We refer to old technology — dated mainframe computer systems and ancient applications — as legacy systems. The term “legacy” implies that the system is out of date or in need of replacement.
Essentially, the problem facing legacy systems is that the systems outlive their original mandates, but continue to remain in operation long after. To keep up with evolving technology, the systems are modified extensively to the point where they are completely different from their original form, making it hard for an IT administrator to decipher. The current reality is that many organisations are still being held prisoner by their legacy applications and systems.
In a recent study, a third of surveyed businesses stated that they run major applications that are more than 10 years old and one fifth of businesses admitted to having at least one major application that’s remained unchanged for 15 years or more. Legacy application maintenance is also extremely expensive. In fact, according to Gartner, 60 to 80 percent of IT budgets are spent on maintaining legacy applications. So why don’t organisations just pull the plug?
Unfortunately for many, it’s a case of the “if it’s not broken, don’t fix it” mentality. This is especially true for companies that have relied on certain applications for a long period of time – they are more reluctant to make changes.
When it comes to considering legacy application modernization and moving to the Cloud, fear of the unknown or concerns that critical business operations may be interrupted during the migration process often cause companies to hang on to existing on-premise applications. These concerns are valid enough, but in the end, the cost of migrating legacy apps is really what keeps CIOs up at night.
What Are the Options Available for Companies with Legacy Systems?
If your legacy application can’t support your business, it must evolve, or go. We have clients that come to us who are simply maintaining their legacy systems and finding it very difficult to keep up with technology to better service their customers’ and employees’ needs. More often than not, the issue is that the IT department doesn’t know enough about the system and how it works, to properly maintain it. This is where the problems begin.
So if it isn’t broken, why would a company “fix” or migrate its legacy systems?
There are a number of reasons that companies should consider migrating their legacy systems to the Cloud. For instance, if the company has been “band-aiding” its current systems with other solutions to keep up with technology, it quickly becomes extremely expensive to modify existing systems. Finding and procuring staff with adequate technical expertise to maintain legacy systems is also costly.
In addition, the boomers who maintained legacy systems are retiring, so it is becoming more difficult to find workers with the knowledge base to maintain those systems. In the end, the cost of legacy application maintenance will eventually exceed the cost of migrating or replacing them.
The simple fact is that companies that aren’t planning on moving legacy apps to the Cloud will inevitably become prisoners of their own on-premise IT.
If an organisation decides to maintain its legacy apps rather than migrate them to the Cloud, it will undoubtedly face issues with dated systems. However, there is also the opportunity cost of not innovating and growing with customer demand in today’s cloudy, mobile world. A company’s inability to innovate can be detrimental to the success of the business. Let’s explore the issues companies face during legacy application maintenance.
According to Gartner, by 2020, half of all applications that were running in data centres as of 2010 will be retired. Companies that choose to maintain, rather than migrate legacy apps, must be aware of the opportunity cost. According to Oxford: A Dictionary of Economics, opportunity cost is defined as “the cost of something in terms of an opportunity forgone“, or that they may face as a result. The following are the opportunity costs of not moving your legacy app to the Cloud:
Many decision makers feel as though they are in a predicament and fear that moving their legacy systems or applications to the Cloud will threaten the integrity of their business.
Don’t become a prisoner to your legacy applications. Join the other organisations that are reaping the benefits of moving to the Cloud. At Umbee, our team of engineers have extensive expertise in moving legacy applications to the Cloud. Contact the Cloud experts at Umbee today.