There is a real cost of doing nothing. If you don’t pay attention and innovate you can lose your edge, and once you do that you plateau out. Today innovation can be geared to what you do with your IT. The application often IS your business, so how you manage your apps is critically important. So says Paul Evans, keynote speaker at HP’s Tech@Work event. I’m Cynthia Dreher, and I’m pleased to be joining HP’s blogger roster. I’ll be posting updates from the event here in Frankfurt, Germany.
Back to Paul’s session. In his session “Application Transformation, The Cost of Doing Nothing” I saw no surprised looks when Paul stated that 70% of a typical IT budget remains locked in operations and maintenance, and only 30% is devoted to innovation. It seems some companies would be quite happy if it were as low as 70%. There is lost time, effort and opportunity. Complexity negates agility. Bloated application portfolios cost time and money, and require specific skills for maintenance and upgrades.
Ask yourself: Why is it so complicated? How did it get this way? What can be done?
Consider the number and size of applications, as well as their quality.
Every era, each paradigm of computing brought its own applications from batch computing to Cloud. Few of them have been retired. Coders used many clever techniques to write elegant code, but who maintains it when the person moves on or retires? What about fixes to code that can make the apps larger and more complex -- how many times have you heard the words “just patch it up and make the problem go away”. Think about smart phones—the biggest thing advertised now are the applications for them. But do we ever take any of them away? It should be like buying new clothes. If you buy something new you must then remove something from the closet you haven’t worn in 2 years.
Visual intelligence tools can help you get a handle on your applications and prioritize the ones that are causing the most problems first. In a way they are like an x-ray for your applications – a way to make the invisible visible. Looking at aggregate data, Paul found about 60% of has nothing to do with the business process itself. That means there are often plentiful opportunities for improvement. Some tips shared in the session:
• Identify code you don’t need
• Restructure code and reduce its complexity
• Implement new languages to something less verbose
• Replace code with packages
• Achieve less dependency on shrinking skills
Finally, we are encouraged to put the right application on the right platform which will help improve business agility and lower cost. Don’t just accept what was done in the past, move forward and innovate!
Thanks for a great session Paul – it was a pleasure to finally meet you in person!