By Nicholas Ismail, Global Head of Brand Journalism, HCL Technologies Ltd.
Achieving continuous modernization is an ambition of all digital-ready and forward-thinking enterprises with innovation as a priority and reduction in technical debt as a mandate.
“The business develops capabilities on specific platforms and innovating on these platforms is complicated. There are dependencies on databases, hardware, storage devices and software versions that must be considered. This slows down innovation and negatively impacts ROI and often leads to the creation of technical debt,” said Siki Giunta, EVP & Head of HCL’s CloudSMART Offerings Strategy and Industry Cloud Consulting at HCL Technologies.
Technical debt results from taking short-term, expedient solutions based only on known or existing technology Adapting to changes in the business is critical for companies looking to future proof their businesses and short-term thinking presents challenges to address required changes. Unchecked, technical debt leads to software entropy and costly investments to address emerging and future requirements.
Giunta explained: “Traditional IT organizations operate in a waterfall [linear project management] environment where development cycles can take between 12-18 months and creates areas in the business that are highly dependent on certain pieces of technology. That is why we see the once popular “lift and shift” way of migrating applications to the cloud slowing down. Organizations realize that lift and shift is simply moving these dependencies from the traditional datacentre to the cloud. This limits innovation and results in technical debt.”
Limiting technical debt
In a virtual environment cloud native technologies are updated continuously by the cloud provider, which means organizations can just concentrate on innovation – developing strong business capabilities, applications, new products, and services. This decoupling has the cloud providers managing the infrastructure, but not the applications or data hosted within it. This operational model enables organizations to evolve their business applications without concerns for the underlying technology.
Continuous modernization means that organizations innovate by focusing on the application without concern for the underlying technology. The operating model for continuous modernization relies on cloud native development processes; developers continuously review code, retire code that they do not want to use, and build new code to support future requirements.
“Continuous modernization is a motion that is extremely familiar to HCL, because at our core we are engineers that build things to last and benefit business in the future,” added Giunta.
Continuous modernization in the cloud
The cloud is not a destination – it is more of a journey. It evolves every day as new services, use cases and technology are developed and deployed to enable the business. “Organizations need to embrace this ethos. – The commitment to continuous modernization requires everyone in the business to have curiosity about all the cloud models, techniques and use cases that can be implemented to achieve the business requirements documented in their cloud strategy. This is the basis of having a cloud commitment across the business,” said Giunta.
She added: “To realize this ambition, we encourage our clients to create a transformation office, a forum for partners and their own people to review the strategy, goals, and business case on a continuing basis. When this is in place, I say to the executives you have achieved “cloud” because cloud has changed the way that you plan, run, and execute your business.”