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Why IT Governance is Critical for Modernization

Houston Ross was going to Japan to work for the Dutch company, ING Life Insurance, at a time when most American / European IT modernization projects were nearing completion. He was up against a sprawling cluster of physical servers, a plethora of in-house legacy skills, and a slowing national economy. In an article for The Enterprisers Project, Ross uses his ensuing struggle to illustrate why modernization needs IT governance.

It All Started with a Roadmap

Ross explains that having a working governance roadmap was the single most important thing he and his team did to ensure the effective modernization of ING. Next came the scaling down of nonessential operations – for instance, the total consumption across company servers totaled about 40 percent. Staff were slowly but surely transitioned by leveraging the help of a consultant. In all, the transition involved “five pillars:”

  1. Consolidating / simplifying infrastructure
  2. Building innovative solutions
  3. IT delivery excellence
  4. Enterprise architecture
  5. Enterprise platform modernization

Ross goes on to say:

Today, midway through what is likely to be a five-year transformation, we have reduced the number of our data centers and physical servers and begun moving to cloud services. As we look at our applications, we are taking the same top-down perspective and asking: “Is there an opportunity to consolidate? Is there an opportunity to standardize, all starting with the principle that we’re going to be cloud first?” The good news is, we’ve already made some progress there and replaced the technology that ran our portal with a cloud service.

The Story Continues

Now that ING is NN Group, there are also cultural issues to confront. In Japan, an employee is often hired for life. Additionally, stakeholders coming in from other companies and from other countries have their own opinion of how IT operations should be run. Despite these challenges, and as Ross has learned time and again, the benefits of modernization are definitely worth the struggle of implementing effective governance.

Read the original article at:

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