But Is Your Agency Prepared To Tackle It?
You already know your IT landscape is as complex as The Matrix. You know it’s imperative that you begin or continue the modernization process. And, you know all the reasons why — reduced costs, increased efficiency, minimized maintenance, eliminated redundancies, improved licensing and compliance, increased security and risk mitigation, to name just a few.
But, trying to modernize and migrate to the Cloud without undergoing application rationalization is like trying to jump to the top ofthe staircase without taking any steps in between.
Before even starting the application rationalization process, you should objectively determine the maturity level of your IT environment and your organization— and develop a roadmap.
In simple terms, application rationalization is the process of identifying all the IT assets across your organization’s portfolio; systematically cataloging everything with standardized information; calculating the total cost of ownership and return on investment;and then using the 6R’s to decide whether to Refactor, Replatform, Repurchase, Rehost, Retire, or Retain.All the while, you’ll need to collaborate and communicate with stakeholders and continuously employ change management strategies.
So, there’s really nothing simple about it. In fact, those who are experienced at successfully implementing application rationalization will tell you that it’s going to be an extended, multi-year endeavor that will take a significant amount of IT resources and perseverance.
What’s Your Organization’s Readiness Level?
Every organization has a level of technological maturity that will determine how fast and far to go in modernizing. If you’re advanced, application rationalization will go smoother and migrating to other platforms will be infinitely more manageable. Here’s a simple gauge of IT maturity levels:
Level 1: You have towers, stand-alone servers, and a singular or no data center.
Level 2: You’reworking with client servers and multiple data centers.
Level 3: You’re using internet and intranet apps, along with data warehousing.
Level 4: You’re sharing and networking resources and services within data centers.
Level 5: You’re in the Cloud and beginning to dive into data lakes and micro services.
And below are questions that can help you gain more clarity.
Where are you in the development of your technology stacks?Are you working on a single platform?Are your applications, systems, and processes coherent?Are your software products and programming languages cohesive? Do you have uniformity across your frontand backend?
Is your CIO and key decision-makers engaged fully in the process? How much knowledge and training in cloud do your people have?Do they understand all the underlying technologies? Do they have consistent standards across how they program and operate? How integrated are your program, business, management, and IT teams—and are they all in agreement on the need to modernize?And how advanced is your enterprise security technology architecture?
The Ifs, Ands, and Buts
IF your IT team is technically meeting the needs of the organization, if you’re on a common platform with a common set of definitions, ifall stakeholders are operating in agreement on direction,and if budgeting and planning are working together hand-in-hand, you’re well-positioned for application rationalization.
BUT, if you don’t have any of that in place, modernizing may be a herculean effort.
On the other hand, if object-oriented programming isn’t new to your team, if you have multiple data centers, and you understand hyper-convergence, you’re already dipping your toes into the amazing realm of mass computing, resource sharing, and micro services.
Getting There or Beginning To
To develop a strategic roadmap, you should first have a good understanding of how far and how fast you need to go into data migration, connectivity between the Cloud and on-premise systems, and user interactions. Are you going to move everything from the data centers to the Cloud, or are you going to have a hybrid solution where you’re living in two places? The latter is more realistic because there are certain things that you just don’t want to ever move, such as highly sensitive, extremely complex, or low-latency requirement applications.
At the top level of technological maturity, you’re fully enveloped in a cloud environment, you’re writing complete micro services, you’re no longer looking at islands of data, and everything is a service to another service to another application that then feeds information back and forth to a user.
If your organization understands all of that, you’re well on your way, and your path through application rationalization and cloud migration is more of a guided tour than an endless trudge across unknown territory. But either way, before you can embark on an application rationalization initiative or begin leaping to the Cloud, you’ll need that roadmap for effectively and efficiently approaching and navigating the trip.
If you’d like to learn more about our experience implementing complex IT modernization projects with critical cyber data protection requirements, aggressive schedules, and significant size and scale, please contact us.