Leave Your Legacy: The Benefits of Application Simplification

Today companies are under constant pressure to perform better, faster and grow while lowering their operational costs. Not an easy task given the many challenges — increasing global competition, newer technologies, changes in regulation, high costs of supporting and maintaining IT — and the inherent complexity of IT systems and the business itself.

Companies need to look at simplifying their IT in order to gain overall business efficiency and grow, but CIOs know IT simplification is anything but simple. IT is inherently complex and as companies grow, merge or divest, they inherit more complexity and IT sprawl and are weighed down by legacy applications and infrastructure, complex networks, patchwork and quick fixes done at different points in time. To add to this mix, CIOs are under constant pressure to adopt newer digital technologies like mobile, cloud and data analytics into the fold, creating even more challenging situations.

Even as simplification is the key, companies need to find the right approach for their business need. Modernization is one such approach. By modernizing IT and particularly, moving to more open IT environments, companies will get a head start in a creating a simpler IT. They will also gain flexibility, become more modular, and more importantly gain consistency across physical, virtual and cloud environments in the process. The latter is critical for companies that want to take advantage of newer digital technologies to gain a competitive advantage and grow.

Legacy systems, while critical to the business are often expensive to maintain, support and service. They also lack the agility and interoperability to communicate with other IT systems, which is becoming critical in today’s digital age. Since legacy systems entail huge investment costs companies need to “Honor those sunk costs,” explains Cameron Jenkins, practice director with Dell Services and adds, “Yet I’ve never seen a case where there hasn’t been a financial benefit realized by moving to both an open-standards platform and operating system.”

Migrating to open systems

Modernizing IT infrastructure and application by moving from UNIX or proprietary platforms to open source Linux on commodity x86-based hardware is one technique that can help companies simplify their IT architecture apart from helping them gain a number of key benefits. Migrating to Linux can help companies gain a better level of performance, flexibility and innovation that can’t be matched by UNIX platforms and also set the stage to a more reliable and future-ready IT foundation. Some of the benefits include the ability to:

  • Use future-state data centers
  • Take advantage of innovative technologies
  • Easily scale on demand
  • Reduce hardware and software costs
  • Ensure efficient operation and manageability
  • Enhance security and reliability
  • Ensure platform flexibility and enhanced application performance

Dell has helped many companies across industries, migrate from UNIX to Linux. In particular Dell has helped several financial institutions reduce infrastructure and operating costs, improve system reliability and performance, while helping them increase business efficiency. In one particular case, apart from helping the bank reduce support costs, improving scalability and standardizing business processes across geographies, Dell helped the bank increase trade processing capacity, in fact system volumes doubled in the first six months.

Different modernization approaches

UNIX to Linux migration apart, companies should consider other application modernization approaches including re-architecture and re-hosting depending on their needs. While re-architecture transforms the logic and business value of legacy applications into modern architectural framework, re-host migrates legacy applications running on mainframes and other proprietary platforms such as AIX, HP-UX and Solaris, to industry-standard x86 infrastructure. For companies at cross-roads, Dell suggests a strategic modernization roadmap (SMR), which helps companies determine the right modernization approach for sustained growth.

Companies could also consider Hybrid IT, which is “rapidly becoming the favored approach for next-generation enterprise IT environments,” explains Tim Yeaton, senior vice president of Infrastructure, Red Hat.  Gartner defines Hybrid IT as “the result of combining internal and external services, usually from a combination of internal and public clouds, in support of a business outcome.”

True hybrid IT supports different development models for various workloads to utilize the best approach for a specific business need. While more traditional applications are deployed using standard bare-metal servers or classic scale-up virtualization, the more agile applications use infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS) on either private or hybrid public clouds. But because no single platform can successfully handle all types of workloads at scale, interoperability between workload types is crucial. This is where Linux-based platforms can provide the foundation for successful hybrid IT.

Migrating to open systems can help you modernize and simplify your IT, and gain business efficiency. Find out more in this white paper: UNIX-to-Linux Migration for the Modern Enterprise. Dell and Red Hat explain how companies can embrace emerging technologies and reduce costs by transitioning from proprietary platforms. Ready your business for the future. Dell Services provides the right IT expertise and solutions to ensure business agility and growth by helping you modernize and transform your organization. Be future-ready with Dell Services.

About the Author: Cameron Jenkins