Sales and marketing execs complain that ageing applications are holding back more than a third of UK organisations from taking advantage of innovations in the Cloud.
New research from Accenture based on a study of 500 decision makers in the UK – including nearly 250 sales and marketing executives - reports that legacy systems are causing a number of cost and flexibility issues, as organisations try to manage the agility of new Cloud solutions versus the rigidity of core legacy infrastructure and applications.
In fact, over one-third (35 percent) of those polled said that they are being held back by current infrastructure, despite the fact that they see 'Cloud Computing as a great move'.
For half of sales and marketing is faster time to market for delivering products and services, a significantly higher number than all other business executives (32 percent) surveyed.
Faster decision making (55 percent), improving collaboration across the business (46 percent) and repurposing assets quickly (38 percent), were also identified as areas likely to see the biggest impact as a result of new agile IT environments for sales and marketing executives.
But almost half (45 percent) of respondents admit that they need to modernise or replace legacy systems, but four-fifths (80 percent) of organisations do not have a fully developed application retirement roadmap, an essential ingredient for successfully moving to agile IT.
Respondents acknowledged that transforming fixed IT infrastructure and operational investments could bring improved IT flexibility (55 percent) to their organisation, while also bringing about higher IT utilisation.
There are tough questions that need to be asked by the business to IT about what to do with their legacy infrastructure and software applications portfolio, said Stephen Nunn, managing director, Infrastructure Consulting Group, Accenture. "Conducting an application rationalisation exercise based on the usual criteria but also specific agile IT principles and suitability for Cloud technology will identify the best course of action and enable the benefits of agile IT to be realised."
To take advantage of more agile IT environments and accelerate their business journey Accenture has prepared a checklist of recommendations that IT decision makers can use to support the needs of their business colleagues:
- Take a phased, end-to-end approach to transforming the IT infrastructure of their organisation
- Develop an IT and application strategy that does not inhibit the way in which their organisation adopts new technologies
- Learn to work more closely with their business counterparts to understand its present and future needs
- Determine how best to utilise core applications by conducting an application rationalisation exercise. This is done by accessing each application against a specific business need or task to establish whether to sustain, consolidate, modernise or retire each exercise
- Implement a governance process and an application roadmap for modernising legacy IT. This helps enable the integration of new solutions more quickly and provides the ability to add additional “plug-and-play” functionality to core software tasks.