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Application Retirement 101 – Drafting the legacy roadmap

Application sprawl is one of the biggest challenges facing modern-day businesses. The reason can vary from uncontrolled data growth to outdated primary software usage. Toward this, legacy application retirement has become a first-order need today. Decommissioning applications optimize resources otherwise needed to maintain outdated data reserves. Industry analysts view application retirement and archival as top data growth management practices.

What is application retirement?

Application retirement is the process of shutting down inactive database applications.

Data is an invaluable enterprise asset. However, some legacy databases consume resources and maintenance costs despite no active use. It makes them more of a liability. While it might be tempting to let go of such applications, by doing so, you also lose access to the information they contain. You may need such information for driving insights in the future.

The smart way to approach this is to leverage the right data growth management practice. Decommission applications that have already rendered optimal usage. Subject the rest of the legacy databases to application archival. The latter sends selected records from an active store to a standardized archive. You can access, manage, and even retire the applications from this archive as per your need.

Why is application retirement needed?

  • Managing data growth – The explosion of data in recent times has contributed to large volumes of stored information. Alongside, it has also proliferated data-intensive applications which are costly to manage. It is good to standardize data growth management as a practice to address these areas.

Read why it is important to control application data growth before it controls your business.

  • Saving maintenance costs – Organizations run low on infrastructure resources if applications start growing beyond control. This necessitates extra hardware purchases which in turn increase management costs. Application archiving or retirement can cut such unnecessary costs. These make room in your budget for innovation and other business improvements.
  • Boosting resource efficiency – Legacy applications often continue to consume resources even after being replaced. Your infrastructure expands to accommodate all the redundant applications and data. And, such inefficient hardware utilization makes you spend more on infrastructure management than needed. Decommissioning applications that are no longer in use is a business-smart step toward this.
  • Ensuring data security – You must be cognizant of how data moves through your enterprise IT ecosystem. Lack of this visibility can increase risks of security breaches and compliance fines. Make application archival or sunsetting a part of your data growth management strategy for arresting such threats.
  • Adhering to legal mandates– Legal changes in structure can pose challenges in tracking the existing software inventory and related resource requirements.

In the case of a merger, for example, one organization’s applications are often managed as the primary software. The other organization’s programs remain in a non-production environment for reporting purposes. Though this addresses compliance concerns, it may create inefficiencies in infrastructure management. Application archival/retirement can come in handy under such circumstances.

Benefits of Robust Application Retirement
Benefits of Robust Application Retirement

Picking an application retirement strategy

There are volumes of applications in the IT environment today. However, so is the amount of data that has the potential of generating future insight. Justifying investment in an application retirement project can be challenging toward this. New demands are compelling today’s IT teams to address data growth management with fewer financial resources than ever before.

The time is ripe for thinking of application retirement in terms of a comprehensive strategy.

The first step should pertain to a thorough investigation of existing programs. However, simply identifying existing software is not enough. Instead, organizations should dig deeper. Analyzing the cost of programs and connecting to respective business values is a good starting point.

An effective application retirement strategy requires this level of visibility for saving mission-critical data and software. It also allots a sufficient amount of time for the discovery process. There are other benefits to this as well. For example, audits become easier for organizations that have a map of where their data is and how their applications relate to one another.

How to select the right technology for application retirement?

The application decommissioning process can be resource-intensive in the absence of appropriate tools. The retirement factory model can come in handy under such scenarios. This data growth management practice is known for its operation streamlining capabilities.

What is the Retirement Factory Model? 

The retirement factory model helps in strategic application retirement. It leverages automation and pre-built templates for decommissioning legacy applications. As a result, manual processes are optimally eliminated while still allowing human insight and intervention as appropriate.

IBM InfoSphere Optim data lifecycle management effectively automates application retirement

IBM InfoSphere Optim data lifecycle management includes functionalities well-suited for a factory-based approach. Incorporating InfoSphere Optim into existing IT environments helps to automate archival job scheduling.

The application archiving functionality saves mission-critical information so that you can maintain compliance. The query workload support helps to access archived data in the future. This way, line-of-business users gain the efficiency of the factory retirement model. They do not lose any information that might be useful for compliance or analytics in the future.

As InfoSphere Optim has a suite of data lifecycle management applications, you can easily leverage it for keeping track of and retiring applications.

Read more about IBM’s application archiving and retirement solutions.

Launching a data governance initiative

Stalling application retirement initiatives can be tempting. There is always a lingering apprehension that these projects will not be cost-effective. However, controlling application sprawl using the retirement factory model is only likely to save resources in the long run. Not all sprawl issues stem from applications. So, software management can contribute significantly to the total cost of ownership (TCO) of technology. Efficiency gains need a solid foundation to launch a comprehensive data governance initiative.

In some cases, this initiative will mean investing in advanced technology. Some organizations may need to adopt new practices for optimizing their existing solutions. Regardless of the changes, an effective approach can accurately follow data through its entire lifecycle. It can facilitate application retirement through automation.

Read why investing in data governance has always been a strategic business move.

Estuate is a premier implementation partner of IBM InfoSphere Optim solutions

We have deep experience in the implementation of IBM InfoSphere Optim solutions. We also know our way around other IBM Unified Governance and Integration products. Archive little-used data and retire obsolete applications with our data archival capabilities. The archived data can be accessed at any time.

  • We are IBM’s go-to partner for IBM InfoSpere Optim solutions across many platforms and use cases.
  • We have a successful track record with over 350 InfoSphere Optim implementations.
  • We have in-house domain experts to provide business-specific consultation across various industry verticals.

Watch this webinar conducted by Estuate’s IBM experts. They speak on data growth management practices using IBM’s InfoSphere Optim solutions.

So if you are looking for robust data growth management solutions, we’re just this click away.

Do you think that application retirement is necessary for managing data growth? Can it make business operations smoother for you?