INSURING Successful Application Transformation

Oh, the “BIG if”. IF (and trust me, this is big – really really BIG) you are going to embrace application transformation, it goes without saying you want to do everything you can to insure success, correct?

What Outputs Are Key To Insure That Success?

  • Produce a rationalized portfolio that will support a broader strategy of the enterprise?
  • A life cycle for the applications mapped to the future, enabling the modernization of the portfolio?
  • Financial model to insure applications are contributing to the success of the organization?
  • Application transparency providing the ability to advise the business rather than just??? (fill in the blank here)
  • Business capability based on value t-o   t-h-e   b-u-s-i-n-e-s-s, current condition (health), and level of resource consumption which forms the informational base that enables rationalization?

Yes, yes, yes, yes, and a resounding yes. A good transformation plan addresses multiple issues that the enterprise needs to properly align IT with the business. Note, I DIDN’T say, “align the business to IT”. It should include sourcing, platform migration, delivery models, governance, life cycle management and process integration, and…

Enterprise Coaching That Includes:

  • Improved focus on transformation
  • Organizationally, insuring people are ready for transformation
  • Developing a vision for how technology will transform the business
  • Identification of all stakeholder issues

Risk Management

It is very appropriate to identify a single set of risk criteria across the scoped applications to be transformed.

  • How consistent and standardized does your firm wish its business processes to be?
  • What is the optimal number of applications to support the business processes? One (1) may have been realistic back in the 80s but not today. Thousands are too many.
  • Which applications will be the “go-forward” applications? No need to replace all of them.
  • Should we focus on business innovation or on the efficient management of IT assets?

In addition, consider these always-present risks:

  • Critical assumptions may not prove to be valid
  • Shifting enterprise priorities may redirect the project scope and / or critical resources
  • Business resources may not available, and to the extent required – yet another reason to get the business involved from the start. Transformation is something you do WITH the business NOT to them.
  • Scope of the project, along with other business and IT commitments, may be unmanageable
  • Desire of business leadership to alter the current state

The Risky Nature of Avoiding Risk

What has changed? To be successful, you have to out-innovate and out-execute your competition and that means moving faster, entering new markets, being more accessible to clients, and launching new products. In may mean increased risk = increased success.

Information is an asset that, like other business assets, is essential to an organization’s business and consequently needs to be suitably protected. This is especially important in the increasingly interconnected business environment. As a result of this increasing interconnectivity, information is now exposed to a growing number and wider variety of threats and vulnerabilities. As you share more information with your employees and customers alike, risk increases. As you leverage social media, risks go up. New markets? New risk.

There are two types of people. Those good at growing things that are already working. They suffer from xenophobia – the fear of the unknown.

Then, there is the transformation-people. Those that take greater risks and transform things that need it. Imagination – transformation needs that. For these folks, the world doesn’t change in front of their eyes, it changes behind their back – because of what they transformed.

Effective Communication During Transformation

  • Increases speed of implementation
  • Increases responsiveness and effectiveness
  • Enables a single transformation oversight team, using standard processes, thus eliminating inconsistencies in projects
  • Integrates processes between transformation initiatives and existing governance and EA standards and policies.
    • Single solution governance review for all transformation projects
    • Approval for all additional projects not on initial roadmap
    • No project gets approved without integration into the transformation roadmap – the master / single source of truth
  • Get opinions? Yes, but then decide, then move…

Move FAST!

Gartner says that this year (2017), 50% of total IT spending will be spent outside the formal IT organizations. IDC adds that 80% of Enterprise IT organizations will commit to hybrid cloud architectures.

Need to Identify:

  1. Objective(s) that benefit the business
  2. ID Dimensions of risk (business suitability, compliance, security, etc.)
  3. Define inputs / outputs
  4. Identify key roles and responsibilities

What Results can you expect?

  • Improved performance
  • Reduced costs
  • Rationalized portfolio
  • A future-proofed IT
  • Reduced risks

Easy? No. Mandatory? Yes!

It’s so easy to think, “Our people have navigated successfully through one transformation, so perhaps it won’t be as hard to sign them up for another one.

See you in the future…

Frank Wood

Executive Transformation Advisor


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