In a year of belt tightening, the likes of which most of us have never seen before, the first (and sometimes only) conversation that I have with a CIO is about how he/she can save money on IT.

At EMC we have many technologies that are focused squarely on efficiency. From tiered storage, to virtualization, to data de-duplication, much of what we do is to help companies do more with less and gain maximum leverage from their information. So we’re well positioned. However, one of the biggest CIO focus areas is managing the overhead costs of the ever-increasing number of applications across an enterprise. As one CIO put it, “new applications never seem to completely replace old ones – so old applications never really die.”

Old applications are the bane of IT. You know the ones. They are running on some hardware platform that was built when most of us were in elementary school,  by people who are nowhere to be found (but are likely at a rest home in Florida), and the one person who vaguely knows how to maintain it is actively planning next year’s retirement. All the while the software and hardware maintenance bills are crushing your budget. Sound familiar?

When I ask what keeps people from simply pulling the plug, the most common answer is “we don’t really use it much but we need access to the data.” In fact, studies show that more than half of the “living dead” applications running today are only used to insure access to information, buried inside a database so turning off the application also means losing the data. 

Well, maybe not anymore.

As I was out visiting customers and spending time with our sales teams, I found a solution that had literally been created in the field, by our customers and partners, revolutionizing how companies can save money. The solution is straightforward – built in a way to preserve the data with access to the information; secure and govern that legacy data according to policy; and repurpose, integrate and mine the data with other content – all while enabling organizations to completely retire the old applications and associated hardware and software.

I think this approach is perfectly-timed for this economic environment. The cost saving derived (retirement of legacy systems, lower maintenance and personnel costs) could deliver a rapid return on the investment. So, I’m happy to report that you can save money on IT, and that old man can still rest comfortably in retirement.





Read More