Businesses Need To Invest In Application Portfolio Analysis If They Want To Future Proof Their Legacy Systems

Published 11/11/2015 by Gordon Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, Advanced

Advanced whitepaper states Integrated Application Portfolio Management (IAPM) solutions can improve productivity by up to 40%

Organisations which continue to rely on legacy operating systems should invest in application portfolio management analysis to shape their future business strategy and reduce IT security risks and maintenance costs. These are the findings of a new white paper commissioned by leading managed service and business innovation solutions provider, Advanced.

Many organisations including banks and financial services firms, retailers and government are grappling with legacy solutions that are outdated and expensive to maintain due to poor system design, quick fixes and changing compliance standards. To reduce the financial burden, many are considering moving their solutions to the Cloud but are restricted due to incomplete documentation for their existing application in order to chart a new strategic direction.

Managing systems and data to support business planning and analysis, ongoing IT maintenance and modernisation is a continuous and time consuming process. Analysts estimate that 30% to 50% of IT budgets are spent on Application Development and Maintenance (ADM). However, only 56% of ADM projects are completed on time, with as little as 27% considered a complete success.

Neil Cross, Managing Director of Advanced 365, explains

"Legacy applications, such as OpenVMS and IBM mainframes, are typically very complex and have been developed over 30 years ago. As well as presenting heightened security flaws, invariably the first generations of developers have moved on which leaves firms increasingly vulnerable.

Whether organisations decide to remain on legacy systems, or seek to move the functionality to the Cloud, it is critical that they improve their understanding of these applications to enable them to effectively analyse, maintain and enhance their current systems to evaluate the inherent risks within their existing portfolio."

IAPM solutions, such as Advanced's Application Analysis system, provide comprehensive metrics to determine the state of an organisation's current IT investment and perform gap analysis to more easily predict future requirements and the potential impact of change. The robust solution creates a searchable database of information relating to all legacy applications, boosting development and modernisation planning productivity by up to 40% through automating manual processes.

IAPM systems also assist developers to better understand language, source code and data structures, in addition to the relationships between connected technologies and platforms used to deliver applications. By creating a complete inventory and relationship map of every application element within their portfolio, organisations can regain control of their core business processes through improved knowledge.

Cross comments, "IAPM solutions cut IT project costs by 25% or more while significantly improving operational efficiency. By gaining increased visibility and understanding of their application portfolio at any time, organisations can transition to solutions that can be more easily supported by new IT staff and address potential security vulnerabilities which threaten their future existence."