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Don’t be held hostage to legacy IT (#2): Rationalizing your Enterprise

chained to computer.jpgBy:  Tom Klinect, Application Modernization Consultant, Hewlett Packard Company

 

You have watched in astonishment your competition catch and then overtake you. How could they do that? You have been the leader and acquired market share and grown significantly more than they have.  It’s time to take a look at your organization, a real close look.

 

Remember all those acquisitions which gave you that edge? They also came with baggage: infrastructure. You were able to integrate them into your existing organization structure, however after acquiring more and more companies and continually integrating them into your infrastructure, you have managed to have three sales tracking systems – which have not been integrated. As you review your enterprise you see thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) of applications – and those are only the ones you can readily see. And don’t forget your shadow IT.   There are a lot of applications in the enterprise that are not maintained by IT. In addition, there are several more systems that came with each acquisition; a lot which you never realized you had. You suddenly realize that you may be paying for tens of thousands of applications. You have bloat in the enterprise that is just too daunting to resolve.

 

Your competition had the same issue. However they took proactive steps to minimize the impact on the bottom line.  They were not paralyzed by the magnitude of the sprawl.  Instead, they rationalized their entire organization and then moved forward with tracking their smaller software foot print. They removed the shadow IT and integrated those functions into products which were maintained by IT. But how did they do it—better yet how did they start?

 

This is the toughest part of the journey into becoming agile in today’s market. Realizing that you can do the same with less is somewhat of a revelation. Taking systems which are similar and merging them into a single piece of software which allows the organization to accomplish the same tasks with much less overhead (OpEX) is tough love!

 

What about the items which provide little benefit but consume resources you need to manage (you know the ones I’m talking about)? Like reporting systems which produce a single report that could be easily integrated into your other reporting systems (that you haven’t taken the time to merge) and therefore you still spend time to maintain. You need to create backups for this class of application, and keep the hardware running. Each of them takes valuable dollars away from more strategic applications. Are these applications relics from days gone by?  Yes. You can no longer afford to keep applications which do not align with the business direction.

 

Yes, you do have a lot of applications which align to the business direction and provide valuable return on their investment.  However, many items remain a drain on funding, causing vital systems to languish.  Some of these are critical to the business today but could be heading toward obsolescence in the future.   Remember when monolithic systems were all the rage in the 90’s? Everyone built single purpose applications which did little to allow other applications to either feed into or from them. They are still critical and they need to be maintained—but do they all need to be modernized? No.

 

Rationalizing your enterprise can put applications into buckets and let you start the pruning process. You need to link a business process to each application:

  • If there is no linkage—retire it.
  • If there are multiple applications performing the same function – combine them.
  • If there are applications which match the business, but they are not agile enough to allow business to innovate – put them on a support plan and set a target date for their retirement.

 

The applications that remain are all business related and agile enough to allow you to move forward with them.  Invest in them and continue their innovation to better match future business processes.

 

So now you have a plan to: Retire, Invest, Support and Merge your applications landscape. Now you need to move forward and work on another area—hardware.

 

Next up:  That Pesky Hardware

 

 

Previous blogs by Tom Klinect

 

Related links: 

 

About the Author

 

Tom Klinect.jpgTom Klinect, Application Modernization Consultant, Hewlett Packard Company

Tom has 34 years of experience in the information technology industry, the last 20 years in the field of IT and Applications Transformation.  He currently leads HP’s effort to transform legacy systems to commodity x86 hardware, specifically focused on the “Server-2-Server” market.  He joined HP after working in Microsoft’s Enterprise Platform Modernization Group.    

