Showing posts with label Application Transformation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Application Transformation. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hastening Trends Around Cloud, Mobile Push Application Transformation as Priority, Says Research

Edited transcript of a sponsored podcast discussion on converging forces compelling enterprises to take a close look at their application portfolios.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you're listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on the fast-moving trends supporting the rationale for application transformation. We will see how these same trends are pointing to a deeper payoff from the well-managed embrace of hybrid computing models.

An added requirement for application transformation is to make them available more securely, even in these hybrid implementations, while adding automation and governance features across their entire service lifecycle. We also have some new research that describes how top level enterprise executives are reacting to these fast-moving trends, buffeting nearly all global businesses. [Disclosure: HP is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

Lastly, we'll examine some new products and services from HP designed to help companies move safely, yet directly, to transform their applications, improve their hosting options, and free up resources that can be used to provide the innovation needed to support better business processes. It's and the support of business processes, after all, that’s the real goal of these activities.

I'm here with an HP application transformation expert to dig into the new research and to better understand HP’s response to these market and technology shifts. Please join me now in welcoming Paul Evans, Worldwide Lead for Application Transformation for HP Enterprise Business. Welcome back, Paul.

Paul Evans: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: Let's dig into these some of these trends. We're looking at things that are moving very rapidly. We have some mega trends. We're looking at new business models. We're still digging our way out of a very deep recession. Paul, give me the landscape, if you will, of what’s going on and why now is such an opportune time to look at applications.

Evans: We see three mega trends, and we validate this with customers. We haven’t just made these up. And, the three mega trends really come down to firstly that people are evolving their business models.

When you get recessionary periods, hyper growth in particular markets, and the injection of new technologies, people look at how to make money and how to save money. They look at their business model and see they can make a change there. Of course, if you change the business model, then that means you change the business process. If you change the business process, the digital expression of a business process is an application. So, people need to change their apps.

So, you change your model and the process and need to change your app, because for most people now, the app is pretty much the digital expression of their business. For many of us, when we go online or do some form of transaction, at the end of the day, it’s an app that is authenticating this, validating the transaction, making the transaction, whatever it may be. That’s one mega trend we see happening.

The second mega trend is that technology innovation just keeps on going, whether it’s the infusion of cloud architectures that people are looking towards, or the whole mega trend around mobile connectivity. That is a game changer in their mind. It’s a radical transformational time for applications, as they accommodate and exploit those technologies.

No precedent

Some people just accommodate them and say, "Okay, we can do things better, maybe less expensively. We can be more innovative, more flexible in this way, or maybe we can do things differently. Maybe we can do things like we have never ever done them before."

I don’t believe there's any precedent for the mobile evolution that we're going to see coming towards us through smartphones, pads, or whatever it may be.

We can't look back over our shoulder and say, "What we did five years ago we'll just do that again, and it will be wonderful." I don’t think there is any precedent here. There is an opportunity for people to do some really innovative things.

Third, it’s the whole nature of the changing workforce. The expectations of people that are joining with the community every day on the net is very different from the people at the other end of the spectrum and their experience.

When we look at young people joining the net and when we look at young people coming into the workforce, their expectation is very high in terms of what they want, what they need, and what they would like to achieve. This is in terms of the tools they utilize, whether it’s social networking, whether it’s just the fact that their view is that they are sort of always on the network, whether it’s through their mobile or whether it’s through their notebook or whatever device they use.

When we look at young people joining the net and when we look at young people coming into the workforce, their expectation is very high.

They're always on, and therefore the expectations of those people who are going to be with us now for the next 60-70 years is starting from a position of, we have always known the web, we have always liked the web, we have always had the web. So their view is, we just want to see more of it and better. We want to see things as services rather than processes. The expectation of those people is also having a lot of effect. Those three mega trends affect the way that organizations have to respond.

Gardner: Applications, of course, have been very important for quite some time, whether the computing model was mainframe or client-server, or distributed web. What strikes me as different now, Paul, is that these applications are coming from different places, and we're using bits and pieces of applications to support processes and we need to have them accessible at any given time, hence your instant-on. We're looking at not only a shift in technology, but even the definition of an application is up for grabs. Would you agree with that?

Evans: Oh yeah, and this area is so close to my heart. There were days when you got most of your apps from the IT function, because they were central. So you got a window onto them. You got a device that allowed you to access them.

We went through the PC revolution and we all wandered off to the store on weekends and bought that shrink-wrapped software, which, of course, drove the IT function crazy, because then every desktop was different and we got support issues.

Then, you wanted a bigger PC because you were running more software, even though the IT function didn’t actually support the software. So, you had sort of anarchy breaking out. Then you had the response to the anarchy which was, "No, there will be a desktop. It will be this. It will have this suite of software. And, God forbid you put anything extra on it.

So, people did the obvious thing. Well, they said, okay, fine, we'll do it at home then. They built an environment at home that reflected their lifestyle, their wants, their preferences, their platforms, and apps.

Mobile platform

Then, the walls started to come down, because once we got into this whole notion of the mobile platform, people realized that they can sit at home and download apps, a lot of them for non-business purposes, games, or whatever, but a lot of them for data access, data manipulation, and data presentation.

So, there were a lot of guys sitting at home in the evening -- and when I say guys, I mean in the generic sense, male and female -- saying, "I can do this better. I can make this look nicer. I can do this processing on a device that I can just sit on my couch while watching the TV and do something with."

The whole expectation around the application is changing and I think it’s irreversible. We're not going to go backwards. We're going to keep on driving forward, because people like HP and others see the real value here. We're going to start to have a different approach to apps. It’s going to be more component driven and it’s not going to be monolithic.

We have to go away from the monolithic app anyway, because it’s not a flexible device. It's not something that easily delivers innovation and agility. People have already understood that the cost of maintaining those monolithic, legacy applications is not acceptable.

On the front side of that, there are people who say that the future holds great things. The future holds the ability for us to not only download apps, but maybe download components of apps. Whereas mashups today are in the realm of the more technically oriented, mashups are going to find their way into our everyday life.

The future holds the ability for us to not only download apps, but maybe download components of apps.

People do it today. They send an email to their friend and say, "By the way, if you want to come to my house, here is the link to the map with the driving direction." It’s a very simple mashup, but it's something that is very effective.

We're going to get far more sophisticated in how we do those things, and they'll be tailored to this whole notion of context awareness. So, they'll understand where they are and what they're doing. Things will change by virtue of the context of the person, where they're based or what device they are using.

I really get excited by the fact we're just starting down that road, and there is a lot of good stuff more to come.

Gardner: So, people are going to have the ability with their business processes, just as they do in their personal lives, to intercept and react to events, to data, and to changes. They're going to do this 24x7, based on what works for them or what’s important for those business processes.

It sounds like we’re into an instant-on enterprise always and forever. That's the vision. It seems inevitable. Many organizations are well into this, but it seems that CIOs are caught in the middle, if the expectations are high, but their capabilities are rooted in the past.

What's going on with these higher-level business executives who see and appreciate the vision and understand how this will benefit their business, but aren’t quite sure how to get there?

Blurring lines

Evans: You're right. You put it in a nutshell. In a way it's sad when we say our personal lives and our business lives are blurred into one. If I'm talking to a lot of customers at the same time, maybe I’ve got a regional audience, I'll ask how many people do email on their holiday? I never actually want to know the answer, because I know what the answer is going to be. About 95 percent of the hands go up.

So, do we ever switch off? The answer is probably no. Maybe we just switch off a little bit of the time, but this whole notion these days of always on, instant-on, or whatever is something that unfortunately is here to stay. We just have to be somewhat disciplined, sometimes saying that we don’t need to be on today. We could afford a day off.

If I'm a CIO or in senior leadership of any organization, I look one way and I see that the apps are actually running my business today or they’re making my profit, measuring my profit, measuring my revenue. Those apps have a real value, because they have embedded intellectual property that means something.

It's not a productivity app. Productivity apps are relatively straightforward, because you could get that from somewhere else. I could potentially get it at a different price, and we really do talk to our customers very hard about that.

We tell them to understand what's core to the business and understand what is productivity. Because if it's productivity, which is not going to give you any fundamental differentiation, then you really should be purchasing at the lowest possible price.

If you're looking at core applications, something that is fundamental to your business, they're not so easy to just move around.

You can look at an on-premise supply, you can look at off-premise, you can look at outsourcing or out-tasking, or you can look to the cloud. There are a lot more choices available to people who maybe could lower the cost, and that has a direct impact on the bottom line.

But, if you're looking at core applications, something that is fundamental to your business, they're not so easy to just move around. The CIO looks at those and say, "I’ve got this massive investment. What do I do?" Then, he swings around and sees the world of cloud and mobile heading towards them and says, "Now I'm challenged, because the CFO or CEO is telling me I need performance improvement, if I need to get into these new markets whatever it maybe."

At the same time, they needs to cut cost, be really innovative, and explore all these new technologies. He wants to understand what he's going to do with the old ones, which may take money and funding to achieve. At the same time, he wants to exploit and be innovative with the new. That’s a very difficult position to sit in the middle of and not feel the stretches and strains.

We sit with the CEOs on their side of the table and try and understand the balance of what business is looking to achieve, whether that would be improvement in product delivery or marketing and customer satisfaction. The things that people look to a technology group for and say, "Our website experience is losing its market share. Do something about it," that’s in the CIO’s regime. He looks around the other way and says, "But, I have got all these line of business guys that also want me to keep on making product or making whatever and I need to understand what I do with legacy."

