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Legacy code is keeping enterprises from migrating to the cloud

Legacy code is keeping enterprises from migrating to the cloud

Service provider Ciber claims it has solved one of the most expensive problems in business: upgrading legacy systems to make them secure and cloud friendly.

Its new system, Ciber Momentum, converts the code from languages such as Cobol, Ada and Pascal into a more cloud-ready format. By automating the conversion of machine code into a modern format, the Momentum system creates massive time and money savings on projects that can take up to three years if conducted using human resources, according to Ciber.

Gartner research estimates that companies spend 70 per cent of their IT budget on maintaining existing systems, Ciber claims, leaving only 30 per cent available for new projects. This is because few of the programmers familiar with the languages used to create legacy applications are available for work today.

This means that Cobol writers, for example, are three times as expensive to hire as modern developers and, with few hiring options, companies find it difficult to dictate terms.

Since the conversion of a trading system written in Cobol can take years, this is creating a crippling expense and leaving companies vulnerable to competition from cloud based start ups that can move much faster, Ciber claims. Legacy apps are not only inflexible, they are more likely to be a security liability, said Michael Boustridge, president and chief executive of Ciber.

“Most of the time companies get hacked, the criminals are exploiting vulnerabilities of an old system,” said Boustridge, “legacy computers are not secure.”

Boustridge said Ciber intends to reverse the formula for the industry, so that CIOs will be able to spend 70 per cent of their budgets on new projects and only 30 per cent on maintenance.

The fast-track to the cloud can only be 80 to 85 per cent software generated as some human checking and balancing will be necessary. However, Boustridge claimed that conversion project times will be halved.

The automated system will also uncover any anomalies in legacy coding. These logical inconsistencies were often created by programmers who were notorious for over complicating systems in order to inflate their value to their employers, according to Boustridge. “Anything in the old code that doesn’t add up will be exposed,” said Boustridge.

The system, now on global release, will be available for partners to white label and offer as part of their own client service.

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