Four Things To Consider When Decommissioning Legacy Systems

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

Legacy applications are obsolete and of little value to a business – but they have to be maintained to reference historical data which is often required to meet compliance regulations. Maintaining these applications are expensive as they are no longer supported by the vendor and require specific knowledge and skills to maintain. The simple solution would be to decommission this data, but it’s not a simple process. Here are a few things to consider when decommissioning your legacy systems:

Do an inventory of your business systems

If you want to understand the lifecycle of your business data, it’s important to determine what kind of data your business is dealing with – what is created, supported, managed, and required. You’ll possibly realise how complex everything is, as there might be redundancies and confusion around which application is used for what.  

Identify active and inactive data

Data is growing at a rapid rate; according to estimates, the volume of business data worldwide, doubles every 1.2 years. If you want to efficiently and accurately archive your data, you need to understand how your data is being used. Differentiate between active and inactive data and separate it into different categories.

Weigh the costs and benefits

Decommissioning legacy systems won’t come cheap, but it will be well worth it once you analyse the benefits. Conduct a full audit of every data infrastructure and interface, and list the tasks that will become easier once all your obsolete data is removed. You’ll save on operational costs, as well as licensing and maintenance costs.  

Develop a decommissioning strategy

The decision to decommission can affect the entire organisation, so it’s important to have a schedule and plan in place. Which systems will be decommissioned? What will happen to the data? And what changes need to be made? Who needs to be notified? These are all questions you should be asking when developing a strategy. Once your strategy is finalised, make sure it gets signoff from the necessary parties.

When decommissioning data, you’re migrating data from old systems, which requires information lifecycle management (ILM). ILM ensures effective decommissioning throughout implementation. It’s also useful for managing data growth and compliance. Migrating and archiving data will save costs, simplify processes, and allow IT departments to run more efficiently. If you’d like to explore legacy system and SAP decommissioning in more detail and find out how Proceed can help.