Enterprise Software: Don’t Forget The Legacy

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Read why it’s critical for enterprises to focus on the known difficulties with legacy technologies, as they are the cause of a high degree of cost, complexity, and are far more challenging to operate at scale.

When reading industry news, you can’t escape the push towards the public cloud, platform as a service (PaaS), new languages, containers, orchestration, and continuous release. The modern enterprise must continue to transform to meet the demands of digital business and intense competition. At the same time, those initiatives are what we call bets, and they’re not a sure path to revenue and digital transformation. Some will work out and some will not, but agility and flexibility are the keys to this new marketplace.

The challenge, especially for companies based in San Francisco and Silicon Valley, is that living inside the tech bubble creates a distorted concept of the world outside. “Cloud First” is a common strategy, but rarely will an enterprise today say “Cloud Only” is their mode of operation.

Most of these new initiatives and bets are built upon legacy technologies that are proven to generate revenue and run a business. Most startups focus on solving new problems, but for larger enterprises, it’s critical to focus on the known difficulties with legacy technologies, as they are the cause of a high degree of cost, complexity, and are far more challenging to operate at scale. Reliability, resilience, and known technologies are the sure bets the enterprise makes. For enterprises to make bets on a startup, the technology and delivery must be proven, and others will follow. Adoption across a market within the enterprise typically takes some time — often many years.

Enterprises need a holistic partnership with software and service providers. This means that alignment to both business and IT landscapes is critical in ensuring positive outcomes and growth for the enterprise. Successful software and service providers understand that the customer life cycle starts before a sale, building business alignment and continuing after purchases with proven value, execution, and cost benefit. Laying this out and delivering that value is what vendors must do to meet the demands of enterprises and create momentum.

To remain a partner to an enterprise customer as a vendor, you must not only support their future challenges, but continue to address and align with their heritage of backbone technologies implemented long ago. A perfect example of this is at AppDynamics. We’ve created innovative technologies to extend APM into business monitoring, and are always adding the latest languages and platforms to our product, but our customers also need us to support their legacy technologies.

Innovation is possible on legacy systems to help reduce the burden of operating, deploying, and managing these systems, which are costly, complicated, and have increasingly fewer resources assigned to them. To help solve this, we’re working closely with proven specialists like IBM to create visibility into the mainframe. We also have similar projects with other providers to ensure that our customers’ most significant pain points — across past and future investments — are handled by AppDynamics.

AppDynamics is focused on constantly innovating to meet future market needs, while also listening to and meeting the demands of our customers to support the core systems which run their businesses. Over the next several months, you’ll see new capabilities coming from AppDynamics which will extend our leadership in the market and help solve the most complex problems for enterprises.

If you’d like to discuss how AppDynamics can help you, please contact me @jkowall on Twitter. I’m happy to hear from you and chat!