Building a Roadmap To IT Modernization

Technology advancement is accelerating. To lead the way, a business must bring value by using the most current technology available. By modernizing legacy applications, businesses improve their agility and their clients’ user experience.

IT modernization brings an organization’s existing software and hardware up to current standards. The goal is to align IT with the organization’s ever-shifting business strategies, but this is a big task. It helps to have a solid roadmap firmly in place. 

Upgrading legacy systems takes planning and organization. Be sure to look at applications, systems, services, and infrastructure while planning. Keep in mind the overall picture as you modernize. 

Another factor that must be fully understood is the budget. Today, companies spend up to 80% of their budget on legacy systems. Compare the costs of a legacy system vs. the costs of IT modernization to make a case for the change to your organization’s executives and investors.

Strategize and assess before creating a roadmap

Strategically, creating a roadmap puts your company in a good position for future upgrades, as it will address any concerns ahead of time, and will outline the activities that need to take place. Without addressing the concerns and activities ahead of time, there is no chance for a successful upgrade.

The following things should be reviewed while creating your roadmap:

• Company goals 

• Customer experience 

Technology assessment

• User experience

• IT needs and wants

• Budget and timeline

• Communication of the changes

• New architecture

• Execution of the upgrade plan

Understand the scope of your project

As in, truly understand it. Many companies underestimate what they are getting into when they look at IT modernization. 

Create budgets; create timelines; interview stakeholders, and talk to IT resources with your company. Get a second opinion from an IT firm outside your company. Outside firms have a unique way of looking into a company, finding the details that are often overlooked by people who use the technology every day.

Review alternatives

Conduct a risk analysis of what happens if you don’t modernize. Also, conduct a risk analysis of alternative methods of modernization. Find projects that have the lowest risk, and also make the most sense for your company. Be prepared to highlight these preferred alternatives with the management team, so they truly understand what is involved. 

Outline your roadmap

Finalize your timelines and costs. Lay out your overall goals. 

Once you have that information, you can start to plot your mini-goals. Plan the iterations and migrations. Outline the personnel that you will need to reach these goals. 

Using IT architectural diagrams will help you define each goal and the steps you’ll need to achieve it. These diagrams should define migration options, buy-versus-build options, and business capabilities.

Show the system’s future architecture in your model diagram to explain the reasoning behind your decisions.  All the deliverables within the roadmap must serve a purpose. Customize them to meet the needs of your business, to manage the program you are about to put into place and to share the outcomes with stakeholders and management teams. 

This roadmap is your justification for moving the business forward and creating an IT modernization project within your company. The roadmap must be laid out and fully understood by the team managing the budget, or your project won’t get off the ground.