So, we sit on their side of the table and say let's make a list, let's prioritize, let's understand some of the fundamentals of good business and your technology and come up with a list of actionable items. You got to have a plan that is not 12 months, because this is not a 12-month thing.

Gardner: You and I spoke recently about the pace here. We’ve seen the transitions over the past 15 or 20 years, but I don’t think either one of us has seen anything happen quite as rapidly as this mobile, cloud, data, and behavioral shift. They all reinforce one another. Now, you wanted to plumb into that and find out a bit more. So, you’ve done some research. Here in the spring of 2011, people understand that the stopwatch has been clicked, the time is ticking. What were some of your findings?

Fundamental audience

Evans: We actually went to the C-suite -- the CEO, CIO, and CFO -- and just tried to understand from them how they see things, because they are clearly a fundamental audience that we need to work with and understand their opinions and how their opinions have changed.

Two or three years ago, during the heavy economic times, cost was all it was all about. Take cost out. Take cost out. Don’t worry about the functionality; I need to take cost out. Now, that’s changed. We've seen, both from the public and the private sector, the view that we've got to be innovative. Innovation is going to be the way we keep ourselves different, keep ourselves alive the way we move forward.

A business requirement is that we need to innovate. If we stand still, we're probably going backwards. I know that sounds ridiculous, but you have do more than just keep up to speed. You've got to accelerate. And, we asked the C-suite if innovation therefore is important.

Ninety five percent of the people we talked to said innovation is key to the success of the organization. As I said, that was both public and private. Of course, the private sector would, but why would the public sector, because they don't have any competition? But, they are serving citizens who have expectations and want the same level of service that we see from a private organization in the public domain.

So, one, the audience said to us that innovation is key. Two, we didn’t see any massive difference between public and private. Then, we asked them how they relate innovation and technology. Basically, they told us that technology is the innovation engine. It is the thing that makes them innovative. They're going to have new products and new services, but whether the technology is involved in the front end or the back end of that, it’s involved. It’s not an administration function anymore. It's the life blood of what they do.

They told us that technology is the innovation engine. It is the thing that makes them innovative.

So it's not HP saying this. It's our customer saying to us that technology would be the engine that they will use to be innovative going forward. We told them, "Well, technology is a big thing. Are are we talking about mobiles? Are we talking about blade servers? What do you see?

Applications and software that derive more flexible process was the number one area where they would invest first, across all the audiences. So, their view was that they know there are lots of pieces for technology, but if they want to innovate, they see that applications and software is the vehicle that gets them there.

Gardner: They really want to see the expression of the technology and not to be so consumed with the technology itself.

Evans: As I said earlier, we use this term that technology is the digital expression of the business process. It is the business process, and we do it in a digital environment, in a digital fabric, you might say.

Actually, customers will say, "Do you agree with this or disagree with this? What do you think?" And we can give them any of our opinions to start with, but unanimously CEO, CFO, CIO came back and said that applications and software are what it's all about.

Focus on applications

There were three times more votes for that than the second place choice, which was to invest in more people. What it’s saying is that we could apply more people to our process, but way ahead of anything was that we've got to focus on applications in software.

Gardner: You're not going to succeed, if you can’t do that. How is HP responding to this? Now that you understand that their priorities are becoming more in tune with where you've seen the market going for some time, what is your response? What do you take back from that?

Evans: For a long time, it felt like we are bashing our head against a brick wall. We've seen that clients are spending 70-80 percent of their IT budgets on maintenance. The smart guys in the company look around and say that doesn't feel right.

Around 2005, internally, we had a new CIO, Randy Mott come on board. He looked around and clearly felt that there was room for improvement. Our IT costs were not great -- about four percent of revenue, which for an IT organization wasn’t bad. His view was that he could get it down to two, and could make it more flexible, more adaptive, more agile, and more innovative at the same time.

It’s a well-documented case study that HP went through this rationalization, this application portfolio. We went from 7,000 apps to 2,000. Then, we turn our attention to our customers and we see our customers struggling with the same thing.

Since the downturn, there's been a reawakening. Not only are you going to save money, but you're going to do more with less in terms of financials.

For the last year or two, we felt sometimes like an endangered species and banging our heads against the wall saying that we believe it’s the portfolio. Some people, although they appreciated the advice, sometimes ignored it. Maybe before the economic downturn, their view was that is was costing a lot of money, but they could afford a lot of money.

Since the downturn, there's been a reawakening. Not only are you going to save money, but you're going to do more with less in terms of financials. More importantly, you're going to have to get some differential innovation going.

If you look like anybody else, why is anyone going to come to you? If you're going to commoditize, some companies may not want to live in a commoditized environment. So, they need to be different. They need to have something special and treat their customers, products, or services in a different way.

We've been actively on this trail of wanting to help customers get hold of those portfolios, and, you might say, do a bit of spring cleaning. With the acquisition of EDS, we got a lot of people who not so much understood HP, but actually understood other than those environments, so that we could bridge that gap. When a customer says, "I'm running a mainframe. You probably don’t understand those," yes, we do.

What to keep

When a CIO says, "What do I do now? What do I go with? The bulk of my apps are running on the mainframe, and I have a funny feeling I don’t need to do that," we can have a joined-up conversation about how they can migrate from that environment and we understand the nuances. We don't just say to take everything is off the mainframe. We're not that na├»ve. We try to understand what they should keep, what they should change, and what they should retire.

Gardner: Paul, we've spoken a bit about a changed set of requirements here. It’s not just a matter of sloughing off old apps and it’s not just a matter of moving from one compute style to another. We're talking about transformation in terms of what applications actually are, where they come from internal clouds, on premises, or maybe from external clouds. But, we also need to make sure that we've got security and automation, otherwise it doesn’t scale. It becomes more chaotic, and we also need to govern across these different hosting environments.

So, it’s really a very substantial undertaking. How is it that these people don’t feel overwhelmed? What do you bring to them in terms of products and services that helps set the table rather than put them into a deep depression?

Evans: Well, there's nothing I can do about depression, but I’ll try. Anyone who's been keeping their eyes on HP for a while would have seen some significant investments, especially in the software area,, and this preceded the research where customers are telling us that apps and software are pretty important.

The investments in companies like ArcSight and Fortify have been there because, as they say in ice hockey terms, we're trying to predict where the puck is going to go, and we're trying to move towards where the puck will be, as opposed to where it is now.

We've been investing in acquisitions, but also investing in internal R&D, looking at the customer’s environment to see what things are really top of mind.

We've been investing in acquisitions, but also investing in internal R&D, looking at the customer’s environment to see what things are really top of mind. Effectively, we know this change is irreversible. The technology industry, whether you like it or not, never goes backwards.

As I heard on a television program, we are compelled to travel into the future. It’s not being corny. That’s what we're doing. We're looking at this, so the new range of products and services that we're bringing out are around several of those core areas.

One, is that people need to get a real good handle on what they've got. A lot of CIOs we meet and a lot of people we talk to the IT function will openly admit that they have a no clear idea what their portfolio looks like. They don’t know how much it’s costing them. They don’t know what the components are. They don’t know how well they're aligned for the business.

They don’t know what sort of technology underpinnings they've got and what sort of security level they're implementing. That sounds like a pretty terrible picture, but unfortunately it’s pretty much reality. There are definite clients we meet who do know, but they're pretty rare.

Gardner: That's what I find as well -- people really don't know what they’ve got.

Application portfolio management

Evans: You’ve to get your head around that first, because if you don't know what you’ve got, then how the hell can you move forward? So, we've invested a lot in Application Portfolio Management, a new software product, combined that with a whole portfolio of services to exploit it, which really gives people a very rich graphical environment and the ability to understand the portfolio and make decisions.

That's an area we're paying real attention to, because we believe that unless people get that clear line of sight on their sampled portfolio, they're going to have a challenge. Basically, we get a lot of questions. One is, "I've got an applications portfolio. What should I move to the cloud, assuming it’s private? Should I move all of it?" It's probably unlikely you're going to move everything to the cloud, because moving stuff like intellectual property may not be such a good idea.

This whole notion of where we've been in the past -- service-oriented architecture (SOA) and shared services -- is a real underpinning. Some people think SOA died. SOA did not die. It's actually one of the technological underpinnings for going forward in creating these shared services which we're going to be calling a cloud environment.

We tell people we can help them understand which apps are fit to go to the cloud and should go to the cloud. This is how we get them to the cloud. By the way, we'll also tell you the ones that shouldn't.

We get that question a lot. Of course, when you talk cloud, you invariably get people talking about the biggest excuse not to go to cloud, which is that it's not secure.

Unfortunately, there are unscrupulous people who know their way around certain bolt-ons, and have a way of infiltrating.

As I said, we're into irreversible change. We know there may be challenges, which is why the acquisition of companies like ArcSight and Fortify, and what we have brought out recently with the application securities in the product have really changed the rules on security, not to view this as a bolt on.

Anybody that is familiar with the notion of a stack knows we go from hardware at the bottom to application at the top with all the intermediate layers. We could bolt on a security enhancement to a piece of the stack with the view that we’ll stop you coming in.

Unfortunately, as you are aware, there are unscrupulous people who know their way around certain bolt-ons, and have a way of infiltrating. From reports in the press, it’s very clear about what can happen when they do. We've taken is a totally different approach.

Make security something that is inherent within the whole process. So that once you are through the gatekeeper, you can't just have a lot of fun and games inside the code. Once you are in, you're not going to get very far. Also, monitor this in real-time. Don't make this a static process, make it a dynamic process, so that you can dynamically see vulnerabilities and react to those in real-time.

