Eliminate legacy software and guarantee continuity in your processes
Michiel van Dijk
Esri Technology Specialist
It (unfortunately) occurs even in the best organizations: employees leave the company and their knowledge goes with them. This disrupts the continuity of business-critical processes, because, for example, how do you monitor security and data quality if only that one colleague knew exactly how to do it? At Tensing we encounter this all too often in a GIS context. That is why we zoom in on this issue in this blog — to share ideas about how you can prevent such a situation.
In professional jargon, unmanageable IT systems are called "legacy" — and you would rather not have them in your company. Thanks to all kinds of cloud solutions for software and the collection, management and analysis of data, legacy software is becoming much less common. At Tensing our work is guided by the notion that we develop as much as possible on the basis of standard (cloud) software. This "Software as a Service" (SaaS) has as its most important advantages that it is professionally documented and allows a large online knowledge base, and is therefore easily transferable.
RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH LEGACY SOFTWARE
Departing colleagues are not the only risks associated with legacy software. What happens more often in practice is the expiration of support agreements. For example, because the software that you use is no longer supported by the supplier, they no longer provide patches and they typically no longer offer support in the event of problems. This makes your entire IT infrastructure vulnerable to attacks from outside. And the older the software is and the longer it has been in place, the more unlikely it is that your other employees will know anything about it. The fact that the knowledge is lost does not have to be a problem, but what do you do if you want to make a change to the software? In short, with legacy software you need someone within your team who has a great deal of broad and deep knowledge about software development, security and maintenance.
BENEFITS OF THE CLOUD
Without fully glorifying the cloud, it offers many benefits for many companies. The ways in which you will benefit from its use include the following:
Easy cost control. You are flexible in upscaling as well as in scaling down extra capacity.
Guaranteed the safest solution. A company like Amazon invests continuously in safety, 24/7.
Automatic hardware updates from servers. Get rid of your investment in servers, server rooms, backups and cooling systems.
Straightforward application management, so it’s no longer about the infrastructure.
Easy connection with the smartphones within your organization, so you do not have to make an additional investment in hardware for data collection at external locations.
Linking data from different sources with APIs. This speeds the processes even more.
Data accessibility anywhere, anytime with apps and web apps. Thanks to mobile devices and management apps, you can decide for yourself who gets what information at what time and on which device.
Ability to build apps yourself with click-ready, no-coding functionality. Easy, even if you are going to collect data from different people at different locations.
But, of course, “only cloud” is not the total solution. That is why we always strive for optimal cooperation between software, people and knowledge, ensuring the right conditions are in place. Naturally, we provide GIS solutions — and we also we provide training to all of your colleagues. Additionally, we go one step further by helping you find and select suitable candidates to fill your vacancies.
ITERATIVE APPROACH PREVENTS UNNECESSARY DATA LOSS
If you choose the cloud, it is important to migrate without losing your valuable data. We always opt for an iterative approach. That means that we divide a large project into smaller parts and deliver it part by part. In addition, we will only continue with the next part if the current part has been successfully delivered.
We perform migrations according to these steps:
Mapping and cleaning up your current situation
Choosing a cloud platform - Azure user-friendly / Amazon more freedom of choice
Deciding on infrastructure (servers, network, system properties = cloud hardware)
Setting up the environment
Testing the environment
Repairing and/or preparing data
Testing the environment
By following these steps, we ensure that a solution always matches the wishes of the organization and fits in with the architecture of the current solution. By largely standardizing migrations, we now know what to do and what to avoid to help you make this whole process run as smoothly as possible.
GETTING RID OFF YOUR LEGACY IN FIVE STEPS
Do you want to read more about this topic? Then download our e-book. We discuss the following topics in this e-book:
Determine the most important functions of your current situation
Decide how much time you want to spend on management
Choose a storage method
Migrate data from your legacy system to your enterprise database
Advantages and disadvantages of migrating yourself or outsourcing