upgrade by themselves?
Yes, clients can request for the tool using the same link and we will share the tool. Modernizations can be client-led too, but usually we see Pega Consulting and partners involved helping client in some capacity.
Do we have any document that has all the steps that we need to follow in the modernization journey from earlier versions of 8.x to latest versions of 8.x? Like what are the checks that we need to do on application rules and checks on data base and checks on integration?
Please refer to these set of articles on Pega community that explains the entire process:
And, once you register for Modernization, we will also share an implementation guide, which has the details of how to modernize for each identified modernization areas.
We have already started our modernisation journey. Pega is already aware of this. Should we still register ourselves in the modernisation tool?
Yes, unless the Pega Modernzation CoE is already involved? It is important to have access to the latest tooling.
For a client already on a latest version on Pega cloud, is it worth still getting a Modernization assessment done to understand where further improvements can be made and other recommendations. For example, citizen development, CoE setup etc.
We should look at all the elements: people, process, infrastructure, update strategy, etc. to ensure everything is covered. Clients can be on the latest version but not modernized so not getting the full benefits from their investment in Pega.
Will this tool assess all the dependant applications?
Yes - you can select or deselect the applications in the stack - you may want to assess each of the application layers separately.
Are the offerings of Modernization Tools covered under the existing licensing cost for an existing client?
The Modernization tool is not licensed. There is also no cost involved for involving the Pega Modernization COE.
How does the modernization tool differ from the Guardrails landing page and App Studio Compliance page? Is this tool a replacement for all existing quality landing pages?
It is not a replacement of the existing quality landing pages. The tool separates all rule validation issues into the key modernization stages: update, implement, evolve.
Will this tool give the report on any automation scripts running on the app server?
The tool looks primarily at the Pega Code/Rule base so it will not find automation scripts running separately on the server. There are questions on the Assessment worksheet (spreadsheet) to uncover these sorts of dependencies which are outside of the Rule base but are critical for the application to work.
Does this tool assess CDH applications as well?
Yes, although some elements of CDH applications require further assessment beyond what the tool provides. The team developing the Modernisation tooling has CDH focused improvements on their backlog.
Is Pega Upgrade Tools on Marketplace not recommended for assessing scope of upgrade/modernisation anymore?
The Pega Upgrade Tools on Marketplace works for Pega 8 only. The Modernization Tool can run on Pega 7 as well. The Upgrade Tools also can be used along with Modernization Tool if you are updating from a Pega 8 version. There will be overlaps in the output.
Is there a tool in Pega's toolkit that assesses application changes required to make them compatible to run in containers?
Ideally the application should work regardless of the deployment architecture. A 'modern' Pega application should ensure it is free from tight coupling with the infrastructure. This allows the application to be easily containerized as needed.
How will inflight data from source versions work in destination versions after converting old process flows into case type stage design? Is there anything available as part of the assessment tools?
The assessment tool is to support the assessment phase. The switch from process flow to case types is not a straightforward technical task and will depend on the design decision made by the architect. You will need to use different strategies when dealing with live data depending on the impact of design choice in each case. There can't be a general strategy which will work for all scenarios.
Begin to adopt Live Data - can you please elaborate?
This really means effective use of Data Pages to declaratively access data objects as needed and protecting your business process from the complexity of your integration
Is there any tool / utility available to convert a non-case management application to a case management application as a part of the modernization?
You can of course reuse and consume the flows as part of the move to Case Stages and Steps. As you move to a case-based application you are ideally thinking differently about how to manage and automate the case (or work) to be completed more effectively. Therefore, we do not see this as a technical switch that a tool may help with.
Are Database views recommended in Pega 8.x?
Database views should be avoided. Try to use Report Definitions with appropriate Joins or Sub Reports
What is the end-to-end suggested Modernization approach for a new application to be built in Pega?
Cosmos React<-->Micro services<-->Containerization<-->Dev ops?
The new application is not expected to be modernized. It needs to be developed with accordance to the latest best-practices, which include usage of the most relevant UI stack and Deployment Manager for deploying artefacts across environments.
Modernization is meant for applications developed on older Pega versions.
If your application is based on Pega Cloud, it is already using containerization and microservices behind the scenes. You can apply Microservices patterns for integration with other applications, but this purely depends on your client's IT strategy.
Myth or Fact: Pega Best Practices recommends having more than 1 PROD cloud environments for complex applications. I view Pega as a SaaS platform, therefore what situations, if any, is it a best practice to stand up multiple PROD environments (other than for country specific regulatory requirements) in a Modernization plan?
Myth. Some customers have multiple PROD environments, but typically this falls into the categories you describe or some clear separation from their own business needs. For example, one PROD for Back Office focused apps, one PROD for Customer Service apps. This is a client choice and not a Pega Best Practice that applies everywhere.
If we use this tool, do we also need to run the DB Readiness Tool, or is this part of this Modernization?
The DB Readiness Tool is incorporated into the Modernisation Tool, so there is no need to run the DB Readiness Tool separately.
For on-premise customers who are currently using AES, is it possible to upgrade AES and make it work with Pega 8.7/8.8 on-premise?
On-premise customers can also use PDC. This is the recommended approach rather than upgrading AES. Some of the reasons for this recommendation include:
The last AES available is supported on Pega Platform 8.3, extended support for which ends on June 30, 2023.
AES must be deployed as a multi-tenant deployment (which is more complicated for Operations teams).
AES on Pega 8.3 does not consume new alert types introduced in Pega 8.4+.
PDC has been and will continue to attract new Pega application health monitoring features which are not backported to AES.
Approved government clients whose environments are physically disconnected from the Internet have access to an on-premise version of PDC. Enquire with your Pega Account Executive.