It seems that in the enterprise IT world of today, digital transformation is on everyone’s mind. The media talks about the Fourth Industrial Revolution (also known as Industry 4.0) all the time. They are busy highlighting the business benefits of enterprise system modernization and the technologies driving it, such as AI (artificial intelligence), ML (machine learning) and Big Data.
Even though the benefits of digital transformation are very real and very achievable, Industry 4.0 is just beginning to unfold. The majority of enterprises today still use outdated IT systems and legacy applications.
In this environment, businesses of all sizes feeling increased pressure to kick-start their digital transformations as soon as possible.
Why can’t enterprises neglect the digital transformation?
Modernization itself is not a bad idea. To the contrary, there are many reasons why businesses should be jumping on the digital transformation bandwagon.
Here are some of the most important ones:
Risk of being left behind
As the market adopts innovations that allow businesses to be more productive and cost-efficient, those that fail to keep up have already noticed the signs of underperformance. This is especially true when it comes to measuring their metrics and KPIs. The risk of being outdone by the competition is very real, especially for companies operating in free and actively developing markets.
Increasing maintenance costs
Maintenance costs is another big reason pushing enterprises into digital transformation. Outdated systems are normally more expensive to maintain compared to new tools. As a result, these expenses tend to increase over the years as providers discontinue the support for solutions reaching the end of their life cycles.
Productivity issues and inability to implement new tech
As businesses accumulate more and more data measuring the performance of Industry 4.0 solutions, the gap between different generations of enterprise tools becomes increasingly obvious. Using legacy systems is one the main barriers to achieving the level of productivity and cost-efficiency required for a company to be successful in 2021. This is because legacy systems make it difficult to implement new business-empowering technologies.
In a nutshell, neglecting digital transformation gets increasingly pricey for enterprises. Moreover, business leaders can no longer avoid or postpone it. The cold reality is that they have no choice but to modernize legacy systems and implement new tools to remain cost-effective.
And this is when the problems and challenges arise.
When does digital transformation become a problem?
The issues businesses are facing when trying to implement digital transformation solutions can vary. Essentially they always revolve around cost-efficiency and business productivity indicators.
Estimated costs of IT modernization are too high
When it comes to implementing digitization projects, business leaders tend to underestimate the actual costs and complexity of innovation. Depending on the size and field of an enterprise, modernizing old solutions can be expensive. Many companies can’t afford or are unwilling to allocate millions to update their IT infrastructures. Unfortunately, this mindset persists even though the money spent generates a high ROI.
Implementing new tools takes too long
Many businesses typically underestimate the amount of time and effort required to implement new tools and solutions. It can take months or even years to complete an enterprise modernization project. Considering multiple risks of a full-blown digitization, some business leaders lean towards postponing or limiting changes.
Business benefits are not guaranteed
Enterprise IT systems are very complex. Implementing new solutions requires careful planning. It involves taking different components and various levels of business operations into account. Due to that, companies are never immune to failure. Done incorrectly, there is always the potential lack of measurable benefits or new business problems after “modernizing”.
Learn more about how your business can best innovate in today’s digital ecosystem in this article about IBM Reinventing Financial Services.
What is the right way to approach digital transformation?
Luckily, these problems are not insurmountable. They can be overcome by learning from others’ experiences, approaching digital transformation with a proper attitude and applying the right tools. There are many solutions designed to make innovations easy to implement and accessible even for small and medium-sized businesses.
Let’s look at a few key recommendations on how to achieve quick and measurable results without a massive budget.
Use low-code platforms for development and deployment
Using low-code platforms such as Visual LANSA to develop and deliver new enterprise applications is one way to significantly reduce the time and resources required to transform. Another way is to modernize and moving old apps to the cloud. Compared to traditional application development, low-code greatly minimizes hand-coding in multiple languages. It also maximizes code re-use, reduces risk and eliminates the need to find elusive and costly full-stack developers.
Empower your current staff with better development tools
IT departments in today’s business environment can struggle to keep up with multiplying business needs. This is because they don’t have enough staff and resources at their disposal. Hiring more software developers and engineers is the most obvious solution to this problem, but it also comes with a slate of other challenges.
With the amount of development languages, technologies, and frameworks spiraling out of control, qualified developers are hard to find. They are also expensive to hire and often lack understanding of what your business actually needs. The alternative to hiring more staff is to provide your current employees with better development instruments. The LANSA platform offers the tools and solutions you need to turn your current IT staff into full-stack experts with minimal training.
Keep your enterprise applications simple
The more complex your enterprise tools, the higher your business risks. This is you should keep your solutions simple. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, considering the need to support different devices, form factors, browsers, server platforms, and operating systems. LANSA shields developers from having to worry about how to deploy their projects across multiple architectures or platforms. As a result, they can focus on building applications that will deliver real value to your business. As an example, LANSA supports the migration of applications between any hybrid-mix of Cloud and on-premise Windows, Linux, or IBM i platforms with little or no code modification.
Learn more about simplifying enterprise solutions in this article on IBM AIX download free.
Utilize the data
Finally, the ability to organize, control and use data is one of the key components of digitization project success. It is important to make sure that your system is able to collect and analyze data effectively. You also need to be able to transfer the data across platforms without delays. LANSA’s low-code platform allows you to extend data from any database on any platform to your web, mobile, and desktop applications. You can also use web services and APIs to support data flowing through existing back-office systems and business processes.
To give an example, with LANSA’s Business Rules Engine tool, you can externally define system-wide business logic in a single repository. You can achieve this without coding rules at the application or database level. The Data Services Layer by LANSA then enforces these centrally defined rules and data constraints throughout all LANSA-developed applications, regardless what platform they are deployed on.
How can I turbocharge the digital transformation at my organization?
It is not unusual for business leaders who are facing the need to modernize IT systems to feel overwhelmed and powerless, not having enough resources for digital transformation efforts and uncertain about potential risks.
LANSA offers a solution to this problem by providing companies with a handful of time-proven tools created to enable the development and implementation of enterprise IT innovations at low cost and without disrupting current business operations. Save time and money by focusing on what needs to be modernized in your business instead of worrying about funds, technical issues and shortage of human resources.
Learn more about how your organization can attain technology independence in this related article: “What is a IBM?”
Ready to get started? Contact us at Lansa.com