Across the industry Application Modernization is a synonym for legacy renewal and transformation. It's widely viewed as a technology based process. In contrast we recommend that modernization must be business driven. It's a major opportunity to create a modern architecture which reflects the current and future business needs. Getting concrete understanding of the future business needs is of course not a trivial task and in this article we provide guidance, by example based on our Springfield Parcels case, on using the increasingly popular BPMN notation in a systematic and efficient approach to business driven modernization.
BPMN (Business Process Model and Notation) has progressively gained traction as a mapping notation for business process modeling, and it is becoming the default approach in large, and not-so-large, enterprises.
There are many reasons for this popularity. BPMN is an international standard, supported by a great variety of software tools. It is very flexible in the way it can be used, from high-level schematic views of a process landscape through to detailed, precise rules-based models. This flexibility is important, as it promises to address a communication issue we have observed consistently between many business and technical people: their approaches to modeling a business process tend to be very different. It provides a more-or-less usable path to automated processes and workflows. And finally – some may argue – there is no satisfactory alternative.
But interesting patterns are emerging. We observe business analysts in many organizations delivering BPMN diagrams of their business across a scope and drilled down to several layers of detail, but with no plans for aligning these with ongoing solution delivery work. We also see many IT analysts delivering BPMN diagrams with a narrow scope in order to drive code generation, but with no plans for aligning with broader business and service architecture.
At the same time it's very obvious to us all that most modernization projects remain strongly technology biased. The primary reason for this is probably that obtaining business needs is always difficult. This article suggests a way forward. We show by example, how BPMN can be used to model business processes in a manner that provides the essential business drivers at the right level of abstraction that enables more effective, business driven modernization activity.
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Across the industry Application Modernization is a synonym for legacy renewal and transformation. It's widely viewed as a technology based process. In contrast we recommend that modernization must be business driven.
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Published: 15 Dec 2016 12:16