- Identify applications
The first step in the decommissioning process is to identify possible applications that could be decommissioned and establish a comprehensive overview of their current function, as well as their running costs. When shortlisting decommissioning candidates, examine factors like the number of users, the analytics functions, and whether or not the same function can be performed by another system or group of systems. Does the data in your systems need to be converted, archived or destroyed? And do you have the budget to carry this out? When compiling your list of potential candidates, make sure they’re suitable for the next stage based on project cost relative to functionality, user number, and whether the selected systems deliver the same function found in newer appliances.
- Analyse the costs and benefits
To estimate viability and potential savings for the candidates you’ve selected for decommissioning, it’s important to explore your applications in thorough detail. Investigate each candidate’s data structures and interfaces, including the reports and analytics produced by the appliance, maintenance budgets and the number of active and occasional users. What you also need to take into consideration is the training of users in new appliances, legal requirements for the system’s data, and functionality from old systems that would need to be duplicated in newer ones. If your list of possible candidates still seems feasible for decommissioning, then it’s safe to move to the next stage. If you’re not certain, go back and reassess your candidates and wait until it’s a viable option.
- Decommissioning strategy
Once you know which applications will be decommissioned and how to maximise ROI, you can formulate a decommissioning strategy. Figure out the order in which the systems will
be decommissioned, what will happen to the systems’ data, and what changes need to be made to other appliances. It’s important to evaluate how this will impact business functions.
Are your decommissioning candidates lower than the cost of running the system? Involve stakeholders and get them to sign off on your project before entering the next phase.
- Decommissioning design
Complying with Data regulations is an integral part of the decommissioning process. During the process of decommissioning of legacy systems, a technical design document needs to be created. This document needs to include the functional specifications; the data migration, integration and conversion plans as well as include staff re-training that needs to aid with change management. During the decommissioning design stage, the cost benefit analysis is also refined.
- Project implementation
The final phase is to implement your plan, which includes documenting actions, undergoing testing and delivering training as you move forward. When you’re done with your decommissioning, you should be able to show exactly how each stage of the implementation was carried out for compliance purposes. If you require any staff training for new appliances, make sure it’s done ahead of implementation. You can tell the decommissioning process is complete once data feeds in and out of the appliance, business functionality has been replaced or eliminated, and data has either been archived or destroyed or is still available for auditing purposes.