Is Your Legacy Weighing You Down?

By Jason Mundy August 7, 2014

Ball and ChainFor IT leaders and decision makers on the front lines, the accelerated shift to Cloud computing is squarely focused on moving workloads to a more flexible and cost-effective infrastructure.  BUT, for the business this entails more than swapping out infrastructure or adopting the latest built-for-the-Cloud applications that dominate the Hot Startup headlines of Business Insider and Wired.

Put simply, in corporate IT the real pay off is going to be realized  in the improved stability, agility, and speed Cloud delivers to applications; plus the innovation and value creation opportunities it will provide to IT departments eager for an infusion of flexibility and scale.

It’s fair to categorize the typical enterprise architecture as laden with legacy applications that are monolithic and fragile.  The manpower and budget required to maintain these applications can severely hamper  an IT organization’s ability to drive innovation. In other words, IT is spending so much of its time – and dollars  – just keeping the lights on with legacy infrastructure applications that do not have the budget or bandwidth to deliver the modern, mobile, social and collaborative applications that will create strategic value for the business.  In a business world quickly moving toward cloud-native applications, that outdated model isn’t sustainable any longer.

Cloud presents IT with the opportunity to snap  the loop  of this legacy application debt. According to a recent IDC study, by modernizing just 50% of application workloads and moving them to a hybrid Cloud, IT could reduce operations, hardware and software costs by as much as 28% (see figure below).

cloud infrastructure cost reduction stats

But the BIG payoff from modernizing application infrastructure and shifting to hybrid cloud extends much further. This is achieved by reinvesting those savings to significantly increase business agility; helping you bring new applications to market 2X faster, and allowing you to spend more time developing the IT innovations that will drive new revenues, profits, and growth for your business.

IDC Infographic IconThere is also the additional benefit of a much-improved end-user experience, which happens – almost organically- as a result with faster application release cycles, increased user adoption and reduced downtime. Need proof? Hear it from the experts: see the new IDC multimedia overview  and the associated IDC infographic (click the image to the right and save-as to download) for an in-depth look into this shift.

So how does IT go about cutting legacy debt and modernizing their application portfolio? EMC recommends a 3 step approach that can begin depending on where a customer’s IT needs currently sits  or how far they are along in their application transformation strategy.

  • First, IT must align the application portfolio to the business strategy and key investment areas.
  • Next, make a data driven determination of what applications are best suited for the Cloud, and which Cloud model makes the most sense for its business – public, private or hybrid.
  • Finally, re-platform and migrate applications to the target architectures.


It is  imperative for IT leaders to understand that this is not a “futures” discussion. Weighing  the staggering pace of cloud adoption by businesses against the aforementioned savings and innovation benefits highlighted by IDC, IT organizations could  consider themselves competitively vulnerable if they haven’t started down the path of application modernization.

It’s no secret that IT is at a watershed moment facing increasing pressure to develop more strategic and intelligent business uses of technology. Staying ahead of the pitfalls of aging legacy applications with an eye toward leveraging cloud for optimum results, that’s forward thinking at its finest.

About Jason Mundy

Jason is the Senior Director of Portfolio Marketing for Global Services at EMC. His team leads the marketing effort for EMC's global professional services portfolio. He is a 10 year veteran of EMC and has held increasing levels of marketing responsibility in Global Services spanning Professional and Customer Services, Online Support Services and Education Services. Jason was a key member of the EMC, Cisco and VMware team that launched the VCE Coalition and was integral to developing VCE’s first partner program. Prior to EMC Jason worked at Parametric Technology Corporation and Intellution, Inc. (a division of General Electric) in sales and marketing roles. Jason holds a BS in Industrial Manufacturing Engineering from the University of Rhode Island and an MBA in General Management and Marketing from Boston University.

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