In my post on how Applications are like Cars, I refer to the antique value of good old applications that stand the test of time, effectively making a statement about a point in time that one recalls with fond memories. I make reference to a Model-T as an example. I was pleasantly surprised when my colleague at work – Susan - introduced me to her 1930 Pontiac Coupe, which her family fondly calls Priscilla. Out of the 535 cars that GM manufactured 82 years back, only two are still running and around today – one of them being Priscilla – slightly modernized.
The modernized Priscilla won the best in show award the first year it was shown at the Marmora Car Show in Canada (can you find her?). She was also showcased in the Collectible Automobile Oct 2008 edition along with other Pontiacs of that timeframe.
Priscilla reminds me of the Lone Star application that functions as a steady eddy doing its job humming along for the long haul.
Applications like cars do need periodic maintenance. Perhaps, more resources need to be added for compute or storage or network to address fluctuating business requirements. But, the original code in such applications still remains intact addressing the functionality in a robust manner.
Such applications can undergo a modernization of sorts. The interface to the application is changed to have a look and feel that is more in line with the times -- more user friendly -- a fresh coat of paint shall we say? Susan reminisced about her car changing hands twice to land back in her family - fully refinished with a paint job using the 1972 Jaguar Maroon color.
In our manager's words, she is beautiful! Like a Bonnie and Clyde auto!
Applications modernization does not always have to entail a complete revamp of all components. Applications must be modernized right in alignment with the business objectives as part of the enterprise transformation program. Applications that are effectively enabling the basic business functionality can have a modernized interface without changing the core business logic. Enterprises are well served to have a GPS for their applications transformation just like we do for cars.
Even after modernization, the foundational elements of Priscilla’s internal structure (her code and business logic) are what GM intended them to be in 1930.
When Priscilla takes Susan's family home down the country road, they still experience the engine that runs slowly but steadily while the world gazes at her in admiration for how she has modernized herself to be one of the two Lone Stars in this world.
A recent survey suggests car apps are the next big thing making social networking a legacy application. That may be the case -- but if you ask Susan, her family will prefer to cherish and retain the pristine beauty of Priscilla and not add any of these new apps within their car. In Susan’s words, “when it comes to cars, Priscilla is a coup!”
How about you? Do you have Priscillas in your IT environment? Do you have such Lone Star applications that have stood the test of time and continue to serve the business purpose? Have you considered modernizing the interface to these applications? Got a photo to share? Please let me know.
This post is part of the Knowledge Matters cloud series. And you can always check out our previous Knowledge Matters articles on the HP Applications Services blog.