In this article, we explore the thoughts and insights of Nick Colisto, senior vice president and chief information officer at Avery Dennison, on the path to continuous modernization of business applications, the benefits, the challenges businesses face when modernizing, and how to overcome them.
So, let's dive in and explore the world of application modernization with Nick Colisto.
Q: Companies struggle with technical debt while attempting to meet the growing demands of becoming a digital business. What are your thoughts on what is happening with modernization?
The degradation of applications over time is a constant concern. This negatively impacts user experience, business agility and added cost and risk. As CIOs and application leaders face growing demands of becoming more digital and embracing technologies such as artificial intelligence, leaders must ensure that their applications continuously meet evolving business needs and keep pace with technological advancements.
Q: What are some ways that IT leaders can address this challenge?
Legacy applications and tools, though valuable, often pose challenges to the continuous delivery of value. Rip-and-replace efforts, while tempting, are known for their high costs, inherent risks, and time-consuming nature. Leaders should perceive legacy applications as assets to manage, not merely problems to eliminate. To optimize their utility, employ lifecycle management practices and continuously modernize. This approach enables companies to identify, prioritize, and implement improvements that generate additional value from these assets.
Q: What are the steps to implement life cycle management?
Life-cycle management programs streamline the application portfolio, optimizing efficiency, reducing complexity, and lowering the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) through various improvements.
Leaders can employ the Gartner TIME model, a quick business-oriented assessment to segment their portfolio into four actionable quadrants: tolerate, invest, migrate, and eliminate. An Enterprise Architecture team typically leads the activity in cooperation with application owners and stakeholders in the divisions and functions. Applications are rigorously assessed on various business, technical, and cost fitness indicators. This three-dimensional evaluation determines overall application fitness or health, guiding the focus on applications that demand the utmost attention.
In some cases, the modernization effort includes re-architecting legacy applications and shifting them to the Cloud when scalability and cost-efficiency benefits can be realized. In other cases, it's about investing proactively in new features that enhance revenue and cost efficiency while extending the asset's life.