If you’re familiar with application decommissioning, you already know that retiring outdated legacy systems and moving their data to a single, future-proof repository offers a number of tangible benefits—from cost savings and improved information compliance to a simplified IT infrastructure and the facilitation of Big Data analytics.

Yet you may not know how to get started.

Alan Hutcheson, application decommissioning and structured data archiving expert, provides a view into several strategic IT and business initiatives that by nature surface the opportunity for an evaluation of your organization’s application portfolio and the identification of legacy applications appropriate for decommissioning.

If your organization is currently, or is planning, to pursue one of the follow projects, you can achieve greater cost savings and strengthen information compliance through Application Decommissioning with InfoArchive:

1. IT Transformation, e.g. Hybrid Cloud or IT as a Service
IT transformation can apply to a wide range of programs that involve a major change in an organization’s application and IT infrastructure. Often, IT transformation relates to programs that involve the transition from 2nd platform to Cloud and Hybrid Cloud IT infrastructures. These programs typically include work programs that focus on the business applications and aim to provide a roadmap for transitioning applications to the new (hybrid cloud) environment. This involves the analysis of an organization’s application portfolio with a view to recommending how older, individual applications should be treated. The options depend on the context of IT value and business value and range from consolidate/replace or modernize to re-platform or retire/decommission.

2. Application Rationalization/Modernization
Application rationalization or modernization programs can be seen as the application-oriented activity in wider IT Transformation programs. Organizations undertaking application rationalization or modernization initiatives typically are seeking to reduce the cost and complexity of their application portfolios and ensure that the remaining production applications are able to support the business in the most flexible and cost effective way. A key element of application rationalization includes identifying older applications that no longer provide operational value and that can release resources back into the organization by being retired and their data moved to a future-proof and compliant repository.

3. Data Center Consolidation/Migration
Data center consolidation programs are driven by the need to reduce IT infrastructure cost and complexity, i.e. moving from using three data centres to one data centre. Rather than lifting and moving outdated, unsupported applications to the new consolidated data center—and paying for ongoing support—you can remove the costs of maintaining legacy applications that are in read-only mode by retiring them and moving their data to an easily accessible and future-proof repository like InfoArchive.

4. Enterprise Application Implementation/Rollout
If your organization is planning to implement a new enterprise application, such as an ERP system, electronic medical records system (EMR), core banking or other primary system, you will need to do two things:

a. Migrate data from existing applications to the new application
b. Decommission the existing systems once the new application has been implemented

You’ll aim to migrate all open transactions and a certain period of historical data to the new application. The decision on how much historical data to migrate will be based on the new applications users’ need to easily reference historical data. The amount of data migrated, and therefore the cost, can be minimized if you can ensure access to any data in the existing application for reference and reporting. Again, by retiring the existing system or systems and moving their data to a single repository like InfoArchive, you can lower overall costs while providing easy access to legacy data for users of the new application.

5. Mergers & Acquisitions
One of the first tasks that the IT department is given following a merger or acquisition is to absorb the IT applications and infrastructure from the acquired or merged organization. The next task is to rationalize the application portfolio to remove duplicated and redundant applications and minimize costs. Application Retirement with InfoArchive supports the decommissioning of the duplicated and redundant applications, and it can serve as the repository for the ongoing, active archiving of data and content from production applications.

6. Business Shutdown or Sale
When a company takes a decision to shut down parts of its business, such as resulting from a realignment, it’s common that—even though the business operation is to be closed—the information generated by these operations must be retained for compliance and reporting. As in the examples above, this business initiative provides the opportunity to identify legacy applications whose retirement can release valuable budget back into the organization, simplify the IT infrastructure, and ensure ongoing compliance. Migrating their data to a cost-effective repository like InfoArchive supports the archiving and retention of the data and content from the applications that are being decommissioned as part of the business shut down.

7. Corporate Compliance/Information Risk Management Program
If your organization is at risk due to poor information compliance, one area not to be overlooked is how you handle information on legacy applications. The more outdated, unsupported legacy applications you have, the greater the risk of non-compliance. By moving data that is subject to regulations to InfoArchive (a single and fully supported repository that facilitates compliance), you can mitigate risks with minimum disruption to business.

Many organizations introduce Application Decommissioning with InfoArchive as a part of their IT strategy in the context of these initiatives. Some retire legacy applications and consolidate their data in InfoArchive as a first step to business improvement, and others go a step further to use InfoArchive for the ongoing, active archiving of data and content from their production applications to further minimize costs and bolster compliance.

Whatever your organization’s priorities, Application Decommissioning can be a formidable tool to improve business performance.