Tag Archive: system modernization

  1. The Core Catalysts Approach to Program and Project Management

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    Get to Know the Key Differentiators That Help Our Clients Succeed.

    Your business initiatives require objective, targeted leadership to ensure your organization meets or even surpasses benchmarks. You want to see strategically driven progress in action and feel the assurance that only an expert program and project management consulting firm can deliver.

    Core Catalysts takes a client-focused approach to program and project management that meets your needs for an actionable plan that gets results. Our work on your behalf is powered entirely by a desire to see you succeed in the short- and long-term. 

    A Veteran Take On Program and Project Management

    To meet your program and project goals, we adopt agile methodologies, including:

      • Transparency: As business consultants, we are accountable to you. We earn your trust with comprehensive reporting, updates, and unmatched communication and professionalism. Although we are dedicated to taking the reins on any business initiative, it is always understood that our purpose is to provide exceptional service and expertise for your end goals.
      • Collaboration: We never approach a client with preconceived notions about how a program or project should be executed. We walk right beside you as a sounding board and support system to ensure your next initiative succeeds. When needed, we offer counterpoints from our experience in the spirit of helping you strive for excellence. We function well as a consulting firm that thrives in the marketplace of ideas, while remaining hyper-focused on getting your programs and projects across the finish line.
      • Adaptability: Programs and projects evolve, bottlenecks may suddenly appear, and new approaches may be needed at a moment’s notice. Our flexibility, versatility, depth of experience, and resources allow us to problem-solve quickly and successfully. We believe that transformation can never truly be achieved without adaptations. We understand that flexibility is a part of program and project execution, not a hindrance.

    Although we pride ourselves on our ability to make an unparalleled difference for your business, we rely upon these time-honored approaches to program and project management consulting. We understand what works, based on our many wins for a broad range of clients in many industries

    Ethics, High Engagement, and a Seamless Connection to Your Team and Organization Along with transparency, collaboration, and adaptability, you can expect the following values and practices throughout the Core Catalysts management consulting experience:

    1. Diligence and engagement let you know immediately that our project management office (PMO) is fully invested in your success. We are fully accountable for our role in helping you achieve your business goals, while ensuring that you remain at the helm.
    2. Our ethics have made us a trusted name in business consulting. No business initiative can succeed without equity and integrity.
    3. When our PMO works on your behalf, your organizational culture becomes ours.
    4. Your teams and stakeholders want to feel included in our work. We bring tools, resources, procedures, and clear communication that allows actionable and highly effective inclusion in our PMO, so we can easily transfer ownership, engagement, and accountability to your team at the conclusion of our services. 

    Optimizations For Excellence

    Throughout our decades of experience assisting clients with program and project management, we recognized that we could add value by implementing a full suite of related services and solutions. We align program and project management with successful organization-wide optimizations.

    In addition to establishing a program and project management office, we also provide operational and executional excellence services, including:

    • Optimizations for expense reduction, margin improvement, and sustainable growth.
    • Operational improvement.
    • Process redesign.
    • Enterprise project management office (EPMO).
    • Value creation office (VCO).
    • Financial modeling and business reporting.
    • Data analytics and visualization.
    • And much more.

    Flash Case Studies: Our Successful System Modernization Projects

    To quickly get a sense of our depth of experience, we’ve chosen five clients that represent our work on system modernization and IT implementation projects from a program and project management consulting perspective.

    • Client: $Bn International Engineering and Infrastructure Design Firm

    Our role: Project and client lead, tech subject matter expert.

    Project highlights: We served as project and client lead and tech subject matter expert for the design, development, data migration, and integration for enterprise resource planning (ERP) and CRM solutions. This required significant data input and processing automation, as well as an emphasis on cybersecurity. Our team guided this $125 million project through implementation and adoption, addressing significant technology debt, growth and efficiency roadblocks, resource utilization, and more.

    • Client: $Bn Mining and Manufacturing Company 

    Our role: Project management, budget management, process mapping and engineering, and technical documentation.

