All posts by Cory TerEick

Getting Started on Application Optimization


application optimization

By Cory TerEick, MSSBTA  Consulting Manager, September 2020

Without question, the world-wide pandemic has accelerated the need for the Public Sector to more immediately deal with challenges that have been mounting for many years. These challenges include how to engage citizens digitally, how to collaborate across organizations, how to maximize internal productivity, how to secure data, and how to control costs.

While there are countless vendors touting shiny new software applications that will undoubtedly help you meet these challenges and simultaneously revolutionize how your organization performs its work, we’d like to encourage you to explore something much more pragmatic – namely, Application Optimization.

Making the Most of Application Optimization

What is Application Optimization? In the simplest terms, Application Optimization is understanding what you have and making the most of it. More specifically, it is about taking a hard look at your requirements, mapping them against the capabilities of your existing technology stack, understanding any gaps in these capabilities (or lack of user adoption), and taking concrete steps to close these gaps. It is about looking at all three legs of the People, Process, and Technology triangle and ensuring you are fully capitalizing on your current investment.

Often, we find that Public Sector organizations do not have a clear understanding of their requirements or what their current systems can and cannot do.  Even when they do have this understanding, they are unable to effectively articulate what gaps exist and where their current tools are falling short.  Sometimes, we find these organizations have a robust tool set at their disposal, but employees lack knowledge of existing capabilities.  Occasionally, we even find these capabilities are not leveraged simply because leaders lack sufficient bandwidth to provide expectations on system use or to dedicate resources for training initiatives.

FREE download: Optimized vs Outdated Applications

Benefitting from Application Optimization

The benefits of Application Optimization are plentiful. It is almost always significantly less expensive to leverage existing technology than to purchase and implement new applications. By identifying and articulating requirements (and any capability gaps that might exist), Public Sector organizations can more effectively negotiate with current vendors; and new requirements might be incorporated into future versions or product roadmaps.

Application Optimization can also be performed on an accelerated timeline. Additionally, support requirements are usually much more predictable and the impact on end-users is typically much smaller than implementing an entirely new system.

Although performing Application Optimization sounds like common sense, many Public Sector organizations just do not do it. Why? Sometimes, it is a lack of internal capacity as key employees are already stretched thin performing their daily jobs. Sometimes, it is a lack of technical “know-how”. Most often, it is a lack of leadership bandwidth to organize and drive the effort or a perception that the effort might conflict with other organizational priorities.

As a leader, if you are receiving signals from your team that you need to replace a current application or augment your existing technology stack with a new application, you are probably already thinking about Application Optimization.

Getting Started

But where do you start?  At MSS Business Transformation Advisory (MSSBTA), we suggest you start with an Application Optimization Assessment. This Assessment will look at the goals and objectives of your organization and formally articulate your requirements existing gaps in your current technology stack. During the the Assessment, you will develop a plan to guide you through the optimization process.

Need an extra set of hands? Our Application Optimization Assessment is both thorough and cost-effective. Let MSSBTA help you maximize the value of your existing business applications. Email or call us at 602-387-2100.


3 Warning Signs Your IT Strategy Development is All Wrong

IT strategy development enables an organization to determine how its vision and objectives will be met through its resources and capabilities. Ultimately, the goal of strategic planning and road mapping is to determine how the business will win, what capabilities are needed and how the leadership will prioritize initiatives.

Look for these 3 warning signs that your IT strategy is all wrong:

1. You are not seeing your IT strategy development as a competitive advantage.

Your IT strategy is no longer just a tool for back office operations, it is a key enabler to your business growth strategy and core to creating your competitive advantage. With today’s environment of rapid and exponential change, a well-defined, business-owned, adaptive strategy is what will enable your organization to stay ahead of disruption and win in the market. Many companies are struggling to balance emerging technologies, their technology investments, and rapidly changing business needs meaning systems such as ERP, CRM, etc. must be flexible and agile to support increasingly dynamic requirements as digital business models evolve.

2. You don’t understand the impact emerging technologies have on your immediate future.

There is a tsunami coming in advanced technology and innovation for business in the next few years. Emerging technologies like Internet of Things/Edge, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, 5G, microservice, micro satellites, robotics and automation, and many others are simultaneously maturing into practical applications. While their individual impact on business operations is hard to measure, what is clear is that their convergence will accelerate change and disruption at levels yet unseen. If you are not adapting your infrastructure strategies to prepare for this rapid change you are already behind.

3. Your leadership does not have the skills necessary to take on the digital future.

Leaders of technology now have to be strategic business thinkers. They have to demonstrate the ability to integrate Information and Technology (I&T) operating models from IT-centric to business-centric and define core I&T capabilities to execute to business strategy. They must be able to anticipate how key technological trends will translate into business opportunity and success. For example: Does your I&T strategy consider the business capabilities offered by artificial intelligence? AI opens up a new frontier for digital business because virtually every application or service incorporates intelligence to automate or augment application processes and human activities. If your plans are not incorporating this type of thinking, if your leaders are not anticipating change, or if your leaders are not identifying business opportunities; you may want to consider skilling up your team.

Your digital transformation begins with a digital strategy and technology roadmap. Here are some resources to help you start on your journey:

The Evolution of Digital Transformation and the CIO
Your Digital Future Begins Now
Requirements for a Successful Digital Transformation Strategy

A digital transformation is a long and complex journey – one you shouldn’t start alone because it is fraught with hazards that can detour your business or bring it to a halt. At MSS, we work with our customers to develop a digital transformation strategy based on their unique needs. IT strategy development will include a shared vision and a leadership roadmap to give them a competitive advantage, prepare for emerging technologies, and recognize the skills needed to be ready for the digital future.