CIOs should address legacy systems before struggling to get ahead of technology trends for 2016

The coming year will be an exciting one in the field of information technology, if the myriad lists of technology trends for 2016 are anything to go by.

So what projects are on the books for your firm? Are you looking to tackle the Internet of Things in 2016? Maybe your firm is planning to undergo a full system upgrade to ensure your employees are mobility-enabled to outperform competitors? Or maybe your main focus is development and training of new and existing employees to get ahead of the ever-widening skills gap plaguing the technology industry? Whatever your technology priorities in 2016, if you don’t make modernization of your legacy systems your primary focus, all you’re doing is spinning your wheels.

Legacy modernization lays the groundwork for other strategic technology trends in 2016

Being tech-savvy professionals, it should be obvious to us all by now that our CIO top priorities must place legacy modernization above all else, as this will ease logistics across the board.

top strategic technology trends for CIOs in 2016

As we discuss in our ebook, “Tackling legacy IT challenges at your business”, there are numerous indications that it’s time for your company to consider legacy system modernization, as legacy systems affect your firm’s ability to take on new tasks or get the most out of your information technology infrastructure. The short and sweet version, though, is that modernization must take place when

  • Your systems prevent your firm from performing on par with the competition
  • Your systems costs more to maintain than the profitability they generate
  • Your system prevents upgrades and functionality that are necessary to do business in your industry

Whether the CIO top priorities include outright replacement of legacy systems or just tweaking the existing ones to boost performance – professionals believe firms that undergo modernization will be better capable of addressing other technology trends for 2016. Reason being that the “modernized” infrastructure can now handle upgrades to functionality, at the same time firms need not devote massive portions of their budgets and personnel focus to keeping systems functional.

To give an idea of the scope modernization can reach, the legislature in the state of Washington was presented with an IT modernization plan in 2014. While the plan included transitioning some systems and outright replacing others, the overall scope of the proposal stated that in order to replace 343 mission-critical systems considered to be legacy systems, it would cost the state anywhere between $485 million to $2.4 billion. This is where a strategic approach comes in handy.

Click here for more information on how to plan out your firm’s legacy modernization strategy.

4 technology trends to look out for in 2016 (once you fix the legacy conundrum)

Once firms face down the demons of their legacy systems, they are free to focus on the future. We’ll now take a look at five trends in the Information Technology field that should top CIO priorities for the coming year.

  • Cloud– Cloud holds the key to delivering a unified view of data across different systems. In fact, a Cisco report shows that Cloud computing will become such a prevalent factor in integrating and delivering information across systems that “globally, cloud apps will account for 90% of total mobile data traffic by 2019, compared to 81% at the end of last year. Mobile cloud traffic will grow 11-fold from 2014 to 2019, attaining a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60%. It’s important for firms to set the foundations and strategy now for their future Cloud strategy in order to get ahead of the curve.
  • IT Security– Legacy modernization will allow your firm to focus on establishing and executing security protocols, a must when statistics show that more than 43% of American businesses experienced a data breach in 2014, which is up 10% from the same study the previous year.
  • Enterprise Mobility– According to Forrester study, almost 1/3 of employees are considered “anytime, anywhere information workers” who no longer require the traditional office space and no longer work 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Collaboration across systems and applications is vital and will require employers to reconsider how the workspace is defined. It will require innovation and up-to-date technology and applications in order to keep pace with and centralize data from all relevant workspace sources.
  • Data-Driven Decision Making– If improving or iterating upon your data-driven decision making engine is on your list of technology priorities in 2016, Gartner has some serious information to pass along. According to the research giant, the transition to cloud computing will have such a major impact upon Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, that many of the heavily customized solutions now in use in the field will be considered legacy software. They are projecting that by 2018, 30% of service-centric companies will move their ERPs to the cloud. This will drastically change the methods by which employers gather data and use that data to guide business initiatives. The key lies in linking your strategies to the new approach, as Gartner claims that “by 2017, 70% of organizations adopting hybrid ERP will fail to improve cost-benefit outcomes unless their cloud applications provide differentiating functionality.”
  • top strategic technology trends for CIOs in 2016

    What’s your strategy for the coming year? Need help implementing modernization of a legacy system or need advice on how to transition to the Cloud in order to mobilize your workforce? Whatever your technology strategy, Kays Harbor Technologies can support you through the process and give you the advice you need. Click here for a free consultation.