Application Simplification: The key to digital disruption

Most CIOs would concur that 60 to 80 percent of their IT budgets are consumed by the myriad of legacy systems and applications that they are still dependent on to run their core business. And the decision to come out of those legacy applications has always been a moving goal post. Also, we see that 52 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in the year 2000 are no longer listed today. Is there a correlation between the two?

In order for the successful companies of yesteryear to take on the New Age competition — such as Uber, AirBnB, NetFlix, Twitter, and Facebook that have disrupted the industry by leveraging digital technologies and cloud — companies need first to undo many aspects of the past, and create an environment that enables them to take advantage of newer technologies. In short, they need to become Future Ready, a critical step in the process is to simplify their applications environment.

Application landscape challenges

IT has historically been at the forefront of innovation. Business growth has been powered by enterprise applications, which also support key business processes and operations. However, IT applications ecosystems become disorderly when legacy IT systems and applications can no longer deliver full business value. Certain apps also become obsolete when newer versions are launched.

CIOs recognize that modernization, digitization, and simplification of existing applications is the need of the hour to stay relevant and competitive in the new technology age. CIOs also realize the value of opportunity lost by not simplifying. Further IT cost optimizations and constraints push enterprises to simplify, drive home the need to reduce old technology, and bring new, more effective applications into the business. Agility, mobility, scalability, continuous delivery, cloud (especially hybrid cloud) and security are key factors CIOs need to focus on when they undertake the application simplification journey.

Dell Services, your application simplification partner

The application simplification journey starts with an inventory, then analysis of the factors that govern disposition, (such as complexity, isolation, business criticality, skills dependencies, etc.), formulating a standards-based, simple application topology, and in its final leg, implementing the plan. Dell Services’ rich set of products facilitates every aspect of this journey. Dell Services’ Repository and Analyzer products perform an automated application assessment. Augmented with the consultative approach of our senior architects, the assessment leads to a recommendation, which is then implemented using Dell Services’ rich set of modernization tools, ranging from Unified Modeling Language (UML) based automated code converters, model driven code generation, and data transformers. Dell Services’ IP-based simplification strategy, coupled with the solution’s deep-rooted belief that simplification is not a one-time task but an ongoing culture shift preparing the IT landscape for the future, provides the differentiators that attract customers to Dell Services, as a partner in their application simplification journey.

Typically the journey involves following six steps:

  1. Develop a strategy: Beyond better, faster, cheaper, it’s about enabling agility that drives growth and improvements focused on meeting business and customers’ demands today and challenges of tomorrow. Focus needs to be on spend optimization considering the shrinking IT budgets available for ‘run the business’ part and reallocate the budget to ‘change the business’ and ensure business goals are met.
  2. Establish a base inventory: Dell Services’ application portfolio assessment helps customers take that first step with confidence. Using our established software and expertise, we collect and analyze information on source code assets, data structures, use cases and functional interdependencies.
  3. Assess the opportunity: In this phase, we analyze collected information and discuss with the business and IT team. We look for potential opportunities to consolidate, remove and re-architect, and identify viable opportunities.
  4. Establish a blueprint/roadmap: Armed with this information; we collaborate with customers to create a comprehensive application simplification roadmap for the future.
  5. Execute the blueprint: Finally execution of the blueprint includes preparing a stakeholders matrix, and conducting a workshop, capturing IT cost and performance and finally comparing baseline cost and performance to best-in-class results.
  6. Realize the benefits: This includes continuous benefit assessment, comparison with ROI models and optimization of execution strategy to realize higher business benefits.

Key application simplification stategies

The key application simplification strategies are:

  • Move to Cloud: Take the simpler path to cloud computing: Cloud promises to revolutionize the future of IT service delivery by enabling a faster and more flexible way to meet the technology needs of your organization. Take the simplest path to your cloud-enabled future with our end-to-end portfolio, which includes cross-platform infrastructure services, private and hybrid clouds, heterogeneous management and expert guidance.
  • Move to COTS (Packaged Apps): We offer a large portfolio of application services for commercial off the shelf (COTS) software including enterprise applications. With capabilities spanning across all levels of the application stack: right from infrastructure and hosting services to implementation and maintenance/annuity services, we help clients in their application simplification journey. We are one of only four organizations in the world offering a comprehensive end to end services that addresses requirements across business process transformation, design & implementations, modernizations and support of most major COTS software.
  • Re-hosting: Re-hosting cuts the annual operating costs associated with legacy systems for many customers by 30 to 70 percent, while providing a safe path forward for IT assets. With an end-to-end solution approach that includes software, hardware, and services, Dell application re-hosting reduces the costs and complexities of application modernization initiatives. Dell Services can re-host legacy applications from a variety of platforms including mainframes and legacy UNIX® systems. With over 1,300 installations worldwide, Dell Services has a large and proven reference base for re-hosting mainframe environments such as IBM® CICS® applications, IBM IMS™ transactions and COBOL programs. Our technology is the result of nearly two decades of product development and is complemented by a reference architecture that addresses the complete environment including third-party tools and utilities.
  • Re-architecture: Dell application re-architecting is a proven methodology to protect your business logic and application assets during transformation to modern architecture. Our patented IP manages all project aspects: data migration, code generation, design and analysis of existing, and new application states, and includes support for a large number of source languages (including COBOL, RPG, Pacbase, MUMPS and more).

See how Dell Services is delivering value to clients in their application simplification journey: Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice is migrating four legacy applications to one advanced system

 “In working with our Ministry to learn our business issues and find solutions, Dell’s Application Modernization Services team plays a vital supporting role in our project’s success, now and going forward.” – Rick Davis, Director, Operational Support, Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice, Corrections and Policing

To know more about our application simplification services reach us at Let’s continue the conversation on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About the Author: Ramki Ramamurthy