Application Retirement

Application Retirement – What Is It? And How Does It Work?

February 2, 2022

If you still hold onto legacy applications, it is most probably because of either compliance, reference, or regulation. These obsolete systems with an extremely large amount of data conflict with your company’s plans to modernize and digitalize the whole business. What about your plans of consolidating your IT infrastructure or moving systems to the cloud? Here is what you win by putting application retirement in between the two.

Application retirement: Farewell to legacy applications

Application retirement (sometimes also called application decommissioning or application sunsetting) is a process of shutting down obsolete, ‘dinosaur’ applications while migrating data they contain to standardized archives where this information will always be accessible.

The term ‘applications’, in this case, also includes platforms, systems, hardware configurations, programming languages, and others. As for the content, we are talking about almost all types of information but most often data, images, videos, or documents (such as contracts).

The business issue: a company keeps an aged, legacy application only to rarely access it to provide data from its database. But the cost of the ongoing maintenance—keeping legacy applications alive—is expensive since they are no longer supported by the author/vendor via normal support and maintenance. Plus, the old system requires specific, costly know-how and often specific hardware.

Besides the cost, this also poses a company risk: What if the system breaks down?

“A good application retirement results in information stored so that it can be easily searched for and reused for another application.”

When is the time to go for application retirement?

Application decommissioning comes into question typically in these situations:

  • When you consider migrating business data to the cloud,
  • When your current application(s) reaches the natural end of its lifecycle,
  • When you are about to switch to a more modern app, to offer an up-to-date solution, and
  • When you need to store, organize, and manage sensitivity in accordance with data compliance regulations (such as GDPR, PCI DSS, HIPAA, or CCPA).

With the last one, the problem is, that the old systems— the ones you probably currently use—have not been built to follow the compliance regulations. They do not ever delete any information but neither have they been built to clearly demonstrate that you respect retention periods.
Read our blog to check if you can picture yourself in one of the 4 tips of when to use application retirement.

Read more in our whitepaper.


Application retirement—benefits and responsibilities

A decommission of an obsolete application results in faster processes and a more meaningfully spent budget across the company. But who should raise the question?

Let’s see the top benefits to find which departments are most involved:

  1. Cost Reduction – Removing old applications will result in significant savings on system costs.
  2. Better information accessibility – Getting the information out of the legacy application; External information sharing; Internal information sharing
  3. Reducing operational risks
  4. Increasing compliance
  5. Preparation for migration to the cloud

As you see, application retirement brings savings on the company’s finances, simplifying things for the IT department, and is crucial in keeping compliance with standards and regulations. It is, therefore, mainly the Chief financial officer (CFO), the Head of IT, and the Compliance manager who should be firstly interested—and involved.

“Old systems were not built to demonstrate that you respect data retention periods.“

How to start and proceed?

The process of application retirement needs solid preparation—this is challenging since the old, complex systems often do not show everything at the first sight.

You should specifically consider

1) the ability to organize data extraction,

2) the speed of exporting data and search,

3) the level of simplicity when adding new searches, and

4) the ease of use of the archive.

With Docbyte, you can count on implementing solid application retirement—your gateway to digitalization—with the highest level of professionalism. Not only that you will work with experts in the process of data migration but you will receive free training and onboarding. Another benefit of the cooperation with Docbyte is the fact that our solution is compliant with regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, eIDAS, Digital Act, e-Ark, and others. Plus, we host it on Amazon Web Services, complying with the highest (ISO 27001) security standards, which makes us the perfect choice for e.g. Finance & Insurance, Healthcare, and Public sector companies and institutions. Let’s start talking about your application retirement today.


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