Agile Modernization Framework for Decision Making in Legacy Environments

Topics: Information technology management, IT portfolio management, Decision making Pages: 17 (5662 words) Published: August 12, 2012
Agile Modernization Framework for Decision Making in Legacy Environments

Development of enhancements in a legacy environment poses a major application development challenge to many finance and insurance companies. Investment in modernizing architectures does not always immediately realize operational and customer-perceivable value mandated of agile environments. And top-down service portfolio management does not consider architecture impact on decision making to make the priorities and investment realistic. To address these challenges we provide the Agile Modernization Framework (AMF) for systematic decision-making that includes bottom-up architectural and infrastructure information along with top-down and strategic customer and operational needs to make business decisions. We show how this unique hybrid prescriptive framework 1) guides the decision making of legacy-related application features, 2) aligns and constrains implementation in the context of an agile business environment and strategy, and 3) applies to realistic examples where services are often based on shared components and numerous services are involved in complex interrelationships. Categories and Subject Descriptors

D.3.3 [Programming Languages]: Language Contructs and Features – abstract data types, polymorphism, control structures. This is just an example, please use the correct category and subject descriptors for your submission. The ACM Computing Classification Scheme: General Terms

Management, Measurement, Documentation, Performance, Human Factors, Standardization, and Verification. Keywords
Legacy portfolio decisions, decision-making metrics, modernization, migration, IT service portfolio management. INTRODUCTION
We introduce the Agile Modernization Framework which supports a “stakeholder driven & legacy impact based” decision making process for the service portfolio of the enterprise. The overall benefit is to align Agile development practices with value and agility benefits at the Strategy, Business & Operational levels. Problem: In large financial and banking institutions, while most have adopted ITIL and an IT services portfolio, they still have a large application backlog and significant complexity due to business-critical legacy systems. With a large legacy application portfolio, providing services to stay competitive within profitable margins has become increasingly difficult because of associated maintenance costs. However legacy systems continue to provide core services to organizations, handling the organization’s daily operations. The organizations are also heavily dependent on these systems as they contain the knowledge accumulated over years. The problem we address is providing decision makers with a clear and comprehensive overview of tradeoffs with their existing legacy application portfolio, that will form the basis for making strategic high level management decisions, that realistically aligned to the challenges faced in a legacy environment.

For this type of decision-making, IT executives in an agile environment need to know how much each of those high-level services costs to support, manage and operate with respect to the value each one delivers to the company and operational users. This is particularly challenging because it needs: 1) Analysis of tangible and intangible value indicators for the Business, Infrastructure (information technologies, facilities, human etc.), Operational, and Strategic (BIOS) dimensions of stakeholders in the organization. 2) Provision of an architectural overview of an extremely complex system, which involves handling substantial number of performance uncertainties and assumptions related to new development. 3) Defining architectural impact on the operations. 4) Risk estimation of the investments in legacy applications. Integrated top-down/bottom-up solution: We provide a framework that serves as the guiding method that all the...
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