Enterprises Support Thousands Of Obsolete Apps

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Legacy applications are an increasing burden despite the latest modernisation options, says Capgemini

Businesses are supporting millions of obsolete applications that no longer deliver business value, according to a report to be issued 22 March.

Some global enterprises have as many as 10,000 applications in their IT estates and are missing out potential cost savings and efficiencies by not rationalising them, according to the first annual Applications Landscape report from Capgemini, published with HP, based on interviews with nearly 100 IT decision makers from Europe and the US.

Highlighting application bloat

While 85 percent of these IT decision makers said their application portfolios were in need of rationalisation, a further 60 percent admitted to currently supporting ‘more’ or ‘far more’ applications than are necessary to run their business.

“The financial crisis resulted in massive layoffs, where the IP [intellectual property] for managing old applications no longer exists inside these companies, and IT budgets have been slashed,” Murat Aksu, global head of HP software alliances at Capgemini told eWEEKEurope UK.

The report’s finding that 20 per cent of the average global company’s application estate is redundant, and 61 percent were keeping all data beyond its expiration date ‘just in case,’ is all the more critical when it is considered that estimated average data growth is 5 percent per month.

“The most successful companies look at their applications through an end-to-end lifecycle, from adoption to retirement,” he added. “They put modified functionality onto cheaper platforms and retire the app.”

But only 13 percent surveyed said their application development and maintenance teams were aligned. Nearly half (48 percent) said their teams were only in synch for 50 percent of the time or even less.

Cloud offers way forward

Many companies “err on the side of caution” by holding onto legacy apps and data longer than is necessary and, as such, see rationalisation as a daunting massive task as a result, said Aksu.

Last year, HP promised to help enterprises out of what it then called this “information gridlock,” claiming at the time that up to 80 percent of the IT budget was being used to support obsolete applications running on mainframes.

But Aksu today suggested companies could port applications or key functionality onto cheaper virtualised or cloud-based platforms, or archive their data and make it available through new reporting functions.

“Virtualisation – the enabling technology within cloud environments – is helping businesses kill two birds with one stone: enabling efficiencies and cutting costs as a more cost-effective platform, while helping to create new or modernised apps that deliver more value for the business,” he said.

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