There are multiple aspects to the application modernization process, and also many varied means of implementation and delivery.
From extending the life of your existing applications, leveraging your business logic, developing new functionality, to taking advantage of today's mobile devices and the Cloud, there are so many options available.
Where to begin is a common issue for most, and how to continue effectively is the case for others.
So where do we begin? The best place to start is with the end in mind. What are your objectives or goals?They can range from or include:
- User experience
- Integration processes
- Increased business value?
- All of these and more maybe?
Increasing business value
That’s where your thoughts should lie. Before you consider your strategy, tactics and processes, if you can quantify the increased business value that modernization will provide, it will make obtaining the resources and time to do it much easier.
Other questions to ask and answer early on are, 'Who are your users?' 'Who is your customer?' Next, take stock of the business functionality you already have, and find a way to leverage these important assets. How can you make what you already have, more valuable overall?
Understanding the journey you need to take is the foundation of any successful modernization project. A strategy across your existing landscape of applications and skill sets must be incorporated into your analysis. Finding where the existing value lies is critical. Being realistic about your existing internal resources, and giving your developers tools to focus their time on creating and developing useful applications, rather than worrying about the underlying 'plumbing', can mean the difference between success and failure.
That is what we do here at looksoftware. We assess your needs, your existing value, and then package together solutions to enhance your tools and extend your business applications. We collaborate with experts across the IBM i market, develop solutions based on what the customer seeks, and develop partnerships with intelligent and experienced developers and IBM i shops, all to deliver robust products and solutions to you, of which you can incorporate as part of your ongoing IT strategy.
Why is this important? Let’s take a look at two important reasons to start:
Taking a look at inefficient silos of data, where enterprises often run multiple applications or data centers that aren't interdependent. These can hold an organization back from achieving and developing new and modern objectives. Processes that aren't integrated consume time & money, and they make business logic more difficult to access and utilize.
As organizations leap into different areas of application modernization without an understanding of where and how their applications and efforts should integrate or be used, they dismiss the full considerations of a modernization project, and risk losing the investments they have already made and going to make.
Adopting integrated processes and interdependent functions are one way to save time and hence save money. It does not take away your jobs or your responsibility. In fact it places more responsibility and opportunities upon you. You will now have the time to explore, create and deliver optimal user experiences with optimal integrated applications.
Analyze your business portfolio and analyze objectively. Determine the risks, costs, the opportunities for greater and quicker ROI. Determine which changes can be made easily and quickly and which of those changes need to be addressed first.
Next, look at the organization from a business perspective. How are the applications serving the business, and where are they falling short? Is it wise to modernize, and if so, to what extent? Assessing your applications is important when you incorporate tactics into your modernization journey.
Whom ever your end user may be. Wouldn't it make everyone's life easier and more productive if they could experience a more intuitive interface? You have the power to make for a more productive work environment and increase user efficiency from your IBM i platform, so ask yourself these questions:
Can the end-customer benefit from modernization? Can your staff benefit from modernization?
This is critical in determining your modernization journey. What devices are they currently using in their day-to-day jobs? What infrastructure will your applications need to comply or integrate with? If your applications fail to meet expectations and user experience, then your business stops right there.
Great applications provide an optimal user experience, with the ability to easily evolve and extend. Accessing and using the existing business logic and value already present will make this much more achievable.
It's time to understand your businesses priorities, and planning in a structured and well thought out phasing approach by addressing one issue at a time. Get one aspect right and the other areas of your application modernization efforts will easily fall into place.
Many new prospects want to jump straight into trials and become overwhelmed when they do not understand the full capabilities, qualities and functionality of the product. This is not the ideal way to begin. As eager as you are, understanding and developing a well-defined foundation on which to build upon, can only strengthen your success….. A favorite quote of mine: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” Sun Tzu
The importance for us here at looksoftware, is to assist you get where you want to be and in fact need to be, at your pace, with solutions tailored to your specific requirements. Providing both strategic and tactical approaches into an application modernization project allows us to serve our customers as effectively as possible enabling them to deliver effective applications. Take a look at the pages of our website - www.looksoftware.com, where you will see how easily our solutions and products integrate your applications, and how flexible they truly are.
If you want to get a strong understanding of what we do and how we do it, I highly recommend registering for the upcoming webinar on how to build an IBM i app in 45 minutes. This webinar will incorporate new development, leveraging existing business logic, and integration with web services.
Talk to us at firstname.lastname@example.org We are here to ensure the success of your business and the success of the platform by tailoring solutions to fit into your strategy.
I hope this has helped those who are yet to delve into modernization. For those who have, please share your experiences to assist others in their efforts.