Blog | Risks and Challenges of Legacy Systems: Why to Modernize?

Risks and Challenges of Legacy Systems: Why to Modernize?

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Organizations still running legacy systems are losing on the benefits of modern technologies and lagging behind their competitors in the digital race. Embracing digital transformation is vital to increase revenue, performance and productivity.

Legacy systems are roadblocks to digital transformation for many organizations as they are outdated, old, impossible to integrate with new platforms, independent and not compatible with other data systems. Businesses with significant resources, such as companies or government organizations, are still more likely to depend on legacy systems, platforms or technology for multiple reasons.

Using and maintaining a system that operates independently of others can only slow a company’s productivity. Replacing legacy systems is a complicated job as they are a fundamental requisite for businesses. But despite of its complexity, migration can prove life-changing for businesses. Integrating legacy systems into the cloud provides a more secure network, flexibility, scalability, and ability to use new technologies and boosts business revenue by cutting down the high operational and maintenance cost of legacy systems. Companies using legacy systems shall understand the risks and challenges involved in continuing their use and how it can retard their business growth.

Risks and challenges in keeping the legacy system

Let’s take a close look at the issues and problems of legacy systems that can harm your business’s growth if not addressed sooner.

The only constant in the field of technology is changes. New technologies are always cost-effective and designed to make operations faster, and easier with quick support and updates. This is not the case with legacy systems (software, applications, hardware); they are outdated – built as per older requirements and compatibilities, and struggle to keep up with modern operational demands. Newer staffs’ unfamiliarity with them as only fewer programmers know the required language makes it harder for developers to work with them. They are slow to update, weaker in performance and increase the whole system’s downtime making them expensive to maintain.
Soon comes a time when the company finds it cheaper to replace them than to maintain the existing system.
Data is a real asset of any organization, and developers work diligently for the cyber security of their company. As hackers keep seeking out the weakest entry points in solutions for data access, legacy systems can be an easy targets for security breaches if not kept up-to-date.
Legacy systems are more susceptible to security threats as it is hard to get the support from the vendors creating them in case of any security attack. Only few developers who know the old languages can handle the security issues with legacy systems; receiving their updates and patches to tackle the security risk is hectic as most of the outdated software support gets stopped from the makers after a period. Due to all these reasons, businesses using legal systems are more vulnerable to security threats as compared to the new systems.
The new systems are built considering the latest threats and are tough to crack. Organizations feel safer than most on-premise systems after moving to the cloud due to the stronger security capabilities offered by the cloud-native solutions.
In today’s digital world, everyone wants to access things faster; mobile phone has become a significant part of our life. Mobile allows accessing apps remotely, adding to more productivity and operational efficiencies. Businesses are taking advantage of this opportunity and creating mobile compatible apps to increase their reach and business.
Legacy software cannot be accessed through any devices than office computers and legacy applications are not mobile-compatible. This limits company’s productivity, reach, growth; adding more expenses required for traveling, infrastructure, work environment set up, and others.
Legacy systems are insecure and decrease employees’ productivity over time as new employees are unaware of this kind of system; which makes your business less competitive and hampers business efficiency. The problems in stability are visible when there is a lack of frequent support from the vendor making it difficult to fix bugs and patches.
As the company scales, software shall be able to change, update, grow and develop. One of the risks of keeping legacy software is that it will not adopt or expand as per evolving business needs.
To meet the demands of new technologies, big companies shall make their legacy software compatible with new applications; this can be achieved through migration. It is not uncommon for businesses to go for shortcuts and apply patches as emergency solutions for their legacy software; this can work only for a short time and then come back with big trouble. Your business needs will always keep evolving, and your systems will not be able to meet them.
You must set a working system compatible with business growth and open for updates with growing business demands. This cannot be achieved with monolithic or legacy systems as they are independent and incapable of integrating with other software. This impacts an organization’s flexibility and scalability and limits businesses from exploring and incorporating new technology into the existing system.
By embracing modern solutions, you can integrate more advanced software and solutions your organization needs.
In this competitive age, you must adopt new technologies to be ahead of your competitors. This is a digital era, where you will only lose your business opportunities to your competitors by using a legacy system. Customers will not stay loyal to you if you cannot provide a fast, easy, cheaper solution to their demands.
Customers come back to the applications that are user friendly and easy to use; adding too many features and functionality can make the applications complex and it may affect the customer’s experience resulting in losing their interest in using them. Businesses cannot retain their existing customers or attract new ones if they get a bad user experience for their products.
Legacy systems do not support advanced features, formats or designs and allows creating old, outdated structured forms which may not be appealing as compared to the latest, user-friendly, easy-to-use apps possible with latest technologies. With legacy systems, businesses can only design products with old formats or structures that customers are not willing to use.

