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A New Day for Legacy IT

Jonathan Feldman, CIO of the City of Ashville, N.C., proposes that the end of legacy IT is at hand. He accepts the resistance to this idea and addresses it head-on. In an article for InformationWeek, Feldman elaborates further on the end of legacy IT and the beginning of “Digital Services.”

Feldman’s previous statements were blunt and indicated the end of an era. What they failed to explain was how to progress IT away from the traditional legacy system towards Digital Services. According to Feldman, he believes the answer to this lies in the leadership of the organization. Leaders need to practice what they preach and jump on board with this movement. Once the leaders begin thinking more digitally, their employees will follow suit. Additionally, once employees are invested in the idea of Digital Services, it will be easier to persuade management to invest in this new endeavor.

One of the next unanswered questions is how to get business staff to rethink IT. According to Feldman this is a matter of getting business staff to take on more responsibility when it comes to technology. Almost everyone utilizes technology in some fashion for their job, and so they can handle small tasks, like changing the ink cartridge in the printer. Taking on some new responsibility may even excite the business staff and further encourage their involvement. IT will still be there to oversee the big problems, but they will not have to be distracted on trivial affairs.

Some people fear that the myriad of helpful frameworks will be replaced, but Feldman believes the perspective surrounding them must be reworked. The framework should assist the already strong leadership, not replace it altogether. The bottom line is that the framework is only as effective as you make it.

Both project management and change management are needed in an organization because they determine the success or failure of a project. Feldman additionally proposes there should be project discipline: “Project discipline means that the executive involved is willing and able to identify resources available, compare them against what resources are needed to attack a given project portfolio, and then identify what’s not going to get done.” It is through project discipline that digital transformation will really begin.

You can read the original article here:

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