application retirement strategy

Application Retirement: The Fastest $100,000 Cost Take Out in the History of IT

It is only February and already some of the IT leaders I talk with are thinking about how to stretch their 2017 budget to meet critical business needs. You probably recognize their challenge: more and more of their budget goes to increasing operational costs at the expense of new initiatives.

The Low-Hanging Fruit Never Picked

The lowest-hanging fruit on the IT cost-savings tree is probably the cost of applications that are no longer in use but still in place, acting as very expensive content storage. A lot of enterprise applications end their lives with an extended phase in which they are “dead, but just don’t know it yet.” They still consume license and maintenance budgets as well as operational resources, even though their sole remaining purpose is to meet the needs of users to find and access historical content.

Why are these “undead” applications left in place?  Why not just drive a stake through their heart, to mix zombie and vampire metaphors?

Applications like this are hard to kill because there are multiple stakeholders (seriously, no pun intended).  The business, the IT Operations team, the legal and compliance leaders and the keepers of the budgets; they all have an interest in what happens to that application and the content it contains.  

Gaining consensus and commitment from that diverse group is very difficult. In the face of that challenge, the path of least resistance and with the least risk to careers is just to leave the application in place, “just in case” continued access to its content is needed.

Grab the Apple, Save a Pretty Penny

There is a simple solution to this situation – one that pays very well. Application retirement strategies move the content from “all but dead’ applications to an accessible repository with controlled access, full search and retrieval capabilities, and the ability to utilize lower cost storage.

The result is immediate, and often sizable, cost take-out. Writing this in February, there is the potential for some organizations to take out $100,000 in cost as early as Q2 of 2017, by ending license and maintenance agreements and reducing storage and operations costs.

Selling the stakeholders on this strategy is made far simpler through the execution of a simple proof-of-concept, where the archiving is done and the results confirmed — all the access and controls are in place — before retiring the original application. We do POC projects like this, often at no cost, just to prove to everyone how easy it is.

But Wait, There’s More!

Want an additional set of benefits, beyond cost take-out, that come with an application retirement strategy? At least one based on Everteam’s solution? When we archive application repositories, we enable full records management and compliance capabilities, including advanced retention management and litigation hold functionality. So compliance is increased, and regulatory risk is reduced.

At the same time, you can reduce information theft by securing the archives so that penetrations that make it past the firewall are thwarted at the repository level. And as the cherry on top, we have federated search functionality and sophisticated content analytics capabilities that can target multiple archived repositories.

Think about it. Other than retiring an unneeded application, where else are you going to free up a few hundred thousand dollars in your 2017 budget?  Money you could use on “net new” initiatives that deliver critical functionality needed by the business.

Ken Lownie
VP Customer Success

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