Today's IT organizations face aging infrastructure and shrinking budgets. This leaves little room to invest in new technologies that would otherwise help grow the business. Many of these solutions are legacy software running on older hardware that were purchased when new applications were being deployed. And while the business value of these solutions decreases each year, the cost of maintaining them rises and over time can eventually consume up to half of an overall IT budget. Having a complete life cycle management strategy from deployment to decommissioning is the best way to reduce this unwanted expense and free up valuable resources.
In part one of this two-part series, we will look at the top application considerations. First, understanding the level of redundancy among applications can be very enlightening. For example, companies may have legacy financial systems that were a result of acquisitions or left behind after new applications were deployed. These applications are often in silos and incompatible with other software applications. Moving these to a common repository can streamline access and reporting.
The next consideration is the effects on compliance management. Most companies have some level of trade compliance or regulatory requirements that invoke data retention needs. Maintaining legacy applications just to retain access to information is expensive and often leads to endless amounts of data storage. Reviewing the company data retention policy and then implementing an active data disposal program can dramatically reduce the data storage sprawl.
Finally, keeping the IT skills required to administer legacy applications can be expensive. And the unplanned cost of leveraging outside consultants will often blow the budget. Retiring application data to a common platform that can be accessed with standardized reporting greatly reduces the risk and lowers the investment in outdated skill sets.
So what's the final score? The costs of maintaining legacy applications is high, but the opportunity cost of not deploying newer applications is much greater and can impact the growth of the business. In part two we will explore the considerations when retiring legacy hardware.
Edited by Ryan Sartor