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Outmoded Applications and Data Explosion Hamper Innovation in Enterprises

A proliferation of on-premises applications and the ongoing data explosion are posing serious threats to businesses worldwide

A proliferation of on-premises applications, many of them outdated, and the ongoing data explosion are posing serious threats to businesses worldwide, according to a recent survey of companies in Europe and America by Capgemini.

The first annual Application Landscape report found that millions of applications are obsolete and no longer deliver full business value. The result, says Capgemini, is a need to rationalize and retire applications, freeing up valuable resources to drive innovation and future growth, rather than maintain outdated systems.

The sheer number of applications supported – up to 10,000 for global enterprises – combined with an estimated average data growth of five percent per month means applications management is on track to quickly become an issue of real significance. Moreover, as companies move toward the transfer of applications to the cloud, the need for systematic and well-managed application retirement will accelerate.

Outmoded applications

In in-depth interviews with CIOs and IT leaders in the US and Europe, Capgemini found that:

  • Some 85 percent say their application portfolios are in need of rationalization
  • Almost 60 percent of enterprise companies say they currently support "more" or "far more" applications than are necessary to run their business
  • Only 4 percent say that every IT system they use is considered to be business critical
  • Half agree that up to 50 percent of their application portfolio needs to be retired
  • Another 61 percent say they keep all data beyond its expiration date "just in case"
  • Also, 56 percent of large companies and enterprises say that half or more of their applications are custom-built, increasing the technical complexity of required platforms and technologies
  • Only 13 percent say their application development and maintenance teams are aligned. And half (48 percent) say their teams are only in synch for 50 percent of the time or even less.

    Successful application management – achieved through a true lifecycle approach of 'build, deploy, maintain and retire' – can deliver tangible business benefits in tough economic times.

Ron Tolido, CTO at Capgemini for Application Services Continental Europe, said: “Our research reveals that key goals for CIOs are value creation, improving efficiencies and cutting costs. Despite the fact that data archiving and application retirement can result in significant cost savings, process efficiencies and increased agility, it still does not rank high enough on the agenda. This report shows that successful application management – achieved through a true lifecycle approach of 'build, deploy, maintain and retire' – can deliver tangible business benefits in tough economic times.”

In addition to acknowledging the growing importance of this issue, the report also reveals the numerous current barriers to effective application management including: the cost of retirement projects, the lack of immediate ROI, cultural resistance to change, regional differences, the lack of qualified developers to migrate retired application data, and most importantly that applications are not considered a key priority.

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More Stories By Dana Gardner

At Interarbor Solutions, we create the analysis and in-depth podcasts on enterprise software and cloud trends that help fuel the social media revolution. As a veteran IT analyst, Dana Gardner moderates discussions and interviews get to the meat of the hottest technology topics. We define and forecast the business productivity effects of enterprise infrastructure, SOA and cloud advances. Our social media vehicles become conversational platforms, powerfully distributed via the BriefingsDirect Network of online media partners like ZDNet and IT-Director.com. As founder and principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, Dana Gardner created BriefingsDirect to give online readers and listeners in-depth and direct access to the brightest thought leaders on IT. Our twice-monthly BriefingsDirect Analyst Insights Edition podcasts examine the latest IT news with a panel of analysts and guests. Our sponsored discussions provide a unique, deep-dive focus on specific industry problems and the latest solutions. This podcast equivalent of an analyst briefing session -- made available as a podcast/transcript/blog to any interested viewer and search engine seeker -- breaks the mold on closed knowledge. These informational podcasts jump-start conversational evangelism, drive traffic to lead generation campaigns, and produce strong SEO returns. Interarbor Solutions provides fresh and creative thinking on IT, SOA, cloud and social media strategies based on the power of thoughtful content, made freely and easily available to proactive seekers of insights and information. As a result, marketers and branding professionals can communicate inexpensively with self-qualifiying readers/listeners in discreet market segments. BriefingsDirect podcasts hosted by Dana Gardner: Full turnkey planning, moderatiing, producing, hosting, and distribution via blogs and IT media partners of essential IT knowledge and understanding.

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