    Project highlights: Core Catalysts served as the PMO lead on a three-year project to upgrade and integrate a modern ERP system. We provided full-life-cycle implementation, including testing, adoption tracking, and identification of change management and communication needs. This upgrade from a legacy system resulted in a highly significant tech transformation for this client.

    • Client: Multi-State Non-Profit Healthcare Provider

    Our role: Project management, business and systems analysis, proof of concept (POC) vendor management, and collaboration.

    Project highlights: Core Catalysts served as the process improvement and change management leaders for a full-scale IT adoption initiative. Our work resulted in effective, efficient multi-site, multi-state implementation of IT for core healthcare processes.

    • Client: $Bn Grocery Wholesale and Retail Organization

    Our role: IT planning, design and implementation lead, platform design and system integration, data architecture design and modeling.

    Project highlights: Our team led the design, development, data migration, and integration of an enterprise-wide electronic point of sale (EPOS) solution, while reducing technology debt and improving efficiency and resource utilization.

    Partner With Core Catalysts For Program and Project Management Core Catalysts is ready to take on your organization’s most critical challenges. However, you won’t feel that our recommendations and viewpoints are set in stone. Expertise brings confidence, and confidence means understanding the value of collaboration, communication, and flexibility. It means knowing when and how to lead. 

    When you seek out our program and project management consulting for system modernization or any other business need, you’ll experience the assurance that we’re a part of your team. We engage your key stakeholders to develop solutions that will endure long after our job is finished. We’re not here to present theories and ideas that can’t be recreated later. We’re here to help you develop lasting, sustainable change, so your business can thrive. That’s our commitment to you.

    Contact Core Catalysts today to learn more about how we can help you overcome your next big hurdle. 

  2. A Pragmatic, Phased Approach to System Modernization

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    Find Out How We Reduce Technology Debt For Our Clients:


    Core Catalysts consults for a wide range of clients in several critical industries, including financial services, healthcare, insurance, telecommunications, and more. In today’s technology-forward business world, we find that many clients cite system modernization as one of the major business challenges they need our help to solve.

    However, they may not express their challenges in these terms. Our clients’ requests more frequently sound like this:

    “We have aging applications that our vendors no longer support. Our IT and BU teams are coming near retirement ages, and they are the only ones that can make changes and understand our systems.”

    “We can’t roll out new products or services very easily because of the time it takes our IT teams to react, and this is affecting our ability to grow our business.”

    “We just acquired a new company with aging systems, and we want to move to new platforms for the good of both businesses.”

    In each of these cases, and many more, what companies identify as a challenge can be summarized as “technology debt,” the result of aging systems.

    What Is Technology Debt?

    Technology debt refers to the costs that businesses incur as a result of outdated technology. It stems from the cumulative cost of cutting corners in system design, implementation, and maintenance over time.

    • Forbes presented striking statistics in a recent article on the subject: companies that had the least technology debt posted annual revenue growth of at least 20% more than companies that had the highest technology debt.
    • Studies from CodeScene, CIO, Gartner, and Stripe all cite that the organizations waste 23 to 42% of their annual development time and expenses on technology debt.

    No business should let technology debt increase over time so that it severely impacts an organization’s agility, efficiency, and financial health.

    A Solution Is System Modernization

    System modernization can comprehensively solve technology debt through a phased, prioritized, and pragmatic approach:

    1. Clarifying challenges
    2. Assessment, prioritization, and planning
    3. Implementation

    This approach can positively impact the reduction of technology debt without excessive investment. It also provides a way to emphasize quick wins and incremental improvements, which contributes to essential organizational buy-in.

    Clarifying Challenges for System Modernization

    Most technology-debt-related challenges share certain characteristics with each other. Although our services and solutions are highly customized based on a business’s individual needs, identifying common threads inspires confidence and leverages our experience solving modernization issues across many industries.

