It’s a Greenfield deployment or is it a Brownfield one. This is a question being asked in all strategic rooms. Where ever someone is planning to start a job. This work can be single application development by a single developer, a large deployment or a whole new project including a team of hundreds of engineers and architects.

As the name suggested Greenfield – there is a clear ground to work upon. in context of Information Technology No older debt or any groundwork is done previously like the fields below. Greenfield deployment/project is an assignment, installation, product development or deployment which is getting started from scratch.

This may seem a little expensive and haunting task as well. As there may not be any defined process or sample work to achieve the desired state or result. But it has it’s own Pro’s and con’s as well.

Pro’s:

  • You can choose the latest technology as and when found relevant to the requirements
  • No existing burden of the old stack
  • No scope of existing bad practices while designing the new solution
  • Freedom to utilize the resources as and when required
  • Scope of future plannign of application or product keeping long term goals in mind

Con’s:

  • For complex projects, this can be a difficult task to build a solution from scratch
  • Highly skilled resources are required to understand and design effective solution
  • No past investment and resources are available to utilize so everything need to be build by your own.

In Contrast, Brownfield deployments have a larger history and existing space. Most of the time organizations have existing infrastructure and running applications. There may be a huge existing investment and dependency upon these kinds of applications. Due to some strong reasons, organizations believe to continue with this existing infrastructure and applications but with modernization and digitalization to enjoy the benefits of the latest and future technologies to achieve larget or different business perspective. This kind of projects or deployments are called Brownfield deployments.

Pro’s:

  • There may be large infrastructure resources already available which can be utilized to build a sustainable stable environment. e.g. An organization is running with a small data-center and some application which needs to be modernized. This infrastructure can be utilized as a private cloud computing system with capabilities for integration with any popular public cloud and work as a Hybrid cloud. This on-premises cloud can help the organization in multiple ways including financial and security benefits. We may discuss this in detail in my upcoming articles.
  • Existing applications will have existing discovery and documentation which can a milestone to design a blueprint of the targeted solution.
  • The existing educated workforce can be a gem in adopting the newly designed solution as they will have good experience understanding of the current business model.

Con’s:

  • Sometimes it is difficult to align existing old technologies with the latest one. It needs a different kind of strategies to handle this. Which may include complete application re-architecting or re-writing. Which includes specialization skills for both older and new technologies.
  • It can be a difficult task to modernize a critical business application. As impact is directly related to financials and operations of the business.
  • For complex business applications, this is a difficult task to start form an existing system as this is a very large space for discovery and understanding to design and build and efficient solution.

As of now you might be having a clear idea of
Greenfield and Brownfield deployments with some of there benefits and drawbacks. Obviously there is a very large scope of ongoing strategical discussions. Some of them we will see in my upcoming articles. Your input is always welcome to improve my understanding as well as for other readers.

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