How to Eat an Elephant


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Date: September 2011
Type: White Paper
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Overview: There's an elephant in the room that nobody's talking about. Aging application portfolios are putting many organizations at risk. Organizations need a strategy and a roadmap to modernize their application portfolios. This whitepaper discusses a step-by-step approach and necessary considerations for a scalable modernization project.

After establishing a set of goals and principles to guide the modernization journey, Portfolio Assessment is the first step. Inventory the applications in the portfolio and assess each application or component to identify disposition strategies. Considerations here include business fit of legacy and uniqueness of business processes. Among nine standard modernization approaches, the whitepaper focuses on four modernization approaches - Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS), Re-Architecture, Re-Architecture+Enhancements, and Custom Application Development (CAD) - and discusses how an organization should take these approaches in combination, since one approach is not the best solution for all portfolio components.

The next step is to build a Roadmap that includes manageable work packages of applications (group of applications being modernized as a single project) organized into a time-based modernization program. By breaking down steps into bite-sized pieces, what was once a daunting task is now a logical series of tasks that can be easily tackled. Once the disposition strategy has been utilized to group applications together, then these groups can be broken down even further based on application interdependence. Lastly, these applications can be prioritized according to business importance, application complexity, and logic.

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