Legacy solutions and new innovation

Create time for innovation

on Jul 5, 17 • by Alan McKellar • with No Comments

What to consider as you evaluate the balance between supporting legacy software solutions and driving new business innovation...

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Over the last few weeks, we have been discussing the importance of value in driving our thinking about strategic initiatives. The focus on value means that we are now looking beyond practices and processes to gain significant improvement. This in turn means, we need to focus on the whole system instead of individual components. And we’re interested in delivering new value instead of simply delivering new things.

Businesses are using software to help drive their growth

Automotive is using software to improve the in-cabin experience for customers, as well as telling them when maintenance is required. Financial institutions are using artificial intelligence (AI) to evaluate the needs of customers and offer tailored loan solutions in the forms of gift cards. Everywhere we look, we can see examples of how incredibly powerful software is.

Budgets are tied down in legacy solutions

At the same time, much of our budgets are tied down in legacy solutions. Employees at all levels are feeling significant pressure to innovate for their businesses, but seemingly do not have the time or budget to add more resources and people. Additionally, Forrester has reported that approximately a third of a software development cycle is spent in what they call “wait time.” The wait time is made up of multiple hand-offs amongst team members and teams as defects are found, triaged, and corrected. Is working on legacy solutions providing the most value to our businesses? What could be done to reduce the wait time and thus give people back to innovative work?

Identifying a balance between legacy solutions and new innovation

If we consider time as our most important resource and that software engineers are our most valued asset, a key question that emerges is how we force an imbalance from supporting legacy solutions to driving new innovation. What I am proposing is that it’s not about adding more people to drive new innovation, rather it’s about carving out inefficiencies and focusing on value.

The value of a good software engineer is someone who can methodically step through new problems and solve them in a logical way. That kind of thinking and problem solving requires time and effort. Static code analysis tools such as Klocwork help significantly reduce the wait time by providing integrations with their software engineer’s development environments and providing capabilities such as SmartRank to allow them to focus on what matters. In short, we are helping our customers innovate with confidence by removing risk and reducing internal disruption.

What do you think?

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