IT Modernization

IT Modernization

IT Modernization can significantly reduce costs through the implementation of more efficient, standardized IT systems that lower maintenance and human resource expenses. Modernized systems also guarantee shorter time-to-market, easier application integration, consolidation of subsystems, and the ability to expand functionality while fully preserving corporate business knowledge. Their ROI can be measured not only directly within the IT budget but also throughout the organization, due to increased productivity and more efficient decision making processes.

IT Modernization is closely linked with the open source initiative in vogue with many organizations (especially public ones) all over the world. The open source initiative for IT modernization has the following capabilities for a large organization:

  • Ensure that the organization has possession and ownership of the source code and thus mitigate its risk
  • Ensure that vendor risk is minimized by ensuring internal dissemination and knowledge transfer
  • Ensure that the organization has control over scalability and functional enhancement of the application
  • Allow the organization to choose between a vast array of potential vendors in terms of maintenance and enhancement of the application.

The Modernization Process

The complexity of enterprise-level IT modernization projects demands a structured, experienced approach. When facing the challenges of moving entire mission-critical environments—that support crucial business processes. The key to success is having a strategic combination of innovative tools, skilled manpower, and proven methodology that, when used together, are appropriate for the company's specific IT environment and business needs. To achieve the company's goals, it is best to approach Modernization in phases:

  • Phase I: Understanding—the process by which the company gains a comprehensive view of the Inter-operation, Inter-relationships, and Inter-dependencies of the IT environment, in order to gain the most effective analysis of all potential IT impacts of the proposed changes.
  • Phase II: Implementation—the process by which the modernization project is carried out, which can include any combination of the following:
    1. Migration—databases, platforms, languages, and data
    2. Remediation—data field adjustment, naming standardization, and system consolidation
    3. Redevelopment—application mining, process mining, and Web redeployment
  • Phase III: Maintenance—the process by which an IT data repository is continuously updated, in order to facilitate more effective understanding, management, and maintenance of complex IT environments, providing IT stakeholders with the information they need in order to effectively manage system changes and enhancements and adapt to new technologies, business needs.

OSS Initiative

The IT application assets of most large organizations are acquired based on a careful analysis of the return on Investment and an analysis of the investment required for different options. However, many hidden costs emerge during the maintenance lifecycle of an IT application. These costs can be broadly classified into the following heads:

  1. License costs of operating environments.
  2. Cost of obsolescence risk.
  3. Maintenance costs.
  4. Costs associated with vendor related risks (especially when the source code is not available).
  5. Costs associated with enhancement.
  6. Productivity costs in adapting processes and businesses to the models embedded in packaged applications.
  7. Costs associated with losing functionality developed in custom built applications when a packaged solution is adopted.
  8. Replacement costs when platform support is discontinued for a legacy application or legacy platform.
  9. Scalability cost when an application is required to scale up to meet new business environments. An elegant panacea too many of these issues is the Open source initiative.
The open source initiative has the following capabilities for a large organization:
  1. Ensure that the organization has possession and ownership of the source code and thus mitigate its risk.
  2. Ensure that vendor risk is minimized by ensuring internal dissemination and knowledge transfer
  3. Ensure that the organization has control over scalability and functional enhancement of the application.
  4. Allow the organization to choose between a vast array of potential vendors in terms of maintenance and enhancement of the application.
Two development platforms that are closely associated with Open source are the J2EE framework and the PHP language.

The J2EE framework now includes high performance enterprise class computing tools and platforms that allow the development and deployment of world class solutions while maintaining vendor neutrality and platform independence as well as possession of the source code. PHP on the other hand is suitable only for certain classes of applications principally content driven web applications.

IT Modernization – A Mann Technologies perspective

The overriding impetus for Enterprise IT Modernization is the need to easily address changing business demands in order to maintain a competitive edge in the market.

Enterprise IT Modernization can :
  • Significantly reduce costs
  • Implementation of more efficient, standardized IT systems
  • Lower maintenance and human resource expenses
  • Modernized systems also guarantee shorter time-to-market
  • Easier application integration
  • Consolidation of subsystems
  • The ability to expand functionality while fully preserving corporate business knowledge
  • Increased productivity
  • More efficient decision making processes

However, it is important to also understand that modernizing mission-critical systems has the potential to become one of the IT departments's most daunting and complex tasks, as most in-house IT teams lack modernization experience. The wide range of modernization paths and tools, each with its own positive and negative business consequences, has led more and more IT executives to recognize the need for an integrated solution approach to IT Modernization.

Choosing the Right Modernization Solution

Enterprise IT Modernization solutions have become a major focus in the enterprise IT management world. Large vendors and niche players offer everything from consulting and need analysis, through tools and methodologies, all the way to turnkey modernization solutions. When selecting a vendor or a solution, there are a number of factors that should be central to the decision.

First and foremost is the provider's expertise and track record. Modernization is not equivalent to regular application programming or system integration. Modernization providers should be able to demonstrate considerable successful modernization experience with organizations of all sizes, markets, and locations. The experience brought into the project by the provider will directly affect the project's positive outcome. Ideally, an expert modernization provider will be able to contribute to all stages of planning, understanding, and implementing the modernization project.

It is also important to look for the best tools, technologies, and methodologies. Automated modernization tools should provide true automation—requiring minimal intervention. At the same time, the tools should not be over-automated—leaving room for sensitive processes to be handled manually, as per the organization's preferences and rules.

The best tools available today offer functionality that ensure timely, accurate, and cost-effective completion of the project, with full business logic and data integrity retention, an extensive audit trail and change documentation, minimal downtime, and maximum end-user transparency. Some other key capabilities to look for in a modernization tool include:

  • Pure code—leaves no residuals, emulation software, or translation procedures.
  • Customization—incorporates specific corporate requirements and business rules.
  • Flexibility—works with a wide range of mainframe and distributed environments.
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Already existing software may not always stand the test of time. Yet they already have many years of domain experience. Therefore it is there, we transform older legacy systems into state of the art applications such that the basic characteristics of reuse, maintainability and integration are kept in mind.

Whether a company wants to extract more out of an existing technology investment or initiate new technical trails, Mann Technologies services support and enhance both these objectives.

We provide practical solutions. Considering the advances in technologies, we provide services keeping in mind the already existing business rules and customs of the organization.

Migration Modes

There are three types of modernization that may be considered: non-invasive reuse, automated migration, and system re-engineering.

Non-invasive reuse doesn't touch the existing application. Instead, it lays functionality such as web services on top of it and reuses the existing application "as is." Since it doesn't directly affect the application, this approach carries little risk and is the least costly approach. It also only solves a subset of modernization needs. Mann Technologies provides rapid time to deployment for performing such SOA enablement/ component based modernization.

Automated migration involves changing database management software, hardware platforms, and programming languages in a highly automated fashion. This is the most practical and time-effective method of modernization. The development risk of the project is greatly mitigated if the automation solution is well-engineered. This is a major area of expertise for Mann Technologies and its partners. We provide a range of services that is virtually unmatched in this domain.

Systems re-engineering involves careful study of an existing legacy application, translation of requirements into a requirement specification, design and development of a new application or new components to service the business need. Mann Technologies has a tremendous record in providing the best value proposition for such projects by virtue of our depth of skill and talent as well as historical experience of such projects.