Back in May, we hosted a live panel discussion “The Impact of Covid-19 on Technology Requirements & Investments” with our partners Magnus Poromaa, CEO of S04IT, Frédéric Warin, Enterprise Architect at Capgemini, and GigaSpaces’ Yoav Einav, VP Product, and Uri Zilberman, Partners & Alliances Director.
The main topic of discussion was how the Covid-19 crisis would impact businesses in terms of cost reduction and the pandemic’s effect on digital transformation initiatives. The session proved quite exciting when our panelists presented their varied opinions based on their experiences, resulting in a very lively and informative talk.
Let’s see what they had to say:
When prompted with the question “how can enterprises reduce costs in the short and long term” our panelists had very different points of view. Frederic Warin of Capgemini noted that “cost reduction can come from many sources, but one of them for sure, is a move to the cloud” which can help use IT resources more efficiently. Frederic advised that every organization must evaluate each system they use, its lifecycle, technology, criticality and more to determine if and how it should be moved to the cloud. Afterall, a move to the cloud will only give value if it is done correctly.
Magnus Poromaa of S04IT, on the contrary, added that “the idea of reducing costs for IT is simply…not gonna happen” but that there is a way to streamline IT costs, and it’s by simplifying the enterprises infrastructure and focusing on one platform and one programming language, —the key word being focus, in order to maintain the competitive edge.
Speaking of focus…there has been a lot of discussion recently on mainframes in the context of TCO and modernization. For organizations wanting to evolve according to business needs, and acquire both agility and elasticity, that can be challenging if their mission-critical applications are run on mainframes, and written in COBOL.
According to Yoav Einav, GigaSpaces VP Product, “the approach is to offload data processing from the mainframe to a modern platform in order to reduce MIPS and leverage modern coding languages, as well as being able to gradually modernize your mainframe and not lift and shift because of the amount of critical applications running on the mainframe”.
TCO Cost Reduction
Is there a difference in overall cost reduction for different types of legacy infrastructure? Our panelists were pretty much in agreement that mainframes are just one of the components that can reduce IT spending by up to millions of dollars a year. For cases like Hadoop On-Premise, in which organizations have a 100 to 200 node cluster, footprint can be easily reduced by 50% if it is built right. Similarly, organizations can reduce RDBMS (ie. Oracle DB) licensing costs by sizing resources for the “sustain mode” and not for peak loads. This can be accomplished by using different in-memory caching techniques that can automatically scale for any type of workload (with no downtime), avoiding the need to overprovision.
Our panelists were asked about the future, and how much the current health and economic crisis would affect digital transformation and/or what technologies might be invested in the years to come. The consensus was that the cloud is the “new normal” though not necessarily because of the pandemic.
Magnus noted that for organizations who want to migrate to the cloud in the next 3 to 5 years, taking the same software and same project from on-premise and deploying it in the cloud is a big no-no both in terms of cost and usability. Yoav discussed the advantages of Cloud Native platforms, leveraging Kubernetes and OpenShift which support on-premise, cloud and hybrid deployments.
Concerning Paas, Magnus said that when you look at a platform as a service “there you have to be very careful, because choosing a platform as a service from Google or Amazon or Microsoft – well, you’re going to stay there forever. That’s guaranteed. That’s the purpose of that solution.”
Yoav spoke of the benefit of cloud bursting to help on-premise legacy infrastructure scale efficiently for planned and unplanned peaks.
Frederic spoke about the need for elasticity for some business, but also the agility that the cloud provides especially for legacy infrastructure like the mainframe which is not evolving, and posing problems with growing and changing business requirements.
The fact is that most companies will be operating in a hybrid, multi-cloud environments and thus a move to the cloud must be both phased, and also strategic in terms of moving between clouds.
Covid & Digital Transformation
There’s no doubt that Covid-19 is changing the way we do business, and enterprises are pressured to accelerate their digital transformation initiatives while optimizing costs. The pressure is on to maintain expected service levels especially during peak loads with a strategic approach, and not continue to “bandaid” legacy solutions which is a solution and not cost-efficient.
Will the pandemic have a drastic effect on cost reduction and/or digital transformation in the years to come? And how long will it take enterprises to recover from the impact of Covid-19? We would love to hear your take.