How to get control of your technical debt

How to get control of your technical debt

Posted by Geoff Davies on Jul 30, 2021 12:55:23 PM
Many organisations migrating to cloud have to address the challenge of technical debt. Here's how to successfully get on top of the issue.
Technical debt is a scourge that affects most organisations, whether through outdated operating systems or databases, ageing vendor applications or tech stacks.
Indeed, a recent survey by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority found that 90% of financial services firms are reliant on legacy technologies, with 33% of firms reporting that “most" of their production infrastructure and applications are classified as legacy.
Whilst this can be a problem, it also presents an opportunity when migrating to cloud.
The opportunity is to remediate technical debt at, or shortly after, migration thereby updating systems onto modern cloud platforms and reducing risk. This, of course, requires sufficient time to undertake remediation during migration.
For organisations who are operating against the clock such as time-critical data centre exits, the problem is where to lift-and-shift and run those legacy workloads. Most clouds provide some support for previous versions of operating systems and databases but not everything can be run everywhere.
Being effective in tackling technical debt requires a deeper level of insight into your estate and needs to go beyond a simple list of servers and their OS and database versions.
Here’s three ways that AppScore helps you plan and manage technical debt during cloud migration and ongoing modernisation:

1 Support status

In AppScore we’ve built a reference dataset of nearly 500 operating systems and databases where we track their support status and end of life dates. This includes all major and minor versions and different editions. No other cloud migration and modernisation platform has such an extensive list.
From the AppScore server list, or Technical Gallery within applications, you can see what’s in support, going out of support or is end of life. Across the platform and in the Move Group Builder you can filter on support status to quickly see which applications are affected. Using additional parameters in the filters you can, for example, refine your search to highlight business critical apps or those containing confidential data.
AppScore's unique application-centric approach enables you to understand the technical debt issues at an application level.
2021.13 Tech Gallery - servers with legend

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2 Cloud compatibility checker

Most public clouds will support operating systems and databases a few versions back, but support for older versions varies across clouds. For example CentOS 7 is supported on GCP and OCI but not AWS or Azure, whereas Azure and AWS support Windows 10, which isn’t supported on GCP and OCI.
Using our extensive database, AppScore’s cloud compatibility checker allows you to see which clouds support your workloads.
2021.13 Cloud Compatbility with highlight-1
Perhaps certain clouds aren't in your plans, if that's the case within Settings you can choose which clouds to include. You can also include your own private cloud offering and specify what OSs and DBs you have available on that platform.
2021.13 Cloud selection

3 Technical debt timeline

Of course, what’s supported today won’t be forever.
The technical debt timeline feature of AppScore provides a visualisation showing your applications' support status over the next 3 years, enabling you to plan ahead. When you hover over an application a popup appears showing the name of the OS or DB and its support dates.
Green shows when it's in support, red when it's out of support. Amber shows the 12 months leading up to the OS or DB going out of support. This highlights your window to take action.
2021.13 Tech debt timelineThe visualisation can be filtered on any criteria to show, for example, business critical apps, data classifications, certain data centres and so on.
2021.13 Tech debt timeline filters

Learn more

Enabling you to manage technical debt within your estate is just one reason AppScore is the leading platform for cloud migration and modernisation.
For a demo on how to use AppScore to transform your apps portfolio book a session here.