Reader Feedback: “Modernization is about Driving Competitive Advantages”

On Monday, I wrote a blog post on notes from my listening tour where I learned that HP customers have shifted their conversation about the business drivers of new projects.  The high-order business driver is all about responding to competitive pressure.  (You can read it here.)

 

Through our blog community, I received several emails suggesting that the conversation has indeed shifted, and as a result, there is a drive to redefine what success means to application projects.     Instead of responding to each message individually, I thought I would post some of these interesting views and my comments.

 

“I agree the justification landscape has shifted to competition, but for our group, business drivers are about integrating systems together to make our business processes more competitive.  Everything is about integration.  This is driving an increase of risk , and as such we are getting more investment for quality assurance .”

 

Throughout my career, I have witnessed waves of software development effort within the global 2000.  First,  mainframe (COBOL) was the majority of software projects, followed by client-server (GUI),and then followed by Web systems,.  

 

Today, I agree we are seeing a massive shift to “Integrated systems” deployed on what HP calls “Hybrid IT”.     Hybrid IT is a real game changer, as the consumption and operation rules of software has fundamentally changed – and changed so very quickly.    Today, software applications are no longer tethered to traditional PC operating systems (such as only Windows), instead are accessible through devices as simple as a tablet or a mobile phone.      Cloud based production services (both private and public) are also a big part of Hybrid IT, and these new technologies provide new platforms for integrated systems.

 

These integrated systems touch more mission critical stuff:  as in empowering more business processes, touching more employees, processing more customer transactions, and serving more mission-critical functions.      So, this comment is spot on – as more of the business becomes dependent on these integrated system, the risk is much higher.

 

As far as quality is concerned, this reader also hit the mark.  Quality no-loner equates to a back-end testing phase in a waterfall lifecycle, instead quality assurance includes managing the complete application lifecycle through a quality lense.    I’ll come back to that in a future post – I could spend an entire day on this topic.

 

Here is another email comment I enjoyed:

 

“Application Modernization is about money re-allocation – our keep-the-lights-on budget is out of control. “

 

Well said.

 

The analyst community is all over this problem, as they indicate the percent of  IT budget spent on maintenance consumes over 75% of IT budgets, and as a result the resources spent on innovation continues to shrink.    We are talking about a significant reduction too – less than 25 cents of every dollar.  Here is a quick chart of the problem:

 

ChartforBlog.jpg

 

 

As a result, re-engineering older back-end systems to lower operating costs can help shift dollars from sustaining what exists to creating new innovations to the drive the next generation of growth for business. 

 

Finally:

 

“The user experience is becoming a marketing-led user-experience discussion for every app we are building.”

 

Wow.  This is a profound statement that makes a ton of sense.   

 

Earlier in my career, I served as the CMO for a software company, and I can tell you that nothing is scrutinized more than marketing material or customer-facing systems.    As IT systems become more and more customer facing (ala Hybrid IT), Quality must take into account ”user delight” as part of the quality strategy.  Does the customer enjoy the user experience?  Is the performance of the system adequate to ensure customers get what they need? 

 

Today, more than ever, the competition is only one-click-away. 

 

This begs the question, what success criteria are you seeing for application modernization IT projects?   Any more more comments? 

 

Please email me directly at Matt.Morgan@hp.com.

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About the Author
Matthew Morgan is Vice President of Product Marketing for HP Software and serves as the marketing business owner for the Hybrid IT and Cloud...


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