Introduction

Legacy software is more common than you would expect. It is used across businesses, and may be central to critical business services and processes.

Legacy systems are often built on outdated architecture and may not be compatible with modern technology. It is usually characterised by monolithic architecture; designed for the environment of the time, but now presents challenges regarding scalability, performance, inability to make changes or integrate.

As technology is always evolving, these systems are quickly becoming outdated and unable to keep up with demand. This has meant organisations are looking to utilise technologies such as cloud.

It has become strategically important for organisations to explore a ‘platform-first’ approach with the goal to remove technical debt that has accumulated over time.

This strategic outlook has seen a rise in cloud migration from organisations who are looking for a cost-effective way to move legacy software. Moving on-premises infrastructure and traditional software architectures to cloud aims to eliminate unnecessary dependencies and modernise capabilities. It also lowers maintenance costs, enhances system performance, and increases efficiencies.

The POV will explore the need for legacy software modernisation and how Cloud migration is a good option.
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Why Does Legacy Software Need Modernising?

Legacy software is characterised by its outdated infrastructure, which is costly to maintain, has a lack flexibility to adapt to new technologies, causes inefficiencies from manual processes, and is accompanied by high maintenance costs. With increasing customer demand and new business goals, organisations with legacy software will struggle to ensure good customer satisfaction, losing their competitive edge due to the lack of flexibility and scalability.

Legacy software should be modernised to resolve integration and compatibility issues, reduce risk of IT and security threats, optimise business processes, respond to demand more efficiently, support scalability, ensure regulatory compliance, and reduce unnecessary expenses.

Modernisation projects are an ongoing process that requires good planning, oversight, and prioritisation to ensure a successful outcome.

Considerations When Migrating Legacy Systems to Cloud

The type of legacy system plays a sizable role in determining the complexity of a migration project. Some legacy systems are compatible with cloud platforms whilst others are built on outdated architecture that will require more resources to migrate to cloud efficiently. Organisations need to assess the nature of their legacy software to identify roadblocks and plan a seamless migration.

Larger systems will take longer to migrate due to the volume of data involved, therefore businesses must plan to avoid disruption to core operations. Organisations may also need to prioritise certain components and use a phased approach to minimise downtime.

Another consideration is budget. As with any enterprise project, time and effort, hosting charges and licences, and support costs need to be factored into the decision to migrate. Migrating to cloud also has variable costs depending on the vendor, including data transfer and setup, so businesses should be prepared for unforeseen expenses.

Cloud Migration for Legacy Software

Cloud migration involves the transfer of data and applications from on-premises legacy systems to a cloud-based infrastructure.

Cloud migration has many benefits including:

  • Preservation of legacy systems and data so that it stays accessible
  • Ensuring that organisations have the most up-to-date security features to meet regulations and mitigate risk
  • Improving performance by adding flexibility to operations and improving scalability to meet demand
  • Saving maintenance time and costs
  • Allowing for better integration with other modern technologies

Many organisations are turning to cloud to better their cybersecurity posture and reduce attack surfaces. Cloud-based services are also highly resilient, providing organisations with disaster recovery, automated backups, and advanced security features. In the long term, utilising cloud is cost effective, as after migration, organisations can scale up or down depending on what is needed, rather than estimating capacity. Furthermore, those who utilise cloud can utilise new technologies such as machine learning and AI to create new business opportunity.

How?

The first step to cloud migration is evaluating the existing legacy systems to identify the components that can be moved to the cloud, and which will require updates or changes to guarantee a seamless transition. There are multiple techniques organisations can utilise to migrate their legacy systems to cloud. For a more complex legacy system, rearchitecting may be necessary to redesign the system to utilise the benefits of cloud.

A more common approach is a rehosting or a ‘lift and shift’, whereby existing systems and data are moved into the cloud within minimal changes. When developing a strategy, organisations should consider if they want to move everything at the same time or in batches, how much disruption there will be when migrating, if there are back-ups, and who will be responsible for the migration process. 

Choosing the Cloud

It is important for organisations to choose the right cloud environment as not all cloud services are the same.

Some may be best suited for development and design, others better suited for sales purposes, therefore it is important to understand the functionality needed from the provider. It is also key to remember that different cloud environments have different pricing structures and to find one that suits the budget and specific needs and requirements.

When software and applications are moved to the cloud, they become more robust, operate more efficiently, and lowers hardware costs. Once a migration is completed, organisations should monitor the environments and fine-tune infrastructure to continuously refine and enhance the cloud platform.

Conclusion

Legacy systems create challenges for organisations who want to innovate and compete with modern technologies. Utilising cloud is a forward-thinking strategy that offers a solution that provides flexibility, cost efficiency, and scalability.

To ensure a successful migration, organisations can and should collaborate with technology experts to ensure best practices are followed and a comprehensive strategy is in place. Partnering with the right cloud migration service provider to deliver in depth knowledge and strategic thinking to ensure successful legacy system migration.

Get in touch for more information about how Responsiv can support your legacy modernisation project(s)!

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