Modernization Missteps

Blog /Modernization-Missteps

At NTT DATA, our philosophy behind legacy modernization is simple: Help drive our clients’ business forward by combining our strong leadership in business technology with a clear understanding of unique client requirements. While the philosophy itself is basic, the effort behind modernization is often multi-dimensional, and requires a clear roadmap.

To avoid pitfalls and help ensure successful navigation through any modernization project, I’ve developed a short list of common missteps. Taking these off any modernization roadmap should enable a smooth process.

Common missteps include:

  • We know what we need, even before assessing the requirements.
    Selecting tools and technologies before understanding and validating requirements hinders the ability to build a strong foundation for modernization work. To build upon a solid base, you must first fully recognize the business requirements and validate that they are the right ones for your desired business outcomes.
  • Modernization means throwing out all the systems I have in place now.
    Modernization adapts to your specific business requirements, enabling your software and technology to adjust to global, rapidly changing business environments. Whether that means a complete overhaul or some strategic tweaks to what exists is up to you and your plan for success.
  • It’s OK if the C-Level agendas are different.
    It’s important that the top-level leaders are in agreement on prioritization of initiatives and which parts of the business will best benefit from modernization and, as a result, provide a competitive advantage. You should strive for concurrence on the ROI as priorities are set for the project.
  • We must set a rigid modernization plan and stick to it.
    While projects often change direction as they evolve, it’s important that those changes don’t cause you to stumble. Ensuring you project plan is focused on continuous evaluation/feedback and rapid adaptation will provide an agile framework that will result in quality deliverables.
  • The team we put in place doesn’t need a specific skillset – they only will be taking orders anyway.
    The mindset that resources can be generic and will work only in reactionary roles is a clear misstep. Staffing a strong multidisciplinary team is fundamental to the success of any project, and allows for creativity and innovation. The team should include individuals who possess deep technical/process expertise as well as the appropriate industry/business insights and vision.
  • It’s fine if the CIO’s agenda has a lack of focus on disruptive technologies like Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, and Social, and Gamification.
    A lack of vision and inclusion of disruptive technologies will create a major gap in supporting the new generation of customer who is expecting some of all of these trends/ technologies.  Those who fail to include these in their modernization plans will lose out to the competition and fall behind in terms of efficiencies, innovation, etc.
  • Architecture and design are not as important as technical processes.
    Lack of a strong architecture foundation and UX design will create issues and additional cost in maintaining the system, developing upgrades or expanding the system over time.  It also increases the potential for performance bottlenecks and a system that is difficult to use.

By eliminating these common missteps and focusing on what’s important to your business, you can drive modernization solutions that deliver to your specific needs, often with the assets you already have.

Post Date: 1/20/2014

Shamlan Siddiqi - NTT DATA Shamlan Siddiqi Vice President, Data as an Asset

About the author

Shamlan leads our Data Advisory and Transformation group, which is responsible for supporting clients' data management, data science and advanced analytics, data integration, cloud data platforms and intelligent automation. A published author and speaker, Shamlan previously served as the CTO for Public Sector and leader of the Digital Experience practice. He is a results-oriented leader with an extensive track record developing and leading the implementation of innovative solutions and strategies that enable digital transformation in support of organizational objectives.­