Modernization with simplification, speed and specialization | HCLTech

Modernization with simplification, speed and specialization

Companies face a major challenge as they bring their IT systems into the 2020s

3 minutes read
Bennett Voyles
Bennett Voyles
Contributing Writer
3 minutes read
Modernization with simplification, speed and specialization

After 30 years of ever-growing reliance on IT, many companies now find themselves in a quandary about their next move. Outdated systems, a lack of flexibility, an inability to keep up with fast-changing business demands and a tsunami of data have left corporate strategists in a difficult sea of choices.

Ganesh Rajasekaran, Associate Vice President (Global) for HCLTech’s Digital Business – Oracle Practice, says the companies he works with tend to fit into one of three categories:

  • One group is running heavily customized applications that they will shift to a cloud platform, such as the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. These companies won’t get the full benefit of the latest features and functionalities, but they can expect to save some on their infrastructure costs. 

  • The second group is shifting to Oracle Software-as-a-Service, which makes it possible to get the benefits of the new software much more quickly than with a traditional on-premises rollout. Low-code systems such as Oracle’s Apex are making such shifts much easier than before, democratizing development so that the key expertise required is understanding the business, not understanding coding only. Low code may not be suited to very complex applications, but it can make a lot of sense for basic systems that require little customization.

  • A third group is mixing and matching. For example, planning engine needs are implemented in Oracle SaaS while legacy order-to-cash systems are moved to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

There is no right path forward for every company, as long as they are facing the right direction, according to Ganesh Rajasekaran. 

Outsourcing IT services whenever possible to highly scalable SaaS software creates not only short-term operational advantages but also long-term strategic advantages for companies. For example, SaaS-driven, cloud-based IT eliminates the need to invest in new hardware and software.

Many are looking into low-code systems, such as Oracle’s APEX. “There is a huge uptake in this because people want to go to a low-code software platform,” says Ganesh Rajasekaran. Companies see an opportunity to rewrite their legacy systems with APEX, which is much faster and easier to use than traditional programming languages. “It is really helping them to accelerate their development time because it’s more drag and drop,” he notes.

Running operations and saving data on cloud-based SaaS systems also pays off in other ways. For example, having data and functions already on the cloud leads to cleaner and simpler acquisitions and divestitures. “Once they don’t need a unit’s system and data, they can just hive it off,” says Ganesh Rajasekaran.

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Face the change

Making such shifts is not always easy, but good tools, good methods and good governance can make the changes less daunting. 

HCLTech’s Advantage SPADE platform, for instance, can bring together processes, people and technology and move them from their legacy applications to Oracle SaaS, according to Ganesh Rajasekaran. “Let’s say you want to migrate all your legacy ERP data to Oracle SaaS – this will help you make those migrations,” says Ganesh Rajasekaran. 

However, Ganesh Rajasekaran notes, new technology is only part of the solution. The critical role change management plays in the integration of new systems should not be overlooked – especially as the discipline of change management is itself changing. This is because in the next generation of IT systems, digital technologies are so thoroughly integrated that most changes that involve IT will be led entirely by business leaders, rather than by the CIO and driven by Agile DevSecOps teams.

Broadly, he explains, the first step toward IT modernization comes down to a choice between reinventing the core – modernizing existing applications and reframing the future – by transferring functions from legacy systems onto cutting-edge Oracle SaaS. Either direction can work – but you need to make a choice.

How should you start?

  1. Assess your current state. Look at how your IT is being used now and identify the weakest links. Pinpoint where changes could add the most value, based on your system audit and stakeholder feedback.

  2. Choose the technology that is right for your needs. 

  3. Create a roadmap for moving toward your next-generation system.

  4. Manage the change. Help your employees learn the new skills they will need to master this new system.

  5. Monitor your progress.

Ultimately, says Ganesh Rajasekaran, modernization comes down to swapping what HCLTech calls the ‘three Es’ – experience, efficiency and effectiveness – for ‘three S’s’ – simplification, speed and specialization. 

For business strategists, the age of the three S’s will result in an integration of IT with business operations, to a point where it will be increasingly hard to tell where one ends and the other begins.

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