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  • Writer's pictureJohn Price

Modernization Phases in Three Acts

Updated: 4 days ago

Outdated, vintage, desktop computer system.

By its very nature, information technology does not age well. Whether forgotten or taken for granted, legacy systems are expensive to maintain, frequently have serious security risks, and become increasingly inefficient.

The main reasons organizations resist modernization fall under these areas: time, money, and resources. These are also the classic constraints in project management. Since modernization is usually a large project for an organization, those basic project management phases provide a solid framework. Within this project framework, three overarching drivers must be considered: business, technology, and people.

Modernization in Three Acts:

Act 1: Setting the Stage (Planning and Assessment Phase):

  • Business Driver: Identify your modernization goals. What is the business value: boosting revenue, streamlining workflows, improving customer experience?

  • Tech Driver: Understand and evaluate your current technology landscape. What are the dependencies and your main pain points? What areas need the most improvement?

  • People Driver: What is your team’s readiness for change? Are they comfortable with new technologies? Do they have the necessary skills?

Act 2: Building the Action (Preparation and Implementation Phase):

  • Business Driver: Develop a business case for modernization. To secure stakeholder buy-in, quantify the expected benefits (cost savings, increased efficiency).

  • Tech Driver: Choose the right modernization approach based on your technical needs and resources such as re-platforming, cloud hosting, data migration strategy, system design and development, testing, and integration.

  • People Driver: Develop a comprehensive change management plan. Focus on user experience and prioritize user-friendly interfaces and intuitive workflows. Provide a comprehensive deployment and training plan to roll out to users and ensure users understand new functionalities and workflows.

Act 3: Curtain call (Post-Migration Optimization and Continuous Improvement):

  • Business Driver: Monitor the impact of modernization on your business goals. Are your results as expected in the business plan? Are your cost savings and efficiency gains on target?

  • Tech Driver: Go-Live support and monitoring during the initial post-migration period.  Monitor ongoing performance and security of the new system and identify areas for improvement. Leverage data analytics to optimize the system for efficiency and scalability.

  • People Driver: Gather feedback from users and stakeholders and celebrate success. Iterate the system based on their needs. Cultivate a culture of continuous improvement.

Each phase plays a critical role in your modernization journey. A thorough assessment provides a clear direction, and strategic planning ensures a smooth implementation. Be prepared and flexible to adapt your approach as needed. Be pragmatic and always know what 'done' looks like. Focusing on people, change management, and user experience is crucial for long-term user adoption and maximizing the benefits of modernization.

Modernization doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By focusing on these key phases and considering the business, technology, and people aspects, you can transform your systems and unlock new possibilities for your organization.


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