IT decision makers in UK enterprises have admitted to keeping old or legacy apps alive, most just so they can continue to access their data, according to a new study.
Research commissioned by Macro 4 questioned 100 IT decision makers on the challenges that are associated with retiring obsolete legacy applications and the problems of running them indefinitely on “life support”.
In the report, it revealed that 89 percent of businesses who use legacy/old IT applications were likely to be kept running due to historical data being useful.
Only 10 percent of the decision makers who responded were not likely to run legacy IT applications for historical data purposes with one percent saying they don’t know.
Jim Allum, Director, Commercial and Technical at Macro 4 highlighted the security risks of enterprises retaining old/legacy IT applications.
Allum said: “Businesses can’t afford to lose access to all that data so they just keep the old applications on ‘life support’, which causes a lot of problems.
“Old systems are typically harder to fix when they go wrong, harder to keep secure, and cost more to support – that’s if you can find people with the right legacy skills.
“It creates a huge burden, especially where companies are running dozens or even hundreds of legacy applications – which is surprisingly common.”
When businesses were asked about keeping obsolete applications running, the main concern for IT decision makers was that it “too difficult to keep the data somewhere else whilst keeping it easily accessible” at 52 percent.
A lack of budget and “decommissioning applications is considered too risky for data loss” was the less concerning for IT leaders at 30 percent.
Allum added: “Enterprise IT leaders are facing a universal set of problems caused by legacy systems, yet there is still inertia around getting decommissioning initiatives off the ground.
“It’s therefore important to manage the end of life process carefully, just like any other stage of the application lifecycle. You should aim to move the data away from obsolete applications and into a content repository where business users can continue to access it, so that the original application can be retired.”