As we have discussed in previous articles IT departments are facing huge challenges just to keep the current portfolio operational:
- Old but mission-critical applications with poor documentation and lack of internal knowledge
- Applications written in languages managed by developers that are rapidly approaching retirement age and that have skills that are now almost impossible to replace
- hardware nearing its end of life and needing replacing which means the applications need to e modernized
One of the first activities that we, and everyone else, recommend before starting a modernization program is to build a complete application portfolio. This is an easy statement to make but is nearly impossible to complete because the number of applications in use in an organization is vast.
They have grown exponentially over the decades as new technology has been introduced so have new systems without retiring the older ones.
The challenge is not only documenting the entire application portfolio, but it then moves on to deciding which applications should be modernized. Here we have a challenge because IT departments want to reduce their maintenance costs and so they want to modernize the most expensive legacy applications.
Meanwhile, the business is interested in improving the operations and competitiveness of the organization so want those applications that affect those areas to be modernized first.
It is clear that the business needs must override those of the IT department because without the business growing and competing more effectively the life of the IT department is limited anyway.
If it has been possible to assemble the complete application inventory, then one approach is to understand the business rules that each application supports and modernize those processes that the business deems to be critical for change rather than tackling complete applications.
This is a more complex approach than the application by application approach, but it does deliver greater benefit for the business in a faster timescale. The challenge will be to keep the modernization program going until all necessary processes have been covered.
EvolveWare’s Intellisys™ platform has tools that enable the modernization team to identify when the portfolio is incomplete and once complete to extract and document the business rules contained in each application.
If you would like to see how Intellisys works please sign up for a demonstration.