As scores of enterprises embark on their digital transformation journey, an urgent need to modernize legacy infrastructure and application and improve the overall technical debt has emerged.
Like a financial debt, technical debt incurs interest payments, which comes in the form of the extra effort that organizations need to invest in future development, because of the `quick and dirty’ design choice they sometimes end up making.
At this crossroad, companies are faced with two choices: to continue paying the interest (i.e. spend more on future development cycles) or pay down the principal by refactoring the `quick and dirty’ design into a more functional design.
How do Google cloud and Wipro, who are partners in application migration and modernization, confront technical debt?
When it comes to a transition to cloud, they consider technical debt, cloud maturity, and migration patterns in the context of organizational benefit and time. They also factor in compelling events such as contractual imperatives (like Data Center managed services, Hardware renewal cycle, or lease renewal) and business risks associated with driving change in the various parts of the application/infrastructure estate.
Let’s consider the example of a world class bank that was modernized with Wipro and Google cloud. The bank worked with legacy technologies with multiple EOL windows estate and unsupported software versions. This resulted in a rigid IT landscape with slow turnaround of services and a huge technical debt that impacted approvals from regulators.
To simplify the bank’s technology landscape, Wipro and Google cloud modernized all unsupported software versions to avoid EOL support, and moved them to opensource. They also established modernization patterns and drove full stack operations to optimize run cost.
Clearing technical debt shouldn’t be limited only to home grown applications, but include classic enterprise packaged applications, and associated workflows as well.
How does an enterprise migrate their Windows workloads to cloud without sacrificing the sunk costs of MSFT licenses, or locking themselves in to pay the technical debt of running and supporting Windows?
To resolve this issue, Google cloud offers its customers a unique program, the Microsoft Modernization Program, and provides them with GCP (Google Cloud Platform) credits for a portion of their Windows licenses.
This provides customers with a path forward - to move to the cloud - while still incentivizing them to modernize their Microsoft Windows. More broadly, the Google cloud ecosystem lends itself to providing customers a path to move off - and thus pay off technical debt - for legacy Microsoft systems like MS SQL, Exchange, and Windows laptops.
There are numerous instances where the Google cloud program helped reduce technical debt for enterprises. Lush, a British cosmetics retailer, reduced hosting costs by 40% and migrated to cloud in 22 days. Colgate, a consumer products MNC, migrated 28,000 employees to Workspace in 6 months.
Talking about packaged applications, Wipro itself is a great example to follow on how it reduced the technical debt related to their internal SAP estate by migrating their complex SAP landscape successfully to GCP leading to benefits like lower TCO (total cost of ownership), greater agility and speed by having the provision for new SAP system in minutes.and greater flexibility through multi-platform support.
Technical debt is not only about clearing past debts, but also about minimizing present and future debt. Typical modernizations take an app centric view of the enterprise, which does not provide a comprehensive roadmap to minimize technical debt.
Google cloud, on the other hand, follows a `It’s about Services, not applications’ approach, where seamless DevOps skills and practices are pegged as the keys to success.
Google cloud’s Business Service Orientation process analyzes an enterprise’s existing business service portfolio to identify and rectify the technology limitations that hinder the delivery of necessary services in an efficient and timely manner. During this process each service is evaluated on the following criteria:
- Lead time required to add new features to the service.
- Constraints on releasing updates to the service.
- Ease of recovery from any service disruption.
- Frequency of failures during service updates/upgrades.
These criteria help them measure the performance of software delivery within a business, along with the capabilities that allow smooth delivery or the limitations that hinder it.
Google cloud and Wipro’s futuristic innovation program adopts a modern approach to minimize technical debt – both today and tomorrow. A testimony to that approach is the Metro Cloud competence hub which Wipro & Google Cloud developed along with their customer, Metro to accelerate digital transformation. The key driving elements of this initiative are:
- Education: Enabling training and education to Metro employees regarding cloud adoption.
- Cloud adoption:Migrating to cloud to provide higher flexibility and scalability to Metro’s customers.
- Innovation: Providing tools and resources to drive innovation.