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  • Showing posts with label it strategy. Show all posts
    Showing posts with label it strategy. Show all posts

    Friday, June 28, 2019

    Time for a Declaration of Independence from Software Vendors?

    When it comes to enterprise IT, every so often we begin to notice things that cause us to question our basic assumptions. The latest is about the role of commercial software.

    The traditional advice for companies is that it is best to standardize on a commercial software vendor for the core of the applications portfolio. It might be a major vendor, such as SAP, Oracle, or Microsoft, or it might be any number of other providers. Custom software should be the exception, not the rule, whether for unique industry requirements, or for modifications and extensions to the core system. The more you can rely on a commercial software vendor, the better.

    We’ve been giving this guidance for decades, whether for on-premises systems or with cloud-based systems.


    Nevertheless, some of our clients are starting to rebel against the conventional wisdom by developing more of their own software in-house. Moreover, they are not doing it just on an occasional or exception basis or for niche applications. They are doing it for domains where we traditionally assumed that commercial software was the natural choice.

    Read the rest of this post on the Strativa blog: Time for a Declaration of Independence from Software Vendors?

    Thursday, April 25, 2019

    What Is Digital Transformation, and How Do We Get There?

    In enterprise technology, digital transformation is a hot topic. But what does it really mean? Overused by vendors and consultants, the phrase has become nearly meaningless.

    This needs to change. Digital transformation should be something practical and tangible, something in reach of all organizations—provided business leaders make a sustained effort.

    This post provides a simple definition of digital transformation, breaks down the main types of digital transformation, and recommends an approach for developing a digital transformation strategy.

    Read this post on the Strativa blog:  What Is Digital Transformation, and How Do We Get There?

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    Strategies for Dealing with Legacy Systems

    Developing an IT strategy for some organizations can be difficult because of the presence of a legacy system. Legacy systems that are old, out-of-date, and difficult to maintain are a huge obstacle to innovation. As a result, business leaders become increasingly frustrated by their inability to roll out new mobile apps, connect with customers, analyze business performance, or become a digital business.

    In recent years, it has become popular to describe organizations with an out-of-date legacy system as being in “technical debt.” I would take this a step further. If an organization ignores the need to update the system for too long, it can lead to what I refer to as “technical bankruptcy.”

    We can define technical bankruptcy as a situation where the organization cannot, or finds it exceedingly difficult to, pay off the technical debt. It does not mean that the organization is in financial bankruptcy but rather that its systems are broken or held together in a way that makes them extremely difficult to upgrade.

    Significant Percentage of Organizations Are at Risk of Technical Bankruptcy

    In work with our clients at Strativa over the past several years, we have gained new insights into challenges facing organizations that have out-of-date legacy systems. We recently took the opportunity to combine those insights with survey data from our sister IT research firm, Computer Economics, to produce a new report, Avoiding Technical Bankruptcy in Legacy Systems. (Click the link to download the report free from the Strativa website.)

    Figure 3 from the full report shows the magnitude of the problem as it applies to ERP systems. A small but significant percentage (7%) of organization have not upgraded their ERP systems for 10 or more years. These are likely to already be in technical bankruptcy. But the 13% of organizations that have not upgraded their systems in the five-to-nine-year time frame are in the danger zone: Technical debt is building, and if the organization does not undertake a major upgrade, it risks falling into technical bankruptcy.

    Signs of Technical Bankruptcy

    What are typical signs that a legacy system has reached the stage of technical bankruptcy? We found five characteristics:
    • Extensive modifications, extensions, and interfaces.
    • Poor understanding of the system by users and IT alike
    • Direct involvement of IT personnel in business processes.
    • Legacy system atrophy as shadow IT emerges.
    • Upgrade or replacement hard to justify.
    In the full report, we explore the symptoms of technical bankruptcy and the devastating effects that it has on the organization. We continue by quantifying the scope of the problem specifically for ERP systems, using our research on the typical age, frequency of upgrades, and extent of modification of these systems.

    Most importantly, we conclude with recommendations on how to avoid technical bankruptcy and, for organizations that have reached this stage, strategies for getting out and staying out of technical bankruptcy going forward.  

    Download the full report, free from the Strativa website:
    IT Strategies for Legacy Systems: Avoiding Technical Bankruptcy.
     


    Bonus: Watch a Datamation's James McGuire in a video interview with me about the report.

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