Why you should modernise your systems based on need

Cloud Pro

30 Jun, 2021

The business world has been rocked by huge changes recently thanks to lockdown restrictions and new remote-working models, not to mention a complete shift in the way that consumers engage with products and services. Due to the sudden pivots necessitated by COVID-19, it’s understandable that many organisations have adopted rapid digital transformation and an increased dependence on the cloud in order to remain relevant and competitive, to improve customer experience, to satisfy stakeholders and ultimately grow revenue in the face of this disruption.

However, such rapid transformations can be associated with serious risks if not managed properly. Businesses may have been tempted to adopt a one-size-fits-all cloud solution, or to transform in a piecemeal way across multiple cloud silos without following a carefully laid-out strategy. The former can easily result in business transformation that does not fit the specific needs of your business, running counter to the goal of modernising, with the potential to harm rather than help your bottom line.

For the latter, without a strategy you can create various issues for your IT infrastructure, from fragmented systems that do not allow for monitoring and automation across cloud silo boundaries, to increased risk of security breaches and an overall complexity that hampers your ability to quickly update applications and systems to meet the needs of your business and customers.

Continuous modernisation

Developing a robust, detailed strategy is key to successful modernisation, and an understanding that there is not one simple, one-size-fits-all solution that you can apply to your business. Before you commit to a hasty ‘rip and replace’ strategy, it is important to consider the needs of your organisation and the best approach to meeting them.

Companies like Micro Focus can assist you in developing a winning, smart digital transformation strategy that will meet your modernisation goals and avoid potential pitfalls as you build, deliver and run your modernisation project. Micro Focus’s open, integrated, backwards-compatible software bridges existing and emerging technologies, so you can innovate faster, with less risk, as you transform. With AI-powered automation, you can manage and monitor multiple clouds, applications, data centres and networks from one portal. This offers enhanced, joined-up security, quickly highlighting any issues that arise.

Evolving your IT practices – without jeopardising critical business systems and processes developed over decades – is a constant balancing act. That is why bridging new and existing applications and infrastructure is particularly key. Evidence is emerging to suggest that modernisation projects using an incremental and continuous improvement model are more likely to achieve positive results than other more drastic approaches like ripping and replacing your core business applications. The ‘Endless Modernization’ research authored by Micro Focus and The Standish Group found that companies that choose to modernise an existing application rather than fully replace it had a 71% success and 1% failure ratio, compared to a 26% success and 20% failure ratio for those choosing to scrap a software application and start from scratch.

A smart approach to digital transformation allows businesses to transform as they continue to run core applications, modernising continuously and incrementally to strike a balance between innovating and maintaining proper business operations. This incremental approach endorsed by Micro Focus allows you to maintain continuity during your ongoing modernisation work and, ultimately, execute business transformation based on the needs of your organisation, rather than rushing to make it happen as quickly as possible and ending up with a solution that doesn’t properly meet your requirements. And unlike unstructured, piecemeal approaches, this type of transformation is backed by a robust strategy that maintains unity and control across your IT infrastructure.

Beyond the cloud

While the cloud has proved to be a powerful tool in modernisation – particularly when it comes to the dispersed-working models that have gained dominance since 2020 – it is important to understand that transferring all your infrastructure to the cloud may not be the best solution for your business. In a modernisation project built on the needs of your business, a fully cloud-based solution might not give the right results. It’s important to consider the modernisation route that will really suit your business best, whether that’s mainframe-centric, cloud-first, a hybrid approach, DevOps-driven or service-oriented.

Remember that mainframe is just as viable as any other platform when it comes to modernisation. While the cloud is both fast growing and the most high-profile solution today, AWS reports that more than 70% of Fortune 500 companies still run their business-critical apps on mainframes – and for good reason. These adaptable, resilient incumbent systems have been steadily modernised and built upon over the years, becoming one of the most trusted elements of the IT team’s arsenal.

Of course, mission-critical mainframe applications need to be kept up-to-date with modern business demands, but that doesn’t necessitate a ‘rip and replace’ approach. Part of building on existing successes is to recognise what is working and using that as a cornerstone to develop a long-term strategy. Using its modernisation maturity model, Micro Focus can support your preferred modernisation route and advise you on the most efficient and effective way of modernising your mainframe without disrupting business operations.

Working with a transformation partner like Micro Focus enables you to extend the value of your existing technology investments. Every business’s needs are different. Before committing to a wholesale ‘rip and replace’ approach, it’s important to assess your organisation’s requirements. Armed with this understanding, you can execute an incremental and continuous modernisation approach to achieve smart digital transformation by building on your existing infrastructure.

Learn more in Micro Focus’s Race to the Cloud ebook