Sunsetting: The Right Way

Rick Sabarese

It’s hard to overstate the challenges inherent in managing the retiring of important applications, operating systems, and databases. Lack of support, compatibility issues, and increased security risks can have far-reaching effects on your organization – especially when it comes to database environments.

As enterprise software approaches end-of-life, organizations running older versions need to carefully prepare to sunset it or face the risk of putting data and applications in peril. However, the process of upgrading to a supported version isn’t always simple.

A new software version can be installed relatively quickly, but there are often changes to architectural frameworks that need to be considered before doing so. Implementing best practices for retiring software and either upgrading to newer versions or moving to alternative software streamlines the software end-of-life process and minimizes risk.

Most organizations will begin by performing a structured analysis of their environment to determine what actions will be required before beginning the software retirement process. Evaluating the tradeoffs involved in moving from premises-based software deployments to cloud environments should also be carefully considered.

Standards Change

Software portability imposes unique concerns. Whether you’re replacing ageing software with premises-based or cloud-based environments, it is important to acknowledge that software standards have changed over the years with newer versions of Java, C++, and other core languages. Your mission-critical applications, developed years ago, could be very difficult to transport.

IT always has a myriad of enterprise applications to manage and eventually retire. For some of them, the retirement path and timeframe may not be clear, while others may offer a clear retirement need but impose confusing and conflicting sunsetting processes that you will need to evaluate. That’s why it is crucial to ensure that your IT team can continue meeting the needs of the organization without risking a negative impact on your ability to conduct business as usual while managing end-of-life for software solutions.

But navigating the minefields involved in upgrading business-critical software is always difficult, particularly for software deployments that have been in place for many years. Security requirements should be re-evaluated, and addressing mobile access requirements should be done early in the process of developing a strategy to retire software applications and databases.

Ongoing interoperability with existing applications and database environments must be ensured before beginning the retirement process. At Connection, our experts can help you implement best practices for deploying the applications and infrastructure needed to continue to effectively support business operations. Our team can help you discover where your challenges lie before you start your migration, ensuring you have the information you need to understand key issues as well as the project’s impact on your helpdesk and end users.

We take a multi-phased approach to retiring and replacing software applications, beginning each engagement with a conversation, followed by a detailed assessment of your environment and business goals.

Connection’s Applications and Database Solutions software practice is just what you need to make retirement and replacement projects successful.