Agility and flexibility are expected if IT will enable their organizations to move forward. But adding new technology adds complexity to the mix: It requires more specialized staff to train and manage, more systems to maintain, and more worries about any business disruption if a critical application is unavailable.
As your environment becomes more distributed, it also becomes more amorphous, vulnerable and difficult to manage. Add in containers, software-defined data centers, machine learning and AI – what could possibly go wrong?
More than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies still have legacy applications running their critical business functions. Designed to run on premises, these applications are typically tightly coupled with the system’s service components, often with large numbers of critical dependencies between these components.
We recently shared research from Gartner on how to continuously modernize legacy applications with a business-focused approach.
Their research aligns with a TDS methodology we developed over the past 20 years. One key tenet is our belief that without a clear picture of all the relationships, dependencies, and critical business facts and requirements for each and every application, you face the potential risk of unplanned outages or regulatory compliance violations.
Thorough application-to-application and application-to-infrastructure mapping (including virtual, cloud and SaaS) will allow you to better understand the full impact of changes and make it easier to prioritize upgrade and migration options.
Make sure you have an understanding of your applications and their dependencies, including your application-to-application, application-to-services, and application-to-infrastructure dependencies. A clear depiction of upstream and downstream relationships is required to fully plan a migration or recover and communicate impact to stakeholders. In addition to the technical requirements, be sure to capture the business requirements for each application.
To do this, combine human wisdom with machine knowledge. Regardless of how you gather the information (ITSM, auto-discovery or spreadsheets), validate it with the application owner. Validating the data and application dependencies with subject matter experts mitigates the risk of missing key relationships and dependencies, enabling teams to make better decisions.
Identifying business constraints and requirements along with the data validation with application SMEs can be a critical factor in successful IT migration, cloud migration, failover, recovery and disaster recovery events.
We’ve developed an efficient process for gathering this information that makes efficient use of the SME’s time, and results in fewer meetings. (SMEs appreciate being asked, and believe me, it is much more effective than surveys and prevents issues down the road.)
TDS believes that having a full picture of your application landscape is a fundamental step toward building a roadmap for the future, a roadmap that enables you to balance the business need for user functionality and application availability with IT’s focus on technology and infrastructure stability and availability.