To be competitive, it’s imperative that your business look for ways to decrease costs and increase profits at every turn. And one area of the business to help achieve cost savings is in the management of your business-critical applications. The goal is to squeeze every ounce of value out of the technology driving your business-critical apps without jeopardizing the true backbone of your business. But depending on your current setup, you may be facing challenges.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common business scenarios and explore how each situation may be preventing you from getting the cost savings you need.
SCENARIO: Your Apps are On-Prem/Legacy
If all of your mission-critical apps are running on infrastructure you buy, provision and maintain, your business faces a number of cost-cutting challenges, including:
The expense of maintaining legacy infrastructure and applications: The longer your business-critical applications are stuck in your legacy systems, the longer you have to maintain those legacy systems, creating a patchwork of connectivity that oftentimes is tenuous at best. Low utilization and siloed environments can have an impact on your ability to be competitive, causing you to miss opportunities because you didn’t realize they existed.
Additionally, it’s more difficult to find (and more expensive to pay) specialized staff who have the skills necessary to maintain your legacy applications and code, which creates a situation that effectively backs you into a corner; after all, how much is “too much” when it comes to ensuring the technology that powers your business processes is up and running?
Slowed development and the potential to overinvest: With legacy systems, it’s easy to overinvest in the technology in the course of trying to achieve meaningful results. The limited capabilities of legacy environments often also either slows or completely eliminates the ability to develop and deliver new features or products.
It’s costly and time-consuming to refactor applications and data: Most legacy applications cannot be moved to the cloud without significant refactoring, requiring a major effort from engineering to ensure they meet the expected SLAs. If you try to cut corners on your refactoring, there’s a good chance your “new” applications will be less-than-efficient when running on the cloud, unnecessarily (and unexpectedly) boosting your cloud costs. Additionally, the time necessary to refactor applications and data can vary wildly, making it difficult to meet timelines and plan a roadmap—and therefore a budget.
It’s difficult to find the balance between overprovisioning and being ready for peak workloads: You want to have enough capacity/performance to take care of what you need and then extra for peak workloads and heavy use, but you don’t want to be paying for what you don’t need or creating a situation where your applications fail under the weight of heavy use. Finding that balance—and a provider who will work with you to achieve it—is key.
SCENARIO: Your Apps are in the Public Cloud
Moving your business-critical apps to the public cloud gives you more flexibility than an on-prem setup, but the capabilities of the public cloud today means that you’re still missing out on performance-enhancing and cost-cutting opportunities.
Your business is missing out on rich data services: While it’s true that moving to a cloud environment improves your agility over on-prem solutions, if you’re relying solely on a public cloud you are still missing out. For example, in a public cloud, if you have more than one application that needs data access, you must create a duplicate data set—effectively, multiple copies of the same data for each application. Additionally, if like many businesses you use multiple public clouds, you need to refactor and reengineer your applications and data each time you move them around – it’s easy to see where costs can quickly get out of hand.
Your costs to maintain cloud performance are rising: The “set it and forget it” model of many public clouds makes it easy to do just that—forget it. Because it’s so easy to buy cloud products and services, it takes a lot of discipline to ensure that your cloud costs don’t start increasing in the form of a hockey stick graph.
Another Concern: The Agility Factor
Regardless of whether your business is still functioning in an on-prem environment or you’ve moved to the public cloud, there’s a final element that can have a direct impact on your ability to reduce costs: agility.
Agility in your business is two-fold: First, your business needs to be agile enough to meet—and respond to—ever-changing requirements, trends and needs. If your business isn’t agile enough to meet these changes, there’s a good chance you could find yourself paying for technology capacity or performance that you really don’t need.
And if you’re relying on on-prem infrastructure, you’re completely lacking the flexibility and scale that agile businesses require. Think about it: if you need to scale up, you’re forced to buy more hardware and software to meet your needs. And what about if you need to scale down? Good question. You could always try to sell your unnecessary assets for a fraction of what you paid for them, but few companies want the time or trouble associated with that.
A Cost-Effective Way to Overcome Challenges
Do you see your own business in any of these scenarios? Is a lack of business or technical agility getting in the way of your ability to effectively scale? Thankfully, there is something you can do to overcome these challenges in a timely, cost-effective manner. In our next blog post in this series, we’ll explore the steps businesses should take to take control of their business-critical apps and associated costs and will let you know what you can expect as a result of implementing these changes. Stay tuned!