Given the many business benefits of developing modern enterprise applications, why haven’t more organizations done more of it? Mainly because they lack sufficient budgets, capabilities and time. Even if these resources exist, they’re frequently locked up in day-to-day operations.
by Rick Wilhelm, Vice President of Development and Delivery, Global Insurance, CSC
A shortage of funding is commonly the biggest barrier to application modernization. So often the first step is to devise alternative methods of funding.
One tactic is to automate or outsource previously manual processes. The savings can then be reinvested in modern application development projects.
Another approach involves retiring “technology debt”—including obsolete hardware systems and deferred software upgrades—by installing and implementing up-to-date replacements, and then investing the resultant savings.
Yet another tactic: essentially tax the organization’s various IT departments, requiring each to contribute a small percentage of their budgets for enterprise innovation.
Whichever approach you take, keep your eyes on the prize. Namely, spending less on “keeping the lights on”—and spending more on business-transforming innovation.
Small Starts, Big Benefits
We recommend that organizations start their modern applications efforts with projects that are as small as possible to promptly deliver incremental value.
Small projects deliver multiple benefits. Compared with larger projects, they’re easier to fund, more likely to succeed, better suited for quick feedback and measurement, and easier to adjust to shifting business requirements, budgets or deadlines.
To prioritize projects, IT organizations can rank them on a variety of criteria. These can include value, complexity, risk, even timing. The ideal starter project will have high value, low complexity and risk, and be positioned at a noncritical time on the business calendar. (You wouldn’t want to launch a new retail application on December 24!) Cost savings is generally more attractive and easier to achieve than revenue enhancement. And all other things being equal, the bigger a project’s potential benefits, the better.
That’s not to say CSC believes efforts to create modern applications should be modest and lack ambition. Far from it. But by freeing up resources, and starting small, your biggest application-modernization projects will be off to a great start.
A comprehensive look at how digital can power forward the enterprise: csc.com/power-forward
Read more in this paper, Digital Applications: The Key to Releasing Your Business’s Full Potential.
This paper is part of the Journey to the Digital Enterprise paper series.
Rick Wilhelm is Vice President of Development and Delivery, Global Insurance, at CSC, and previously was Vice President of Technology at CSC, where he led the company’s Software Global Delivery Network for Global Business Services.