The bottom line

Legacy systems in business are notoriously rigid, non-scalable, and a hurdle to success. They pose a series of problems to any organization making their progress stagnant. Problems associated with compliance, security, high maintenance expenses and integration can be eradicated by modernizing or replacing a legacy system. Restraining from investing in new technologies and sticking back to a legacy system will only hinder your business’s ability to compete and make the ground ready for your competitors.

Migrating to the cloud is one of the best means to stay competitive. If you are still unsure about why you should modernize, get in touch with our experts who can make it easy for you.

It is always good, to begin with a free consultation to know the roadmap to the cloud journey. Talk to our cloud experts to see how you can start your cloud migration journey and how we can help you get it done at a 50% discounted offer.

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Blog | Cloud Computing: A boon to StartUps in Financial Slowdown Period

Cloud Computing: A boon to StartUps in Financial Slowdown Period

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The last two years have been tough for all businesses. The pandemic has devastated many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and brought down their revenue to a point that they were left with no choice but shut down their business. Many businesses redesigned, reconsidered and revamped their entire business models to withstand the pandemic challenges of remote working, zero motivation, lack of funds, less business demand and related supply, etc.

Among all the businesses, the worst affected were startup companies. Startups embody nearly 90% of the world’s reported businesses and employ 50% of the world's workers. They are regarded as pillars of the country’s economy, these pillars were shaken and forced to close their operations due to less revenue and work. However, many startups survived and managed to operate smoothly with good revenue; and this became possible due to cloud computing services. The technologies have proved to be a saving grace in this financial slowdown period. Businesses that invested in cloud were able to surpass the current pandemic; on the other hand, those who didn’t were affected badly. Today, the cloud has become an integral part of all businesses and the most sought-after solution for organizations virtually in every industry. As a result, all companies are leveraging cloud technology in the pandemic period. According to a research by Cisco, cloud will handle almost 94% of the business work within next 3 years.

Why are startups adopting the cloud?

Today’s startups are born in cloud; they are adopting the cloud, and building apps with innovative digital technologies more than ever.  Startups are using cloud computing for many reasons than budget, such as flexibility, security and scalability. With cloud computing, a third-party vendor owns and manages the IT resources and leases them to businesses for use on a subscription basis. Any required changes or maintenance is the vendor’s responsibility. For example, if your startup needs extra bandwidth or computational power, it can be done through a simple request to vendors who will do it for you at amended subscription fees.

Additionally cloud is easy to use, budget-friendly, many features are offered as freebies, doesn’t need any unique resources, and payment is a usage basis which helps to invest more as and when required.
Whether it is a software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), or other managed service, with the cloud you get a wide range of the cloud-based services for your different business needs. The subscription based fee structure of cloud further makes it more affordable for startups than the traditional IT solutions with high upfront CAPEX costs.
The key cloud service providers AWS, G-Cloud and Microsoft Azure have designed customized cloud programs to meet the requirements of startups at each stage. Stages of the startup tech companies can be categorized as early, minimum viable product (MVP) level, launch and blitz scaling one. If your startup falls under an early stage, you can use AWS Activate at this stage program to avail the cloud services at a reasonable rate. For more mature startups, incubators and providers, AWS has designed Activate Portfolio. Startups can use these ready and easy to use customized cloud programs and save big.
Most of the cloud providers offer a set of services and technologies which can help start-ups secure their data as it is located on reliable servers that make regular backups. With cloud-based backups, companies do not need to worry about losing data stored in remote locations.
Cloud computing is sustainable, which can help start-ups to gain new customers and retain the old.
Cloud enables startups to compete with well-established players with access to the expertise and resources offered by cloud vendors. Additionally, 24/7 managed support is provided. Startups now have access to a wide range of software and hardware, which was not possible earlier in the traditional IT environment.

