CIODigital Disruption

Why CIOs Want to Invest in Business Modernization Efforts

Several CIOs are stuck clearing legacy technology debts and that is hurting their digital business strategy. Legacy systems incur maintenance costs, increase project failure risks, and decrease utilization scope. In this article at, Myles F. Suer explains why CIOs want to invest in modernizing their business.

Business Modernization Efforts by CIOs

Usually, companies do not replace legacy technologies until it is too late. However, several factors make CIOs modernize businesses:

  • Merger and acquisitions (M&A) compel CIOs to improve their existing processes. However, old-school executives often delay replacing legacy technologies even after an M&A.
  • Former Yahoo CIO Mike Kail reveals that management gives the go-ahead to stay relevant and maintain their market stronghold. However, these efforts take place too near to the impact date. Business leaders start approving modernization efforts when they start losing projects.
  • When vendors stop supporting legacy technologies, IT leaders opt for an upgraded version.
  • To provide unique services to customers and achieve business goals, CIOs improve processes.

Business Modernization to Results:

IT leaders and business partners must partake in the modernization journey to understand how it improves business outcomes. Meanwhile, CIOs should be proactive about initial threats that could affect overall business operations and modify existing business model. Legacy technologies are risky in terms of maintenance cost and security. Turning these risks into business opportunities require offering customer-centric services by integrating old and new technologies.

Modernization Scope:

CIOs must prioritize updating current processes and best practices before focusing on upgrading legacy technologies. A strong infrastructure facilitates the business modernization journey by supporting changes in iterations. They must evaluate and address legacy system issues and strive to transform them. Leaving aside the expired products, they can prioritize working on the rest based on ‘complexity/value/cost matrix’.

Change Management:

The process involves assembling relevant stakeholders, documenting every step forward, and measuring outcomes. A vetted contingency plan should be in place to combat mishaps. However, modernization is more about changing workplace culture and mindset than upgrading or replacing old technologies. A good change management plan and learning culture help the business transform.

Digital Business and Modernization:

Business modernization and digital business are interlinked. CIOs and IT lead the journey with the support of other C-suite executives like CTOs and CDOs. Sometimes, enabling an innovative culture is more important to modernize the business than going for a full-blown IT upheaval.  Moreover, while business modernization is limited to changing one application, digital transformation is long-term and complex. To achieve success in the digital business, getting rid of technical doubt should be the primary aim.

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