How To Reduce The IT Debt

According to Samuel Morin, founder of Ellipsys, Information Systems have become, year after year, the beating heart of companies, but also a mess of rare complexity (Photo © Ellipsys)

In 2018, 78% of IT budgets were spent on systems maintenance compared to investments in innovation*. The information systems of large companies are difficult to evolve, whereas the challenges are numerous! We believe that a fine and shared understanding of systems and their massive simplification are a needed prerequisite.

1. A quick observation

Large companies are managing increasingly implausible Information Systems: dozens of applications, a massification of data and a heterogeneity of components that are growing with the explosion of the Cloud and Big Data architectures.

Information Systems have become, year after year, the beating heart of companies, but also a mess of rare complexity.

The deleterious effects of this complexity are numerous and impact data governance, urban planning of systems, IT costs, technical risks, information security, data compliance, performance, business satisfaction, etc.

The evolution of Information Systems is therefore not an option, but an obligation, especially since international competition requires companies to identify new “Business Insights” which require maximum use of the data collected.

Some figures which attest to this problem:

› The majority of CIOs (59%) find it difficult to integrate new applications or technologies and evolve existing applications (65%) due to IT technical debt (MuleSoft 2019 Benchmark Report).

› Stripe research suggests that “the average developer spends over 17 hours per week solving maintenance issues, such as debugging and refactoring”

To understand the systems, simplify them, and make them evolve, many companies maintain their Information Systems by intervening on an ad hoc basis, without industrializing the processes or thinking of a sustainable strategy. We think this way of doing things is doomed to fail.

Our bias: tools to automate processes and really reduce IT debt to be able to initiate projects for the future.

2. Reduce IT Debt by breaking Complexity

› We believe that the reduction of IT debt will initially require a detailed and shared understanding of Information Systems which can be obtained by producing a dynamic mapping, shared by all (business / IT). This mapping should allow everyone to deconstruct the hyper complexity of Information Systems.

› This mapping will be perfectly synchronized with the Information Systems to correspond exactly to the technical reality.

› Our methodology will be able to continuously analyze all the components of Information Systems with parsers / probes to have an objective, exhaustive and up-to-date vision of the systems: origin and impact of each data, the real uses that are made of it, and access to all underlying technical aspects.

In this way, business and IT teams will be able to understand the reality of their Information Systems and solve the countless problems related to data flows.

3. Reduce IT Debt by identifying and addressing the “dead matter” in Information Systems

› We believe that the reduction of IT Debt will require a continual identification of the potential for simplification of the IS, that is to say all the elements that are present in the systems but no longer produce answers, or which produce answers unused, or replicated: tables, code, schedules, dashboards, etc.

› This is not a reset, but an ongoing simplification of legacy by teams.

We assess this “dead matter” at 50% of the content of the Information Systems that we have audited, and this “dead matter” is unnecessarily processed, maintained, etc.

4. Reduce IT Debt by harmonizing systems

› We will use AI to streamline data processing, detect unnecessary or replicated data pipelines, merge them and simplify them.

› We also offer tools allowing automated switchovers to target technical architectures, whether it is to process data (ETL technologies, or procedural code), or to expose them (data-visualization technologies).

These 2 techniques will generally allow to perform smooth cloud migrations with all the necessary precision and efficiency.

* Cisco, IT Operations Readiness Index, 2018

This article is brought to you by Ellipsys on only reflects the opinion of the author

About: Ellipsys is a startup founded by Samuel Morin in Luxembourg 6 years ago. Ellipsys is the vendor of openAudit, a data governance software already installed in Luxembourg at: BIL, Raiffeisen, BGL / BNP, CFL, BEI, etc., but also at some major European groups.

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