Common cloud mistakes by startups

study by Bobby Chernev reveals that 90% of startups fail, and only 40% manage to make a profit; the reasons for failure were cited as lack of cash, lack of investor or financing interest, pricing and cost issues. As startups are low on the financial side, they have to keep their budgets in-check to succeed. Startup adopts the cloud as it is cost-effective, offers independence, flexibility, reliability and scalability. When adopting the cloud many startups make common mistakes that can affect their scalability and weaken their financial growth.

 

In 2018 because of the development team’s mistake, Adobe unknowingly wasted $80K in cloud cost; another tech giant had to pay heavily after exceeding the spending in AWS beyond their anticipated budget. The reason behind these mistakes was - unexpected traffic spikes. Even though the cloud can help startups survive the financial slowdown period, these examples show how a minor topple in the cloud strategy can hamper your business’s scalability and finances. Chances of startups making such mistakes and losing big are very high; that’s why before moving to the cloud, it is vital to know the common cloud mistakes made by the startups and how to avoid them. Let’s take a closer look at some of such mistakes.

Many startups deploy apps or solutions without evaluating their cloud need, without discussing them with other departments and make the wrong decision of directly adopting the cloud. This results in non-optimized cloud benefits.
What to do
Always start with assessing what your business actually needs, and devise a cloud strategy in-line with your performance targets. Gartner states, “a right cloud strategy is a central role that the cloud plays in an organization”.  Always involve all departments of your company when creating a cloud strategy for better decision-making. Have an exit plan for the situation when things go out of control or budget.
Before moving to the cloud, startups must first consider deciding which provider to partner with and check which cloud suits their business needs best. Not doing your research correctly is the other common mistake due to which startups end up paying more on the features they do not need or use.
Deciding the right cloud partner is important as cloud infrastructure is tailor-made for every business’ individual needs by cloud providers. The trouble starts when vendor’s payment model is complicated and offer rigid, non scalable platform.
What to do
  • Do your business requirements evaluation before selecting a cloud service provider. You can have experts’ opinions if you don’t have the required expertise or consider outsourcing it to a professional.
  • A right cloud service provider helps you analyze your unique requirements and provide recommendations before starting the service. Select cloud providers based on your business goals and needs, not trends and popularity. Give a try to different cloud vendors and before finalizing one of them always use their free trial programs.
  • Estimate your upfront cloud transition expenses with MicrosoftGoogle and Amazon pricing calculators.
Overall the following factors can help you choose the best cloud provider in-line with your business needs:
  • Evaluate business requirements
  • Know storage and computing requirements
  • Identify users and devices count
  • Estimate the budget
Businesses rush to the cloud in an unplanned manner and then complain about slow transition and cost wastage than estimation. You may have complex, huge applications running on millions of code; moving all of the application components simultaneously to the cloud will only lead to poor performance and maintenance issues.
What to do
Move your applications to the cloud in stages. Follow a step-by-step migration approach.
The cloud could go down sometimes, just like the traditional IT infrastructure. Consider implementing the famous saying in the cloud community, “Design for failure and nothing will fail”.
What to do
Execute the cloud-optimized failure-tolerant cloud architecture and ensure to opt for a cloud service provider who offers a reliable data recovery system.
$1.52M was lost in data breaches in 2020 which was $1.42M in 2019. Data breaches are costly and can kill business scalability. Most of the startups struggle to execute security protocols. Startups must establish a security-first approach when migrating their workflow to the cloud.
What to do
Ensure that your startup is following all the cloud security practices. In addition, verify if your cloud service provider is following the compliance laws apart from the security measures they provide.

The bottom line

Cloud technology has helped many startups survive the financial slowdown period. Cloud is offering multiple business benefits to start-ups and helping them to scale more. However, to achieve measurable business results and increase the success rate, startup companies shall consider following some of the practices, such as establishing a proper cloud strategy, deciding the cloud spend as per the available budget, using the freebies and discounted cloud deals, auditing cloud needs and use as per actual business demands and choosing the right cloud partner.

Pandemics are unpredictable, but you can always use digital technologies to secure the future of your business. Ignoring the lessons learnt in this pandemic and not thinking about embracing the cloud even after witnessing how it saved so many businesses from breaking down in tough times may only delay the plethora of benefits that the cloud can add to your business.

In the past few years, many startups are benefitted from Minfy’s cloud services and solutions. Are you a startup, looking for answers to your cloud questions? Contact us today and learn more about how we can help your company.