So, it would be the software is saying that it's going to stop this, and stop us from having a problem. There's a big investment for us in this whole notion of security.

Gardner: The security cuts across these products. You’ve talked about an application portfolio management product. What else is coming out here in April?

Hybrid delivery

Evans: Well, obviously, this whole notion of hybrid delivery with the cloud, and looking at different models to deliver things. People are coming to us and saying that they have some productivity applications that maybe they shouldn't be running in an extremely expensive environment. We see a lot of people who run an app on a mainframe. We ask why, and the user responds because they always have. Maybe it's time that it didn’t.

If you're short of cash and trying to be innovative, why would you want to spend a whole truck of cash on something that you don't need to. Go and spend it on something you should.

We need to help people understand how they can migrate their productivity up. Microsoft Exchange is a good example. Big productivity -- messaging is a productivity. Yes, it helps people do what they do every day.

If I'm running Exchange, I can move this to a private cloud environment, still within my firewall. The biggest challenge everybody faces is . how do you provision for it? How much infrastructure do I need to give people the response they are looking for?

The point is how to separate environments that can smooth those peaks and troughs. We believe exchange services for private cloud is the way to do that.

Now, everyone runs out of processing power and everyone runs out of storage. I do every day, especially storage. But, the point is how to separate environments that can smooth those peaks and troughs. We believe exchange services for private cloud is the way to do that.

The flip side is that people that are using the Microsoft Dynamics customer relationship management (CRM) package. Maybe they don’t want to be in the CRM business. They want to build relationships with customers, want to understand who they are and
what they are. Maybe they don’t want to be in the whole provisioning business.

So, what we're offering is what we call Enterprise Cloud Services for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which says we will put this on our service. The customer just buys a service through the net and pays per usage. If they don’t use it, they don’t pay.

We're going to see a lot more of that style of hybrid delivery where you pay per use. What I want, I use, and I pay for. What I don’t want, I put it back. I don’t have to take any responsibility for infrastructure and storage and all the stuff that goes with it. I want to give that responsibility to someone else and get on with my core business.

Gardner: Let me make sure I understand. You're talking about Microsoft Exchange, email collaboration, personal information manager (PIM). These are very important and aren’t going away, but the way in which you utilize your resources might shift. I think you are saying it's a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, but not necessarily, purely a SaaS model. It’s kind of shared services -- consume as you need and then pay as you consume.

SaaS model

Evans: It’s a SaaS model and other options. There was a model once where everyone was on premises. Then, the whole notion of outsourcing came in, and people looked at that and felt it was pretty good. So, they went to outsourcing.

We believe that this whole notion will be called "hybrid delivery." It will be a mixture of all of them -- on premises, off premised, people running services inside their firewall as private clouds. It’s actually a public provision service where it will be provisioned for them outside their firewall and then they buy what they want.

Also, one of the components of the announcement we are bringing out is what we call Cloud Service Automation, which we're extremely proud of. This is really for the people who want to get a cloud service up and running, want to do it fast, and don’t want to have to spend the next two years playing computer scientist. They want to get up, running, provisioned, and out there.

It just shows the pace of this market. We brought version one of this product out in January. In April, we're bringing out the next version with a significant level of enhancement around provisioning and manageability, and 4000 scripts embedded. So, people can just assemble things.

Back to the question you asked me earlier about the way the apps are going, this is really assembling procedures where the customer wants to do and can through a drag-and-drop environment. Some people view that as nearly impossible.

This is what we call fundamental building blocks of people that are looking to deploy a cloud environment.

Cloud Service Automation runs on the cloud system, which is enabled by BladeSystem Matrix. What that’s doing is provisioning an infrastructure, giving people the choices of network components, upgrading systems, and their virtualization environment. All of this is through drag-and-drop. It's just staring at the screen and saying they want Linux on that, HP-UX on that, Windows on that, and a VMware on that, and then drop it on.

Then, taking applications again, they want a database here, and all of this by magic happens in the background. And then the real clever bit will provision this for 10,000 transactions an hour. All of a sudden, they hit 11,000 transactions. Now, what happens? We can already program it so that, if we hit 11,000, we're going to burst out and go to another service provider, who we trust, that will take that peak loading. When the peak loading is complete, it will return back into the original environment.

So this is what we call fundamental building blocks of people that are looking to deploy a cloud environment.

Gardner: This sounds exciting, because we're giving people really what they want, which is the ability to be flexible. We are giving the architect the role of deciding how systems work, rather than the administrator, but you are also targeting some very important application sets, collaboration and communication and then CRM.

But if this works for those two application sets, it should work for others. So, I assume that this is just the beginning in terms of the applications you are going to be giving the same treatment?

Irreversible change

Evans: Well, I think we can blue sky it out and say that this is the way it’s going to be. As I said, irreversible change, compelled to travel in the future, all that. But, there is some real sort of down to earth tactical things you’ve got to think about.

Take for example, the client environment. We’ve talked a lot about the server, but the client world is changing at a high speed by virtue of people’s desire to use devices that are not chained to the desk anymore -- whether that’s more portable, notebook type machines, smartphones, pads or whatever. You’ve also got to take into account the fact that there are a lot of enterprise applications that you still use on traditional desktop PCs. You can't ignore those and should not.

A year after launching, about 13 percent of the Windows XP base moved to Windows Vista. So, the bulk of the market stayed with XP for whatever reason. Now,. they're saying they need to make that move, but some of these desktop apps are pretty sophisticated. This is not just simple productivity stuff. This is a part of the enterprise portfolio. Therefore, they also need to get worried about it big time and fairly quickly.

So what we’ve done for our customers is to look at their volume, their desktop environment, and come up with what apps they've got, what they do, are they useful, do they need all of them, could they get rid of some? The ones they want to move forward, do they need to change? Obviously, there are functional differences between XP and Windows 7.

We know all the gotchas. When you’ve used the special feature inside XP, we know how that will translate to Windows 7.

We’ve got some background in this. We’ve got some skills. We’ve actually set up a factory environment, because we think this is a volume thing. This is not ones and twos. This is volume.

By virtue of our knowledge and experience we can give you a very good return on your investment because we know all of the differences. We know all the gotchas. When you’ve used the special feature inside XP, we know how that will translate to Windows 7.

By the way, we can also tell you some things in Windows 7 that you maybe want to use, because that could make your environment more secure, more robust, more whatever. So we’re setting that up as a piece of our application transformation portfolio. As I said, it's not just the client world, but it's the server world as well.

Gardner: How about some examples? Do you have any folks that have been doing this already, that are deploying in this fashion, leveraging for innovation, transforming applications, targeting certain apps and then taking them to a hybrid model? Tell me a little bit about them and what the payoffs are? It's still perhaps a little hypothetical to say if you do this, you get blank, but what's actually happening on the street?

Evans: We’ve actually set up a new program called The Re-Inventors. These are people who have taken a position that innovation is what it's about. The status-quo is not going to get them to where they're going to be. Our first re-inventor came from DreamWorks and talks about the exploitation of fundamental technologies from HP.

Public sector

he second re-inventor we’re announcing is the Flemish Government. Although they're in the public sector, their view was that they cannot continue with paper-based processes. They're inaccurate, inefficient, and ineffective. We’re promoting that as a part of our re-inventors program who demonstrated that they took a very much a paper-based environment and put it into the digital world. They used the digital expression, and are providing a level of service to their citizens that is second to none.

As I said, there is always this view that the public sector has no competition, so why do they have to do this, but they do. If people have the right motivations, and a sense of service, deploying the digitally-based solutions, rather than manual, is absolutely the way to go. That’s what we’re talking about in terms of this new re-inventors program and specifically the Flemish Government.

Gardner: For those folks who have not yet taken the plunge, but see the writing on the wall, how does one get started? How can we learn more about the research that you’ve done and some of the findings and also some of these products that you run out during April.

Evans: People just need to get to their heads around it, because we appreciate it. There are some big questions to answer. We don’t trivialize this. This is not a game. This is serious. Serious problems need serious people to respond.

We have our traditional URL, which is relatively simple, There, you can then go off and explore things that will interest you.

This is not a game. This is serious. Serious problems need serious people to respond.

At a higher level, if people are interested in this whole Re-inventors Program, we have another URL which may be an even better starting point -- There you can learn about the Re-inventors Program, whether app trends, hybrid delivery, or whatever. It's meant to be a resource pool, where you can just sit down and say, "I'm interested in this. Can I find the persons in the same industry as me doing this. Can I go and read about that?"

In the application transformation space as, we set up a TV channel on what we call HP TV. There is a link on the website. You can listen to HP material. You can listen to customers -- the Italian Ministry of Education or the New York Stock Exchange, among others. You can hear Gartner analysts talk about the future of applications, what this whole notion of context-aware or cloud or mobility means. Massimo Pezzini from Gartner is on there talking about that.

We're saying to people that we're trying to help. If they want more, they can come and tell us, whether it's the whole program, which is this whole instant-on program, or whether it’s dropping down into any one of the solution areas like app transformation.

It tells people not only that here’s HP and this is what we do, but we also believe people need some context. It's not only HP, but I want to understand what other people think. We're trying to create that sort of pull. So, we have a link on the CIO Magazine for people who want to join a community.

We're just trying to help people see that this is really important. We have been sort of screaming and shouting for the last year or two, and we believe that people are really onto this now. HP has a role to play in pointing people in the right direction.

