In computing, the term legacy software is used to describe a technology or computer system that’s outdated and old but is still in use. You must be wondering why! Well, such software systems are utilized within many companies because they’re working just fine–so far. However, in general, they no longer receive support or maintenance and have limited potential to scale.
In fact, legacy software can prevent businesses from connecting to the latest cloud applications, new trading partners or other new software solutions. Basically, legacy software can leave your business in a rut.
With technology advancing at an unprecedented rate these days, legacy software that’s based on obsolete technology is often falling behind in the race. I have solid case studies to back this statement too!
Consequently, more and more organizations are now switching to the newer, more cost-effective alternative–cloud-based applications. In this article, I’ll explain why you should ditch your old-school legacy software and focus on cloud application development instead.
As a matter of fact, since the COVID-19 pandemic, the market for cloud computing has seen rapid growth in terms of adoption, development, and infrastructure. According to a Thales and Ponemon Institute study, 66% of businesses store sensitive information in the cloud. In fact, 90% of large businesses have already implemented a multi-cloud infrastructure.
Coming up are some of the reasons why you should consider joining their ranks!
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Let’s start, shall we?
Although outdated, legacy software is still widely used in certain sectors. Especially in large organizations. Here are some industries where you’ll commonly find legacy software still being used:
The healthcare industry worldwide makes extensive use of legacy systems. Servers and infrastructure that were brought in ages ago are still in use. In most cases, this is because they are key to a hospital’s core operations or deemed too expensive to replace. However, such legacy systems come with their own host of problems.
Since they’re usually not updated anymore, they do not support the placement of anti-malware measures. Consequently, they become easy targets for cyber attacks.
In fact, the healthcare industry is victim to the largest number of cyberattacks each year. The recent AIIMS cyber attack, which resulted in data leaks of over 30 million patients and personnel, is just one in a long list of many. And one of the main reasons behind this is the widespread use of legacy software.
But the good news is, the healthcare industry is slowly waking up to these shortfalls of the legacy infrastructure. Lately, more and more hospitals are turning to the modern, serverless alternative–the cloud.
One of the most important motivating factors behind this is to facilitate the exchange of vast amounts of healthcare information between separate computer systems. In this context, an innovative technology deserves a mention here–the HL7® FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources).
Basically, it is a standard that specifies how we can securely share healthcare data across various computer systems. First developed in 2012, FHIR is rooted in internet standards that are already widely practiced in other industries. FHIR aims to use familiar technologies to make healthcare information easily–and securely– available for the benefit of clinicians, patients, and administrators.
Legacy systems play a vital role in the entire banking architecture. So, any changes in a bank’s core sites and apps are likely to have an extensive impact across the bank’s operations and networks. This is probably one of the reasons why much of the banking sector still largely use legacy systems.
However, this will likely change soon. For one, legacy systems cannot keep up with the increasing expectations of the market. They also risk exposing banks to added liabilities, such as server breaches which can compromise customer data. Furthermore, the number of professionals with the know-how on how to operate these systems is rapidly decreasing. So the upkeep of such legacy systems is set to become more costly and difficult.
Most government organizations still widely use legacy systems, with minor upgrades here and there. And this can get quite expensive in the long term. For example, maintaining legacy systems eats up millions of dollars in public funds each year in the U.S.
According to a recent Government Accountability Office report, it costs American taxpayers approximately $337 million per year to maintain and run just ten major federal IT legacy systems.
Between the years 2014 to 2019, almost 80% of the total IT spending went toward the running and maintenance of these legacy systems. That’s quite a staggering amount indeed!
Somewhat surprisingly, legacy systems are still in place in many retail, web, and manufacturing businesses.
Source: net solutions
In retail, companies invest about 58% of their total IT budget on legacy system maintenance. However, more and more retailers and manufacturers are switching to cloud infrastructure with the evolving retail landscape.
If you have a legacy software stack that constitutes the core of your business, you may be in serious trouble. Wondering why? Well, that’s because legacy applications are:
Much like a car, applications become more costly to operate as they age. They require more money in terms of talent, maintenance costs, and licensing fees. Trust me, the maintenance costs can really rack up.
The majority of legacy software is built on proprietary and outmoded technologies. So, it is difficult to find developers who can keep up with the functionality.
Most legacy apps rely on obsolete computer systems and databases. Needless to say, this makes the task of running the application just that much harder and time-consuming. And this could be costing you quite a few hours of productivity. After all, we all know that time is money!
