Two ways to modernize IT systems for the digital era2017-07-11T15:01:42.000Z 2017-07-11T15:01:42.000Z "Companies can use two-speed or greenfield approaches to overhaul their legacy IT systems without weakening their enterprises. Which approach is right for you?" Answer this question: Juan Garcia Avedillo, Duarte Begonha, and Andrea Peyracchia (McKinseyCompany)
For the big, established companies that are striving to compete with new and fast-developing, one of the weakest points is obsolete IT systems. To solve this problem, you could choose any of two ways of their transformation: two-speed and greenfield approach.
Choosing the first, IT-organization produces a quick launch of applications and continues to ensure the stability of slower internal systems. It is most likely the right way for the start-ups and new patient team. But if you need the full transformation of the entire business processes, if you want to change the outdated system that simply harder and harder to support every day you need the second one.
For better understanding the right choice is, we are comparing two ways due to key organizational factors.
If we consider both approaches in terms of functional needs, the changes in the two-speed model will be more focused and affect only a few IT areas, while with the "greenfield", extensive changes will need to be finalized in most of the major areas of business. Business support means the team who will take part in the global changes, in the first case, is limited only by part of the organization, in the second - the top management is ready to head the whole project of changes.
Already clear from the title, what is the difference between these methods from the time point of view. If you urgently need the quick results, a two-speed model may be the best option. And if the company does not want to be exposed to large operational risks, during all obsolete IT will be replacing we should talk about the second way where the advantages of changes outweigh the risks.
From the economic point of view, the company can either afford to implement only critical changes in the functionality of the systems or should not have significant budget constraints if the first or second method is applied. Frankly speaking, it is not the easy way or cheap way. If you decided to compete with new technologic companies, you should prepare yourself for the no constraints budget.
About the integration flexibility, we should say, if the choice fell on the two-speed model, then the current interfaces will remain in order, and there will be no need to make serious changes in the integration logic. And a new, flexible, but at the same time, standardized architecture is required to integrate applications using the "greenfield" approach.
The last but is not least factor is the tolerance for the complexity of IT. You cannot get everything at once. In a first way, the IT architecture meets the requirements and complexity of the system can be managed. The second way can hinder business growth.
As you notice, both considered models give the organizations an opportunity quickly and effectively to transform itself, allowing business to work as usual. But they are a bit different. With a more modern IT architecture, recognized companies can simplify their workflow and IT environment, and dramatically improve their productivity.