Five Different Approaches for Enterprise IT Modernization


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Enterprise IT modernization solutions are everywhere. Organizations have access to commercial solutions that are not only easily implemented and customized, but also cost-efficient. These off-the-shelf enterprise systems, make it easier for IT practitioners to develop and apply modernization solutions across several legacy systems. Think: a cookie-cutter production line.

In theory, cookie-cutter seems like a good approach. However, organizations have unique needs, people, problems, and goals. Knowing this, is there really a "one-size-fits-all" IT modernization solution? Or, a better question is, should there be a "one-size-fits-all" IT modernization solution? (Our stance is no. For the record.)

When it comes to implementing enterprise IT modernization, there are five different approaches:

METHOD 1: Minor Improvements

minor improvements gifA simple way of approaching enterprise IT modernization is to make minor adjustments. These include cleaning, consolidating, and updating code. The system merely undergoes modernization to remove the clogs. This is ideal for organizations whose existing IT systems are able to serve their purpose well. The drawback of this approach is that with the constant evolution of IT solutions, there may be a lack of resources to support and update legacy systems.

METHOD 2: Band-Aid Method

band aid method gifAs the name suggests, this approach allows you to zero-in on problem areas and implement stopgaps to get the system up and running. This is also an opportunity to apply modern technology as enhancement pieces within legacy systems—melding the old and the new to improve your organization’s performance and productivity. These quick fixes are usually low-risk as they simply put an end to specific issues, but if not implemented as an integrated part of the existing system, the approach could lead to unresponsive components.

METHOD 3: Gradual Replacement

Gradual Replacement gifEnterprise IT modernization doesn’t need to be done overnight. This approach allows your organization to upgrade your legacy system one piece at a time, leveraging open source and User Interface (UI) technologies to enhance system performance.

The benefit of this approach is that you can easily determine what works and what doesn’t. Organizations don’t need to overhaul the entire system when certain elements need to be optimized. You are able to break the system into components—an advantage for those who want to test the waters when it comes to legacy system enhancements. However, there is a caveat. Having too many components and integrations may create compatibility issues.

METHOD 4: Rip and Replace

Rip and Replace gifFor this approach, transformation is the bottom line. There are instances (based on your organization’s needs) when you retire your legacy system and rebuild a new one. Rip and replace is a complete overhaul, which may be very risky from a stakeholder perspective. This approach not only provides the opportunity to fully modernize your system, extends your organization's competitive edge. Although the solution is “high risk, high reward”, the major changes may create organizational adoption challenges for teams that are accustomed to their legacy processes.

METHOD 5: Do Nothing

Do Nothing gifIf you are accustomed to your enterprise system and are generally satisfied with its performance, you may choose not to make any enhancements. However, this is a missed opportunity to gain a competitive edge in the long run.

Your partner for picking and executing the right enterprise IT modernization approach

It’s easy to read through these approaches and pick one off the list, but when you begin implementation, you may find that your method of choice may not be able to address all your needs and problem areas. It’s not a matter of choosing one solution; IT modernization requires proper research and strategy to identify the right solution for your non-negotiable requirements.

While some IT partners offer off-the-shelf solutions for rapid deployment, there are those who take a more collaborative approach. MetroStar Systems is one of those partners.

We work closely with our clients and partners to develop customized solutions that deliver enterprise IT modernization, and solve our client's unique enterprise challenges. If these five approaches cannot fully provide you with a total solution that covers all your bases and gets your organization ahead of the curve, MetroStar helps you create a sixth approach—a unique enterprise IT modernization solution tailor-made just for you.