How the Cloud can secure proven, business-critical applications running on older operating systems & hardware
Application lifecycle management can get pretty tricky when your proven, business-critical application is doing its job and the cost/value of a hardware/operating system upgrade doesn’t make sense. These applications are typically a bit cumbersome to maintain, in regard to security and compliance, especially as they age. We will look at this situation from two different perspectives, a software company and an end-user, and see how the Cloud can help.
First: Software Company
These companies have developed industry-specific, niche applications that never needed to leverage the newer technologies. These applications are very good at ‘getting the job done.’ Their customers are not demanding additional features or benefits from the software, which is reliable and efficient. Before they know it, they are in maintenance mode and looking at the long position.
Second: The End-User
As an End-User organization you are satisfied with your software. You typically support a server in your environment, which is aging, as well as execute some sort of backup strategy. However, you become concerned about the security, compliance, and long-term support of old legacy hardware. These niche applications and legacy hardware systems have weaknesses around security on the physical hardware and vulnerabilities during data transport that need to be addressed.
Move the niche application to the Cloud
In the Cloud, utilizing a VPN connection, the data will be encrypted in transit. This will eliminate the concern around data access and transport and will make the Cloud a good choice for any needed infrastructure. Make sure your Cloud provider delivers isolation and strict access controls.
The legacy hardware systems will need to be hardened. It is imperative that the Cloud infrastructure you are moving your application to maintains a hardened environment. This will lock down the machines and disable any service, minimizing unnecessary exposure.
The Cloud enables these niche application software providers to continue delivering their software in a secure and compliant manner to their customers. The Cloud will provide the ‘as a Service’ for the software company as well which drives additional value propositions to the customer. It eliminates the need to manage the hardware and execute a backup and business continuity strategy. It will satisfy the requirements of the end-user and add additional value to the software company.
In conclusion, moving the software application to the Cloud will eliminate the need to manage remote servers, procure legacy hardware systems that are hard to find, if available, and provide the sales channel with an easily deployable solution with additional value while satisfying the concerns of the end-user.