Blog September 4, 2019

Skeleton Crew – How to Manage Legacy Applications When Your IT Team Has Moved On

Over the course of your organization’s history, attrition has simply been a part of business. Skilled staff members come and go and while some stick around longer than others, there are few that make the impact that engineers and IT staff do upon leaving. Sourcing experienced talent may be easy enough when it comes to newer technologies like AWS or Microsoft Azure and mobile applications, but that’s not necessarily the case for many legacy applications.

This makes locating and recruiting talent capable of supporting older applications more and more of a challenge. As a growing number of these specifically-skilled engineers and technicians approach retirement age or opt for second careers outside the IT field, organizations are finding themselves in an ever-tightening bind to find, hire, and retain the right talent.

Training the “Newbies”

Organizations that are lucky enough to still have engineers familiar with all of their legacy applications can still be behind the eight-ball when it comes to getting new team members trained. Unfortunately, few legacy applications are covered in today’s educational institutions and continuing education (CE) courses for them are a thing of the past.

This means that many times, the “old timers” are left to pick up the slack and attempt to up-train the new-hire while continuing with daily duties. This can result in resentment and overall job dissatisfaction with both new and experienced engineers, possibly leading to even more attrition in a near never-ending vicious cycle.

In some cases, the office of the CIO may consider shifting or modernizing infrastructure entirely before remembering the substantial investments made for older, near-antiquated systems. Therein lies the proverbial catch-22: invest in completely new technology that the modern workforce can support or continue chasing down a limited pool of engineers to justify past investments.

Thankfully, there are options if your organization is open to collaboration and the right strategic alliances. With the right strategic partnership, giving up on the systems already entrenched in your organization doesn’t have to be the only path forward.

First a Word About Temp Agencies

Utilizing temp agencies has never been a desirable solution for the IT industry. Workers sourced through temporary staffing agencies often receive a significantly lower salary than their experience dictates appropriate.  Additionally, much of the talent in the temp or staffing agency pool is in transition and actively seeking a full time employment situation.

With the less than competitive salary from the staffing company and an eye on a full time position, an available engineer from a staffing company will often move on to a better position at the first opportunity. This “revolving door” of talent rarely works out well and in many cases the temporary employee ends up merely filling a seat and managing mundane tasks.

It can be natural for some organizations to feel a little boxed in at this point. Legacy apps still play a huge part for so many and the inherent deep integration can make it seem critical that they attract and retain the necessary talent.

But that’s not necessarily true.

The Power of Partnerships

The managed services space has evolved and expanded by leaps and bounds in recent years. As a result, there are almost always multiple options available to partner with an organization that has the engineering and administrative experience necessary to support your legacy applications. If you’ve made investments in, for example, large ERP integrations that power your entire organization, not only is it possible but it’s entirely likely that a managed services provider is out there that can bring the necessary expertise to manage and maintain your application.

Leveraging a partnership with a reputable and efficient organization like Connectria can completely eradicate those issues once and for all. As an example, we’ve been able to hire and retain some of the best IBM System Administration talent in the industry, helping us build the second largest IBM i hosting practice in North America second only to IBM itself.

We have the knowledge you require when it comes to IBM i Series and can help deploy and maintain mission-critical workloads on an IBM i or IBM AIX platform. For companies with staffing issues related to IBM i Series, a partnership with Connectria can reduce or even remove staffing headaches of supporting their legacy applications.

There is simply no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater when it comes to supporting legacy applications in your environment. All of the talent and skills necessary to support these environments and workloads didn’t disappear entirely, they’re simply available today in a different form.  Partnerships are the most practical way to continue your business on the tracks laid from investments made in years past.

Connect with the Experts

Contact Connectria today to find out how we can help take those legacy systems off your plate and mind once and for all. For those looking to streamline their IT operations while continuing to use legacy systems, we offer several options such as remote monitoring, remote administration, and dedicated hosting.

With our remote monitoring, your existing infrastructure and systems are watched with complete regard for security, compliance, and performance. If there happens to be any issues, day or night, our experts will follow your escalation policies and procedures and alert your staff accordingly.

Remote administration for your on-premise legacy  systems ensures that you can utilize your overall IT budget more efficiently as we take over the responsibilities of uptime and reliability. This covers the full administration of your environment, including OS management and even backup and restore processes.

Contact us today and a Connectria Architect will be in touch. We look forward to providing the solution you need, partnering to give your legacy applications new life.

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