    These are some of the most common challenges our clients face:

    • The issues they are facing are complex and interdependent. There isn’t a single out-of-the-box solution that will meet all of our clients’ needs.
    • The client’s current efforts to modernize are time-consuming and involve many parts of the organization, thereby detracting from current business priorities.
    • The decision makers for these efforts cross the entire organization, and each person has a different risk tolerance.
    • A major driver has recently appeared to give steam to making the changes now.

    Core Catalysts recommends starting the system modernization process by clarifying these common challenges as they relate to a specific business. This helps our team fully understand what resources, personnel, and approach we should implement.

    Assessment and Prioritization

    The next step is a straightforward evaluation to determine whether system modernization is a viable solution and what approaches to take to ensure success. The following evaluative questions prove useful to our clients at the beginning of their modernization journey.

    • Is there an obvious business case for making the changes?
    • How many resources will be required to help with the modernization?
    • How much will it cost?
    • What are the risks associated with modernization?
    • Who will make the major decisions on modernization efforts (governance structure)?
    • Will we need external assistance from consultants?
    • Do we search for off-the-shelf solutions versus custom development?
    • Do we have the right team to make major modernization decisions?
    • Do we have the right teams to implement changes?

    Strategic Planning for System Modernization

    After a client has concluded that they are ready for modernization, our management consulting firm recommends following these specific, practical paths to get started:

    • Document the current state of business processes, IT support systems, back-office systems, like billing and collections, and more.
    • Document the future state needs of the organization (business units representing end clients and all supporting organizations) and tying these to the overall corporate strategy.
    • Identify the priorities for modernization and high-level timing (i.e., the wish list).
    • Determine what solutions will be needed (third party software, new platforms, and more).
    • Develop overall budget needs and clear with executive leadership and the board if needed.
    • Research third-party solution providers.
    • Develop procurement processes for soliciting and deciding on third party providers and solutions.
    • Plan for organizational readiness and change management.
    • Structure the overall implementation resources required.
    • Form a strong governance and program management structure.

    Proven IT Implementation Approaches for System Modernization

    This phase requires a heavy dose of patience, many “reality checks,” and disciplined execution to achieve sustained success. From an approach standpoint, we’ve had success with the four approaches listed below, each of which offer their own unique benefits:

    1. Microservices architecture: A modern, modular approach to software development and deployment, microservices architecture allows clients to lower costs and reduce technology debt in a manner that “layers” into the organization with minimal disruption.
    2. Cloud migration: This approach reduces reliance on an unreliable vendor, lowers licensing costs, and taps the skills of current staff. Phasing the migration strategy removes on-premises, insecure environments and replaces them with a cloud-based solution.
    3. Core consolidation: Core Catalysts has used this method to consolidate all portfolio companies on an enterprise accounting platform to prepare for sale. This delivered best-in-class reporting, and the data uncovered new revenue streams.
    4. Open-source solutions: Although open source was traditionally considered a threat to corporate security, every name-brand technology leader uses this approach at the sponsor, creator, consumer, or community level. Not without risk, open-source solutions may provide a significant benefit for businesses looking to modernize.

    Connect With Core Catalysts to Learn More About System Modernization

    We’ve learned many lessons about how to effectively and efficiently serve our clients as they move into the implementation phase of their modernization project. We look forward to an opportunity to share them with you.

    Contact Core Catalysts today to learn more about every phase of system modernization and how to partner with our team to resolve technology debt.

    About Core Catalysts:

    Based in Kansas City, Core Catalysts is a leading business consulting firm, helping clients nationwide resolve challenges related to process improvement, IT implementation, product and service commercialization, revenue enhancement, financial modeling, program and project management, and much more. Well-known as a high-quality solutions-delivery firm, we are on time and on budget every time, offering results that meet, and often exceed, your expectations.


    Kupper, Jeffrey and Richards, Doug. “System Modernization & Managing Your Technology Debt.” Presentation, 11th Annual FEI Kansas City Professional Development Day, Embassy Suites Olathe, Olathe, KS, November 13, 2023.