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3 Ways to Simplify Your Legacy IT Infrastructure

November 8, 2017 No Comments

Featured article by Calvin Paige, Independent Technology Author

Outdated legacy technology is wasting companies’ time and money. Software maintenance and development consumes 25 percent of IT budgets. Fifty percent of this is spent on legacy software maintenance and enhancement, while 45 percent goes to customization, including 27 percent spend on new application development, reports the Society of Information Management.

In an age of cloud-based infrastructure and software services, this vestigial reliance on legacy systems makes little sense either from an efficiency standpoint or a financial perspective. Here are three ways IT professionals can update their technology for a more simplified and unified infrastructure with more uptime and lower costs.

Use a Smart Cloud Adoption Strategy

Many companies turn to the cloud to solve their legacy infrastructure problems, but a clumsy cloud deployment can backfire if not approached using best practices. Four out of five cloud migrations fail to achieve the desired results due to a number of common issues, a Fugue survey found. One of the biggest problems is stitching together a cloud infrastructure from a disparate variety of tools not designed to work together, which creates unwieldy complexity. Thirty-eight percent of companies use three to five cloud tools, while 31 percent use six to 10, 16 percent use 11 to 15, and 7 percent use more than 15. The result of this approach is that 69 percent of companies spend more on a patchwork of cloud tools and services than they do on the cloud itself, failing to realize the cloud’s potential cost and performance uptime benefits.

To avoid these issues, cut costs and optimize uptime, International Data Corporation (IDC) recommends pursuing a step-by-step approach to cloud adoption. Companies that successfully transition to the cloud generally set up a private cloud first before moving to a public and hybrid cloud. Within the private cloud phase, virtualization is the first step, laying a foundation for adoption of infrastructure as a service and platform as a service tools. IDC recommends companies should first virtualize hardware and software compute, storage and networking resources before perusing IaaS and PaaS solutions. When selecting IaaS and PaaS tools, companies should carefully select options that will integrate well with apps that support key business processes.

Simplify Your Security

Security is one of the most challenging areas of cloud deployment for IT professionals, Fugue’s survey found. 44 percent of IT professionals list ensuring cloud infrastructure security and compliance as one of their top concerns, and 39 percent say trying to keep with security-related issues is slowing them down.

Security problems become most acute when resources are deployed across multiple, incompatible platforms, so to an extent, pursuing an integrated cloud adoption strategy as recommended above will help simplifying security. Another way to simplify security is relying on providers who have strong native security tools included in their platforms.

For instance, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has an array of built-in security tools which users should be sure to fully utilize before turning to third-party or in-house security add-on solutions. AWS built-in security tools include Amazon Inspector, which can perform automated security assessments; Availability Zones, which allow users to create backups at multiple locations to avoid downtime; and Identity and Access Management, which allows administrators to control who can access network resources. Relying as much as possible on a professional provider’s native tools will spare you the time and expense of finding and developing your own security solutions.

Virtualize Your Software Apps

Virtualizing your software is another key strategy to lowering technology costs and improving uptime. The more you can virtualize the software you use for your key business operations, the less you pay in licensing fees, the more you can rely on your provider’s server for uptime and the better you can integrate and automate your business processes.

In the process of virtualizing your software apps, aim to select apps that enable you to integrate multiple business processes into a single automated workflow. For example, the widespread popularity of QuickBooks Online for cloud-based accounting makes it easy to integrate with other financial functions, such as processing point-of-sale transactions, managing inventory, scanning business expense receipts and handling payroll. Similarly, virtualizing your contact center by adopting a cloud contact center solution that enables you to integrate all your customer support channels and combine your call center data with data from CRM tools, while avoiding upfront investment in hardware and software infrastructure. Virtualizing as much of your software workflow as possible will increase your operational efficiency, cut your costs and increase your uptime.

 

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