The here and now
IT supports the business and plays a critical role in its performance. Important long-standing core applications provide the fundamental backbone of business operations – and over many years an irreplaceable, comprehensive IT environment has evolved.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t concerns. For many, IT budgets remain stagnant, yet the organization has a growth strategy. For most organizations the majority of budget is spent on the day-to-day running of the business, referred to as ‘keeping the lights on’. Why? An array of innovative systems and processes has made the business what it is today. But such innovation has come at a cost – a recent study states around $11M per organization is required to address the backlog. And with more innovation, comes more backlog.
The backlog continues to grow, complexity of the IT environment follows suit, and future agility diminishes. The downward spiral continues. Even armed with the very latest zEnterprise mainframe technology, IT leaders faced unprecedented challenges in continuing to support business growth.
Oh, sounds bad.
Actually, it’s worse than that. There’s an abundance of other challenges to deal with – the forever growing IT backlog, continuous changes in compliance regulations and numerous outsourcing challenges. Additionally, organizations continually must widen and improve their skills pool. Let’s consider each of these concerns:
Regulatory compliance is a pressing concern for many IT departments, but far too often it gets pushed to the bottom of the list. It takes time, effort and prioritization. And on top of all that, it takes focus away from delivering what really matters back to the business.
Governance, risk and compliance projects are unplanned, non-negotiable IT milestones with far reaching consequences. Meeting regulations with finite IT resources is a challenge that limits the ability to focus on innovation.
Keeping the lights on – the true costs
Gartner reveal upwards of 70% of an organization’s IT budget is for ‘lights-on’ activities only. This is referred to as ‘dead money’ as it isn’t directly contributing to business growth or enhancing competitive advantage. This figure of 70% is only expected to grow, with CIOs estimating a 29% rise in ‘IT debt’ over the last 18 months.
The high percentage of ‘lights on’ budget means very little is left, and consequently, placement of remaining resources is more critical than ever and ultimately affects the ability to deliver, grow and maintain competitive advantage.
Outsourcing – a global panacea?
Implementing the best possible technical infrastructure is a challenge and carries many considerations: Is it cost effective? Will it affect quality? Can more be achieved? Can coherent system integration be achieved? For some, a move towards outsourcing is often associated with a loss of control, hidden costs, security and confidentiality intrusion as well as additional concerns. Meanwhile for many others, it’s a way forward – access to skilled staff, increased operational efficiency and improved flexibility. However, establishing and controlling an effective outsourcing strategy remains a significant operational challenge.
Perceived resourcing concern
As businesses evolve, so must core systems, and critical COBOL applications must do more than ever. Keeping pace with that evolution can be a significant resourcing challenge, as new skill requirements emerge. Outsourcing, as mentioned above, could be an option but it might not be considered the appropriate strategy. Either way, organizations now require a more specific skill set than ever before, which has consequently created questions around development skills.
Timing is everything
There’s no respite in the operational challenges facing IT – these enterprise environments are highly complex, innovation capacity is limited and delivering business value – quickly – is severely compromised. The time to find a way to manage the current, while delivering the new, can’t come soon enough.
Delivering fast enterprise time to value
In a recent BBC report, the UK Banking industry is “puzzled” at productivity levels that remain below those prior to the 2008 financial crisis. From an IT perspective, when one considers the issues above, and the difficultly in delivering against such a kaleidoscope of internal concerns, it may be less surprising than at first glance: poor internal efficiency can only hamper large organizations’ ability to deliver the volume and quality of services those business need.
What if there was a technology that could enable organizations to efficiently tackle the day-to-day operational challenges, freeing up time, and putting the control back in your hands? What if the power of the mainframe estate could be harnessed yet further?
Imagine unrivaled technology that helps tackle the challenges of compliance, IT backlog, outsourcing and skills. Technology that makes the CIO a hero once again – and delivers value back to the business quickly.
With Micro Focus there is a way.
The Micro Focus Enterprise Solution leverages the power of the mainframe to further streamline business processes and transform enterprise
application delivery. Using industry-standard technology including Eclipse and zEnterprise, it helps tackle regulatory compliance challenges head-on, identifies and mitigates factors contributing to the backlog, supports outsourcing strategy, and addresses internal application resource concerns. Micro Focus provides solutions for all phases in enterprise application delivery cycle, including improved application intelligence, user access, application change and development, unit and system testing and workload optimization, offering a 50% improvement in application delivery