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Modernization: Beyond the Negativity Bias

We humans are still in charge and making the big decisions impacting the level of success our organizations experience. Despite all of talk about artificial intelligence and the specter of an inevitable robot uprising we still control our destiny.  As a human this is good news, though it does come with particular challenges. One of these challenges is that we are hard wired to have what is commonly referred to as the negativity bias.

The negativity bias is a cognitive bias which allows us to see problems, actual or potential.  This allows us to resolve issues or avoid them, which is a wonderful capability.  However, the challenge can be that negativity bias often obscures new opportunities and positive improvement and mandates that we spend disproportionate time and energy on the negatives. 

When we talk about legacy modernization with clients, the initial focus is often on the negative components first.  What we often hear are things like:  The mainframe cost is exorbitant. The pending skills shortage is creating risk and stifling innovation.  The technology lacks flexibility.  And most people in IT talk about "their solutions.''  We do too.

To be clear, legacy modernization addresses the aforementioned issues.  Done well, legacy modernization also creates amazing opportunities. In the hands of the Astadia team, modernization positions organizations to leverage opportunities they have already identified and positions them for those that don't yet exist. We do this by exploiting the power and flexibility of modern environments and paradigms. Distributed technology in and of itself can be quite enabling from an accessibility, scalability, and performance perspective. Having your application(s) properly segmented and staged across a more diverse playing field will always add efficiencies and flexibility. Moreover, today’s advances in process and paradigm, such as DevOps and Cloud computing, offer a wealth of positive outcomes, a reduction in technical debt and a greatly enhanced development / testing environment. CI/CD functionality means development and testing happen much faster and to a much higher level of quality. Today’s modern IDE’s enable engineer creativity and efficiency at its highest levels and the Cloud architectures by AWS and Microsoft facilitate an almost endless path to scalability and overall value. This isn’t your father’s IT any longer! 

When considering the modernization journey we believe it is important to think about the legacy you are exiting and the paradigm you are ultimately moving toward.  We collaborate with organizations to consider the problems being addressed and the opportunities we can create. Different approaches and architectures will potentially enable or limit opportunities. Finally, you will likely have cost savings to fund those opportunities, abundant skills to execute them, and an organization able to be agile to increase business velocity and innovation.

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Scott Kitlinski

SVP and CIO

Posted on September 04, 2018

Categories: Legacy Modernization