2019: The Year of the Pragmatic Approach

History might refer to 2018 as the year of IT data breaches and system outages, and for many brands and their beleaguered IT teams, a year to forget. As we all successfully moved into 2019, was it the seasonal weather bringing a fresh breeze, or was there a change in attitude? Either way, we should expect a steady increase in IT teams embracing a more pragmatic and thoughtful approach to industrial-scale IT delivery, showing they took in and learned from the lessons of the past year.

To achieve this, IT leadership will look holistically at their entire hybrid IT ecosystem—from mainframe to mobile and all points in between—and selectively choose elements to modify that will bring the greatest business return at the lowest possible risk. This pragmatic approach brings benefits to companies as their IT teams look to limit risks by working to improve what they already have.

A lofty claim perhaps, but we are talking about lofty ambitions in IT. Too many organizations regret poor IT decisions that hampered progress in the digital era. Globally, three trillion dollars has been attributed to failed IT projects. Perhaps it is little wonder that over 85 percent of the global Fortune 500 has changed over the last half century. Companies must adapt and survive…or else.

However, with such figures comes a healthy dose of paranoia. Across a complex hybrid IT world, and against a backdrop of continually increasing demand for new services, IT leaders gravitate further to an approach that will help them meet the needs of digital transformation and IT change; often called IT modernization. With this modernization comes the reality that large-scale IT change can be fraught with risk, cost and effort. Therefore, IT leaders will plan for this by looking to leverage what is already in place and improving it by changing applications, processes or underlying infrastructure only when and where it is needed.

At the heart of this pragmatic approach is the acknowledgment of the profound and enduring value of existing IT investments, and a steadfast approach to protecting, evolving and enhancing that value in a modern, digital context. Nowadays, we think nothing of swiping our mobile apps to ship a package, check our accounts or renew our insurance. These are new digital experiences calling out to trusted IT, mainframe and COBOL systems, which have been running for years. More examples of this abound with application integration, rapid service delivery and new platform deployments, which are all based on trusted IT investments, but with a contemporary twist. Technologically, bridging between the worlds of mainframe, COBOL and CICS, and .NET, Docker, Cloud and Mobile is simply a question of making smart, pragmatic decisions in IT. With the current business landscape, today’s business leaders might find that they need this now more than ever.

Micro Focus

Derek Britton
Derek Britton is an IT professional with over 20 years software industry experience. A computer science graduate from De Montfort University, Derek has held a variety of software engineering, technical consulting and product management positions in the IT industry, and is currently the Director of AMC Strategy at Micro Focus.

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