In the frenzied race to the cloud, some organizations forget that not all applications and infrastructure actually belong there – at least, not yet.
Many applications that are core to the business – legacy apps from the early 2000s, specialized HR or payroll apps – can’t be easily virtualized or moved to the cloud. It takes an investment of time and money to modernize them first.
For instance, an insurance company I’ve worked with has thousands of Windows 2003 applications still in use. The business could spend its entire IT budget, year after year, on modernizing these apps – and it would still take years to convert them. This is not a viable option for most companies.
It’s something of an industry oversight that while cloud computing has a huge number of benefits – and should be the ultimate goal for businesses today – the transition can’t happen overnight.
Instead businesses need to develop a full and coherent platform plan.
It’s about knowing what you have, where it lives and how much it costs to maintain. And the plan needs to be quite thorough, as this cautionary tale explains:
Recently, a business I work with moved a great deal of test and development workloads to Amazon Web Services (AWS). The goal was to do DevOps in the cloud – to take advantage of cost savings – and then move the applications back to the internal environment. It all made sense. The problem was the developers forgot to spin down the servers with AWS and got hit with an additional several million dollars in fees.
While that’s a worst-case scenario, it does raise some serious points about how much insight a business needs into its existing IT estate while pushing forward – in a smart way – on the path to modernization/virtualization/cloud. In my opinion, a third-party partner can really make a difference in that regards.
A business may have to refresh an old piece of hardware that runs a dated application. Perhaps the app’s spun down into its kernel and only restored when the company needs to run it. And maybe you deploy a firewall around it because it no longer gets updates or security patches.
A knowledgeable platform partner can help businesses evaluate this real estate, develop a plan and support all applications and infrastructure, while modernizing at a pace that works for everyone.
We’re going to be digging deeper into this topic in a series of blog posts to come. We’ll talk about how to “scale up and scale out” data centers, discuss our approach to Linux on Mainframe and offer some great use cases. We’ll focus on modern platform and the advantages it brings, and we’ll provide some tips for developing successful clouds.
We look forward to sharing our expertise with you and ask you to share your thoughts, experiences and challenges as well. We’d love to interact and learn more about how your business is advancing on the journey to modernization.
Chris Flaesch joined CSC in 2012 and currently serves as the Global General Manager for Platform Offerings. He has more than 25 years of experience in information technology and applications software in operations, sales and executive rolls at Oracle and Control Data Corporation. Prior to joining CSC, Chris founded and was the CEO of a successful electronic payments software company, Govolution Inc., which he sold to a private equity firm in 2008. After the sale and until joining CSC he worked as an operations executive for a number of private equity and venture capital firms within their portfolio companies. He holds a masters degree in Systems Management from the University of Southern California and is a United States Marine Corps veteran. He lives in Great Falls, Virginia with his wife and three children. Connect with him on LinkedIn.