Gardner: Thank you Paul. We've been listening to a sponsored podcast discussion on the fast moving trends and some new product supporting the need for application transformation and leveraging hybrid computing models. I want to thank our guest. We've been here with Paul Evans, Worldwide Lead for Application Transformation for HP Enterprise Business. Thanks so much, Paul.

Evans: Thanks, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. Thanks for listening and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Edited transcript of a sponsored podcast discussion on converging forces compelling enterprises to take a close look at their application portfolios. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2011. All rights reserved.

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

HP Shows Benefits From Successful Application Consolidation With Own Massive Global Supply Chain Project

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how HP tackled an internal multi-year effort to streamline supply chain efficiencies and effectiveness through applications consolidation.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Access more information on Application Consolidation.
Read the full-length case study on HP's Application Consolidation.
Learn more about the Application Transformation Experience Workshop.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on learning about best practices and execution accelerators for large, often global application-consolidation projects. We'll take a look a telling case-study, a massive multi-year application-consolidation project at HP that involved hundreds of applications and thousands of people around the world.

We'll look first at why the Global Part Supply Chain project at HP was undertaken, but just as importantly, why the project needed to be invigorated after it bogged down by sheer scale and complexity. The project quickly became hugely successful, however, and we'll learn how and why.

These are by no means trivial projects, and often involve every aspect of IT, as well as require a backing of the business leadership and the users to be done well. The goal through these complex undertakings is to radically improve how applications are developed, managed, and governed across their lifecycle to better support dynamic business environments. The stakes, therefore, are potentially huge for both IT and the business.

We're here with an executive from HP to look at proper planning and execution for massive application-consolidation projects by specifically looking at an HP project itself.

Please join me now in welcoming Paul Evans, Worldwide Marketing Lead on Applications Transformation at HP. Welcome to the show, Paul.

Paul Evans: Hi, Dana.

Gardner: Tell me why applications are so numerous in many of these extended business processes, about the whole notion of part supply chains, and why that's such a big deal for HP.

Evans: As you can imagine, HP is an extremely large organization. It makes products, as well as sells services, etc. In terms of product, just imagine your average PC, or your average server, and think of the number of components that are made up inside of that device. It runs into hundreds of thousands, whether it's memory chips, disk drives, screens, keyboards, or whatever.

For a company like HP, in the event that someone needs a spare part for whatever reason, they don't expect to wait a significant period of time for it to turn up. They want it delivered 24 hours later by whatever means that suits them.

So, it's essential for us to have that global supply chain of spare parts tailored toward the ones that we believe we need more -- rather than less -- and that we can supply those parts quickly and easily and, at the same time, cost effectively. That's important for any organization that is dealing in physical components or in the provision of a service. You want to maintain customer satisfaction or increased customer satisfaction.

Customer centric

For us, it was essential that a massive global supply chain organization was extremely customer-centric, but at the same time, very cost-effective. We were doing our utmost to reduce costs, increase the agility of the applications to service the customers, and fuel growth, as our organization and our business grows. The organization has got to respond to that.

So the primary reasoning here was that this is a large organization, dealing with multiple components with pressures on it both from the business and the IT sides.

Gardner: With HP, of course, there have been mergers and acquisitions over the years. Suppliers come and go. Product lines may start small, but then ramp up rapidly. So, we're talking about many different organizations and many different applications that had to be brought into this now hopefully lean process.

Evans: One of the primary reasons we had to do this is that HP has been an amalgam of companies like Hewlett-Packard, originally, Compaq, Tandem, DEC. All of these organizations had their own bills of materials, their own skills, and basically this thing has just grown like Topsy.

What we were trying to do here was to say that we just couldn't continue to treat these systems as un-integrated. We had a lot of legacy environments that were expensive to run, a lot of redundancy, and a lot of overlap.

The whole notion of this coming about through mergers and acquisitions is very common in the marketplace. It's not unique just to HP.

The goal here clearly was to produce one integrated solution that treated the HP customer as an individual, and in the back-end consolidated the applications -- the ones we really needed to move forward. And also, a goal was to retire those applications that were no longer necessary to support the business processes.

The whole notion of this coming about through mergers and acquisitions is very common in the marketplace. It's not unique just to HP. The question of whether you just live with everybody’s apps or you begin to consolidate and rationalize is a major question that customers are asking themselves.

Gardner: If you look at this problem from the perspective of IT, of course, you have multiple platforms, legacy applications, and a mixture of different architectures and hardware. And they have their own set of requirements.

But, if you look at it through the lens of the user, many users are wed to that application, even if it's an older interface. They don't really care about what's underlying in terms of infrastructure. They just want to be able to get their work done without being disrupted.

What we have are perhaps multiple agendas that need to be aligned, and politics and persuasion come into play. Tell me what may have gone awry for a period of time with this project and how some of these other issues about multiple agendas can be managed?

Siloed thinking

Evans: Well, this is a challenge in any situation, and this has been true not only with this particular supply chain project with HP, but for all of us. The rationalization that has taken place inside HP around its IT organization and technology is that because we are human beings, most people think in a very siloed way.

They see their suite of applications supporting their business. They like them. They love them. They’ve grown up with them, and they want to continue using them. Their view is, "Mine is perfect to suit my business requirement. Why would I need anything else?"

That's okay, when you're very close to the coalface. You can always make decisions and always deem to the fact that the applications you use are strategic -- an interesting word that a lot of people use. But, as you zoom out from that environment and begin to get a more holistic view of the silos, you can begin to see that the duplication and replication is grossly inefficient and grossly expensive.

We've seen that in HP. We saw it in this particular supply chain situation. We were looking at three totally different solutions in three different companies: Compaq, HP, and DEC. We were looking over 300 applications. Clearly, that was not the way forward, because it wasn't only just a cost-reduction exercise.

If you're looking into the future and saying you need a much faster, speedier, agile situation to be working with, you can't do that in the whole legacy environment.

If you're looking into the future and saying you need a much faster, speedier, agile situation to be working with, you can't do that in the whole legacy environment. It's just something that's tying you down. That problem is not unique to HP. I definitely understand that.

Gardner: When you decided to look into your parts supply chain activities, I understand there were hundreds of applications involved, multiple sites, geographies, and countries. Was this something that was driven by the business? Was it driven by IT? Both? How did the impetus for this begin?

Evans: Well, from the IT side, there was clearly a view from the top down that said living with 300 applications in the supply-chain world was unacceptable. But also from the business side, the real push was that we had to improve certain metrics. We have this metric called Spend-to-Revenue ratio which is, in fact, what are we spending for parts as opposed to what we are getting in terms of revenue? We were clearly below par in those spaces.

We had some business imperatives that were driving this project that said we needed to save money, we needed to be able to deliver faster, and we needed to be able to do it more reliably. If we tell a customer they're going to get the part within 24 hours, we deliver in 24 hours -- not 36 or 48, because we weren't quite sure where it was. We had to maintain the business acumen.

Complexity kicks in

At the same time, when viewed from a technological angle, we were running old, expensive applications. As always, when you're running far too many applications, the complexity kicks in. How does that all work?

This volume of applications -- or applications bloat, as some people call it -- is a real impediment to agility. You just can't move forward quickly with 300 apps in an environment where you know you're probably looking at a tenth of that. It’s a bit like saying, "How could I run fast if I have 300 feet?" You can't. You can do it with two, but you couldn't do it with 300.

So, our whole goal here was to align business and IT in terms of a technological response to a business driver.

Gardner: From the business side, I suppose they're very concerned about business process, primarily, the applications. They're probably not concerned about some of the more strategic, long-term IT implications -- those being how do we better manage applications as a life-cycle.

At that point, it gives IT the opportunity to come and say, "Let's look at this methodologically. How do we now put in the governance, put in the processes where we can create the applications, manage them, but also sunset them appropriately?"

These two people were the drivers. The buck stopped with these people. They had to make the big decisions.

So how does that factor in, that notion of making this a mature process, and no longer a cherry-picking, complex stew of different styles?

Evans: The area you just addressed is probably one of the primary ones. When we submitted the project, we were basically driving it by committee. Individual business units were saying, "I need applications x, y, z." Another group says, "Actually, we need a, b, c." There was virtually no ability to get to any consensus. The goal here is to go from 300 apps to 30 apps. We’re never going to do it, if you could all self-justify the applications you need.

What we did was discard the committee approach. We took the approach, basically led by one person from the business side, who had supply chain experience, and one from the IT side who had supply chain experience, but both had their specialist areas. These two people were the drivers. The buck stopped with these people. They had to make the big decisions.

To support them, they had a sponsorship committee of senior executives, to which they could always escalate, if there was a problem making a final decision about what was necessary.

Randy Mott, the HP CIO, has the direct support of Mark Hurd, the HP chairman and CEO. In my experience, that's absolutely essential in any project a customer undertakes. They have to have executive sponsorship from the top.

If you don't, any time you get to an impasse, there's no way out. It just distills into argument and bickering. You need somebody who's going to make the decision and says, "We're going this way and we're not going that way."

Getting on track

So for us, setting up this whole governance team of two people to make the hard decisions, and their being supported by a project management team who are there to go off and enact the decisions that were made was the way we really began to move this project forward, get it on track, get it on time, and get it in budget.

Gardner: I see. So the impasse -- the bogging down of this process where it sort of went off the rails in terms of an expected time line -- that's where it was bogged down by committee versus committee. It's when you broke through that, almost at an organizational managerial level, that you were able to accelerate. Is that right?

