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Instance Consolidation Strategy

One of the major challenges that a globally scattered organization faces today is their technology landscape. With multiple applications catering to local requirements the organization's overall technology landscape becomes extremely complex. There exists an opportunity to simplify the organization's technology landscape by consolidating application instances when the organization decides to harmonize their global processes. 

There are factors that can help an organization to decide the optimum number of application instances.  These factors can be grouped under three categories - Benefits, Risks and Standard Parameters.

Benefits:

  • Avoid multiple sources of truth - With single / reduced number of instances the number of databases will be less.
  • Consistent Business Intelligence - BI metrics can be obtained consistently across the entire business banking on the foundation of single version of master data.
  • Economies of Scale - Through a single common instance, it is easier to centralize business functions that may currently be distributed, thereby leveraging economies of scale.
  • Quick onboarding - With single/fewer instances it will be easier to onboard new sites/ regions/accounts etc.
  • Reduced Maintenance Cost - Changes due to presence of consolidated instances gets clubbed and made more efficiently. Also license costs can be reduced for OS, 3rd party software etc.  
  • Reduced Technology Cost - Reduce IT infrastructure costs and improve IT asset utilization by consolidation of underlying server and other IT infrastructure.

 

Instance.jpg

 

Risks:

  • Impact of change during sustenance - A major change coming from any particular region/account/site etc will have an extended change window, which may be a challenge change done for one region/site/account may impact configuration for others.
  • Stability and Performance issues - With the number of sites/regions and users increasing with every deployment it is possible that the application may not scale to cater to this magnitude of load without causing performance issues.
  • Integration with collocated systems and data - Data synchronization for routines for various satellite systems might get complex and need to be tightly coupled.
  • Conflicts in Customer/ Site/ Account specific configurations - Some accounts/ sites may call for unique configurations and some of those may create potential conflicts in existing application configuration.
  • Internationalization - As this is a global platform, the expected internationalization may also lead into some issues. For example, regulatory restrictions on certain data sharing across geographic boundaries may inhibit the use of single instance.
  • Future Scalability - With growth in organization business, a single instance may also pose potential inhibitors to growth due to unpredictable quality of service variations.

 

Standard Parameters:

  • Load (Volume, cycle time) Parameters - Performance profile, transaction loads, data volumes and response time expectations across sites and across the business.
  • Configuration Requirements and Variance - Extent of common configuration across all accounts/sites vs. extent of variance/unique configurations (conflicting business rules/validations, or conflicting static data items/value lists).
  • Non-Functional Requirements - Other NFRs such as availability and maintainability requirements
  • Integration Requirements - - Integration capabilities required by organization between To-Be solution and its external applications
  • Network Performance - with single instance network latency issues would become a point to address as the user base is global.
  • Local Constraints - Like local application security, local data requirements, network security, local compliance etc

 

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