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GCN : November and December 2014
E E S, E S U S SPEC EP D G O O O D O O D O O O D G O O , DO O G G D- CYBERSECURITY: ONLINE REPORT SPONSORED BY: O D GCN.com/CDWGCybersecur y E M E, S : Like many states, Texas has an aging and sprawling IT infrastructure. A recent report from the Texas Depart- ment of Information Resources identi ed more than 13,000 physical and virtual server instances and 100,000 software products that support the state's 4,130 business applications. But over half of the business applica- tions are considered legacy, meaning the hardware and software is no longer supported by the vendor. Because such aging systems can be costly, inef cient and risky, the report, "Legacy Systems Study: Assessment and Recommendations," aims to give the state's leadership guidance on whether to replace or update its aging IT infrastructure. Of the state's 4,130 business applica- tions, approximately 58 percent contain legacy components, according to the re- port, while two-thirds of mission-critical applications have legacy components. The applications categories with the highest number of hardware and soft- ware legacy components were licensing, business, systems management and reporting. As demand for state IT services grows, agencies become increasingly depen- dent on automation. But they are often forced to invest in systems that support daily activities and provide immediate business value, neglecting upgrades and maintenance that deliver fewer, less tangible short-term bene ts. Although the cost to replace the lega- cy systems would be substantial (a one- time estimated cost of over $450 million), the state's ongoing cost to maintain the legacy portfolio is over $300 million. The authors make six recommenda- tions on how tackle the problem: 1. Identify and prioritize security risks and develop the least disruptive ap- proach to mitigate them. 2. Develop a legacy modernization roadmap as remediation options are complex. 3. Establish statewide standards for application development that could facilitate cross-agency coordination. 4. Seek commercial off-the-shelf solu- tions over custom-developed solutions, particularly cloud-based services. 5. Consolidate reporting and analytics into consolidated business intelligence services to reduce the common report- ing functions. 6. Implement application portfolio management practices that would pro- vide consistency in the data. • Texas detox: 6 ways to clean up aging IT GCN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 • GCN.COM 11