it-debt
Business Technology Optimization

CIOs' 2014 Priority: Reduce 'IT debts'

IT organizations are in debt. Not in the traditional sense, where they owe large sums of money. They are facing a different problem that Gartner defines as “IT debt” – “the cost of dealing with delayed and deferred maintenance of the application portfolio.” This debt, according to Gartner, is mounting and threatening to reach $1 trillion globally by 2015.

With this issue hanging over their heads, savvy IT organizations will spend 2014 taking steps to reduce their own IT debts. How do they do this? By fundamentally changing the way they deliver applications. Identifying small, incremental improvements to existing methods won’t be enough; the pace at which the deficit grows is accelerating and IT will never get ahead of business demands. Instead, CIOs must embrace radically new application delivery approaches that eliminate all of the traditional bottlenecks and dramatically increase speed, efficiency and output.  Here are four suggestions to help you chart a new application development course:

  • Accelerate Development by Canning Code – When you replace traditional coding with new, visual model-driven development, the application development process accelerates dramatically.  An analysis by the global system integrator Capgemini found that by changing to this development approach, development time decreases dramatically to only 2.5 hours per function point compared to 10.6 hours for Java and 15.5 hours for C#. The reason is that the entire project team can much more quickly and efficiently create and collaborate on application models, intuitively understand the functionality, easily identify and make changes, and instantly run the working application.
  • Tap Non-Professional Developers – By some estimates, there are up to 10 times more non-professional developers than there are professional developers.  When you replace custom code with intuitive model-driven development, you can tap this pool of business engineers (as we like to call them) to dramatically increase development capacity, while still ensuring maintainability and control.  The result is more apps and functionality and because the business is more involved in the process, better outcomes.
  • Extend, Don’t Customize, Legacy Systems – Legacy systems are rigid and extremely difficult to customize.  Rather than pouring precious resources into long, complex customizations, consider adding an agile layer on top of these systems that allows your team to easily extend them with new functionality that business users need.
  • Remove Technology and Infrastructure from the Equation Technology, infrastructure and deployment issues should not slow a project down or even concern your development team.  Application developers are too often slowed down and distracted with database issues, infrastructure set-up, security concerns, and more.  Instead, consider deploying a platform that makes application deployment as easy as plugging an appliance into a power outlet.  For instance, with platforms where visual models are at the same time the actual running system, where the entire technology stack is already provided, and where operational tasks are automatically managed, you can deploy applications to the cloud literally with a single click.

The trillion-dollar IT debt crisis is staggering, but not hopeless.  There are ways to effectively address the rapidly growing mountain of debt; the key is to change the decades-old ways that got everybody into the hole in the first place. Savvy CIOs will heed Gartner’s wake-up call in 2014 by reinventing their application delivery methods to get ahead of the demand and become a true partner to the business.

 

Gottfried Sehringer is VP of Marketing for Mendix

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Gottfried Sehringer

Gottfried Sehringer is VP of Marketing for Mendix

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