Why is it imperative to accelerate IT modernization today? After all, hasn’t this been a focus of IT for decades already? In order to understand why IT modernization should still be a top priority, we must separate the hype from reality.
While progress has been made in maturing IT modernization efforts, much of this work has added layers of software complexity on top of existing systems, making them less stable and even more difficult to change and modernize in the future.
There are signs that point to complexity-related issues, even after modernization work has been done:
“My gut feeling as a system engineer tells me the system is running well. We have some issues from time to time, but in the end, we get it back on track and continue on.”
“IT sucks,” says a user. “It’s instable, and they’re always late in delivering.”
“Developers claim the requirements from users are always incomplete and constantly changing.”
To see beyond these “gut feeling” answers, we must factualize the situation and use tangible measures of software quality, health and complexity to anticipate performance results, while also setting up IT for long-term success in additional modernizations over time. Typical software measures include:
Its not unusual for the above measures to signal the need for IT modernization to be accelerated. Metrics often show that the amount of legacy code has grown too large, the number of incidents is too high, the percentage of projects on time and on budget is appallingly low, and that overall, systems are not under control. The main reason for these results is a prevalence of software complexity across the system – poor governance, bad usage of existing environments, lack of prioritization and other factors. The result is high IT operation cost, negative perception across a high percentage of users and more roadblocks to transform at speed. If you are a CIO, this spells bad news for you.
Three Primary Drivers of Accelerated IT Modernization
How CIOs Can Gain Business Support for IT Modernization Investment
In my experience, CIOs will be the most successful if they use the factual elements gathered through the measures mentioned above to build a strong case for change. This, however, should be bundled and presented in a way that brings value to the business and makes the correlation to investment clear.
Here are my six tips for CIOs to make these presentations more powerful:
Take these six findings and bundle them into a larger strategic plan that outlines the complete story of how you’ll effectively move from your current situation towards a modern IT environment. Once the plan (or some version of it) has been approved, the next challenge is to align Dev, Ops and Agile teams around common goals and this new digitally-minded way of working.
Leveraging Software Intelligence through the transition from old to new processes and technologies is recommended here. Getting everyone on the same page and working from the same, synthesized data (like application blueprints, system-level understanding of capabilities, etc.) is essential to minimize disruption and keep confusion low.
Software Intelligence also enables the effective use of standard, selected measures that tracks the evolution and progress towards IT modernization while enforcing clear governance and sponsorship (with business and IT together) of the modernization effort.
Erik Oltmans, an Associate Partner from EY, Netherlands, spoke at the Software Intelligence Forum on how the consulting behemoth uses Software Intelligence in its Transaction Advisory services.
Erik describes the changing landscape of M & A. Besides the financial and commercial aspects, PE firms now equally value technical assessments, especially for targets with significant software assets. He goes on to detail how CAST Highlight makes these assessments possible with limited access to the targetâ€™s systems, customized quality metrics, and liability implications of open source components - all three that are critical for an M&A due diligence.