The Traditional IT Lifecycle is Inefficient $$$

Tracey Flanders Published Jan 11, 2016 at 1:13 PM MST by Tracey Flanders Tags Cloud, Integration, Lifecycle, Enterprise  Leave comment

As Enterprise IT leaders seek more efficient ways to spend their ever shrinking IT budgets. They soon realize the life span of aging an infrastructure is an ongoing race for operations teams to maintain and stay in front of the technology, maintenance and customer demands. 


"These disruptions directly impact the business because of these ongoing migrations with poor execution and unforeseen issues."


 

Most enterprises realize that they do not want to be in the infrastructure business because of the cost and complexity associated with upgrades and the limited life span of hardware, typically 4-6 years. Based on the evolution and improvements amid old and new hardware, many upgrades become fork-lifts. Completely swapping out and migrating over to faster and more efficient hardware, rather than upgrading small components. These disruptions directly impact the business because of these ongoing migrations with poor execution and unforeseen issues. 


"...aging hardware is costly to support, maintain and warranty..."


IT Technology LifeCycle   

It's inevitable that enterprise IT will face the need to upgrade or replace infrastructure installed 6+ years ago, without any documentation or tribal knowledge. The usual upgrade path consists of replacing critical parts of the infrastructure that requires downtime for all customers, even in so called High Availability environments. That will require a lot of time researching and reverse engineering, or perhaps specialized consultation with the original vendor or a 3rd party. Let’s not forget that it’s also likely no longer under warranty and/or supported, often increasing the stakes. Then it’s no surprise that aging hardware is costly to support, maintain and warranty with vendors. It is almost always cheaper to buy new technology than it is to keep the old. Hardware virtualization solved a lot of the issues with migrating off of hardware, with tools to help evacuate virtual machines. Seems like an easy fix, but the challenge is not just swapping out hardware.

 

"Software licensing is expensive..."


Applications add another dimension to the life cycle of IT support. Software licensing is expensive, so the opposite can be true with software. Enterprises may wish to keep software as long as they can because it's always going to be cheaper than purchasing newer versions, unless you keep purchasing support contracts. Inevitably most software vendors retire support for older versions of software that still works as expected. Vendors want you to buy the latest and greatest. If you've ever upgraded your home pc or smart phone you know that sometimes newer isn't always better. It can be slower and riddled with annoying bugs. Thus forcing you to upgrade to the latest next-gen, more expensive hardware. As mentioned before, hardware has a shorter life span compared to software, and that's mainly because we keep pushing the envelope to squeeze the most efficiency out of hardware technology. 

 

"In comes Cloud and DevOps, Next-Gen IT."

 

Conclusion

It's inevitable that companies will inherit older assets through company acquisition or in various customer support models. All of which slows the business down and requires a highly specialized and fully staffed IT group with time consuming infrastructure upgrades. So what's the answer to this dilemma that plaques IT? Leaving most enterprise infrastructures held for ransom by large vendors who push us to their latest hardware and/or software? The answer is to get out of the infrastructure business and let someone else who specializes in managing infrastructure. In comes Cloud & DevOps; imagine only worrying about building your applications at scale and not necessarily worrying about the infrastructure it rests on. That frees up your operational and development teams to focus on fixing and improving actual impactful business problems.





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