In today’s technological society it’s almost impossible to keep up with the latest and greatest technologies. It’s even harder for large enterprises to pivot based on these changes. How do you make the right changes and stay ahead of the curve while maintaining the integrity of your legacy platform? What are the signs that it is time to adopt new methods and technologies in order to make your company run more efficiently and more streamlined?
At UDig we look at five key indicators to determine if it’s the right time to modernize a particular platform, process, or technology.
How much time does it take to maintain this Platform or Technology?
Does it take a few minutes a day or does it take significant amount of time each week? There is a threshold where time and money spent to keep something running exceeds the potential ROI of supporting the platform. Every company has its own metric goals for ROI and only you can make that threshold determination but if something takes significantly longer to maintain than some of your higher performing platforms or technologies, it is time to take a closer look.
What is the purpose of this Platform or Technology? Is it a pillar of your business or is it insignificant?
When deciding if you need to modernize, it is important to think about the overall importance of the Platform or Technology you are focusing on. As in step 1, ROI should be a consideration. If this is not a critical component to the business it likely is not going to make sense to spend a large amount of time modernizing. Coming up with a priority scale both to the business and your end user is a great way to quickly assess the importance.
How hard is it to staff for this particular Platform or Technology?
One easy way to see that it might be time to modernize is to look at the talent pool. If it is becoming increasingly hard to find “wizards that specialize in Cobol and Mainframes” it should be a red flag that indicates modern platforms are shifting away from your particular targeted technology. While it may not be smart to immediately jump on the latest and greatest in trending technologies, the long term trends should provide insight that you are either on the right path or that it is time to modernize.
What do you get with adopting new technologies?
What are some of the functionality gaps in your current platform that you would like to be addressed in adopting this new technology? Make a list of the current functionalities you have as well as a list of some of your “like to haves” and “must haves,” and position this list against the capabilities of new technology options. This should help you identify the best candidate(s) for migration.
What is the impact to your end user?
Consider the previous 4 factors and how they affect your business, now think about how this functionality could potentially impact your users. Are you able to make this transition without exposing the transition to your users? Or will your users need to re-sign up, create a new account, or re-learn something in order to get familiar with your site or product again. As important as it is to think about overall impact to the business, it is even more critical to consider your user, their user experience, and how change might affect them.
These 5 areas can be looked at in any level of your business. You can ask these questions at the overall business level for it to become an assessment of all your Platforms and Technologies under the business, or you can focus on a particular business segment to identify more granular improvements that can be made with the help of more modern technologies. There are also many ways these questions and assessments can be applied – in a group with major stakeholders in the room, as a self-assessment by different areas of the business, or by a third party as an objective observer. The overall end result is clear and should answer one resounding question: “Is it time to modernize?”