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Cloud Computing | Security

Managing Cloud Security – Protection, Detection And Proactive Actions

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Cloud Computing | Security

Managing Cloud Security – Protection, Detection And Proactive Actions

Posted On June, 2021

Cloud security encompasses managing people, process & technology with thorough policies, that safeguard data and applications operating in the cloud. AWS allows businesses to own greater control they need to flawlessly run their operations on the strength of a powerful cloud computing environment. The vast network of data centers and network services are thoughtfully architected to safeguard confidential information, protect identities and applications across devices and platforms.

Whatever the security and compliance need, AWS protects an enterprise’s information assets and supports their top-secret workloads. By allowing them to automate manual security tasks, it frees them to focus on scaling and business innovation efforts.

In this article, we will cover different aspects of security and access management in AWS, and how Minfy as a Managed Service Provider is uniquely positioned to deliver robust security outcomes for its clients.

Security and Access Management in AWS to strengthen your cloud

AWS maintains a shared responsibility model. This means it is responsible for the security of the underlying infrastructure leased to the customer, whereas the customer is responsible for maintaining the security of the areas in the infrastructure that they control.

Common AWS security features a business needs to power up their cloud infrastructure

IAM

AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) enables you to micromanage what a user can access, including services and resources. The granular level permission provides a robust security shield, letting you decide whether to allow or deny a user’s specific access rights, and which activities they can perform with the resource. You can fine grain access control by defining timing, and source of access, while setting up multi-factor authentication for highly privileged users, and refining and optimizing control rules etc.

S3 Security

Simple Storage Service or S3 provides you with data storage with strong durability, performance, scalability and availability features. Users only have access to the S3 resources they create. There are many ways to add permissions to S3 as listed here –

S3 empowers you to fine tune access control based on unique compliance and business needs, you can control cost depending on situational needs, and conduct large scale optimization and changes. Since it works with Lambda, logging activities, defining alerts, and managing workflows does not need managing additional infrastructure. Customers – no matter size and industry – can leverage on it to safeguard, vast amount of important data for different use cases.

Security groups

Traditional firewalls can be inflexible, and suffer from varied limiting situations. On the other hand, AWS security groups are tied with EC2 instances and offer protocol and port access level security, meaning you can spot and specify permissive rules for both inbound and outbound traffic. By default, traffic is denied, meaning if it is not explicitly allowed in, then it will automatically be rejected. Security groups are a very integral and powerful security measure in the AWS cloud.

Cloud trail

The user activity tracking tool is helpful to understand if your security configuration is robust. It enables you to gain informed insights over governance, compliance. It allows you to log, monitor, access and retain activity across your infrastructure. The capabilities when combined streamline operational tasks, and support in troubleshooting. Besides, Informed and practical visibility into user and account activity brings accountability into the process, and help resolve probable disputes before they could leave any impact.

So, using AWS, you will gain the power, flexibility and tools you need to securely run your business on the cloud. At the same time, you are in control of your enterprise’s unique and demanding security requirements.

Minfy as a Next Gen Managed Service provider with strong priorities for security

Securing IT artefacts in the cloud is not a short sprint. It is an ongoing feature of digitalized enterprises. Building cyber resilience into their systems is a priority and how well they posture against threats and risks is at the foundation of the security strategy. At Minfy we have operational experience in ensuring the perimeters of security are redrawn and the security road map details the specific customer needs.

Threat modeling and various checks and balances are part of our routine deliverables. The one aspect that distinguishes us from the others is our ability to integrate security into your day-to-day operations. In fact, seamlessly harmonize with the DevOps philosophy. When this is accomplished enterprises scan actually leverage the cloud to strengthen security parameters and be ready for eventualities.

Minfy’s security experts provide continuous protection and monitoring of its client’s digital assets on the AWS environment.

Benefits

- Well defined cyber posturing

- Security as a continuous process

- Reactive and proactive modeling

- Integration with the workflows resulting in savings of time and costs

- Reviews and audits for firm vigilance

Minfy has established proven AWS security practices, provides pro-active 24/7 support to help its clients navigate complex risks, and improves their cloud security posture. From refining security policies based on demands, setting up IR plans, vulnerability management, threat detection, responding to alerts in real time and remediating systems; Minfy closely works with its clients to make the most of their AWS experience at scale.

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