Without system integration, the digital transformation is simply not possible.

Preparing application landscapes for the digital transformation

The cloud is now established on the market. A study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) revealed that 70 percent of German companies use cloud computing. And the Bitkom Cloud Monitor 2015 study commissioned by KPMG estimates that 68 percent of companies already use cloud computing or are planning to do so in the near future. Does this mean the end of system integration? No, say the market researchers at Lünendonk: “A modern IT landscape is essential when implementing digital strategies. As business processes become digitized, the use of software for existing processes has increased enormously.” And this software needs to be integrated and managed as it did in the past.

Redesigning IT architectures

For the analysts at Crisp Research, the redesigning of IT architectures including cloud solutions is the “basis for digitizing one’s own company”. And this is no easy task. After all, many companies have integrated, interwoven and expanded thousands of applications over many decades. There are also identical business applications resulting from mergers or site expansions. And all this is operated on different technical platforms.

Number of applications still rising

For the analysts involved in Lünendonk’s 2015 study entitled “The market for IT consultancy and IT service in Germany”, the situation is even more drastic. “In spite of huge progress in the area of efficiency, CIOs are still struggling with legacy IT systems, whether it is historically established legacy software, different application releases or data centers that were unable to keep pace with the speed of IT developments and the needs of specialist divisions as regards IT support.” As they pointed out, the number of applications has doubled between 2010 and 2014 owing to specialist divisions alone. As far as complexity and integration are concerned, there appears to be no end in sight.

Continuing to manage legacy systems or transferring them to the cloud

Experts for system integration thus take on a dual role and play a key part in digitization. They have to untangle and clean up a company’s historically grown IT landscapes. Then they can decide which IT components can be decommissioned, obtained from or transferred to the cloud. Only then will companies be able to put in place the basis for further digitization. And what happens to the legacy systems which are not cloud-compatible? System integrators are needed here, too. If legacy systems cannot be switched off, companies must continue managing them whether they like it or not. At the same time, the systems must be further developed so that they are leaner than before and can be integrated to form a large whole. Sooner or later, these systems too will be replaced by new applications from the cloud. Or new technical developments will make it possible to cloudify these systems eventually.

Future-proofing complex IT landscapes

T-Systems provides solutions for both challenges. Some 4,000 IT integration experts convert complex application landscapes into an integrated, future-proof IT system. If necessary, they continue to manage legacy applications as previously. These include SAP, BI or ECM systems. They design applications for the cloud, transfer them and operate them in T-Systems data centers. They thus provide a full range of support services for companies on the path to digitization.