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SAM, Obsolescence, IT Transformation and Open Source

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I think the topic is quite hot, so I’d like to share it with all of you: a lot of client are actually managing the end of support for older version of some products (especially MS SQL Server and Win Servers).

It forces them to make an assessment of the deployed SW to know the applications that need to be migrated. Often it is a big effort (and cost) to migrate these applications because they can need some refactoring, how can we reduce the cost of these risky and expensive activities?
My advice is to make a step further in the analysis and conside the opportunity to migrate to less expensive SW stack. In fact, actually, Open Source software is mature and it is possible to think of a “replatforming” on Linux/SomeOpenSourceDB.

Before starting your migration, compare cost of two scenarios; be careful to make a fair analysis you have to consider the full migration cost and the total cost ownership for some years.

Let us assume that the cost components are:
One shot costs:
– Refactoring application (dev)
– Test
– New licenses (if the license is not in subscription mode)
– Creating new skills and team in the company (if not existing)
– Create new server farm (if not existing)

Recurrent costs
– Support
– Software assurance
– Subscription price: (if the license is in subscription mode)

To have the full cost we should consider some others topic (ie the effect on hardware , performances) but to keep it simple I limit the analysis to the few ones described above
Here are the basis for analysis of the two scenarios:
1) Vendor Scenario: migrate to the last version of “same product” of the actual vendor
2) OS Scenario: migrate to Open source stack

Just to correct a common error: Open source doesn’t mean free, you may have to pay licenses cost some times but usually they are really less expensive

The choice is not so easy, but take the time to make the good one, don’t consider only economics but risks (don’t forget compliance fees), change management, a stronger position versus Vendor in negotiation, security, innovation, integration, virtualization etc.

Be aware that nothing forces you to migrate all the applications, maybe you can choose to migrate just some of them.

About the Author:

rafaelRafael Aniello | Head of CIO Advisory Sia Partners Italy | LinkedIn

With technical and managing background, Rafael has been involved in System Information transformation and project/program management, driving and implementing strategic changes to public and private customers in a wide range of business areas. Actually, he is involved in CIO advisory with special focus on ICT performance and Software Asset Management.