If you’re starting your app modernization plans with the biggest, most critical app you can find, you’re probably stumbling through the drunk under the lamppost app modernization anti-pattern. Chances are, you’ll also encounter a lot of resistance and excuses to avoid changing. Also, I discuss saying “no” more as a way to think about prioritization. Bonus topic: deep-fried bread in The Netherlands.


00:00 – Agenda.
01:49 – The drunk under the lamppost anti-pattern.
15:09 – Start planning your app modernization journey.
18:07 – Saying “no.”
25:12 – “Too many salads.”
30:23 – Learn kubernetes, free!
32:07 – Gartner on IT strategy “turns.”
35:51 – Free developer education & bye, bye!


“With in-house development and acquisitions, FedEx would bolt on technologies resulting in an ‘accidental architecture,'”” Carter said. Through its renewal program, FedEx began to “build out the core services and microservices that represent the less complex, more flexible, faster-to-market capabilities that we have today.” From “How FedEx’s CIO led a decade of modernization.”

  1. Don’t get obsessed with the lamppost of pain: focusing on the difficult, critical things and concluding you can’t transform. Use a type of Disruption: work on lesser, cheaper things to creep up to the critical. Mobile apps, store finder, etc.
  2. Saying “no” as prioritization. All these execs saying no to things to focus on other customer and prospect engagement.
  3. Follow-up on strategy: check out Gartner’s “Winning in the Turns: A CIO Action Guide,” July, 2019. Good list of types of “turns” and advice on how to change the way you do strategy. In particular, as TD Ameritrade went over at s1p 2020, change “ROI” to “payoff.”



Three things for more Tanzu