With almost any growing IT landscape, our customers express two seemingly contradictory objectives:
- IT costs are too high and need to be reduced.
- Data needs to be maintained to address governance requirements throughout its lifecycle.
Florian Piaszyk’s mission at Germany-based fme group (which recently joined the InfoArchive Consortium) is to help guide companies through such complex tasks. In the blog below, he describes some of the typical challenges and real-world approaches to help IT address these challenges, transform, and “renovate for the future”.
In my experience, a typical IT environment consists of two primary categories, which most of the time and resources are spent on:
Legacy Systems, comprising applications that have been superseded by new solutions or have been inherited as a result of a business acquisition. These are of low value, but must be supported to ensure access to the data is available to meet compliance regulations and reporting, audit or legacy discovery. They are often running on non-supported infrastructure, and there is limited knowledge of the applications within the company. They are expensive to support and represent a risk to the business.
Active Applications, which support the day-to-day running of the business. Applications that run on high-end servers, high-cost storage platforms and are supported by expensive backup systems and configured for high availability and disaster recovery. As the volumes of data being generated and managed by these systems grows, so do the costs. Without effective management, performance degrades, backups cannot be completed in available windows, additional software licenses are required, and upgrading applications becomes extremely difficult and time consuming.
It is likely that organizations trying to solve these issues will have introduced some form of archiving tools. Typically these are “point solutions” addressing a particular system or data type and result in the creation of an increased number of information silos. Or they use backup as an archive, which ultimately addresses only the compliance challenge, but doesn’t offer data management or cost reduction benefits, and can introduce other challenges.
Today, companies have a great opportunity to reduce the complexity of their IT landscape, if they consider the following recommendations:
- Sophisticated tools – to ensure simplicity (ironically) you need sophisticated tools to help you determine what goes where and in what form it’s preserved and to handle compliance requirements in regulated environments.
- Product documentation – check to see that your vendor’s documentation is clear and straightforward, so you can get started on your own, right out of the box.
- Customer service and training sessions – be sure the vendor you work with can provide superior capabilities when you deploy something new. Especially if it’s a more complex situation they should be experienced in advising you on the best project approach.
With this approach, they can simultaneously achieve the following:
- Increase the performance and reduce the storage and backup cost of their infrastructure by separating static from active content,
- Manage structured and unstructured information in a single enterprise archive, and
- Quickly and react flexibly to different requirements of archiving, decommissioning or even migration projects.
Bottom line? It’s simple. When addressing IT complexity is done right, IT transforms and is better prepared for to address the needs for the future.
When considering a data migration, archiving or app decommissioning project, are you taking the “simple” approach?