How Federal Agencies Can Succeed With Application Modernization

Carlos OliveiraApplication ModernizationLeave a Comment

Federal Agency Application Modernization

A recent report by MeriTalk “Future Ready Applications” surveyed 150 Federal IT Managers and concluded that 92% believe it urgent for their agency to modernize their legacy applications.

The key drivers behind this urgency to modernize are:

– Security Issues (42%)
– Time Required to Manage/Maintain Systems (36%)
– Inflexibility (31%)
– Integration Issues (31%)
– Hinders innovation (30%)
– Difficulty finding staff with appropriate experience to manage/maintain legacy systems (29%)
(Multiple selections were allowed)

The latter point is exacerbated by the additional 600,000 Federal (non-postal) workers who will be eligible to retire by September 2017.

Despite this urgency and the seriousness of the drivers, only 53% of agencies have a formal strategy for application modernization and only half of those have built a business case supporting that strategy.

Why is this? The same survey shows that the delay in taking [what must be inevitable] action is primarily down to the associated risks (42%), a fear of failure to execute (34%) and an overwhelming number of options (20%).

On this last point, the alternatives available for modernization were covered in our post, “Hope Is Not A Strategy – Application Modernization Alternatives.” Yes, there are several options but working with a trusted partner who is not vested in technology will ensure you get the best advice. At Morphis we deal with any legacy programming language and re-architect to any target environment.

Of course, re-architecting the application may not be the best option and Morphis helps with that decision process too. Indeed, much of the fear around “failure to execute” and “associated risks” arise from not having a thorough understanding of the legacy application in the first place.

Starting with an analysis of the legacy application will provide actionable information into the complexities of the app, for example, the interdependencies of modules; levels of redundancy, duplication etc; documentation including business rules, thereby, providing a solid basis upon which to decide the best modernization approach from a risk/cost/time standpoint.

As Gartner point out, “a lack of knowledge of the current system’s full capabilities is the biggest reason for project failure.”

When asked “What would help accelerate application modernization within your agency?” the same MeriTalk survey showed that 43% of Federal IT Managers stated ‘better tools and methodologies.” Weak leadership and more investment funds were up there too. Identifying a trusted modernization partner who brings world class tools and methodologies and who then also works in a flexible delivery model is critical. Most Federal agencies will have many legacy applications that need modernizing. Some will be at the high end of the complexity scale and require the trusted partner to deliver the modernization project. Others may be much simpler and can be delivered by the agency with training on the tools and methodologies thereby providing a lower cost option for modernization.

Contact Morphis to take the risk and fear of failure to execute from your application modernization projects.

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