Evans: Absolutely. In my interaction with customers, I see this time-and-time again. We’ve always said that the experience that HP has gained internally we would share with our customers. We even have a regular customer event, where we share all our best practices and we are not afraid to share the things that go wrong. In this instance, when we started by saying let's have a big committee to help my decisions, it was the wrong approach. We were going nowhere. We had to rationalize and say no.

Access more information on Application Consolidation.
Read the full-length case study on HP's Application Consolidation.
Learn more about the Application Transformation Experience Workshop.

Two respected individuals, one from the IT side and one from the business side, who were totally aligned on what they were doing, shared the same vision in what they were trying to achieve. By virtue of that, we could enforce throughout decisions, sometimes unpopular.

eople sometimes do not understand why a particular application is going to get turned off in place of another. But those were the hard realities we had to take to get the cost down and get the efficiency and the effective result.

Gardner: So, we're talking now about decision-making. We're talking about governance. We're talking about the intersection of IT governance with political governance. This is something you can't buy. You don't necessarily purchase a box that does this. This is a combination of technology, professional services, methodology, standards, experience, and even, I would imagine, a change in management among the leadership.

Tell me how HP internally focused across these multiple disciplines -- not just product, not just technology -- and then how that related to what you do with your supply chain customers now?

Evans: A lot of people would say it's just technological problem. You’ve got 300 apps running on old platforms using old technology and you want to use the latest and greatest, the fastest, the smartest ... whatever. But, as we’ve discussed, at least 50-60 percent of the solution has nothing to do with technology. It had all to do with making decisions, making the right decisions that would lead us to the right outcome for the business.

We knew what we wanted to achieve. We knew that we had to be more agile. We had to get our costs down. We had to optimize this whole spend-to-revenue ratio. As always with the supply chain business, inventory had to go down. Going up is not a good plan, because you're paying for parts that are sitting on the shelf.

Agile and sleek

One of the goals was to get the solution so agile and sleek that we didn't have to use air transportation to get parts from A to B. We could use surface transportation. If we could put the parts in the right place, where they needed to be to get to the right customer, rather having to use air, which of course is very fast, but it’s very expensive compared to surface, we could also get a dramatic reduction in the CO2 emission that we were putting out by virtue of that transportation.

There were lots of things here that had nothing to do with technology. They all had to do with business benefits and outcomes that we wanted to achieve, both internally to HP, like saving money, but also to the customers in terms of delivery of a better service.

Some will call them peripheral, and some may call them fundamental, but things like using different transportation techniques to cut CO2 we felt were pretty important.

What we've done as always with these experiences is translate them into how can we be smarter, better, and more helpful to our customers in learning from these experiences. In the whole HP-IT story, we have outpoured so many best practices and good ideas and bad ideas, which we're quite happy to share with people.

But, of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Similarly, we'd like to think that those organizations that are out there with a supply chain challenge could now look at this and say, "Maybe we could do the same thing." Definitely the alignment between business and IT is probably one of the most paramount of facets. Let me do with which platform, which network, which disk drive, or which operating system. You can have a lot of fun with that. But, in this instance, a lot of the success was driven by setting up the right governance and decision-making structure with the right sponsorship.

Gardner: Now, I'd like to look at some of the paybacks. As I understand it, you turned the corner on this project back in 2006. At the time, you didn't realize that these were "the good old days." The agility and lean aspects of processes in a supply chain are great during growth, but they're also extremely important, when there is a contraction.

So, is there an opportunity to look back and say, "Wow. We didn't know it at the time, but by conducting this application consolidation with the proper governance, we were able to dial down on our delivery of products and services when that was required, and now dial back up." That probably is something of a lesson at the economic level, but can we apply some metrics of success from your project? Any thoughts about what the paybacks were, especially in a topsy-turvy general economy?

Evans: In taking the more holistic view and talking to a lot of customers they would say, "Maybe 18 months ago or two years ago, we knew that we had a legacy app problem. We knew we were spending too much on the underpinning infrastructure, but we could sort of afford it. Was it perfect? No. Was it a bit of a mess? Yes. Should we have really been focusing on the legacy apps issue, thinking maybe the economy is never going to sustain what it was?" But, of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Smarter and better

Now, when I am talking to clients, I mean their comments are, "We need to be smarter. We need to be better. We need to retain our customers, deliver better quality of service to our customers, and we have to do it at a low cost." We've seen a massive change in the approach with the legacy environment, whether that’s applications or infrastructure.

Over the last 12 months what people have realized that it is now time for those organizations that want to remain competitive and innovative. Unfortunately, I still see a lot of companies that believe that doing nothing is the thing to do and will just wait for the economy to rebound. I don't believe it's going to rebound to the same place. It may come back and it may be stronger, but it may end up on a different place.

The organizations that are not waiting for that, but are trying to be innovative, competitive, move away from the competition, and give themselves some breathing space are the ones who are going to sustain themselves.

Within HP, we were not in great shape a few years back in terms of our IT spend. It was way too high, and we openly admit that. We had to take some fairly drastic actions, and it is probably well-known and documented. We went from about 6,000 apps went down to about 1,700 today, and we'll probably plateau at around 1,500. We went from 83 data centers to 6.

We're running a better, faster, cheaper organization that is more agile.

We were not in great shape, but we took action. I don’t believe we took action because we knew the economy was going to change. We don’t think we're that clever. We just had to take it, because economically it was just not the right solution, and nor technically.

We had to focus on driving this both from business and IT. As I said in this small example, we went from 300 apps to 30 apps. We had a 39 percent reduction in our inventory dollars. We reduced our supply chain expenses. We reduced the cost of doing next day delivery. We're heading toward reducing our CO2 emissions by 40 percent on those next day deliveries.

But overall, the global supply chain, this measure of spent revenue, we drove down by 19 percent. We're running a better, faster, cheaper organization that is more agile. As you said, it positions us better to exploit situations as they change and feel that they’ve become more of an opportunity rather than a threat.

Gardner: For those organizations that are in some sort of a multi-year approach, looking at their portfolio of applications, probably shocked by how many there are, what the redundancies are, what the actual landscape looks like, but perhaps also a little bit chagrin by the daunting complexity, where do you suggest they start for resources? Is there a way to start thinking strategically about both the technology, the business, and process issues, as well as those governance, operational, and methodological issues?

First, take stock

Evans: A number of people I have talked to say that their biggest challenge is that they don’t know what they’ve got. So, first and foremost, the advice is always that you need to take stock of what you’ve got, because if you don’t know what you are dealing with, then you’ve got a problem.

I’ll give you an example. I spoke to two large organizations at a recent event we ran here in HP. One organization openly admitted they didn't know what their problems were. They knew they had a massive, complex, and growing applications portfolio that was basically losing touch with the business. That was one side.

Another customer openly admitted that they knew the applications that were causing them problems. They said, "We have these 14 apps that are killing us, and we need to do something about it. We need to streamline those apps. We need to use contemporary technology."

They need to use a new software environment that gives them a much smaller code base, if they are moving from COBOL to something like Java or C#, using new database technologies. Using new testing techniques that don’t mean that we load testing to the end of the session. Then, when time gets tight, what gets cut? The testing gets cut.

Underneath all that is the abilitty to save money, which, of course, is fairly important.

That was a good example we used in the supply chain example. We used an HP product, Quality Center, that gave us this process, this rigor that said, "We're going to test things. We're going to throw out different scenarios, and we're going to test it to death. We're not going to test it to death at the end when it’s too late, but we're going to do that throughout the development cycle so that we can make those adjustments and modifications as we go along."

So, we ended up with a high-quality product at the end. Talking to a lot of customers, the speed by which they can develop, as well as modify, applications, and that is connected directly to customer satisfaction, is paramount.

In the financial services industry, your application is your business. If you are in the telco industry, the level of service you can offer is very much aligned to the application. If you can improve the speed, and the momentum you can create in terms of introducing new editions and you can do those with a very high quality and a high level of integrity, then you're heading towards delivering a much better service to your customer.

There are so many lessons learned here addressing what people have in terms of portfolio and then also delivering new, contemporary, revised types of applications and/or infrastructure.
Underneath all that is the ability to save money, which, of course, is fairly important, isn’t it?

Gardner: We talked a bit about the how and the why of this massive application consolidation projects issue, but this specific Global Part Supply Chain project at HP is now a case-study, which you have written up and which is available for people to get some more detail from. Are there are some other resources, sites, or places where they can go for not only learning more about how you solve this problem, but where they can start on their journey or continue the journey.

Open about experiences

Evans: We have always said that we're going to be very open about our experiences, only because I think people don’t want to begin new things. They don't want to be the first to take a leap, but as I said, pretty much every customer in my mind is doing some form of application transformation, whether small, large, or medium scale.

We have always said that the experiences we gain from our own work we would share openly, and sometimes we’re quite happy to say where we did go wrong. In this instance, we’ve written up a case study to give people an insight in more detail than I have been able to provide today. We're going to post that on our portal. If people want to go there, it’s relatively simple.

It’s, and they’ll find the case-study. They’ll find videos and other materials of other customers who have embarked on these journeys, whether they’ve been driving that from the top down, from an application’s nature, or whether it’s people who are coming in from the infrastructure, who will say, "I have aging obsolete infrastructure that I need to change, but I know there is a collateral impact on my application. How do I go about that?"

We're trying to cover all the bases in terms of those people that are coming with top-down applications, bottom-up infrastructure, or looking to create a new software environment. If they go to that URL, they can find all the materials, and I hope that they might find useful.

