How on earth do you “do” IT modernization?
- Posted on December 5, 2016
I’ve spent more time than I care to admit this year looking at the topic of IT modernization, allowing me (off the top of my head no less) to quote Gartner as stating that legacy systems are in the top three blockers to adopting a bimodal IT model – impressive, right? In particular though, I’ve been interested in the kind of work Avanade is doing helping clients move to New Economics of IT.
The business benefits and overall goals of IT modernization are clear, from marketing being able to meet the expectations of their customers better, to project managers being able to communicate with project teams as easily as with their friends. Plus, in an age of digital business, CEOs and their business leaders are expecting IT to unlock true competitive advantage [CLICK TO TWEET].
But what actually is Modernization? What’s the answer? What do I do?
- Migrating off my old Windows Server 2003 estate, will that do it?
- What about throwing some of my apps into cloud infrastructure , that’s got to count?
- Office 365? You bet.
- Modernizing my apps to be cloud-native and utilizing Platform as a service?
- Using an agile approach to application development and implementing a DevOps culture to have my development & operations teams benefit from closer working? Yeah! …but that one isn’t even wholly technology related?! So what?
So the answer: IT modernization encompasses a lot of stuff (each of the links above take you to individual blogs on these 5 topics alone!).
The key question in my opinion though is: If the end game is a transformed IT organization able to support a business’s digital transformation, are all of these created equal? No.
Stages of Modernization
Depending on where you are starting out, there are things which need to be done in the legacy stage to remove unnecessary risk and cost to the business. These are critical, but aren’t going to bring competitive advantage, these are about bringing you up to date - to today: into the conventional. For the IT organization looking to support a business’s digital transformation and empower business innovation – tomorrow and beyond, conventional isn’t going to cut it. This is where modernized IT comes in to help enable this transformation ready state.
Whilst it’s helpful to think about the journey and actions in these stages, don’t think that with the right plan in place you can’t move from Legacy straight to Modernized, I’ve seen plenty of examples of where we’ve helped clients do just that, just look at what we’ve done with Centrica.
The building blocks of IT modernization
As we established up front, IT modernization really is a holistic process that touches on every aspect of the IT environment – which makes it enormous. To help make some sense of it, we’ve broken it down into three manageable components that every company should consider:
Creating agile, micro-engineered liquid applications that are quickly assembled, delivered as-a-service, highly reliable, and easy to maintain and update.
Transforming traditional infrastructure towards an application led, hybrid and automated infrastructure which scales to business demands.
Moving clients to the latest platforms and building connected collaboration tools to lay the foundation for the digital workplace.
What we’ll do in the next couple of blogs is delve deeper into these three areas of modernization and set out some examples of what constitutes Legacy, Conventional and Modernized for each area.
PS: Don’t despair, check out Avanade's New Economics of IT: Modernization, explained: