Complacency rife in IT projects

A survey just out by HP and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has found that many European IT workers are not being held responsible for delivering projects late.

The survey found that 51% of European IT professionals said there would be no risk to their job, compared to 33% in Asia and 22% in the Americas. The reason for this is that the expectation that projects will be delivered successfully are embarrassingly low - according to the Standish Group only around 25% are successful. 

Celona, experts in application transformation projects for Tier 1 Telecommunications operators, are often called in to make these projects succeed within the time frame set, in order to save the IT departments from failure. "We see complex application-level migrations fail all the time - often because critical components such as data issues are overlooked and not given sufficient resources at the right time. Worse still, performing a complex migration is like trying to do acrobatics on a moving pavement: the business doesn't stop just because you want to transform your infrastructure. And time becomes the enemy, as the longer it takes the more the business has moved and changed, all of which affects the project. Once you've set off on the moving pavement, changing direction is hard.

So if the business requirements have changed, the project is no longer aligned to business needs. Our approach is radically different as we use what we call "progressive migration". This allows the business to control the speed and therefore the risk of the migration in the early stages, allowing it to speed up as it progresses, delivering results early on. This approach has already seen us deliver migrations for our clients not just on time, but ahead of time, resulting in tens of millions of new revenue for them." Paul Hollingsworth, Director Product Marketing for Celona.

Hollingsworth continues, "Industry stats make grim reading. Kognitio released a survey this year which found that it doesn't help matters that 57% of decision makers don't have the information they need to run their business optimally. Plus, 56% admitted that they had been discouraged from undertaking data migration projects because of the risk, cost, time and resource needed for such projects."

Successful IT projects - including very complex ones - that are delivered on time, to budget and with a low risk profile have certain common features. Typically, they combine business and technological strategies and deliver against both, and they also have senior management buy-in and support.

How successful are your application migration projects? Celona suggests you ask yourself these five uncomfortable questions:

  • Will your data migration project deliver on time and at budgeted cost?
  • Are you comfortable with the risk profile you are assuming?
  • What happens if it doesn't work?
  • How much is it costing your organisation for every day of delay?
  • How flexible is your new architecture, and will it be able to respond to inevitable change?

And the upside to the grim statistics quoted earlier, is that the expectation of a successful outcome is so low that if it fails you won't be sacked anyway, but if you pull it off you'll be a hero!  Plus, youll have a job for life as the expert on application migrations. Just make sure that when someone points the data migration gun at you, you're biting the bullet not taking it in the head.

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