The point is that we get this ability to have an elastic environment.

Gardner: Paul, before we close out, perhaps a look to the future. I've heard so much now about cloud computing and software as a service. This is not necessarily just talking about custom, packaged, and on-premises apps. We now need to think about different sourcing options. How does that relate to this process of application transformation and the rationale around where to go for the best economic bang for the buck?

Evans: Cloud is just a part of the application transformation journey. If you think of history over the last 50 years -- and that’s all technology is; it’s only 50 years old in this space -- we’ve done everything inside. We did everything ourselves. We did everything in big machines, crammed everything in, then we’ve gone more distributed. We’ve gone to PCs and all rest of it. We began to spread the web, before we even knew what the word "Web" meant.

Now, we’ve gotten used to interacting with the Internet, and more importantly, the web. We're beginning to say, you know, maybe there are some services that we don't need inside of firewall, or in a private cloud -- so it’s inside but not inside." The point is that we get this ability to have an elastic environment. We haven’t got dedicated systems to run a service that maybe we only want to use 20 percent of the time.

The notion of using the web or technologies that have been formed from the web development is just like falling off a log. We'll argue probably for at least the next 12 months about what is the cloud and what’s not the cloud, but the use of the World Wide Web is a part of our day-to-day business that's irreversible.

We're never going to go backward now, whether it’s just interaction with consumers who want to get questions answered and order a PC or whatever, or the provision of services that we'll use and our customers will use by utilizing the web. It’s just going to be there.

Also, merging with this whole notion of the cloud is mobility. The mobile, the smartphone, or call it what you want, is going to be the most voluminous device that will attach to the web in the future. People are not just going to want to play games, send SMS, and all the rest of it. They're going to email, they are going to want to do things, and they are going to want to interact in a far richer environment than they do today.

I think these technologies are converging rapidly in terms of a notion that says we’ve got to update and transform what we’ve got and at the same time start the more strategic view of what are we going to incorporate going forward. We may not incorporate them today, but we sure need to leave that socket open that says I may want to plug it in the future.

Gardner: Well great. We've been talking about best practices in execution accelerators around large application consolidation projects. We’ve been joined by Paul Evans, World Wide Marketing Lead on Applications Transformation at HP. Thank you, Paul.

Evans: Thanks, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. You’ve been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast. Thanks for listening, and come back next time.

Access more information on Application Consolidation.
Read the full-length case study on HP's Application Consolidation.
Learn more about the Application Transformation Experience Workshop.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Transcript of a BriefingsDirect podcast on how HP tackled an internal multi-year effort to streamline supply chain efficiencies and effectiveness through applications consolidation. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

IT's New Recipe for Success: Modernize Applications and Infrastructure While Taking Advantage of Alternative Sourcing

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on making the journey to improved data-center operations via modernization and creative sourcing in tandem.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Dana Gardner: Hi, this is Dana Gardner, principal analyst at Interarbor Solutions, and you’re listening to BriefingsDirect.

Today, we present a sponsored podcast discussion on improving overall data-center productivity by leveraging all available sourcing options and moving to modernized applications and infrastructure.

IT leaders now face a set of complex choices, as they look for ways to manage their operational budget, knowing that discretionary and capital spending remain tight, even as demand on their systems increases.

One choice that may be the least attractive is to stand still as the recovery gets under way and demands on energy and application support outstrips labor, systems supply, and available electricity.

Economists are now seeing the recession giving a way to growth, at least in several important sectors and regions. Chances are that demands on IT systems to meet growing economic activity will occur before IT budgets appreciably open up.

So what to do? Our panel of experts today examines how to gain new capacity from existing data centers through both modernization and savvy exploitation of all sourcing options. By outsourcing smartly, migrating applications strategically, and modernizing effectively, IT leaders can improve productivity, while operating under tightly managed costs.

Economists are now seeing the recession giving a way to growth, at least in several important sectors and regions.

We'll also look at some data-center transformation examples with some executives from HP to learn how effective applications and infrastructure modernization improves enterprise IT capacity outcomes. And, we'll examine modernization in the context of outsourcing and hybrid sourcing, so that the capacity goals facing IT leaders can be more easily and affordably met, even in the midst of a fast-changing economy.

As we delve into applications and infrastructure modernization best practices, please join me in welcoming our panel: Shawna Rudd, Product Marketing Manager for Data Center Services at HP. Welcome, Shawna.

Shawna Rudd: Thank you.

Gardner: We're also here with Larry Acklin, Product Marketing Manager for Applications Modernization Services at HP. Welcome, Larry.

Larry Acklin: Hello.

Gardner: And, Doug Oathout, Vice President for Converged Infrastructure in HP’s Enterprise Services. Welcome, Doug.

Doug Oathout: Thank you, Dana. I'm glad to be here.

Gardner: Let me start with you, Doug. We're seeing some additional green shoots now across the economy, and IT services are also being taxed by an ongoing data explosion, the proliferation of mobile devices, use of social media, and new interfaces. So, what happens when the supply of budget -- that is to say, the available funding for innovation in new applications -- is lacking, even as the demand starts to pick up? What are some of the options that IT leaders have?

Tackling the budget

Oathout: Dana, when you look at the budgets still being tight in the tight economy, but business is starting to grow again, IT leaders really need to look strategically at how they're going to tackle their budget problem.

There are multiple sourcing options, there are multiple modernization tasks as well as application culling that they could do to improve their cost structure. What they need to do is to start to think about how, and what major projects they want to take on, so that they can improve their cash flow in the short-term while improving their business outcomes in the long-term.

At HP, we look at: how do I source products that are more beneficial to me -- outsourcing cloud and such -- to give us a better economic picture, and also using modernization techniques for application and infrastructure to improve the long-term cost structures.

At HP we also look at modernization of the software, and we look at outsourcing options and cloud options as ways to improve the financial situation for IT managers.

Gardner: Looking at this historically, have the decisions around outsourcing been made separately from decisions around modernization and infrastructure? Is it now time to bring two disparate decision processes together?

Oathout: Yes. In the past, companies have looked at outsourcing as a final step to IT, versus an alternate step in IT. We're seeing more clients, especially in the tight economy, that we have gone through, looking at a hybrid model.

How do I source things smartly that are non-mission critical or non-business critical to me to the outside world and then keep the stuff that is critical to my business within the four walls of the data center? There is a model evolving, a hybrid model between outsourcing and in-sourcing of different types of applications in different types of infrastructure.

Gardner: Let's go to you, Shawna. When we think about the decisions around sourcing, as Doug just pointed out, there seems to be a different set of criteria being brought to that. How do you view the decision-making around sourcing options as being different now than two, three or five years ago?

Rudd: Clients or companies have a wider variety of outsourcing mechanisms to choose from. They can choose to fully outsource or selectively out-task specific functions that should, in most cases, be able to provide them with substantial savings by looking at their operating expenses. Alternatively, as Doug just pointed out, we can provide many transformational and modernization type of projects that don’t require any outsourcing at all. Clients just have a wider variety of options to choose from.

Gardner: To you, Larry. As folks look at their current infrastructure and try to forecast new demands on applications and what new applications are going to be coming into play, are they faced with an either/or? Is this about rip and replace? How does modernization fit differently into this new set of decisions?

Acklin: It's definitely becoming a major challenge. The problem is that if you look purely at outsourcing in order to have additional investment for innovation, it will take you so far. It will take you to a point.

There needs to be a radical change in most businesses, because they have such a build-up of legacy technology, applications and so forth. There needs to be a radical change in how they move forward so they can free up additional investment dollars to be put back into the business.

Realigning the business and IT

More importantly, it's necessary to realign the business and the application portfolio, so that they're working together in order to address the new challenges that everyone is facing. These are challenges around growth: How do you grow so that, when you come out of a tough economy situation, the business is ready to go.

Investors are expecting that your company is going to accelerate into the future, providing better services to your market. How can you do that when your hands are completely tied, based on your current budget?

You know your IT budgets aren't going to increase rapidly, that there may be a delay before that can happen. So how do you manage that in the interim? That’s really where the combination of modernization and using various sourcing options is going to add additional benefit to be an enabler to get you to that agility that you want to get to.

Gardner: Larry, what would be some of the risks, if this change or shift in thinking and approach doesn't happen? What are some of the risks of doing nothing?

Acklin: We call that "the cost of doing nothing." That's the real challenge. If you look at your current spend and how you are spending your IT budgets today, most see a steady increase in expenses from year-by-year, but aren't seeing the increases in IT budgets. By doing nothing, that problem is just going to get worse and worse, until you're at a point where you're just running to keep the lights on. Or, you may not even be able to keep up.

The number of changes that have been requested by the business continues to grow. You're putting bandages on your applications and infrastructure to keep them alive. Pretty soon, you're going to get to a point, where you just can't stay ahead of that anymore. This is the cost of doing nothing.

If you don’t take action early enough, your business is going to have expectations of your IT and infrastructure that you can't meet. You're going to be directly impacting the ability for the company to grow. The longer you wait to get started on this journey to start freeing up and enabling the integration between your portfolio and your business the more difficult and challenging it's going to be for your business.

Gardner: Doug and Shawna, it sounds as if combining the decisions around modernizing your infrastructure and applications with your sourcing options is, in a sense, an insurance policy against the unknown. Is that overstating the opportunity here, Shawna?

Rudd: I don’t think so. Obviously, to Larry’s point, it's not going to get any cheaper to continue to do nothing. To support legacy infrastructure and applications it's going to require more expensive resources. It's going to require more effort to maintain it.

