It's no secret that legacy applications present challenges. These applications are written in older coding languages that your current employees may not be familiar with. Legacy applications run on aging platforms and often require older databases and operating systems. If these aging applications come from third parties, they may have reached end of support, making them a security risk. Cybercriminals often target unpatched applications.
Despite the risks, it can be hard to let go. Your legacy applications may have been developed in-house to meet the unique needs of your business. Maybe these applications came from a third party but were customized especially for your business. They are like an old pair of jeans-familiar and comfortable.
You may ask yourself, "If it's not broke, why fix it?" The truth is: you don't have to abandon these time-tested applications.
The expense and risk of running legacy applications can be reduced by moving them to the Cloud. While migrating these older applications can be challenging, choosing the right Cloud provider increases your chance of success.
Avoiding the Perils of Migration
Some companies think of Cloud migration as a lift-and-shift process. In other words, they believe legacy applications can simply be lifted from their on-site environment and plopped into the Cloud. Not so fast. These legacy applications may not be compatible with the Cloud.
Before moving legacy applications, you need to map out their interdependencies with on-site operating systems and databases. Moving legacy applications may require reworking or refactoring code before they will function in the Cloud environment. Working with a Cloud provider that has developed Cloud solutions compatible with legacy applications will save you the cost and effort of reprogramming.
The right Cloud provider will work with you to test application compatibility before migration. This way, you avoid the worst-case scenario of moving your legacy applications to the Cloud only to find they don't work. This preliminary testing is especially important if you are moving a complex and vital application, such as an ERP or CRM application.
Considering Your Cloud Service Options
When moving legacy applications to the Cloud, it is important to explore the differences in the types of Cloud services. The type of Cloud service you choose for your legacy application influences the role your company will take in maintaining and managing the application.
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) are two Cloud service options that allow you to hang on to your legacy applications. IaaS provides an environment for hosting the application along with infrastructure security. Your business is still responsible for controlling access to the application. With PaaS, the Cloud provider patches the operating system and the platform but is not responsible for access management or patching of the application itself.
Software as a service (SaaS) may be the best option if you want to replace an application instead of reworking it. With SaaS, you can find a comparable application available in the Cloud that will be kept up to date automatically.
Why Hybrid Cloud Makes Sense
Choosing the right Cloud model for running your legacy applications is important. Hybrid Cloud has become a popular Cloud model because of its flexibility. Cloud management experts at RightScale found that 67% of organizations are using the hybrid Cloud model. Its flexibility comes in handy when moving legacy applications to the Cloud.
With hybrid Cloud, your business can make minor changes to your application architecture and move some elements of the application to the Cloud. Applications can be partitioned so that certain functions take place in the private Cloud or on-site, while other client-facing functions take place in public Cloud.
The combination of private and public Cloud infrastructures found in hybrid Cloud also enables it to create Cloudbursts. During workload spikes, hybrid Cloud can scale. When normal traffic resumes, it can scale back down.
Weighing Options for Legacy Applications
There's no need to abandon your legacy applications. Older applications may seem like they don't fit in with today's mobile-first business culture. However, legacy applications may provide tried-and-true solutions to your business needs and can be adapted to allow for a more modern user interface. Before you decide what to do with your legacy applications, you need to evaluate their Cloud readiness.
InfoSystems can help you find the right option for your legacy applications by conducting a Cloud Strategy Session. We will examine all your company's assets to determine which systems and applications will work best in the Cloud.
InfoSystems makes it a priority to maintain and secure the software your company depends on. We continue to train the new generation of technicians in the skills needed to support IBM i and IBM Power servers, including the RPG programming language. We also partner with APSU, a company that develops new Cloud technology that is compatible with the legacy operating systems and applications your company relies on.
Learn how to make a smooth transition to the Cloud. Get your copy of our white paper Steps to a Successful Cloud Migration.