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5 considerations when decommissioning legacy applications

Ensuring a successful project

Today, almost every large organization has a number of legacy applications that it would like to decommission. However, even if an application is no longer in direct operational use, it can hold valuable information that organizations need to retain access to, for business and for compliance reasons.

Reasons to decommission legacy applications

Business objectives driving application decommissioning include:

  • Data center consolidation – to achieve cost savings, increase security and enhance control
  • Mergers and acquisitions – to consolidate the applications estate across an entire organization
  • Transition to cloudForrester predicts that more than 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least one cloud platform to drive digital transformation
  • Supporting a distributed and remote workforce – especially in the post-coronavirus world, efficient remote access is in explosive demand
  • Access to expertise – it is increasingly difficult to find expertise in outdated software, it is not a career priority for new technical talent

Risks of decommissioning legacy applications

Decommissioning legacy applications carries significant risks. Legacy applications hold huge volumes of business functionality and data, and their replacement is costly and can be a risky endeavor. High failure rates for migration projects are typical in the industry.

With the emergence of a new generation of tools, risk has been significantly reduced, but cost, complexity and duration of migration projects remain a significant concern among IT leaders and project champions. For organizations that are going through a digital transformation, data experts are essential in understanding and managing the decommissioning process.

Addressing these concerns is the main challenge of any successful migration project and these 5 important areas must be considered:

  1. Reliable (and reasonable) cost and duration estimates

Application migration projects can be compared with an iceberg: there is a visible part that is relatively easy to control – this is an area where requirements can be defined and solution compliance can be validated—and there is also a significant “invisible” part where requirements are not known. The “invisible” complexity of legacy systems in combination with competitive pressure often results in low initial estimations of effort that may put an entire project at risk. Organizations need confidence that their project can be delivered at the proposed cost, and that cost must ensure reasonably fast ROI.

  1. Proof of archiving completeness

Upon completion of a data archive, an audit and chain of custody reports are required. These validate the data consistency between source and target systems.  In addition, proof must be provided that the complete data set marked for archiving was indeed archived and is available in the archiving software.

  1. Quality of the resulting application and effort required to extend it

Three main areas need to be considered, the look and feel of the data presentation, the speed of the searches and data exports, and the amount of effort to add new searches.

  1. Ability to respond to new and overlooked requirements in the future

It is important to be able to demonstrate the ability to implement any future ad-hoc queries and execute heavy queries in the background without significantly impacting the performance of other searches.

  1. Compliance

Managing the retention of the archived records is important, especially through any changes in corporate compliance requirements and retention policies. It must also be accessible for auditing purposes.

OpenText can help

OpenText™ Professional Services have experts with years of experience of decommissioning applications with OpenText™ InfoArchive, developing standard best practice methodologies to streamline the considerations discussed above. These best practices have now been developed into a specialist decommissioning tool: Application Builder. Key tasks are automated with the time taken to decommission a source system greatly reduced.

The OpenText InfoArchive FasTrak Service package delivers the real migration of a defined scope at a fixed time and cost.  Learn more about InfoArchive Cloud Edition (CE) 20.2 and the InfoArchive FasTrak Service package and to discuss your application decommissioning project please contact us.

Author: Narsing Miriyala – Professional Services

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Professional Services – Content Management Practice

The OpenText Content Management Practice consists of ECM Services experts with collective experience of thousands of implementations on a global scale. They are 100% certified in our technologies, and dedicated to successfully implementing OpenText ECM solutions for our clients.

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