Survey shows increased focus on IT modernization and application retirement

A investigation of 140 enterprise architects and IT managers released today suggest that while moving applications to the cloud remains a priority, more attention is being paid to reducing technical debt by phasing out applications.

Conducted by LeanIX, a provider of an enterprise architecture management and value stream management (VSM) management platform, the survey found that 40% of respondents identified the reduction technical debt created by legacy applications and modernizing legacy systems as their top IT priorities. 96% said their company has at least one project planned for this year aimed at reducing technical debt, with more than half (52%) noting that retiring IT applications is the primary way they will employ to reduce debt technical.

Nearly 60% also considered migrating applications to the cloud a high priority. However, less than a quarter of respondents (24%) identified cloud initiatives as an IT priority. The second most important cloud initiative, identified by 41% of respondents, is to increase the number of SaaS applications in use.

Regardless of cloud approach, nearly three-quarters (73%) of respondents said enterprise architects should connect more closely with software development teams, with an almost equal percentage agreeing the importance of tracking the business impact of software development.

However, only 16% of respondents viewed evolving and improving their security posture as a top priority, even though more than two-thirds viewed security initiatives, such as improving risk assessment capabilities. and adoption of more reliable computing offerings, such as important or highly important.

Dominic Rose, vice president of product management for LeanIX, said enterprise architects — or someone within IT who takes responsibility for enterprise architecture — try to minimize disruption to business as IT environments continue to grow and evolve. The challenge they face is that there is usually a disconnect between software development teams and the rest of the business. The size of this gap will vary by organization; In general, though, enterprise digital transformation initiatives should help bridge the gap, assuming enterprise architects can establish and maintain close ties with software development teams, Rose noted.

LeanIX makes the case for an Enterprise Architecture Management (EAM) platform that provides visibility into IT environments. The company also has a VSM offering available on top of this platform that provides visibility into software delivery processes. The number of organizations that have adopted VSM platforms remains relatively low, but as organizations rely more on software to drive digital processes, the need for business and IT managers to have more visibility into delivery schedules software should increase.

In the meantime, it remains to be seen how aligned DevOps teams are with strategic business goals. The ability to build and deploy software faster does not automatically mean gaining a deeper understanding of business needs. In fact, software may one day be built and deployed faster than most organizations can efficiently absorb it, unless they have an equivalent of a VSM platform in place.

Margie D. Carlisle