How Oracle customers can deliver cloud modernization with a positive ROI

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By Geoff Peel, Account Executive/Client Relationship Executive, DXC

In my role as a client executive, I have the privilege of meeting with many Oracle customers, and a lot of them tell me the same thing. Over time, they’ve built legacy Oracle estates and are running scores of older applications. And this infrastructure, deployed with the best of intentions, has got completely out of hand from a cost and management perspective.

To put it another way, clients often simply say, “It’s a big old mess.”

In response, organizations are moving their legacy estates to the cloud at a rapid pace. Gartner estimates the global cloud application infrastructure market at over $19B in 2019, with a growth rate of almost 22 percent.

Yet some Oracle customers are still hesitant to move their legacy infrastructure and applications to the cloud, and for valid reasons:

  • Things are working, sort of. Many Oracle customers have legacy applications they’ve implemented or customized over time that continue to meet their current business requirements. As a result, they see risk in migrating these applications and potentially upsetting the status quo. Long-term, though, they will need to revisit migrating these apps as a means to scale performance, add functionality and address security concerns.
  • There’s no established business case. Companies need compelling financial reasons to migrate their legacy estates. Building that business case requires significant analysis, and it’s painstaking work.
  • No one has a detailed understanding of aging hardware and applications. Over time, applications may have been modified and installed on dedicated servers. There may be limited or no documentation available, and the original application subject matter experts may no longer be with the organization. Often companies don’t know exactly what they have, who’s using it, and what the impact of migrating or replacing these applications would be.

The business risks of delaying modernization

Another conversation I frequently have with clients is around the risks associated with delaying tackling the legacy estate:

  • Sustainability. Aging platforms may no longer be supported by their manufacturers — if something goes wrong, parts are often difficult to source, and technical support can be hard to come by.
  • Cost. Maintenance and support costs typically spiral upwards as platforms and applications move toward end of life.
  • Agility. Companies need to move quickly to capture market opportunities and maximize the customer experience. Rolling out new applications on legacy infrastructure is always frustrating, and often impossible.

While companies are wise to acknowledge these risks, they should also be enthusiastic about the benefits of migrating to new applications on a modern platform – including the ability to leverage current best practices, streamline DevOps with cloud-based software-as-a-service, and improve performance and business agility.

The practical solution

Oracle customers have another reason to rejoice. Those same high costs associated with maintaining and supporting the legacy estate create an unprecedented opportunity for many organizations. By identifying costly infrastructure and applications, many companies can successfully migrate to more modern cloud platforms — and for less than they’re paying today. The payoff? Lower capital costs, a short-term, positive ROI, and freed-up investments to support the long-term, future roadmap.

Identifying and removing costs is the first step

The first step in the process involves a complete audit of the legacy Oracle estate for both database and hardware infrastructures — a “deep dive” undertaken in-house (not for the faint of heart) or, ideally, by a certified Oracle provider such as DXC Technology.

Oracle customers, especially those with complex environments, should be prepared for a few surprises. The audit may uncover non-functioning devices, hardware with expired maintenance, aging SPARC servers running abandoned applications, licensing issues — the list goes on.

Armed with a comprehensive snapshot of the legacy infrastructure, Oracle customers can then prioritize the low-hanging fruit:

  • What hardware, licenses, and applications can be retired immediately?
  • What applications can be migrated with a simple “move and improve”?
  • What legacy infrastructure can be replaced with new, cost-effective solutions that require less power and rack space – and lower heating and cooling costs?

Partnering with your integrator

In some cases, the initial exercise of removing costs from the legacy estate may be enough to self-fund migration. But companies should go further. By actively engaging their integrator (and Oracle when appropriate), they’ll uncover additional opportunities for savings. What programs are available to migrate and consolidate licenses? What are the most cost-effective infrastructure options? What more are the integrator and manufacturer willing to offer?

Companies should also take the time to understand what services their partners offer to help manage their migration. These typically range from full legacy estate audits to migration services, complete managed service options and long-term roadmap planning.

From a financial perspective, organizations should keep in mind that they’re moving from a capital-intensive environment to a service-based, ‘X-as-a-service (XaaS) model. Their partners may have flexibility in how payments are structured to ensure both short-term savings and long-term ROI.

Setting the stage for transformation

By assessing the legacy estate, exorcising costs and migrating to a cloud-based platform, companies can begin achieving the financial and competitive benefits associated with a modern infrastructure:

  • Capital preservation. Transitioning to an OPEX-based model frees up capital to fund innovation and strategic initiatives.
  • Scalability and performance. With a cloud-based infrastructure in place, companies can easily update and upgrade applications, and quickly scale infrastructure to support growth and new business initiatives.
  • Agility and optimization. New applications can be quickly evaluated and rolled out with minimal capital investment in response to changing market conditions.
  • Automation and analytics. Cloud-based applications offer unprecedented opportunities to lower costs through automation, collect real-time data and leverage sophisticated analytics.
  • Ongoing optimization. Companies will find it much simpler to upgrade, right-size and optimize their cloud-based platforms. In many cases, their providers will proactively manage optimization on their behalf.

A rewarding journey

When clients ask me, “Is this easy?” I always respond, “No.”
The assessment process can be lengthy and difficult, and never fails to yield more than a few surprises. Prioritizing and migrating applications and infrastructure can shift budgets, unsettle some stakeholders and change the way business gets done within organizations.

However, the benefits — lower costs, better performance, greater agility and the ability to innovate — clearly outweigh any potential downsides.

That’s why, when clients ask me, “Is it worth it?” I always respond, “Yes.”

What next?
Learn more about deploying an agile, modern infrastructure for no new money.

Geoff-Peel-headshotGeoff Peel is an experienced Account Executive/Client Relationship Executive, having served in senior-level customer management roles at DXC for more than 20 years, mainly focused on account growth. He carries more than 15 years of business development experience, with particular strengths in solution development, bid management and closing deals, having led solution and bid organizations.


  1. Keith Morton says:

    Very eloquently explained and extremely important that we help these customers to move to a much more agile future

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