THE WINDWARD WIRE

From Mountains to Molehills: EASy Cost Containment for Energy Firms

Mindy Rathe
January 2, 2013

Energy companies have long built their own applications to manage their business. Each of which, however, has been built for a specific purpose. Project management applications drive field activities. Capital expenditure applications track major equipment purchases and other capex transactions. ERP systems track financial activities. While many software companies offer a single unifying platform for an entire organization, most oil and gas companies are happy to maintain a distributed approach to their applications.

Unfortunately, this comes at a significant cost to maintain these legacy applications and their data. Even though a few best-of-breed applications may be gaining market share for some aspects of the IT footprint, they still face integration issues with these legacy applications. As a highly regulated industry, it's no small challenge to assure that the data within these systems meets both internal and external compliance policies. As a result, organizations that don't have a consolidated archiving solution spend millions managing applications that should have been decommissioned a long time ago.

Using EMC's Enterprise Archiving Solution (EAS) as the new information backbone for oil and gas companies, The Windward Group can migrate mountains of legacy data and costs into manageable molehills—and much more easily than you think.

Multi-Dimensional Cost Containment

The expense to maintain these legacy systems reaches across a number of dimensions. In most cases, these applications are written in older languages. The resources needed to maintain these are becoming few and far between. The knowledge and operational information that the original programmers used will disappear when they retire. Unless the application is completely documented, successfully modifying these applications will have significant risk.

Another obvious cost is the software and hardware deployed to host and manage these applications. Even though the cost of server space continues to drop, legacy maintenance costs increase and having these apps on your infrastructure still represents a cost that you would not have to put into your budget if the application was retired.

Integrating these applications with more modern applications becomes quite a challenge, and may not meet the real time nature built into modern applications. For example, many of these legacy applications rely on batch processing versus doing so in real-time, which is increasingly needed.

The faster oil and gas companies move away from their legacy applications, the lower their ongoing IT cost infrastructure will be. There has to be a way to keep the data extracted from these applications, and make it available to maintain compliance and data integrity.

Keep the Data, Ditch the App

By deploying the Enterprise Archiving Solution (EAS) from EMC, oil and gas companies can decommission their existing applications while maintaining the data for ongoing regulatory compliance. As a leading EAS partner, The Windward Group has significant experience helping organizations accomplish this goal. Leading industry analyst research points to the fact that up to 80% of the data that lives in any application is untouched, yet requires that the application be maintained. By having us migrate your data from these applications into EAS, you significantly reduce your IT costs and position yourself for a smoother transition into current line of business systems. EAS can do
this because it:

  • Stores and manages content, regardless of format, on a scalable platform
  • Manages content based on business-driven retention policies
  • Provides auditability and immutability to pass any regulatory audit
  • Stores information based on open standards, so that it can be accessed by current technologies

Once you migrate the content stored in these legacy applications to EAS, the maintenance costs saved can be used to measure its rapid return on investment.

The Windward Group

As the leading EAS partner in the country, The Windward Group has the experience to guide you through this process, and provide the expert assistance to make these goals a reality. We can help you not only get your data into EAS, but connect it to your new line of business applications, enabling seamless transitions into a new IT infrastructure.

Contact us to learn more