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3 Reasons Why Enterprises Should Migrate their Legacy Applications

07 Oct 2015

Organizations world over are facing unique challenges; from a turbulent economy that causes an increase in the maintenance cost of proprietary technologies, to high staff turnover and application integration issues with mobile and big data. It is the accumulation of these factors that makes it necessary for enterprises to bring down costs and be more sensitive to evolving business needs.

The only way to do so is through modernizing existing enterprise software and applications, but companies are slow to choose this path due to misplaced concerns associated with additional expenditure, disruption in work flow and so on. Consequently, organizations remain rooted to a legacy environment. However, over time, the problems associated with maintaining old applications intensify. Not only do costs shoot up but they become difficult to modify, and require a skill set that only few people possess.

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Why should organizations modernize existing legacy applications?

Due to this, it is critical that organizations start adopting new technologies and enterprise architecture to save cost. Modernization offers unparalleled benefits for enterprises and here are some reasons why you should modernize your existing applications.

Achieve Greater Business Agility
With BYOD (bring your own device) gaining wide acceptance among enterprise users, businesses need to revamp their legacy desktop applications to provide ease of access. You may have mobile field staff who telecommutes, so you need to ensure that your enterprise architecture is able to meet their needs and support their productivity.

Similarly, here is another example that highlights the importance of upgrading. Imagine a firm is facing trouble with maintaining a COBOL program that has thousands of lines of code. They decide to modernize but are not successful since the program is intricately linked with other programs that make up one mainframe application. Fast forward to the present times, where we have cloud-friendly frameworks that support de-linked service-oriented architectures.

A more process-driven and adaptable infrastructure will also let your IT team be more responsive to your organizational requirements. Companies today are ‘always-on’ and you need to ensure that your enterprise systems are agile enough to thrive in the ‘always-on’ environment.

Reduction in Total Ownership Cost
A large percentage of the enterprise IT budget is typically spent on keeping the legacy systems running. On an average, companies spend 60 to 85% of their IT budget in maintaining legacy apps. This is becoming very expensive in the present economic environment. In the past, organizations would buy a complete system or adopt a ‘buy one of everything’ approach. This needs to change. Funds need to be diverted to address other critical business needs and companies as a result, need to reduce their spend on keeping the legacy systems alive.

Modernized IT apps can decrease costs by:

  • Automating manual processes that reduce operation time & cost
  • Optimizing business processes that save resource cost
  • Eliminating maintenance expense on pricy legacy infrastructure

Enterprise Architecture Adaption of Big Data and Mobile Applications
Almost every other company is leveraging mobile, big data or even a social application in their enterprise architecture. However, in order for mainframe to support these applications, several layers of hardware infrastructure and bridging software needs to be set up. But this is not an easy task.

For example, in banking, the data is typically taken from the mainframe and loaded onto server apps that support mobile and online banking. This is done because mainframe doesn’t really support web or mobile technology. Also, banks have limited budget to invest in the additional processing mainframe architecture that is required to support mobile customer base. This can be solved by using big data technology. You can run big data apps on mainframe by using Hadoop stack. It is compatible with a mainframe application and is designed to run across numerous, inexpensive, commodity-priced x86 servers.

Mobile, big data and social apps have attributes that are best supported by an on-demand, self-service cloud technology that can be expanded and contracted based on enterprise requirements.

Thus, it has become essential for organizations to upgrade their legacy systems and adopt latest digital technologies such as cloud, big data & mobile to achieve competitive edge.

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