HP Enterprise reclaims 3000 manual library
Giving gratitude for 3000s and survival

Application portfolio work helps with moving

Moving van

Using the analogy of moving out of a house, an MB Foster Webinar shows how application portfolios can tell a company when it's sensible to move apps. Sometimes it's off the 3000 altogether, and then it triggers retirement. Migrations can lead that way. At Boeing, as well as TE Connectivity, retiring a 3000 app led to retiring longtime staff. It's better to have a plan of succession than no plan at all. Everyone's got to prepare for change, even if the preparation is just where to set up the man cave in the house.

It's possible to see a portfolio as the same kind of tool for IT that it is for personal finance. With the stock market roaring at present, more than a few 3000 experts are looking at cashing in to wrap up long careers. Deciding which portfolio elements to convert and migrate to no-risk instruments aids in the changes. MB Foster has made its bones mitigating risk. It's one of the original HP Migration Partner firms.

A classic four-quadrant chart outlines the scoring of applications. One axis shows a business fit, the other a technical fit. Nobody wants an application in the bottom left, low in both aspects. A business decision should drive most of the changes in IT. Score the business fit of applications in a portfolio first, Foster says. If it scores well there, go on to the technical fit.

The portfolio is the tool of governance, he added. Governing often ensures the neediest get resources as required. Application Portfolio Management is only possible if a company knows its applications very well. Very well requires documentation that can be shared over time. The assets in a portfolio can be judged to be worthy of migration based on their risk-benefit-value. What helps a company most, and what could you least afford to let fall into that inevitable lower-left box? Quadrant
It's usually a low number of apps that can fall off that chart completely, ready for retirement. The largest group is often suited for same-capability migrations when they creep downward. That 70 percent of the apps can get a lift-and-shift of their functionality, usually through replacement.

Working in advance makes it less painful and swifter. "It's like moving out of a house," Foster says. "If you go through your closets regularly, you'll be moving less of what you don't need." In this analogy, the closets are your data, which "has to be made available to the new app. It's not automatic."

When deciding whether to re-host (lifting code to another computer) or replace, the full range of software assets is inventoried. The real answer about what needs to be moved, and in what priority, comes from asking about the whole portfolio. While that study's going on, there are those closets to be cleaned. Few people do such cleaning, VEsoft's Vladimir Volokh says.

"They see a list of 100,000 files and do not want to scrap any of them," he said. "So they move everything to the new system." A tool like Vesoft's MPEX assists by managing those files. That's work that can take place even before a transition is underway. There's no such thing as Data Portfolio Management, but the governance of data is one way to practice for the informed choices of application governance.

Retiring applications is part of a succession plan. The aging of the HP 3000 workforce is upon us. Today when people refer to senior staff, they're also thinking senior citizens. Setting up an application two decades ago, or four, gave companies a durable asset. In time, the moment arrives for change. It can be transformation or elimination. When to set up an application portfolio? When assets degrade through declining business fit, agility, and maintainability.

Photo by HiveBoxx on Unsplash

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