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Unisys works with CIOs to break down barriers


Unisys has announced that, as a result of a year-long study with 50 enterprise CIOs, it has bolstered two key offerings in its Application Services portfolio for organisations seeking to modernise their information technology (IT) infrastructures.

According to the findings, there are seven key obstacles commonly faced by organizations when attempting to modernize legacy IT systems and applications using current leading-edge tools.
To overcome these barriers, Unisys has tapped its deep services experience supporting, managing and renovating client’s application portfolios. These services are aimed at helping Unisys clients modernize their IT processes, applications and technology while minimizing operational risk and reducing total cost of application ownership by between 10% and 40%. Successful IT modernization enables organizations to accelerate business innovation and realize the full business potential of their IT investments.
In 2007, Unisys met with CIOs and IT executives from 50 private, public and government institutions. The discussions revealed seven key challenges facing IT executives in getting modernisation projects off the ground:
* Cost – Despite the potential ultimate cost savings of modernizing their information technology, organisations struggle to find the upfront funds to pay for modernization projects.
* Risk – Organizations face significant risks to their business while making changes to core, mission-critical business applications.
*  Inertia – For many IT executives today, there is no clear personal reward for modernisation especially when everything is working fine.
* Time – Modernisation projects are complex and require considerable planning and validation time which means that it takes more time to realize the benefit.
* Information – There are many vendors promoting many products and services – and little independent information to help organizations make the smart investment for their particular environments.
* Balance – With pressing business and IT maintenance issues always front and center, modernization projects quickly fall to the bottom of the priority list.
* Quality of Service – Organisations are leery of changes made with new technologies that could compromise service and the performance of existing systems.
Despite these barriers, organisations also recognize the business imperative of proactively upgrading and evolving their IT infrastructure and applications to take advantage of the speed, flexibility, and cost advantages of modern technologies such as open source software and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA).
Unisys portfolio of Application Services provides organisations with a full lifecycle of services and support to ensure a successful IT modernization project. These services include application development, enhancement, transformation, migration, hosting, support, maintenance, and upfront advisory services. Global delivery and Software as a Service (SaaS) are options client’s can select to address particular cost, skills and operational challenges.
To help clients overcome common barriers faced during IT modernization projects, Unisys recently announced its Application Portfolio Management (APM) and Knowledge-Based Management (KBM) services.
The Unisys APM service helps organizations build a common understanding of their current software assets, including the value of these assets to the organization, areas of risk, and business and technology interdependencies. By helping organizations tie their software applications to business needs, the service enables organizations to determine which applications are core to the business, where overlaps exist, and what is obsolete.
This information is needed to help them make sound, business-driven decisions about how modernisation should be approached for a given organization. It alleviates many of the financial and technical fears associated with modernisation, and enables Unisys to predict and endorse the reduction in application TCO.
After APM, Unisys helps clients to begin the actual modernisation process. The KBM service helps organizations expose and identify ways, at a micro level, to transform existing functionality for reuse during modernisation projects. The Unisys KBM service minimizes the business risk associated with a complete IT overall at once by allowing organizations to focus initial efforts on a subset of applications based on internal priorities. For example, KBM can be applied to high-value, core business applications or those with the highest maintenance cost or software developed using outdated technology.
The APM and KBM services are based on the company’s considerable experience successfully assisting Financial Services, Public Sector, Communications and Transportation customers.
“The Application Services we’re highlighting today are a natural extension of the experience and success we’ve had with our enterprise clients,” said Cem Tanyel, vice president, Application Services, Unisys. “After listening to our customers define what they believe are the common barriers to modernisation, and then pulling from our proven best practices, we feel that our application modernisation suite creates a new direction where the relationships between organisational strategy, operations, processes, and applications are embedded and traceable.”
Unisys Application Modernisation Services enables organisations to:
* Increase agility to support new business goals and processes;
* Ensure uninterrupted operations by allowing old and new applications to coexist during an evolutionary transition period;
* Provide cost reduction for application operations, maintenance and enhancement;
* Reduce the risk associated with not updating technology and the shrinking pool of specialized technical skills;
* Discover and preserve intellectual property hidden in existing applications and enable its reuse; and
*  More effectively leverage next-generation technologies, like SOA and Model-Driven Architecture (MDA)