Following a mandate from its computer vendor, assets and insurance management firm ING Australia Ltd. completed a “lift and shift” migration away from HP 3000 systems during 2008. The company said it chose to re-host rather than rewrite to reduce risk and cut the cost of the migration.
Speedware’s professional services group worked for months on the ING project, deploying resources on the behalf of the financial firm such as onsite consulting and application code revisions. CIO Greg Booker said the project, which spanned more than 19 months including breaks, gave ING a large return from its large project. But the company had first begun to rewrite its applications before it changed strategy.
“In the end, the project turned out to be very cost-effective,” Booker said. “We calculated that the cost of the re-hosting project, combined with the resulting maintenance costs over the next 10 years, would be four to five times less expensive than if we had continued with our rewriting project. That translates into a lot more money that can be invested into innovative projects focused on helping to grow our business.”
Booker said “Speedware worked closely with our team, driving for absolute reliability and low risk.” ING’s financial and insurance applications handle investments and superannuation — in essence, a type of 401K product — for companies in Australia.
Speedware’s general manager Andy Kulakowski said that when large companies look at migration, a good plan makes them most likely to achieve the greatest gains. Speedware calls the process “modernization,” a multiple-step approach that starts with shifting 3000 apps onto a vendor-supported platform. Enhancement then follows the shift.
“Our recent success in this area shows that, with proper planning and analysis, larger companies have the most to gain from modernization,” Kulakowski said.
Andrea McCarley, the deployment manager for the migration project ING called Chrysalis, said that HP’s exit from 3000 support sparked the migration onto HP-UX.
“There’s a constant evaluation of your environment and the resources you’re spending to support it,” she said, “but I think the compelling driver is the end-of-life issue — and to what extent HP would be able to support the  going forward.”
ING assessed that a dozen patches were applied to the 3000 in the 12 months prior to the migration project. The company said that the news that HP would curtail patch creation for the 3000 at the close of 2008 added to the business risk of continuing to run on the platform.
The third-party support landscape in Australia does not offer a large company that is stepping in for HP, she added. “You have an issue of whether you could even get parts, whether it’s hardware or the operating system patches. There wasn’t an obvious candidate that could provide the level of comfort and service you would want for a production system.”