Best processes through experience

Managed Services Apps are among an organisation’s most strategic assets: they’re where most of the work gets done. But that doesn’t mean apps are treated like royalty. At almost every big organisation we see, the app estate is in a state of chaos; poorly documented, haphazardly managed and growing uncontrollably. The chaos is causing many businesses to put off large-scale desktop migration projects. A new Dimension Data study for Forrester Research found that only 27% of organisations have so far implemented desktop virtualization, and only 13% have completed the migration to Windows 7. It’s not that there’s no will to do it – it’s the complexity. As Dimension Data CTO Etienne Reinecke points out: “Organizations looking at desktop virtualization as a silver bullet to address desktop challenges must first understand their business drivers, workforce demands and the state of their application ecosystems before defining their next-generation desktop roadmap.” That’s not just true for VDI but for any large application migration project. Without the right preparation, migrations will be horrifically complex and expensive. In our experience, $1 spent on upfront intelligence can save $8-15 in packaging and testing alone. So what can you do to ensure your migration doesn’t cost the earth? One good answer is not to do it yourself. Rather than tie up your own techies in endless discovery, testing, packaging, sequencing and bug-fixing, get a managed service provider (like us) to do it for you. Of course we’re going to say that – it’s what we do for a living, in fact we’ve migrated over 4 million users already. But with the complexity of today’s application environments, a managed service approach means migrations are infinitely:
  • Faster: we have the knowledge, tools and processes accumulated from many similar migration projects.
  • Cheaper: best-practice approaches to application rationalization and license optimization can slash the size and cost of your app estate, making for a smaller and leaner environment to migrate.
  • More strategic: While we focus on the migration, you can focus on creating value for the business.
  • Governance: working with us you gain the expertise and the tools to keep your app estate permanently under control – reducing cost and ensuring business as usual.
Next Steps To find out more about how you could save money with a managed service for your application migration projects, download our Application Migration Intelligence eBook.

Migrate with efficiency

Migration Costs Take one glance at the news and it’s clear that economic worries haven’t gone away.  But despite the need to keep costs down, there are some things you can’t keep putting off – and Windows 7 migration is one of them.  It’s expensive, but the more you delay, the more expensive it will get. So how can you be sure your  Windows 7 migration – or any large migration project for that matter – doesn’t become a bottomless pit? Here are four ways you can save money and enjoy a smoother migration: 1) Avoid Duplication: A Windows 7 migration is an ideal opportunity to build an agile app estate ready for  virtualisation, cloud, mobile or any other challenge. Doing it in one process means you don’t have to repeat your work and processes for a second or third time. 2) Automated Discovery:  You need a thorough understanding of your app estate before you move or you’ll be wasting time and money in all sorts of ways: migrating unused apps, discovering dependencies too late, trying to migrate apps that are never going to work on the new platform.  A comprehensive, automated discovery phase is critical to keeping costs down.  (And you don’t want to be doing it manually or it will take months. You’re going to need integrated, automated discovery and compatibility testing tools. We use – and naturally recommend – our own Camwood Survey for discovery and AppTitude from App-DNA for app-compat testing.) 3) Rationalise: Why pay to migrate all the apps you don’t need? That adds up to hundreds of man-days in testing, packaging and sequencing – not to mention millions of pounds in licensing, support and management costs going forward. We’ve got more on this subject. 4) Capture Knowledge: Large-scale migrations are often so stressful that no one wants to think about the next one. Stick it in a spread-sheet and the knowledge gleaned during the migration will soon be forgotten, meaning you need to start from scratch when the next time comes around. Documenting your apps and processes now will save a whole lot of work – and money – later. Better still, use an application lifecycle management (ALM) tool to make sure that all relevant info about every app (utilisation, license cost, categorisation, compatibility, dependencies…) is always available.  (Can we recommend an ALM tool? Why, we just happen to have one of our own – it’s what we use for every client migration we undertake, and we wouldn’t even consider doing a project without it.) If you’ve got upwards of 500 apps in your estate, a large migration is always going to be complex. But why make it more complex and more expensive than it needs to be. Here are a couple of resources to help you get your migration on the right track: Next Steps Our 11 Mistakes in Windows 7 Migration tells you how to avoid common migration pitfalls. Contact us for to arrange a trial (no obligation) of our ALM tool.

