Proper planning is the key.
Editor's Note: This article introduces the Able-One webinar on application modernization.
Technology is now the leading factor for innovation in 71 percent of businesses, according to an IBM study. IT professionals have become acutely aware of this over the past decade, with the exponential progress of the Internet, social media, mobility, cloud computing, and the possibilities with advanced software and infrastructure. IT management is under pressure to maintain mission-critical operations while leading their organization forward at a rapid pace with these capabilities.
So today's IT professionals understand their important role in keeping their businesses relevant. Standing still is not really an option with business or with IT. This can present a challenge if the business has been slow to invest in appropriate tools, technology, approaches, and resources to enable this transition.
Yet, the evidence that successful technology transformation creates value for customers and drives business is overwhelming. Innovation can create new opportunities.
Moving in this direction represents investment in your organization's future, involving resources and infrastructure.
Everyone knows you have to spend money to make money. But how much? And when does the payback start? These are valid questions in troubling economic times. With well-planned advancements in IT, you should be able to justify needed technology investments to the business.
Key areas to consider:
- Improved productivity in IT means reduced costs in development and lifecycle management and/or in infrastructure over time.
- Improve the infrastructure and reduce risk. Estimate savings by averting disaster, by not relying on legacy or older hardware/software.
- Measure the cost savings over time of efficiency solutions to the business (improved throughput, operations, responsiveness, customer service).
- Deliver innovation, business transformation, and competitive advantage to the business through effective technology. Can you measure increased revenue and opportunity?
In the words of George Bernard Shaw: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
To be viable in today's technology world, as an example, a manufacturer must not only design a better widget at a better price, but they must:
- Integrate their systems and processes with their supply chain so that order processing and purchasing activities and transactions are recorded and shared—with as little human interaction as possible
- Offer key interfaces to their organization online to prospects, customers, and partners via browser, mobile, web services, social media, or whatever comes next
- Modernize mission-critical systems so that they can be architected in a services-oriented fashion for reuse of key functions while avoiding the risk of large-scale replacement projects
- Ensure collaboration
- Maintain stable, secure systems that can manage continual increases in workload and touchpoints
Many of you probably already know that you have to do something, but where do you start? If you're managing old legacy systems and have limited time or budget for innovation, it's still important to review your options and take steps forward.
With a clear plan and cost justification, most executives today will want to hear what their technology leaders are recommending. Everyone is budget-constrained, but with a good technology strategy involving low-risk, transformation, and innovation goals, possibly plotted out over multiple years, IT can actually contribute to the profits and even save money for the organization.