HP Offers Help Bringing Legacy Applications to SOA

Hewlett-Packard announced yesterday a bundle of application modernization services designed to help large enterprises do some IT housekeeping and set a roadmap that will lead them to a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

Paul Evans, worldwide director of Application Modernization Services at HP, said that companies look to become more agile, reduce costs and improve the relationship between IT and business. As they do so, they are running up against a tangle of legacy applications that has grown organically over the years. Before companies can move forward, they must sort through the tangle.

Five Services

HP is offering five basic services. Three are heavily analytical — in other words, they delve into the legacy applications, figure out what they are, what they’re doing and whether they should be kept wholesale, reworked, outsourced or scrapped, Evans told CRM Buyer. The fourth and largest service is about designing and implementing a new architecture, and the last is about supporting going forward in the roadmap.

“Nobody gets excited about the topic of maintenance,” Phil Murphy, principal analyst at Forrester Research, told CRM Buyer. However, he said, the tide is turning toward looking at those old applications. “There is a new trend towards CIOs needing, wanting to turn their attention to that 75 to 80 percent of the budget that they’ve ignored for a decade.”

“Everyone’s attention is fixated on new things,” Murphy explained. “Once they’re done and developed, they forget about them. Now CIOs and others are realizing, ‘We don’t have any way of knowing how well or poorly we’re managing that part of the business.'”

Closer IT, Business Ties

This is what HP Services’ application modernization plan attempts to change.

“The goal is to take whatever is coming down from corporate governance, take the big initiatives and tie them to IT, which has been inhibited in the past by costly applications,” said Terri Schoenrock, director of the Global Managing Principal, Enterprise Application Services Program Office for HP’s Services Consulting & Integration.

Murphy predicted mass demand for this type of service in the coming years. “This is something virtually every large company needs to address. Let’s figure out what we have, what we can carry forward to SOA and streamline it,” he said. “Because existing groups of applications are so large and expensive, if you can reduce costs by 30 percent over there, you can double your new project budget.”

Worldwide Reach

Evans said HP Services has identified 700 target customers for the service, which will be offered worldwide. Within about three months, consultants will have sifted through the legacy applications, identified the biggest challenges and needs of the company and designed a roadmap with discernible achievement points.

“Companies today don’t want to bite off the whole apple. They want a way to get started, a way to get moving so they can recognize an impact,” Schoenrock said.

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