Doing much more, with even less to spend

The nature of IT means that there are numerous ways to achieve more-or-less the same result.

Some options are technically superior; others may be lower cost or simpler to manage. With so much choice and constant innovation, it can be a huge challenge selecting the right approach, but this is exactly what CIOs and senior IT decision makers are tasked with doing.

One of the big cost centres in IT is application lifecycle management (ALM). Heavily customised and bespoke software is one thing, but if the business’ core applications are off-the-shelf packages, and these have been running for many years, then there’s a good chance most of the quirks of the software are well-understood.

It is very tempting to offload the maintenance of such packaged applications to a system integrator, who would certainly be in a position to take on the business opportunity. That opportunity isn’t necessarily solely about maintaining the existing code base and service levels, but in selling a dream of opportunities. The SIs may well bring in a wealth of experience from other organisations in the same industry vertical and offer best practices they have gleaned from their top performing clients. But the SI’s teams tend to be organised around a specific industry vertical. When it’s time to take the business forward – and this is the huge opportunity for the SI in an ALM contract – they will inevitably offer a proven template, on which they will base their plans for your business.

Another option involves taking a best of breed type approach, where different IT providers are selected for maintenance, support, ongoing development and future transformation projects. While ALM is often associated with major IT outsourcing contracts, a best of breed approach involves a mix of internal and external IT specialist providers that are able to coordinate work effectively to achieve the required business outcome.

Some IT leaders may decide to follow their enterprise software provider’s roadmap. For many, this will mean a somewhat painful migration to the cloud, while still paying for maintaining existing on-premise enterprise software until such time that this has been reworked or redeployed to minimise on-going costs. Some may seek out a third-party to help them lower on-going software maintenance costs. Others will look at ALM.

If there was a simple answer, everyone would be doing it. There isn’t, but there is a serious economic downturn. Inflation is higher than it should be and in spite of all the benefits IT has to offer the business, IT leaders will be asked to reduce costs and maybe headcount.

Rather than a laser-focus on year-over year growth, the IT industry must work with IT leaders to plot a path through these difficult times that is beneficial both to their own stakeholders line and those of their customers.

Data Center
Data Management