The IT landscape has changed massively in recent years. The transformation resulted in a multitude of bottlenecks in the system. But the success in the era of modern technology and digital disruption belongs to the organizations that understand IT needs modernization.
What is IT modernization?
IT modernization is the partial or complete up-gradation of existing IT infrastructure. It is a modern practice of building future-proof and more agile organizational infrastructure. It refers to a process of driving away from aging hardware and software infrastructure towards more automated and innovative solutions.
How to plan for IT modernization?
The IT modernization process varies from business to business – but the basics remain the same. Here is a 6-step plan for IT modernization.
1- Business Assessment
The first step is the proper business assessment – find critical areas that need IT modernization. Modernization can touch any part of the business depending on its needs.
Different businesses can require IT modernization in different areas. Here’s a list-
- Infrastructure modernization
- Network modernization
- Application modernization
- Device modernization
- Lifecycle modernization
- Security modernization
For instance, let’s recall the era when people replaced their outdated proprietary system with packaged COTS software. But most of the businesses failed because that same system doesn’t align with the needs of all. Every business needs are unique, and there can’t be a single software approach to take over all its necessities. Therefore, it is essential to consider all the factors impacting your business.
Components you need to dive into for assessing the requirement of your business for IT modernization includes-
- System architecture
- Technology layers
- Storage technology
- Deployment infrastructure
- Programming languages
- Tools and services
- Third-party integration
Also, consider these parameters before thinking of the IT modernization of your business.
Complexity- Business working processes are not straight. Therefore, assessing the level of complexity in your organization will help you identify potential challenges that can hinder the modernization process.
Fundings- It is crucial to look at your budget and funding sources while looking for suitable approaches and strategies for modernization.
Risks and cost- Not everything falls in the right place at once. Considering the potential risks and associated costs will help you minimize the loss and damage. Do a risk management analysis.
Organizational change- Resistance to change creates friction which impacts the modernization process. Therefore, considering this challenge beforehand will eliminate the potential obstructions in the small run.
After considering these parameters, evaluate and define the scope of modernization in your organization — document all the findings.
2- Finding the suitable approaches – Replacement, point solutions, or continuous modernization
No one approach fits every organization, and therefore, it is vital to evaluate every possible system. If you have gathered sufficient information from the first step, you can quickly identify the right approach to reap the best results.
Consider these holistic approaches-
Replacement: This is the primary approach that replaces the old legacy IT architecture system with the new ones, and it completely revamps the whole IT structure. However, these approaches include high costs; therefore, proper business evaluation is crucial.
Point solutions: This approach fills the gaps to resolve the immediate issues arising within the organization. It does not wholly revamp the IT architecture of the organization; instead, it adds a few piecemeal solutions to modernize the enterprise process.
Continuous modernization: This approach evolves the IT infrastructure by gradually incorporating emerging technologies into the core business model. This approach efficiently manages the probable risks – skill attrition, technological redundancy, high operating costs, etc.
How to choose the right approach for IT modernization?
The best approach will be the one that resolves the fundamental problems your business is facing and derives the highest value. The right path will include people + technology. Aging IT infrastructure runs on cost, impedes quality, and takes longer. Therefore, the new approach should eliminate the underused system, lean on automation, and improve productivity.
3- Strategic planning
You have evaluated your business needs and selected the right approach. Now, it is essential to align both to drive the modernization process. Therefore, it is mandatory to devise a good strategy for moving forward with the selected approach without disrupting your business flow. Strategy planning should define a clear roadmap to the modernization process.
Try devising ecosystem-driven strategies that prioritize your business process. – employees, partners, tech capabilities, and customers.
4- Immersive consulting
It is crucial to have intimate knowledge on the subject matter with a perspective from – culture, organizational relationships, and tech & business users. Immersive consulting from external and internal sources will help-
- Optimize cost
- Pivot weak points
- Foster leapfrog efforts to achieve the results
- leverage the success rate of devised strategy.
Make necessary changes and document the final strategy.
5- Implement the strategy
Now is the time to grease your elbow and execute the chosen approach with devised strategy. Make sure your executive team is committed to transforming.
6- Measure the results
Analyzing results will help you identify your strategy’s gaps, drawbacks, and advantages. It will help you avoid losses and settle down emerging issues before creating a huge problem.
I hope the article has helped you plan the IT modernization of your organization. With this 6-step process, put your IT modernization plan in action. Remember, IT modernization is not a magic trick, and the organization needs to keep experimenting and improving until they achieve the desired results.