The same applies for any non-virtualized or unconsolidated environment. It costs more to manage more boxes, more software, more network connections, more floor space, and also for more people to manage all of that.

Greater risk

The risk of managing these more heterogeneous, more complex environments is going to be greater -- a greater risk of outages -- and the expense to integrate everything and try to automate everything is going to be greater.

Working with a service provider can help provide a lot of that insurance associated with the management of these environments and help you mitigate a lot of that risk, as well as reduce your cost.

Gardner: Doug, we can pretty safely say that the managed service providers out there haven’t been sitting around the past two or three years, when the economy was down. Many of them have been building out additional services, offering additional data and application support services. So, IT departments are now not only competing against themselves and their budgets, they are competing against managed service providers. How does that change somebody’s decision processes?

Oathout: It actually gives IT managers more of a choice. If you look at what's critical to your business, what's informational to your business, and you look at what is kind of the workflows that go on in your business, IT managers have many more choices of where they want to go source those applications or those job functions from?

As you look at service providers or outsourcers, there is a better menu of options out there for customers to choose from. That better menu allows you to compare and contrast yourself from a cost, service availability, and delivery standpoint, versus the providers in the marketplace.

IT managers have choices on where to source, but they also have choices on how to handle the capacity that fits within their four walls of the data center.

We see a lot of customers really looking at: how do I balance my needs with my cost and how do I balance what I can fit inside my four walls, and then use outsourcing or service providers to handle my peak workloads, some of my non-critical workloads, or even handle my disaster recovery for me?

So IT managers have choices on where to source, but they also have choices on how to handle the capacity that fits within their four walls of the data center.

Gardner: Let’s look at how you get started. What are some of the typical ways that organizations explore sourcing options and modernization opportunities? As I understand it, you have a methodology, a basic three-step approach: outsource, migrate, and modernize.

Let’s take each one of these and start with outsourcing smartly. Shawna, what does that mean, when we talk about these three steps in getting to the destination?

Rudd: From an outsourcing standpoint, it’s simply one mechanism that clients can leverage to facilitate or help facilitate this transformation journey that they may be looking to, as they go on to help generate some savings, which will help fund other maybe more significant modernization or transformational efforts.

We help clients maintain their legacy environments and increase asset utilization, while undertaking those modernization and transformation efforts. From an outsourcing standpoint, the types of things that a client can outsource could vary, and the scope of that outsourcing agreement could vary -- the delivery mechanism or model or whether we manage the environment at a client’s facility or within a leveraged facility.

Bringing value

All those variables can bring value to a client, based upon their specific business requirements. But then, as the guys will talk about in a second, the modernization or the migration and the modernization yields additional savings to those clients’ business.

So, from an outsourcing standpoint, it’s that first thing that will help generate savings for a client and can help fund some of the efforts that will generate incremental savings down the road.

Gardner: The second step involves migration. Who wants to handle that, and what does that really mean?

Oathout: Let me start and then I'll hand it over to Larry. When we talk about migration, we can look at different types of applications that migrate simply to modern infrastructure. Those applications can be consolidated onto fewer platforms into a more workflow-driven automated process.

We can get a 10:1 consolidation ratio on servers. We can get a 5-6:1 consolidation ratio on storage platforms. Then, with virtual connectivity or virtual I/O, we can actually have a lot less networking gear associated with running those applications on the servers and the storage platform.

When you look at modernizing your applications and look at modernizing infrastructure, they have to match.

So, if we look at just standard applications, we have a way to migrate them very simply over to modern infrastructure, which then gives you a lower cost point to run those applications.

Gardner: Now, not all applications are created or used equally. Is there a difference between what we might refer as core or context applications, and does that come into play when we think about this migration?

Oathout: Oh, it definitely does. There are some core applications that are associated with certain platforms that we can consolidate on the bigger boxes, and you get more users that way. Then, there are context applications, which are more information-driven, and which can easily continue to grow. That's one of the application areas that continues to grow, and you can't see how fast it's going to grow, but you can scale that out onto modern platforms.

As you have more work, you have more information, and you can grow those systems over time. You don't have to build the humongous systems to support the application, when it’s just starting out. You can build it over time.

There's a lot we can do with the different types of applications. When you look at modernizing your applications and look at modernizing infrastructure, they have to match. If you have a plan, you don't have to buy extra capacity when you start. You can buy the right capacity then grow it, as you need it.

Specific path

Acklin: Let me add a little bit to that. When we look at these three phases together, we ordered them this way for a specific path to minimize the risk as part of it. Outsourcing can drive some initial savings, maybe up to 40 percent, depending on the scope of what you're looking at for a client. That's a significant improvement on its own.

Not every client sees that high of a saving, but many do. The next step, that migration step that we’ve talked about, where we’re also migrating over to a consolidated infrastructure, allows you to take immediate actions on some of your applications as well.

In that application space, you can move an application that may be costing you significant amounts of the dollars whether it be, license fees or due to a lack of skilled resources and so forth on a legacy platform. Migrating those or keeping the application intact, running on that new infrastructure, can save you significant dollars, in addition to the initial work you did as part of the outsourcing.

The nice thing, as you do these things in parallel, is that it's a phase journey that you are going through, where they all integrate. But, you don't have to. You can separate them. You can do them one without the other, but you can work on this whole holistic journey throughout.

The migration of those applications, basically leaves those applications intact, but allows them to have a longer lifespan than you may typically would. A great example of this is, if you had an application that you want to eventually replace with a ERP system of some sort, or that business process is going to be changed in the future in some way, but we still need to do something about this cost-saving problem today.

When you move into that modernized phase, you're really trying to change the structure of those applications, so that you can take advantage of the latest technology to run cloud computing and everything operating as a service.

It's a great middle step. We can still drive significant 40-50 percent saving, just through this migration phase of moving that application onto this new infrastructure environment and changing the way that those cost structures around software and so forth are allocated towards that. It frees up short-term gain that can turn around to be reinvested in the entire modernization journey that we're talking about.

Gardner: So, if I understand that correctly, when we get to the modernization phase, we've been able to develop the capacity and develop a transformation of the budget from operations into something that can be devoted to additional new innovation capacity.

Acklin: Right. Then as you continue that journey, you're starting to get your cost structures aligned and you're starting to get to a place where your infrastructure is now flexible and agile. You’ve got the capacity to expand. When you move into that modernized phase, you're really trying to change the structure of those applications, so that you can take advantage of the latest technology to run cloud computing and everything operating as a service.

Future technologies allow us to enable the business for growth in the marketplace. Right now, many of our applications handcuff the business. It takes months to get a new product or service out to the market. By changing over to a service-oriented model, you're saving a lot of cost component here, but you're adding that agility layer to your applications and allowing your business to expand and grow.

Gardner: Before we go to some examples, I'm curious about what happens. What benefits can occur when you play these three aspects of this journey together?

There is sort of a dance, if you will, of three partners. When you apply them to the specific needs, requirements, and growth patterns within specific companies, what types of benefits do we get? Is this about switching to a more pay-as-you-go basis? Is this about reduced labor or improved automation?

Let's start with you, Shawna. What are some of the paybacks that companies typically get when they do this correctly?

Some 30 percent savings

Rudd: They can achieve about 30 percent savings, obviously depending on what they outsource and how much they outsource. Those savings will be achieved through the use of best-shore resources through the right sizing of their hardware and software environments, consolidation, virtualization, automation, standardization, processes, and technologies.

And, then they'll achieve incremental cost savings. As Larry said, it can be upward of 40-60 percent from migrating some of that low-hanging fruits, or those applications that are easily lifted and shifted to lower cost platforms. So, they'll reduce the associated IT and application expenses that are also the ongoing management expense. Then, as they continue to modernize those environments, they'll achieve additional efficiencies and potentially some additional savings.

In that scenario, in which they have combined everything, when they work with a single source provider to help them go through that journey and help facilitate that journey, the transitions, the hand-offs, and all of that should go much more smoothly.

The risk to the client, to the client's business, should be better mitigated, because they're not having to coordinate with four or five different vendors, internal organizations, etc. They have one partner who can help them and can handle everything.

Gardner: Doug, to you. When this is done properly, what are some of the high-level payoffs? What changes in terms of productivity at the most general level?

IT is now seen as adding value to the business versus just being the cost center, and the paybacks are unbelievable.

Oathout: The big thing that changes, Dana, is that when you go through this journey at the end, IT is aligned to the businesses. So, when a business wants to bring on a new application or a new product line, IT can then respond and stand up a new application in hours instead of months.

They can flex the environment to meet a marketing campaign, so you have the ability to do the transactions when a major TV advertisement goes on or when something happens in the industry. You get the flexibility and you get the efficiencies, but what you really get is IT is acting as a service provider to the line of business, and IT is now a partner with the business versus being a cost center to that business.

That's the big transformation that happens through this three-step process. IT is now seen as adding value to the business versus just being the cost center, and the paybacks are unbelievable.

You move from deploying an application in months to two hours. The productivity of your IT department gets two or three times better. You can now plan to run your data centers or your IT at normal workloads. Then, when peaks come in, you can outsource some of the work to service providers or to your outsource partner.

Your actual IT is running at average load, and you don't have to put all the extra equipment in there for the peak. You actually outsource it, when that peak comes. So, at the end of this journey, there is a whole different business model that is much more efficient, much more elastic, and much more cost-effective to run the business of the future.

