Two thirds 'fail to complete legacy system modernisation projects'

More than two thirds of organisations (67 per cent) have started a legacy system modernisation project but failed to complete it, according to Advanced.

The IT services provider’s 2020 Global Application Modernisation Business Barometer Report was carried out online by Coleman Parkes throughout March and April, with a sample comprised of 400 people working for large enterprises in Europe and the US with a minimum annual turnover of $1 billion. Of these, 100 people worked for organisations in the UK.

With a lack of success or progress in a large number of legacy system modernisation projects, the research suggested that a disconnect between business and technical teams could be to blame. "In fact, the primary motivations behind pursuing modernisation initiatives varies between those with more business-focused versus technical job roles – as does their chances of success when securing funding for these projects," the report read.

The research found that chief information officers (CIOs) and heads of IT were more interested in the technology landscape of their organisation as a whole, whereas enterprise architects were more internally focused - 87 per cent of enterprise architects cited poor performance and other technical influences as the primary reason to modernise whereas CIOs and heads of IT cited business competitiveness (65 per cent), security (57 per cent) and integration (48 per cent).

Only 12 per cent of application and infrastructure managers reported receiving full funding commitment from leadership teams for modernisation projects – and half said this failure to get funding was driven by fear of change.

However, 39 per cent of CIOs get full funding commitments from senior leadership, suggesting that, in order to move forward with these initiatives, technical team members need to substantiate the business case better for these efforts using terms that the broader business team can understand.

“Collaboration is absolutely essential to successful modernisation,” said Brandon Edenfield, managing director of application modernisation at Advanced. “To achieve this, technical teams must ensure that senior leadership see the value and broader business impact of these efforts in terms they can understand - without full commitment and buy-in from the c-suite, these projects run the risk of complete failure.”

Despite differences in their motivations for modernisation, most respondents agreed on the value of the cloud in modernisation. In fact, 100 per cent of those surveyed reported active plans to move legacy applications to the cloud in 2020.

Edenfield concluded: “If organisations are to adapt to market changes and remain competitive, they need to consider legacy modernisation as the foundation and starting point of their overall digital transformation efforts - those who fail to prioritise this shift risk falling behind their competition and significant revenue loss in the future.”

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