DE-RISKING TECHNOLOGY CHANGE
With extensive experience in delivering major technology change programmes, ECS mitigates the risks involved and delivers the right results.
IT change is driven by two significant factors: the need to enable business agility (rapidly providing new functionality to meet changing consumer demands); and the need to meet regulatory and industry compliance standards.
The nature of IT dictates that technology change is diverse and continuous, yet most companies rely on large-scale, complex upgrade programmes to address technology debt that has manifested as legacy IT.
The key characteristics of legacy technologies that make IT change attractive are:
- high cost – consuming 80% of constrained IT budgets
- high risk – underpinning up to 70% of applications, with over half typically being business critical
- business-constraining – preventing 95% of businesses from gaining the agility they require
- non compliant – without full vendor support and patch enablement, most solutions fail to meet industry compliance standards.
The complexity of changing legacy technology is generally the determining factor for success. Industry practice typically focuses remediation on a single technological challenge, isolating technologies to minimise risk and disruption.
When IT management undertake a reactive technology change programme they usually focus on the technology teams they control with minimal support and input from the business areas. Where this change fails to address the complexity and interdependency of the numerous applications and core systems, the result is scope creep and the risk of a significant negative impact on the business.
ECS utilises a pragmatic application- and risk-based approach, drawn from our extensive experience in this field, to successfully deliver technology change programmes.
Our Relay™ service enables effective decision making about the changes to make, and when and how to make them. ECS technology change services leverage a proven approach, through our Relay™ service, to de-risk IT technology changes. This ensures efficiencies and significantly increases the certainty of outcome.
Whether upgrading an end-of-life operating system, replacing middleware vendors or performing a complete application framework refresh, ECS delivers an end-to-end migration approach. The Change Office within Relay™ manages multiple Change Factories, internally and/or externally, allowing multiple delivery channels to execute change in parallel. This ensures efficient workload throughput and effective governance with end-to-end, customised, management information reporting.
The Decision Office uses the concept of risk-based treatment types to segregate the in-scope system changes into definitive work packages by taking account of technical configurations and dependencies between infrastructure, applications and services. The analysis dictates the most effective remediation to apply from:
Scope Reducing Treatments
- Retain already being dealt with under a separate remit
- Retire no longer being actively utilised
- Refresh suitable for isolated technology upgrade
- Revise minor changes needed to support technology upgrade
- Refactor numerous or major changes needed to support technology upgrade
- Replace complete transformation or replacement required.
Each are illustrated in this diagram:
The work package treatments are associated with different risk profiles, from de-scoped or immediately retired systems to those undergoing a more complete transformation.
The risk profiles are correlated with the degree of interdependence and need for business assistance. The treatment options are analysed sequentially to ensure minimal effective change and risk, with the differing scale of change involved leading to different types of testing being required, prior to business customer acceptance. With the in-scope systems analysed in this way the Decision Office presents a holistic view of the overall schedule to the Change Office, based on the resources to be distributed across all the affected systems.
The following graphs reflect typical results from ECS engagements, showing that this form of risk-based assessment can greatly reduce workloads: up to 45% of systems can either be retired or retained. The latter is particularly true for systems subject to regulatory compliance. This insight focuses effort into the majority of low-risk work packages and allows higher-risk transformation work to be managed more closely.
The categorisation of the treatments and risk profiles provides assurance that the programme of work is achievable within the given risk appetite and existing workforce commitments.
Reduce risk and optimise delivery while ensuring results by engaging ECS to manage specific technology change programmes using the RelayTM service.
While addressing tactical technology challenges, ECS can also work closely with you to develop more effective approaches to technology lifecycle management – across development, test and production estates. These proactive approaches ultimately avoid the need for repeated large-scale, complex, high-risk and high-cost upgrade programmes to address technology debt. They provide a clear, predictable and well-controlled change schedule across all technology stacks.