While you might think you’re being economical by keeping your old systems running, ageing IT infrastructure brings a lot of hidden costs in the form of performance degradation, rising maintenance costs, and energy inefficiencies.
In a 2016 report, IDC states that by neglecting to upgrade server infrastructure in a timely fashion, IT organisations can lose up to 39% of peak performance and add up to 40% in application management costs and up to 148% in server administration costs.
Are you really getting good value for money by keeping your infrastructure in house? Do you really need to invest in expensive (and often underused) onsite equipment, only to watch it plummet in value? Would the operating costs associated with having your own onsite data centre be better spent elsewhere in the business? These are some of the questions that may prompt a migration elsewhere.
In a previous blog, we explained why IT managers shouldn’t put off an infrastructure migration project. But the reality is, when faced with budget challenges, most organisations avoid capital expenditures (CapEx) and seek alternatives to acquiring new hardware platforms, such as lengthening server lifecycles and extending software licenses.
But there are alternatives to CapEx spending. Data centre consolidation and rightsizing by combining systems will lower licensing and operational expenses while increasing capacity. There’s also the option of moving to the cloud. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) adoption offers a way of progressively upgrading your infrastructure with targeted migrations that allow you to maximise the benefits of your platform move.
Most companies begin their IaaS migrations by moving commodity workloads to the cloud. Typically, these include Web servers – which can be set up inside a virtual machine and run on an IaaS platform with relatively little change – and test and development environments, which can be quickly created, used for testing new software, then deleted once testing is complete.
This is important with the growing pressure on IT to reduce fixed costs from the business. At the same time as they’re expected to make the infrastructure more reliable, IT managers are being told to free up dollars to fund the business’ growth and digital transformation agenda. To reduce costs and support business growth plans, you need to cut the amount you spend on legacy IT.
Software ages too
It’s not just hardware that causes problems. According to an earlier IDC report, The Cost of Retaining Aging IT Infrastructure, most software is designed for a three-year optimal life. The report states: “Beyond that threshold, patching becomes a more frequent activity — and most companies lose interest in keeping up with the more frequent upgrades. Migrating to newer software while running on the same hardware platform creates compatibility issues and business alignment issues of its own.”
Unfortunately, it gets worse. If system software is end-of-life, security patches may no longer be provided, leaving systems vulnerable. After five years of use, the cost of replacement climbs.
Maintaining a modern IT environment is becoming a critical success factor for companies
in most industries. Internal and external customers expect consistent service quality, which in theory should be easy to deliver with the right systems in place. In reality, however, many IT organisations struggle on this front – the key culprit being ageing infrastructure that continues to grow in complexity as more and more applications are added to it. When this happens, it’s time to consider an infrastructure migration.
Data centres consist of complicated racks of hardware running all kinds of software, connected by a lot of cabling. So, when a company plans to migrate an application, a business group or perhaps the entire IT infrastructure to a new platform, it can cause a panic.
Hold off on panicking for now. In next week’s blog, we’ll run through what IT managers need to consider before starting an infrastructure migration project.