Gardner: Larry, to you. What are your more salient takeaways in terms of benefits from doing this all correctly?

Don't have to wait

Acklin: I’ll just add to what Shawna and Doug have said already. One of the bigger benefits that you achieve is that the business doesn't have to wait. Many times, if you're a CIO, you have to tell your business-owners that you've got to wait. "I need to go through. I'm in the midst of this outsourcing operation. I'm trying to change the way we're providing service to the business." That can take time."

The idea of putting the outsourced, migrated, modernized phases together is that they're not sequential. You don't have to do one, then the other, and then the other. You can actually start these activities in parallel. So, you can start giving benefits back to the business immediately.

For example, while you're doing the outsourcing activities and getting that transition set up, you're starting to put together what your future architecture is going to look like for your future state. You have to plan how the business processes should be implemented within the application and the strategic value of each application that you currently have in your portfolio.

You're starting to build that road map of how you are going to get to the end state. And then Even as you continue through that cycle, you're constantly providing benefits back to both the business and IT at the same time.

You really build that partnership between the two. So, when you reach the end, that is the completely well-oiled machine working together -- both the business and IT -- to reach their objectives.

Even as you continue through that cycle, you're constantly providing benefits back to both the business and IT at the same time.

Gardner: Let’s look at some examples that we mentioned earlier. This can vary dramatically from organization to organization, and coming at this from different angles means that they might prioritize it in different ways. Perhaps we can look at a couple of examples to illustrate how this can happen and what some of the payoffs are. Who wants to step up first for an example on doing these three steps?

Oathout: I'll go first. One example that we worked very closely was in services with our customer France Telecom. France Telecom transitioned 17 data centers to two green data centers. Their total cost of ownership (TCO) calculation said that they were going to save €22 million (US $29.6 million) over a three-year period.

They embarked on this journey by looking at how they were going to modernize their infrastructure and how they were going to set up their new architecture so that it was more flexible to support new mobile phone devices and customers as they came online. They looked at how to modernize their applications so they could take advantage of the new converged infrastructure, the new architectures, that are available to give them a better cost point, a better operational expense point.

France Telecom is a normal example where you consolidate 17 data centers to two, but it’s not abnormal when a company goes through this three-step process, to make a significant change to the IT footprint, make a significant change in how they do their business to support the lines of businesses that require new applications and new users to come online relatively quickly.

Gardner: Doug, how would you characterize the France Telecom approach? Which of the three did they emphasize?

Emphasis on migration

Oathout: They really emphasized the migration as the biggest one. They migrated a number of applications to newer architectures and they also modernized their application base. So, they focused on the last two, the modernization and the migration, as the key components for them in getting their cost reductions.

Gardner: Okay, any other examples?

Acklin: I'll talk about another one. The Ministry of Education in Italy (MIUR) is another good example, where a client has gone on this whole journey. In that situation, they had outsourced some of their capabilities to us -- some of their IT management. But, they were challenged with some difficult times. The economy hit them hard, and being a government agency, they were under a lot of pressure to consolidate IT departments globally.

It’s a very, very large organization built up over the years. Most of the applications were built back in the early 1980s or earlier than that. They were mainframe-based, COBOL, CICS, DB2 type applications, and they really weren’t servicing the business very well. They were really making it a challenge.

In addition to all of the legacy technologies, the CIO also had the challenge of consolidating IT departments. They had distributed IT departments. So, they had to consolidate their IT departments as part of this activity.

On top of all that, they were given the challenge to reduce their headcount significantly due to the economic crisis. So, it became a very urgent journey for this client to go on, and they began going through that. Their goal was, as I said, reducing IT, improving agility, being able to respond to change, and doing a lot more with a lot less people in a consolidated manner.

At the end they ended up seeing a 2X productivity improvement and return on investment (ROI) in less than 18 months. They reduced their app support by over 30 percent and they reduced their new development cost by close to 40 percent.

As they went through their transformation, they went through the whole thing. They assessed what they had. They put their strategy together and where they wanted to go. They figured out what applications they needed and how they were going to operate.

They optimized the road map for them to reach their future state, established a governance program to keep everything in alignment while they went on this journey, and then they executed this journey.

They used a variety of methods for modernizing their applications and migrating over to the lower cost platforms. Some of them they re-architected into new service-based models to provide services to their students and teachers through the web.

At the end they ended up seeing a 2X productivity improvement and return on investment (ROI) in less than 18 months. They reduced their app support by over 30 percent and they reduced their new development cost by close to 40 percent.

Those are significant challenges that the CIO took on, and the combination of improving their applications and infrastructure through outsourcing and modernization model helped them achieve their goal. The CIO will tell you that they could never have survived all the pressure they were under without going on a journey like this.

Gardner: Shawna, do we have a third example?

No particular order

Rudd: This is an example, not naming a specific client, but also making another point, that the things we're talking about don't have to occur in this particular order -- this one, two, three step order.

I know of other clients for whom we've saved around 20 percent by outsourcing their mainframe environments. Then, after successfully completing the transition of those management responsibilities, we've been able to further reduce their cost by another 20 percent simply by identifying opportunities for code optimization. This was duplicate code that was able to be eliminated or dead code, or runtime inefficiency that enabled us to reduce the number of apps that they required to manage their business. They reduced the associated software cost, support cost, etc.

Then there were other clients for whom it made more sense for us to consider outsourcing after the completion of their modernization or migration activities. Maybe they already had modernization and migration efforts underway or they had some on the road map that were going to be completed fairly quickly. It made more sense to outsource as a final step of cost reduction, as opposed to an upfront step that would help generate some funding for those modernization efforts.

Gardner: For those folks who see the need in their organization and understand the rationale behind these various steps, where do they get started, how can they find more information? Let me start with you, Doug. Are the information resources easily available.

Oathout: Well, Dana, there are a ton of different places to start. There's your HP reseller, the HP website, and HP Services. If a customer is thinking about embarking on this journey, I'd contact HP Services and have them come out and do a consulting engagement or an assessment to lay out the steps required.

If you're embarking on the journey on modernization, contact your HP reseller and HP seller and have them come show you how to do consolidation and virtualization to really modernize your infrastructure. If you're having the conversation about applications, contact HP Services. They can look at your application portfolio and show you the experience that they have in modernizing those applications or migrating those applications to modern equipment.

We'll cover everything from how to figure out what you have, what you are planning, how to build the road map for getting into the future state, as well as all the different ways that will impact your business and enterprise along the way.

Gardner: Any additional paths to how to start from your perspective, Larry?

Acklin: Let me add to that. If you're in situation where you think modernization, but you're not positive, you're still trying to get a good understanding of what's involved, go on one of these trainings. We offer something that's called the Modernization Transformation Experience Workshop. It's basically a one-day activity workshop, a slide-free environment, where we bring you and take you through the whole journey that you'll go on.

We'll cover everything from how to figure out what you have, what you are planning, how to build the road map for getting into the future state, as well as all the different ways that will impact your business and enterprise along the way, whether you are talking technology infrastructure, architecture, applications, business processes, or even the change management of how it impact your people.

We go through that entire journey through this workshop. So you come out understanding what's you're getting yourself into and how it can really affect you as you go forward. But, that's not the only starting point. You can also jump into this modernization journey at any point in the space.

Maybe, for example, you've already figured out that you needed to do this, maybe you've tried some things on your own in the past, but really need to get external help. We have assessment activities that allow us to jump in at any point along this journey.

Whether it's to help you see where there are code vulnerabilities within your existing applications that visually show you what those things look like and where opportunities are for modernization, or whether it's to do a full assessment of your environment and figure out how your apps and your infrastructure are working for your business or, in most cases not working for your business, it allows you to jump in at any stage throughout that whole journey.

As Doug mentioned, HP can help you figure out the right place for beginning that journey. We have hundreds of modernization experts globally who can help you figure out where to start.

Gardner: Do we have any other closing thoughts on the process of getting started?

Acklin: Let me just mention one other item. We talked about this cost of doing nothing. Don't let any fears or doubts about this journey stop you from beginning the journey. There are many things that can get you in trouble with that cost of doing nothing. That time is coming for you, when you're not going to be able to make those changes. So, don't let those fears stop you from going on that journey.

An example of this is financial. Many of our clients we talk to, don’t know how they would pay for a journey like this. Actually, you have a lot of options right in front of you that you can take advantage of. Our modernization consultants can give you some good methods on how to cover this, how to put things together like these three phase activities, or how to go on these journeys that can still work for you even in tough financial times.

Gardner: Great. We've been talking about improving overall data-center productivity by leveraging available sourcing options as well moving to modernized applications and infrastructure. I want to thank our guest for today's panel. We've been here with Shawna Rudd, Product Marketing Manager for Data Center Services at HP. Thank you, Shawna.

Rudd: Thank you.

Gardner: And Larry Acklin, Product Marketing Manager for Application Modernization Services at HP. Thank you, Larry.

Acklin: Thank you.

Gardner: And Doug Oathout, Vice President of Converged Infrastructure at HP Enterprise Services. Thanks, Doug.

Oathout: Thank you, Dana.

Gardner: This is Dana Gardner, Principal Analyst at Interarbor Solutions. You've been listening to a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast. Thanks for listening, and come back next time.

Listen to the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod and Download the transcript. Sponsor: HP.

Transcript of a sponsored BriefingsDirect podcast on making the journey to improved data-center operations via modernization and creative sourcing in tandem. Copyright Interarbor Solutions, LLC, 2005-2010. All rights reserved.

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