Industry analyst firm Gartner has been talking quite a bit about the problem of global IT debt in recent weeks, and will be discussing this topic extensively at its upcoming Gartner Symposium/ITxpo. IT debt has become a monumental issue for today’s businesses, and Gartner estimates that companies around the world have racked up a whopping half a billion dollars worth of debt caused by upgrades and related projects that have been delayed in order to save money.
What is IT Debt?
Companies have long been neglecting to properly invest in ongoing maintenance, upgrades, and enhancement of their technology systems. As a result, they become out of date and unreliable. Performance begins to decline, support by the vendor is no longer provided, and end users lose confidence in the systems and solutions they need to perform their jobs. This, in turn, negatively impacts operational efficiency and competitive advantage.
And, as the down economy has forced many businesses to “tighten their belts”, the problem has gotten worse. Much, much worse.
Eliminate IT Debt with SaaS
Luckily, there is a way to eliminate this troubling IT debt, even as resources remain scarce. By migrating legacy on-premise applications to SaaS solutions, companies can not only wipe out existing IT debt, but proactively prevent further debt from incurring in the first place.
How does SaaS mitigate the risk of IT debt? Well first, there are no costs associated with keeping SaaS based solutions up to date. Upgrades and enhancements are the responsibility of the SaaS vendor and are included in the price of the service. So, even when money is tight, companies can always rest assured that they are using the latest and greatest software and capabilities, that their application is running on a cutting-edge technology platform, and they are relieved from having to maintain and upgrade these systems.
Second, the maintenance required for SaaS solutions is completely free. The vendor will monitor and administer the environment to ensure service availability and peak performance at all times. Again, this service is included in the customer’s subscription fee. No additional time or money is required.
In other words, the SaaS vendor is using client subscription fees to “pay down” IT debt, long before it accrues. Its a win-win situation.
To begin eliminating IT debt, it is best to take a “triage” approach. Assess each application that currently exists, and determine which ones are deepest “in the hole” in terms of IT debt, and requires the biggest investment to repay that debt. Those should be the first candidates for SaaS migration. In addition, we recommend that you develop a road map to eliminate the debt and decide which systems you will eventually want to migrate to Saas, and what are the priorities behind the migration. Get started today!