Getting Out of the IT Business (Part 2)

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In Part 1 of this post, we talked about the business/mission advantages of federal agencies moving legacy applications to a GovCloud. But we acknowledged that it is not easy and that agencies are not flocking to the cloud as was hoped. Congress is ratcheting up the pressure on agencies to 1) address the legacy application problem and 2) move IT services to the cloud. In this post, we’ll identify two low-risk approaches to migrate legacy applications to the cloud and begin reaping mission and financial benefits.

Application portfolio rationalization

Many federal government agencies, particularly DoD, have a large portfolio of legacy applications. It is daunting to try to determine which are candidates for cloud migration, what the priority of moves should be, and even the dependencies between applications. And many larger agencies have duplicate capabilities and rarely used applications.

Application portfolio rationalization (APR) is a means to identify and prioritize applications that can be moved to the cloud and eliminate those that no longer serve a useful purpose. The wrong approach to APR can be a real slog that takes years and gets mired in endless data calls. Years ago, NTT DATA recognized how difficult APR can be and developed a metrics-based APR process that captures objective and subjective data that can be used to complete a meaningful analysis. Our approach is tailored to each organization where it is applied and can be completed in months, even for large portfolios.

Custom developed applications make up the bulk of government legacy applications. For decades, that was the only approach that could satisfy the unique requirements of the government. Replacing those antiquated applications with custom developed solutions is cost prohibitive, and that cost is a primary driver of continued use of legacy applications, even when they are unable to adapt to current mission needs. Forrester coined the term “low coding” for a new approach to application development where numerous COTS components that are packaged in a platform that is, by design, highly configurable and highly extensible. The platform is designed to be extensible with limited coding required, hence the name.

Low coding results in a high-quality solution that is highly customized and can be developed six to ten times faster than custom coding. The low coding platform delivers solutions that are cloud ready and can leverage the cost savings of scalability in the cloud. NTT Data has significant experience in low coding solutions and sees it as a path from legacy app to the cloud at a significantly reduced cost.

Post Date: 21/04/2016

Barry Westaway

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