Pick the Right Modernization Project

Modernization and updating to next-generation application development can be a daunting task. After all, taking years’ worth of code and updating it to modern code is a whale of a project. That’s why when starting out on your modernization journey, it’s important to pick your first project with care.

Recognize that you can’t modernize everything all at once.
Start small. Find something very finite that you can get your hands around. The one thing you can do for yourself and for your team is to not take on too much at once. So, as you’re thinking about taking on a modernization project, find something small that will make a noticeable difference in your company.

Consider what project will be the most successful in gaining support from upper management.
You will be balancing IT budget, resources, and time against business needs, perceptions of IBM i, and the bottom line. The project you choose has to be one that works within all these constraints and makes a difference both for your IT team and the business as a whole if you are going to gain support for the endeavor.

Consider addressing one of the following challenges.

  • Dated interface – Many shops still have green screens used for some applications within our businesses. Updating the user interface improves upper management’s perception of IBM i and allows developers a wider range of capabilities.
  • Inability to easily access data – Make the data available to your customers and sales team in a quick and effective way to help sell your services and products. Knowing that the data is out there and easily accessible is going to be a big win for your company.
  • Reaching the customer via web or mobile – These methods of reaching the customer have become critical. The smoother these applications run, the better!

These are only a few ideas and certainly not the only areas that may need modernization, so choose the project that makes the most sense for your company. Pick your project wisely and get the support of management behind the initiative.

Choose a project that will be an educational opportunity for your team.
Give them the opportunity to learn and grow their skills. Expanding the capabilities of your team will further encourage modernization and also allow you to continue modernizing a little bit at a time.

Your project should build on existing data.
The IBM i has lots and lots of data – that’s what it’s known for. You want to build on that data and produce that data in a way that people can easily consume it.

Most important, you want a project that can be agile.
You hear that term a lot these days – there is a big buzz in the IBM i community around agile projects and agile development. Everybody’s got a different spin on it but really what it’s all about is truly being able to adjust to change quickly. Being able to get something out in front of your customer, adjust to feedback, and continue to make it work better and smoother are the real benefits of agile development.

There is a lot to consider when beginning your modernization journey. However, if you are careful to pick the right project, one that will be manageable for your team, supported by upper management, and meet a business need, you will set yourself up for success.

Choosing the optimal tools for your team gives a boost to your modernization projects, as well as day-to-day application development, setting you up for success.  Midrange Dynamics users report many benefits from their adoption of the MDChange tool suite. Learn from their experiences and reach out to us today to discuss how we can help you on your modernization journey.