If organisations don’t consider new technologies, they’ll eventually be forced to move on by the vendor ceasing to market, sell or support a product, signalling its end-of-life.

Nothing lasts forever, and new technologies can come and go in the blink of an eye. IT servers have finite lifespans and should be replaced as they age and newer, better models are released. Indeed, if organisations don’t replace or consider other options, they’ll eventually be forced to move on by the vendor ceasing to market, sell or support a product, signalling its end-of-life.

However, our recent research into the state of technology in the financial services industry shows many companies are delaying the inevitable. The average financial services firm operates 343 partially or fully unsupported applications. More concerning, 94 per cent of firms don’t know the end-of-life dates for their full server-based infrastructure.

Ignorance can be bliss, but not when it’s your company that’s driving blind. When a manufacturer stops issuing updates or patches to a server there is no guarantee that it will continue to work with the latest applications and operating systems. This means companies that depend on end-of-life technology are cutting themselves off from the patches and updates that keep their infrastructures running efficiently and securely.

Organisations that take the gamble and operate servers past their best can create a host of problems for themselves, both expensive and dangerous. As servers age they grow steadily more costly to repair or upgrade, eventually becoming unsustainable for the business.

However, they also become a dangerous liability, retaining unpatched vulnerabilities hackers can exploit. Should a breach occur and the company is found negligent for failing to upgrade, it could be the victim of heavy fines.

End-of-life technology is holding financial services companies back, costing them more money, draining IT resources and limiting their ability to compete. It’s telling that almost all (91 per cent) financial services companies acknowledge ageing infrastructure as a pressing challenge for their organisation.

Fortunately, every cloud has a silver lining. The majority of financial services companies (79 per cent) intend to use the cloud or cloud-based services to replace end-of-life infrastructure. Compared to on-premise, the cloud offers flexibility, scalability and a far easier time of upgrading or replacing end-of-life components. While most are still fettered by on-premise technology, cloud migration offers the ideal solution to a long-standing problem.   

Yet migrations to the cloud must be handled with care. The IT estates of many financial services companies have become so large and complex – a tapestry of legacy and end-of-life software and hardware – that going it alone can be a Herculean effort. Delays and issues are almost certain, and these can all too easily translate into the suspension of key services, customer fallout, reputational damage and lost business.

The cloud is a path to conquering end-of-life challenges, but only if the migration is handled correctly. A skilled and experienced technology partner is strongly recommended to help you on your journey. Whether it’s through a concerted review of systems or a lift-and-shift migration, working with the right partner is crucial to any modernisation campaign.

Cloud, Strategic IT, Legacy IT