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  • Business Development leader for HP’s Testing Practice in Americas and TaaS Global Capability Leader
  • Anthony works in the ES Apps Enterprise APJ . He is a self-motivated and well-disposed individual. He is a certified SAP FICO consultant. He has over twenty years industry experience in business transformation and Information Technology consulting (SAP). With excellent, interpersonal and communication skills, Anthony is able to influence and motivate at all levels. An empathic team player, He derives fulfilment in contributing towards others' development. Anthony possesses good analytical and problem-solving skills. He is a quick thinker, remains calm under pressure, handles multiple tasks, and accomplishes objectives with excellent time management. He is flexible and accustomed to meeting high standards and deadlines. Anthony possesses practical knowledge of business processes and concepts and has a keen eye for detail. He is aware of the importance of an effective system and quality management.
  • Bryan Coapstick is the Director of Mobile Innovation at HP. In this role, he is responsible for driving strategic mobility initiatives and key industry partnerships to enable clients the ability to leverage the mobile channel to effectively reach their customers. Bryan’s expertise lies with several Fortune 200 companies in both public and private sectors that focus on business technology and emerging strategies. Bryan demonstrates innovative leadership though public speaking, panel discussions and blogging on the various ways mobility is changing our daily lives.
  • Benjamin Romberg has over twenty five years experience in the IT industry, the last twelve of which have been as a testing professional. He has experience as a test analyst, performance tester, automation specialist, test lead, test manager, test consultant and test executive. He has worked on all types of testing engagements ranging from small web based applications through to core system upgrades. Benjamin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Genetics, a Post Graduate Degree in Software Engineering and an Executive Masters in Business Administration. Benjamin now leads HP’s Testing and Quality Assurance Practice in Asia Pacific and Japan.
  • Over the past 5 years, I have participated in the different stages of delivering Microsoft Enterprise Applications to customers as large as 40.000 concurrent users across Europe with a focus on the public and call center sector. During this period, I worked in numerous technical (lead) and business consultant roles. Using this experience, I am currently a certified Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 expert which specializes in guiding enterprise customers and implementation teams through the process of implementing Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011.
  • Craig has been with HP for 10 years working on the solutioning side as a Solution Architect. Primarily works with Microsoft technologies and has for the better part of 16 years. This past year Craig has worked mostly with Windows AZURE and the mobility side of Windows Phone 7/8 and Android.
  • Master Business Consultant and Distinguished SE with 35+ years of IT experience, specializing in SOA and Integration.
  • Daniel Amor (EMEA, AMOD, Cloud, Portals, Web Apps and SOA domain expert): Daniel has designed, won, led and delivered large-scale, complex applications-related projects by acting as a trusted advisor to clients. Daniel conducts regular training and client-facing sessions, and he has authored six books and numerous articles in European and US-based magazines and newspapers on IT change. He is a regular lecturer and he speaks on Portals, E-Business and Cloud.
  • Global HP Microsoft Business Applications Practice. Microsoft Dynamics CRM subject matter expert. Based in Manchester, United Kingdom. @DarrenCRM on Twitter
  • Solutions Architect working at HP since 2002 with focus on Applications Modernization, located at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Managing Consulting specialising in Business Transformation and Value Management for Defence, Healthcare, Public Sector, Criminal Justice and Telecommunications.
  • Guido Arndt is since May 1997 business consultant and project manager @ Hewlett Packard Enterprise Services. Main focus is strategic and organizational alignment of logistics, sales and production processes in the automotive and manufacturing industry as well as business performance projects in finance and telecommunication industry. Guido has experience as change agent and transformation manager in people-driven merger & aquisition projects focusing government, consulting firms, manufacturing plants and consumer brands.
  • Horia Slușanschi serves as an Agile Coach leading the HP Agile Mentoring Office and the HP Software Engineering Profession. He is passionate about helping teams and leaders to find joy in work in the pursuit of customer delight.
  • CISSP, Open CA Master Architect Technical Consultant with 28+ years of IT experience specializing in Application Security, Solution Architecture, Portals, Social Business, and Integration
  • Jim has been with HP for 33 years and currently leads a global Strategic Capabilities Management team, with a specific focus on Business Analysis and Configuration Management. Jim also manages a team within the US State, Local, and Education division of HP. He was a member of the IIBA committee that created a Business Analyst Competency Model and he participated in the development of IEEE standards. Jim graduated from Harvard University, the University of British Columbia, and Ottawa Theological Hall. He currently lives in Toronto, Canada.
  • SAP Technologist from APPS GD SAP Practice - Manila covering SAP NetWeaver EP, SAP Mobility and general SAP solutions.
  • WW product marketing manager for HP Applications Modernization and Transformation Consulting Services. 35+ years of IT technology and services experience.
  • Laurence has over 35 years experience in the IT industry and has spent 27 years delivering knowledge management (and before that became fashionable, Artificial Intelligence and knowledge-based systems) transformation projects to clients in Government, Industry, Manufacturing and Telecomms industries. He has developed and implemented knowledge management (KM) strategies for HP's clients and for business areas in HP (for BPO and for our Consulting business) and believes that KM strategy is essential for an effective KM practice.
  • . . Service Systems . .
  • Lori Lewis leads Global Digital and Integrated Marketing for the Applications and Business Services division in HP’s Enterprise Services. The organization is focused on providing clients with enterprise applications services and solutions to solve some of their most pressing business problems. For over 2 decades, she has championed innovative communication approaches to drive and grow market share and build motivated, empowered teams. She is a compelling, passionate ambassador of the art and science of marketing and the amazing results it can achieve when done with integrity and passion. Ms. Lewis’ credentials, track record, and enthusiasm are essential ingredients her team relies on as they work together to establish HP as the undisputed leader in information management and analytics services.
  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution architect, C# developer, MBA, husband, father, Auburn man. Follow me on Twitter @lucas_is.
  • CRM enthusiast, avid techie
  • More than 10 years of experience in developing effective and innovative marketing and communication strategies. Recently I have studied the effects of social media and disruptive technology on business, marketing, and culture. Follow me on Twitter: @micaelaraimondi
  • Agile Champion and coach. Passion in software development using lean and agile techniques. Software is a people business!!
  • Have 11 years of experience in SAP Consulting, Solutioning and Account management.
  • I have over 20 years of I.T. experience predominantely in applications development. In addition to my I.T. experience I spent 7 years as the Director of Store Services at Canada's third largest grocery retailer.
  • Shafraz Nasser is the Lead Microsoft CRM Architect with HP Enterprise Services in the South Pacific Microsoft Dynamics Practice. His focus is on selling, architecting and overseeing delivery of Microsoft Dynamics CRM based implementations within New Zealand.
  • Shefali Dua is leading Worldwide BPaaS Strategy & Solution Innovation team at HP Enterprise Services as the Solution Innovation Manager. Her focus is currently assisting in planning and delivery of industry solutions for verticals like social media, big data, mobility and security on the HP Enterprise Cloud offerings for CRM Technologies.
  • Steve Petruno is a Product Manager for HP’s Global Oracle Services with over 24 years experience in the Information Technology industry, project Management, Human Resources, Payroll and Benefits, ERP implementations, upgrades, acquisitions and divestitures.
  • I have worked for HP as a business consultant for seven years, providing process, strategy and business transformation advice in the Financial Services and UK Government sectors. As part of this I have used Lean and Continuous Improvement techniques to assess and improve business performance, ensure regulatory compliance and improve environmental sustainability.
  • Tom is the Global Product Marketing lead for HP's Cloud Applications Services. Tom has over 20 years of experience in information technology and a proven track record for implementing innovative client solutions in several industries including government, healthcare, and telecommunications. He thrives on developing services and solutions which result in business process improvement through greater systems efficiency.
  • Vijay Seetharaman is an Enterprise Architect within HP Enterprise Services - Industry Transformation Consulting practice, focusing on Cloud and Mobility


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