Enterprise Evolution: FAQ 1 by ecubesystems

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									Enterprise Evolution
                                     Frequently Asked Questions I
What is systems modernization?
  Systems modernization is a series of tool-enabled disciplines that facilitate the understanding,
  improvement, migration, reuse and/or transformation of existing software systems. Modernization
  decomposes into three major phases that include assessment, remediation and transformation.
  Because modernization breaks down into phases, organizations can readily apply selected
  modernization disciplines to a wide variety of projects. The one commonality of any modernization
  project is that there are one or more existing software systems and/or data structures that are of
  value to the organization and targeted for some type of change ranging anywhere from a
  maintenance project to full-scale replacement.

Does modernization nullify or augment alternative solutions?
   While modernization can serve as an alternative to Greenfield replacement or package deployment,
   it can also serve to augment these and a variety of other IT initiatives. Greenfield replacement and
   package deployments both require an understanding and, in many cases, the reuse and retooling of
   existing systems. As a result, modernization provides a means for understanding, decomposing,
   selectively reusing and integrating existing systems within the context of Greenfield and package
   deployment initiatives. When modernization disciplines are coupled with traditional approaches, it
   streamlines efforts to define requirements and deliver business value to the user community.

What business value does modernization deliver?
  Business units are streamlining, consolidating and automating business processes on an ongoing
  basis. As this occurs, automated systems must adapt. Middleware-based integration has not
  addressed business process retooling requirements because back-end applications and data
  structures remain poorly aligned, redundant and segregated into functional silos. Modernization, on
  the other hand, delivers risk averse, tool-leveraged ways for IT to bring existing systems assets back
  into alignment with business objectives. This includes reducing the overall costs while improving the
  results of a variety of projects that involve existing software assets – whether these projects involve
  small-scale modifications or large-scale replacement.

What technical benefits can modernization provide?
  Existing systems architectures have degraded substantially over past decades. Typical environments
  are riddled with poorly structured code, redundant and inconsistent data definitions and procedural
  logic, and highly coupled functional, data access and user access logic. These systems may be
  written in older computing languages, running on obsolete platforms or entangled in a web of
  middleware. Modernization enables analysts to expose these architectures as well as to structure,
  rationalize, streamline, aggregate or migrate these systems. As a result, applications can be
  transformed into reusable components or services, incorporated more readily into ongoing business
  initiatives or become more adaptable to ongoing change requirements.


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How does modernization support my SOA strategy?
  Modernization goes beyond the simple SOA view of connecting web-based front-ends to mainframe
  back-ends. Through remediation techniques, organizations can isolate business logic from user or
  data access logic, rationalize and modularize systems, and create services that can be accessed
  using cross-platform technologies. These modularized components may be left on current platforms
  or transformed into languages such as Java. As services are mined and exposed from existing
  systems environments, they become portable across platforms and can be incorporated and
  managed via facilities such as the enterprise service bus (ESB). Therefore, modernization becomes
  the prime enabling vehicle for organizations wishing to migrate to SOA.

What principles should a successful, real-world modernization project adhere to?
  A real-world modernization project should adhere to several basic principles. The first is that there
  should be a valid business reason and related ROI for modernization initiatives. The second
  principle is to never apply modernization changes without assessing the architecture and related
  factors impacting the project. The third principle is to pursue modernization using a measured
  approach that provides incremental value. The fourth principle is to leverage tools wherever
  possible to streamline modernization tasks and deliverables. Finally, management should recognize
  that modernization is an ongoing journey, not a destination. As a result, modernization facilitates
  architecture evolution as well as the more comprehensive transformation of IT environments.

Is there a role for integration in a modernization initiative?
    Integration, which includes putting distributed or web-based front-ends on older systems,
    middleware deployment and the use of tools to reach into back-end architectures, is complementary
    to modernization. In practice, organizations initially attach graphically oriented front-ends to
    existing systems, expand front-end environments into functioning distributed systems and then
    determine next steps based on user input. This approach allows users and analysts to envision and
    plan further automation activities, back-end systems consolidation and other modernization tasks.
    Conversely, a platform migration or systems remediation project may concurrently involve the
    deployment of these integration solutions. Therefore, integration and modernization together
    become a mix and match solution for a variety of business challenges.

How is integration different from systems architecture evolution?
  Systems architecture evolution differs from integration as described above in several ways.
  Evolution is the incremental improvement of existing application and data architectures. This
  includes applying rationalization, structuring and other remediation techniques to application logic
  and data definitions as well as migrating systems to other languages and/or platforms. It may also
  include the isolation and consolidation of business, data access and user access logic as well as
  other functional improvements. These modernization options provide significant benefit to any
  project that requires understanding or modifying existing application environments. Integration on
  the other hand is limited to the modernization and consolidation of user interfaces while largely
  ignoring underlying application and data architectures.




                             Enterprise Evolution | FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS I
                                            www.ecubesystems.com
What is the basic first step of any modernization project?
  The first step of any modernization project involves an assessment. An assessment identifies
  requirements and project scope while exposing information about the systems involved in a given
  project. Assessments rely on tool-enabled and analyst-based examination of systems to identify and
  expose system artifacts and relationships among those artifacts.

What are the essential components of a successful enterprise assessment?
  Essential components of a typical assessment include requirements definition, scoping, current
  architecture analysis, gap analysis, cost/benefit analysis, risk evaluation and plan on how to
  proceed. Requirements definition involves determining the objectives of the project and crafting a
  plan to ensure that the assessment meets those objectives. Scoping, an often underestimated phase of
  a project, ensures that the depth and breadth of analysis coincide with the requirements. Analysis of
  the current architecture examines systems and related artifacts, data structures, user areas and
  other factors as determined by project objectives. Current-to-target gap analysis, which is only
  required when there is a specific target architecture, platform or paradigm, determines reuse
  opportunities and implementation requirements. The assessment also examines projected costs and
  benefits while highlighting projected implementation risk factors. Finally, the assessment produces
  an implementation plan, which varies based on the objectives of the project.

What deliverables should I expect after an assessment project has been completed?
  Assessment deliverables depend largely on the scope and depth of the assessment as well as the
  goals of the project initiating the assessment. Enterprise assessments are broad in scope while in-
  depth assessments drill down into a smaller cross-section of systems. Enterprise assessment
  deliverables provide a systems inventory; a cross-reference of systems and data structures; a
  functional overview of systems and sub-systems; and a variety of metrics. More narrowly defined, in-
  depth assessments provide the above deliverables as well as more granular artifact cross-reference
  maps; data definition cross-reference; business rule extractions; identification of all system
  interfaces; extracted logical models of data, processes and systems; gap analysis between systems
  and target environment; and a plan on how to proceed with the implementation phase of a project.
  As stated earlier, deliverables are project dependent and it is, therefore, unlikely that a complete
  cross-section of the aforementioned deliverables would be provided as a result of any given
  assessment.


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                             Enterprise Evolution | FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS I
                                            www.ecubesystems.com

								
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