Are there aspects of your IT infrastructure that you’ve been dying to modernize? Could 2023 be the year it finally happens?
If you were to approach any business in the UK (or, no doubt, the world) and ask them if they had an IT project they needed executing, most of them would answer with a resounding yes. One of the most common IT projects nowadays involve modernizing legacy systems in one’s IT infrastructure. There have been a number of trends over the last decade and a half that have cemented the trajectory of modern business firmly in the direction of digitally-native work and operations – and, here at TechQuarters, we have seen first-hand the demand for modern IT solutions among our customers.
Modernizing Legacy IT Systems
We see any businesses that are eager to modernize parts (or even the entirety) of their IT infrastructure; often, they feel daunted by the prospect, and might even have been putting it off for some time. This is why we decided to write up a few of our top tips that businesses looking to modernize should consider. For any business in this position, our broad advice would be to take the time to think it all through – breaking the process down and analysing each aspect will make the project feel less daunting. But now let’s look at some specific tips to help business think more strategically about IT modernization…
Know Your Infrastructure
First of all – and this may seem like an obvious thing – any organisation wanting to modernize any aspect of their infrastructure needs to take a long, hard look at the whole, in order to successfully alter the part. Many businesses have suffered down the line by not thinking carefully enough about how new solutions will fit into their existing IT stack – they end up with a mish-mash, Frankenstein’s IT infrastructure composed of many different solutions of varying age.
This goes for any project, not just IT modernization projects. To have a clear idea on the goals and outcomes of a project, you should define what success looks like for this project. Then, when you have defined what success means for your project, you can open that out to how best to execute the project. Asking these types of question is a great way to begin building out the roadmap for your project – including questions like what factors could inhibit success.
Get the Company Onboard
Following on from the previous point, a major part of success in IT modernization projects is getting the whole company to buy into it. You’ve most like heard the term, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”. For modernization projects, appealing to the company culture should be part and parcel with the strategy. Starting at the top is a good idea, as senior / executive buy-in might be an obstacle for the project; on the other hand, senior company stakeholders will drive acceptance of new solutions.
Be Prepared for Challenges
When has any project ever been executed without a hitch? Probably never (or at least very rarely). Yet there are still instances of organisations not preparing themselves for inevitable challenges during the process of undertaking a project. This is why, here at TechQuarters, IT support is part of our project services. Being equipped and prepared to deal with issues at the very start of a project will make resolving them when they inevitably arise much quicker and easier.
Business Strategy vs. IT Strategy
Business modernization is often described as a revolutionary things; organisations ripping up the rulebook and completely re-imagining how they do business in the context of the modern, digital world. The problem with this approach is, where does one even start? This is why most technology leaders recommend prioritising steps according to business value. Roadmaps to modernization should integrate the overall business strategy of the organisation – this makes it easier to identify what areas of the business will generate the most value by being modernized (it might also highlight parts of your infrastructure that could be considered for elimination – but more on that later).
The reason IT modernization is often broken down into individual projects is because it would simply be too daunting, otherwise. Saying we’re planning on modernizing our IT infrastructure, is like saying we’re planning on cracking cold fusion – the process benefits from being divided into smaller increments. Businesses don’t need to take the all or nothing approach to modernizing; even projects should be broken up into specific deliverables – this in turn makes progress in projects easier to quantify.
Update… or Eliminate?
When the topic of modernization crops up, most people’s minds jump to upgrades. But, modernization is not synonymous with upgrade. When a business begins looking at their IT infrastructure prior to developing their roadmap, they might end up identifying redundant systems / solutions, in which case they may prefer to simply get rid of them, rather than adding work by replacing or upgrading them. A major principle of IT modernization is streamlining, thus eliminating redundant systems makes perfect sense to the process.