Application.Decommissioning.2016.jpgBetween 2016 and 2020, IT organizations will decommission more than three times the number of applications they have decommissioned since 2000. What to do? 

What is the state of application decommissioning in progressive enterprises today? Gartner reports after 40 years of continuous acquisition of applications, with a very low rate of decommissioning, most large organizations have application portfolios that are bloated, expensive and slow to change - this is unsustainable in the medium to long-term without substantial decommissioning.

In the article Appoint an Undertaker to Decommission Applications, information technology research and advisory company Gartner reports that, over the next few years, the adoption of new modes of working, such as bimodal IT, and the adoption of cloud-based solutions and business process outsourcing will drive a massive amount of application decommissioning work that will require dedicated policies, procedures and services.

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Such is the scale of the legacy transformation that Gartner predicts great change in the near future.

Decommissioning an application generally involves two distinct activities: Implementing a new application or service to replace the functionality of the old one; and removing all traces of the old application while implementing access mechanism for any data that must be retained for regulatory or legal purposes.

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Application.Decommissioning.Trends.2016.jpgThe Age of Application Decommissioning

The stark reality is, today legacy applications are of low value to a business, but theymust be maintained and supported to ensure access to the data they hold which is often required to meet compliance regulations and support reporting, audit or legacy discovery. These applications are often no longer supported by the vendor or are on legacy infrastructure and require specialized knowledge to maintain. As a result, they are expensive to retain and may represent a risk to the organization. 

Leading archiving solutions today archive legacy data so that the system can then be switched off, eliminating all associated costs. Simply put, archive solutions allow legacy applications to be shutdown and decommissioned, which saves massive costs associated with supporting and maintaining lagging and burgeoning applications.

Many organizations particularly those in the banking, brokerage, pharmaceutical, insurance, manufacturing, telecom and public sector — are facing massive pressure to comply with regulations and rules that apply to multinationals and public companies generating vast volumes of data from multiple applications. Through implementing an archive program, organizations can start managing the exponential growth of information in a complaint fashion while maintaining information governance

Gartner offers more insights in the report Decommissioning Applications:
The Emerging Role of the Application Undertaker
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