Trim your app fat

Rationalisation If you’re like most big organisations today, your CFO will be leaning on you to make savings. But doing it without hurting the business is hard. Of course you’re only too aware  of the dilemma: how do you make short-term cuts without impacting your long –term competitiveness. It usually means looking for inefficiencies; the places where you can make changes without disrupting anyone. We still believe that every organisation can find and remove  cost locked up in their application estates.   Here’s a just a little bit of insight into what we’ve learned over the years. Rationalise and Innovate Rationalising your app estate is a good place to start. If, for example your last major migration was to XP, you may be shocked to discover how much your application estate has grown. We routinely see organisations whose estates have swollen from 1,000 to 10,000 apps in five years, many of them unused, under-used or duplicating others. Over the course of hundreds of application transformation projects for large organisations, we’ve consistently discovered we can prune application estates by 30-65% without anyone feeling a thing. That not only means you have a smaller, leaner app estate (all the better for when you do embark on your next strategic move), you’re also saving money in several ways:
  • License costs: Most large organisations are paying for licenses they don’t need – either because people don’t use an app or because they don’t use all of it. In fact, we’ve seen the tactic of “pay and pray” when signing license agreements used far too often – we can help you understand your usage, so you have all the information before making important decisions. It’s amazing how much money is left on the table with unused and unwanted functionality.
  • Support costs: Many businesses have rolling support contracts for commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) applications that no one uses (or that have never even been deployed). They can be ditched along with the unused licenses.
  • Management costs: Time and resource is spent on monitoring, managing, fixing and migrating apps that the organisation simply doesn’t need.
  • Opportunity costs: Time spent by skilled engineers on managing and migrating unused apps could be more productively used elsewhere.
At Camwood we’ve helped organisations to save millions by rationalising their app estates as part of our Enlightened Migration™ service. One of our customers – a large bank – saved $8.8m per year just on one application. They thought everybody used all of it: only a few people used part of it. It’s easy to stop innovating. But  rationalising could be the smartest move you make this year. Next Steps First, find out more about how you could save with our Application Migration Intelligence eBook And then, find out what you should do next with our Application Agility eBook

Camwood London – Drumming up business

On Thursday the 22nd September, Camwood held a social event for the whole company, including all our staff who work off site, with simultaneous evenings of entertainment in London and Manchester.  It is rare to get the whole company together in one place these days, so this was the perfect opportunity to put names to faces and for everyone to get to know each other better.   Following a live conference via video link between the two offices, the London team headed down to The Grange City Hotel where we were treated to a surprise drum workshop by Mark from Drum Pulse. During an energetic and highly amusing session, our rhythm and musical skills were tested to the limit and a good time was had by all – particularly Dash and Matt who were both sensational in their starring solo roles! After the drumming we returned to the courtyard of the hotel and enjoyed drinks and a summer barbeque of delicious burgers and assorted salads followed by mini cheesecakes. Giant games were on hand, including Jenga and Connect 4, to keep us entertained.  While the Play-Doh burger making competition turned into a fiercely fought fight between Matt and Sergiy, who both created little works of art and were eventually crowned joint winners.


We would all like to say a massive thank you to Alena and Jinnine for organising such a fun and entertaining evening! We can’t wait till the next one.

The value of green – applications have a direct correlation to the amount of energy consumed

I often consider the value of information and what you should actually do with it. You can, for example, find polar opposites in opinions about global warming and the value of green – I read the Daily Mail this morning where there is a massive difference on the perception of global warming and its effect on Greenland ( . It looks to me that the “don’t let the truth get in the way of a really good lie / story” holds true. The most important thing is having the information you need to make the right decisions in such matters.   I also read the “Fujitsu ICT Sustainability: The Global Benchmark 2011” document today that states ICT Sustainability, in most cases, is a ‘nice to have’ rather than a ‘must have’.  It also states that ICT Sustainability has reached a plateau based on PC Power Management and that organisations viewed Sustainability as a tick-box mentality implemented as a project not a program. At Camwood, we are completely application-centric.  Users run applications and the usage of these applications have a direct correlation to the amount of energy consumed.  When you have the choice at the business process / application layer, you can then measure the green-ness of the IT – simple really and something that we are aggressively taking to market. We believe in offering choice and advice.  Add Sustainability as an equal factor to your Application Compatibility, Supportability, Business Functionality and Licensing in equal measures. Would you actually choose an application based on it being more efficient than the rest as opposed to being the cheapest payback over a 12 month period? For instance, if you have the choice of using a browser, terminal emulator or graphics application based which on one produces less CO2 or consumes less power in your data centre, would you?  I believe having that choice is paramount, and that sustainability of applications should be considered as critical as anything else. When you consider that corporations typically use between 4,000 and 12,000 applications, it is well worth assessing the application Rubik’s Cube as a whole and considering which options are available. Get the ISVs to work for you: add green to the licensing and supportability challenge. There are sites such as that analyse carbon footprints at a corporate level and can compare two organisations such as, for example, Qantas and BA. But where are the IT measures that contribute towards the footprint? A plane has a clearly measurable footprint based on aviation fuel, but what about the supporting infrastructure from an application perspective? What you absolutely must start with is the baseline, so you can measure what you are consuming now. Ascertain what can be your “greenest” IT and create your goal. Achieving this goal can entail many steps such as a change of desktop delivery mechanism or data centre, but the fundamental focus must be applications. Government initiatives encourage ethical considerations, but are the statements on corporations’ web pages just there to satisfy the green lobbyists? My view is that, as with any message or objective, you first need to know where you are and where you want to go. You can do that by taking the initiative to collate, analyse and plan your applications first.