The trouble with many of the applications in the enterprise is that, frankly, no one is certain of what code is driving what specific set of processes. As a result, everyone is pretty much afraid to touch anything because no one is sure what might break if the existing software and systems that it runs on are altered in any way.
As a result, when anyone starts talking about saving money by modernizing applications to run on more efficient systems, most the heads in the room start to look to the ground. Most IT folks know that the application software they are running today is largely inefficient. But in their hearts they also know that they are not 100 percent sure how it works, especially when there's virtually no documentation and the people who actually wrote the software moved on years ago.
Fortunately, we live in an age where the tools we use to analyze enterprise software are getting smarter every day. For example, this week, Micro Focus released version 3.2 of its Modernization Workbench, which makes it easier to visualize the relationship between various sets of code in addition to adding support for applications built in the C# programming language.
Why this all matters is that if you actually understand what's going on with your applications, you can make an informed decision about what components to, for example, rewrite to run on a more cost-efficient platform. On a broader scale, you can even start mapping specific business processes back to the application code that enables them. Then if you decide to modernize a portion of that code, you can actually see the impact that change will have on the business process.
Peter Mollins, head of application management and quality product marketing for Micro Focus, says most IT organizations would be better off starting out with some discrete project in order to create a series of measurable results before they decide to go boil the entire IT ocean.
The first real step towards gaining control over your IT environment is to attain some level of visibility into what is actually happening. If you wake up every morning to find yourself basically afraid to touch anything in your IT environment that means you've lost control. In fact, the reality of the situation is that the IT environment now controls you.
So rather than living in fear of your IT, maybe the time has come to take back control. And in the process, you just might discover not only how powerful you really are, but how to make IT decisions based on the real value of an application to the business.