The world is moving at lightning speed from legacy enterprise software to SOA, SaaS integration and APIs, compelled by the power of convention over configuration and the promise of agility and operational efficiency. Yet most businesses face a widening divergence between the IT infrastructure demanded by emerging business needs and the infrastructure they’ve built up over generations.

While businesses may have strategic imperatives to build rich mobile applications, move services to the cloud or simply reduce long-term costs by modernizing existing assets, the information enabling these initiatives—namely data and businesses processes—is tied up in legacy systems. This all-too-familiar scenario is one of the chief impediments to innovation within established businesses. Unresolved, it can stunt growth and ultimately lead to business decline.

While businesses may have strategic imperatives to build rich mobile applications, move services to the cloud or simply reduce long-term costs by modernizing existing assets, the information enabling these initiatives—namely data and businesses processes—is tied up in legacy systems.”

The smart enterprise is meeting this challenge head-on, by connecting legacy systems with today’s explosion of applications, data, partners and customers to create a seamless, highperforming organization. This Connected Company is a vanguard of a new economic world order, wielding a new competitive advantage—with help from MuleSoft’s Anypoint™ Platform.

Legacy pains in the unconnected company

Generally speaking, legacy systems are technologies, computer systems, or applications that were implemented to solve earlier business challenges. Though the ages of these “older” investments vary broadly, the pains associated with legacy systems commonly appear over time, in the form of inefficiencies. Although they usually aren’t as fast, scalable, or flexible as newer solutions, legacy systems are nonetheless maintained, because they’ve become critical to some aspects of business operations, and can’t be easily eliminated or replaced.

What are the pains legacy systems inflict?

  • In-house analysts and/or programmers don’t fully understand them
  • Expertise to monitor and maintain them is close to nil
  • Their layers of custom code—improvised over the years— create multiple, fragile dependencies
  • Physical access to them is limited
  • Implementation and usage is largely undocumented
  • Connections to other SaaS or on-premises applications are extremely difficult due to lack of clearly defined / accessible / implemented APIs
  • They create an unclear migration path and vendor lock-in

Legacy systems also carry massive maintenance expenses. According to a study by Business Technographics, 75% of North American and European enterprise IT budgets are expended on ongoing operations and maintenance, leaving a mere 25% for new investments. Another study found that nearly half of the US Federal IT budget is spent supporting legacy systems. Many of the expenses associated with these legacy systems derive not from simple maintenance but from new demands on them—which usually go far beyond their original purpose and design.

“According to a study by Business Technographics, 75% of North American and European enterprise IT budgets are expended on ongoing operations and maintenance, leaving a mere 25% for new investments.”

As a result, businesses generally face a stark choice: continue with these systems and lose access to the advantages of modern alternatives, or undertake a wholesale “rip-and-replace,” at great expense and risk of disruption.

Before deciding on a strategy for how to deal with legacy systems, it’s important for organizations to consider several key questions:

  • What is the most essential data in your enterprise?
  • What are the most essential business processes in your enterprise?
  • What current initiatives do your legacy systems fail to support (e.g., integration with e-commerce, mobile, SaaS, ERP, CRM, APIs, etc.)?
  • How would you ideally like your legacy systems to fit into your future infrastructure?

Access this white paper to find one system that promises to launch your legacy systems into the world of tomorrow, focusing on application integration and connectivity. Read on to see if a system like this can help your infrastructure thrive.

 

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Unlock The Value Of Legacy Systems With Mulesoft

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