Need For Application Retirement
Let’s understand the term “application” before diving deep into the concept of defining and creating a business application. An application is nothing but a kind of action (software program or a step by step activity) designed for a purpose. A program or software is termed as business application when it is used to perform business functions and in return it enhances the business productivity while serving the business needs.
Applications are treated as IT assets for the organizations because they implement certain aspects of the business and generate revenue. So, organizations are always ready to develop or invest in the applications. Every application has a life of its own. Beyond this, it needs to be retired due to various technical and business reasons. This article will mainly discuss on the need for application retirement.
Why Application Retirement?
One of the most important aspects for any organization is maintaining data. With the passage of time, older data is used less frequently. Most applications that are not active can be considered for retirement. It is recommended that the data resided and generated by these applications has to be moved or migrated to some other area with which there is no impact on the current business activity. One strategy to overcome this is the concept of data archiving. Data archiving is the process of moving data that is no longer used to a common storage device for future reference.
The growth of data is exponential in aggressively expanding organizations. In line with the data, applications maintaining them are becoming obsolete because technology is developing and improving every day. These applications are called Legacy Applications. Over the time, there comes a situation for fast growing organizations to streamline all the Legacy Applications.
The factors driving to streamline these types of applications are likely to reduce the cost of maintenance and integrate all the historical data in to one platform and so on. Therefore, Application Retirement can be defined as the process of shutting down obsolete applications while retaining access to their historical and valuable data.
The main objective that most of the organizations strive to achieve here is to reduce the cost of running these obsolete systems and maintaining their global presence. It is recommended to maintain the data in one centralized server to reduce the costs including, data center costs, licensing costs and support costs.
Factors driving Application Retirement
Technology is advancing with a rapid pace resulting in more streamlined and automated processes. These processes in return provide more security and sophisticated business methodologies. These are steering the legacy systems to retire and implement the latest technologies.
Maintaining the software licenses and hardware systems for the legacy systems are tagged with money. Old systems will consume more software and hardware resources and additional staff. Organizations will tend to save a lot of money if they decide to retire such business applications.
Mitigate Operational Risks
Providing historical data of the legacy applications to the users requires expensive legacy IT skills. Security issue is one other challenge for maintaining the legacy applications.
Boost Productivity and Service
To increase the productivity, organizations should transform all the historical data to platforms using latest systems. This will ease the cus tomer services and in turn make it more convenient for the users.
Analysis of historical data with the current data has to be done for future strategic decisions which will help in business continuity. So, retiring the legacy applications has to be accomplished for analyzing the historical data with the current data.
There are systems in organizations which have been acquired as a result of acquisitions and mergers. These systems may serve the same purpose as the systems already in the organization. Such type of systems need to be retired.
Through Application Retirement, organizations can improve operations management and reduce costs across IT environment like software, hardware, maintenance staffing and more. So, Application Retirement is an economical approach to save the legacy data. An organization can reduce the complexities and the business risks by streamlining all the applications.
As technology is changing rapidly, many organizations are implementing Application Retirement as a part of data maintenance process to reduce costs and maintain integrity among all the business modules.
Going further, to increase the business while retiring an application, it is important to maintain its data (legacy data) in a secured way. One modern approach for this security would be data virtualization which deals with avoiding the users to know the exact storage area and maintaining the cloned data.
Last and most importantly, it is essential to shut down the original system once the entire application has been retired or decommissioned successfully. Without shutting down the system, there is no meaning to retirement of an application.
- Application Retirement Process White Paper by Shubhashree Thekahally.
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