Over time, legacy software will acquire various customizations to keep things running. However, there may be inadequate documentation about the changes. So if the original team leaves, there may be no one left who knows anything about its inner workings.
Many legacy apps are no longer sustainable since the cloud has revolutionized the conventional software model. Tell me, if everyone around you is using the cloud, wouldn’t it be smart for you to assess the benefits of migrating as well?
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And now that it’s clear how your legacy software may be costing you a lot in terms of time, money, and productivity, let’s explore the alternative– the cloud!
A cloud application is a software product that stores all of its elements online. Consequently, it also derives its functionality from the same. In essence, it is a pooled, centralized server resource that is hosted in many geographies and delivered over a network like the Internet.
In other words, this means that you do not need to install a cloud-based app on your device. You also don’t have to make any changes to it. These apps operate on cloud platforms, which in turn are maintained by developers.
Your gadget is simply the client side. Just connect your device to the cloud and voila!— you are all set to run the app you are using!
Nowadays, you’ll find that cloud computing is pretty much everywhere.
Checking your emails? Yep, that’s cloud technology in action. Surfing social media posts? Streaming your favorite show? That’s right, all of these are now presented via cloud technology.
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There are quite a few reasons behind the cloud’s booming popularity. Let’s look at some major benefits of adopting a cloud-based application, shall we?
Cloud software automatically receives and downloads updates with minimal downtime. So you no longer have to worry about your app being outdated.
Since your data is stored in the cloud instead of any specific device, clients can access the data from anywhere, on any device.
Cloud-based applications typically employ cutting-edge user verification and data encryption technologies. You can even tailor them as per your preferences. A major plus point, don’t you think?
Since you’re not installing anything, cloud-based apps usually only charge you for the storage space or services and resources you’re using. Furthermore, you might even get free space or services as part of the signing-up bonus.
Since there are easy back-ups that can be set up across your application, you run very little risk of data loss. In fact, every major cloud hosting service has a server backup resource that can be easily pluggable and subscribed on-demand with your applications.
There are several kinds of cloud-based applications out there currently. Let me give you a brief insight into how each of them works:
There are some other types of Cloud apps too, based on the kind of functions they perform:
Now that we’re familiar with the various types of cloud-based apps in the market, it’s time we looked into the process of developing one!
Developing a cloud application doesn’t have to be hard.
To simplify, you can break this entire process down into the following steps:
This step solely aims to help you and the development team to better understand the project’s scope and objectives. Think of it as the initial exploratory stage, where you have all the available options laid out before you.
This is also the phase where you need to figure out what it will take to develop your cloud solution. Before you start with the actual development, you should figure out what it will take to implement your cloud solution.
Lay a clear outline for your development team, the cloud-app development platform of your choice, your budget, and your time frame.
You should have a chat with your co-workers and employees to discuss the change in technology.
The people responsible for creating your cloud solution should have a thorough knowledge of cloud infrastructure and its many aspects. They must be capable of designing, analyzing, developing, maintaining, and incorporating the new solution into your company’s IT systems.
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This is perhaps the lengthiest and most crucial phase of the whole development process.
In this phase, you first start off by planning the development of your application. To do this, you first need to:
Once you’ve sorted all this out, your development team can move on to the actual development phase, where you’ll see your plan all coming together!
Cloud solutions are typically created using the Agile/Scrum approach. This allows for iterative development or build-review-revise development. This ensures that your cloud app is developed effectively in the shortest amount of time.
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The cloud offers an alternative to the conventional model of app hosting and management. Cloud application development is a method that allows developers to create and deploy software without having to worry about sizing, hardware, or other infrastructure requirements.
Anyone with an internet connection can create cloud-based applications. Deploying your application in the cloud is not only a cost-effective way to save money, but it also ensures that you have access to your data no matter where you are. How convenient is that!
Since it provides so much flexibility and freedom at a relatively much lower cost, the cloud is an excellent place for creating applications. There are no limitations on the size of your app, or the amount of information you can store.
If you need more space, you can just go ahead and buy it! You can also scale up or down, as and when you need to. Additionally, you don’t need to sign up for a long-term commitment when you migrate to the cloud; simply pay for what you use, when you use it.
And if you need any information regarding the cloud, or are thinking of developing a cloud-based application, don’t think twice about where to go!
TheCodeWork is here to answer all your questions, always!
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