Want to deploy engaging modern IT? Then start with your applications.....
End User Computing infrastructure has gone through a massive change in the last 2-3 years, both in terms of the adoption of cloud services, but also with changes to the product lifecycles of Microsoft and other major vendors.
This calls for a change of thinking in how government departments and other organisations manage their systems.
Traditionally, we think of infrastructure as a stack of services: Network, Storage, Compute, Virtualisation, Server, etc, going from the wires and boxes at the bottom, to the application sat on top. Increasingly the opposite is now true. Organisations are being held back in adoption of the new End User Computing technologies by Business applications and old client software that is too tightly integrated with the operating system, unnecessarily tied into the office suite and dependent on secure private LAN/WAN infrastructure.
We need to take that traditional view of the stack and flip it on its head. The applications go at the bottom, because, if you want the latest infrastructure, you need to modernise your applications.
Traditional .vs Future End User Computing Services:
When I say modernise I mean just that…. HMTL5, browser agnostic where possible or delivered and updated from a trusted/curated app store.
With the old 5 year cycle of upgrading operating systems and devices, organisations would put significant effort and expense into a cycle of testing, repackaging and fixing applications to work with a more modern platform. Frequently relying on packaging tricks, application virtualisation (AppV / Cloudhouse containers) or server-based computing to abstract the out of date application from the modern operating system and “keep it alive” for another 5 years.
Now major vendors such as Microsoft are changing to an “evergreen” model of regular feature releases updates, that 5 year cycle of looking at all those old business applications has compressed to become 6-monthly. With your ability to impact assess and plan ahead limited by when the vendor finalises the content of the next release, keeping your apps as they are will become more expensive and unpredictable.
The cost of remediating legacy applications:
The only sure fire way to avoid this expense is either to commit to the ongoing expense of abstracting old software from your EUCS solution with a Citrix or Cloudhouse “abstraction layer” or to commit to modernise your applications once and for all.
Traditionally, it has been hard or impossible to sell the expense of modernising applications to your business, when the users will see little or no functional change.
This is the reason why in 2017, several UK public sector organisations are still running key business applications with a "green screen" text user interface.
But with the changes mentioned above, the business justification becomes much clearer... Modernising your applications will enable infrastructure savings from the adoption of cloud End User Computing Services and hosting, enable the deployment of an engaging modern end user computing experience and avoid the cost and risk of ongoing application testing, remediation and abstraction products.
Put in these terms, application modernisation starts to look like a key part and pre-requisite of your infrastructure strategy.... rather than an unnecessary expense.
For more information about application remediation, managing evergreen IT in your organisation or the adoption of future end user computing services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.