The Co-Operative Group is targeting a £2 million saving through better application compatibility testing.

The company, which has businesses in food, insurance, funerals, banking and pharmacy, said it had implemented the App-DNA compatibility testing system from AppTitude.

By implementing the system it was able to drive a Citrix-based application and desktop virtualisation project, as well as a flexible and remote working scheme as it schedules a move to a new head office building within Manchester, it said.

Ian Cawson, technical architect at the Co-operative Group, told Computerworld UK: “A couple of years ago there was an IT sprawl all over the place. We needed to make some key upgrades, including to Microsoft Server 2008 and Windows 7, alongside the virtualisation, and we had to know the potential impact.”

The company implemented the AppTitude system in 2008 and has been extending it across the business since then. “The software gives us a clear green, amber or red light for any application project, so we know exactly where we stand and what action needs to be taken,” Cawson said.

The virtualisation project has seen 200 applications virtualised, and 80 legacy applications retired. Cawson said that using a more centralised setup, the company requires fewer resources and less time for any upgrade, and can apply patches more easily.

The company expects to cut carbon emissions by 35 percent over the next six years, aided by the virtualisation project.