Texas re-examines approach to IT

Assessing the strengths and weaknesses of legacy systems is important not just for enterprises but for governments on a statewide scale. Last month, the Texas Department of Information Resources released a special public report on the legacy systems in the state.

Looking at the more than 4,100 business applications being used, the report found that, among other things, in-state organizations should focus more on proper maintenance to create a roadmap for future developments. 

Some types of applications were found to have a higher chance of being legacy than others. More than 60 percent were found to be "not mission critical," and among the applications that were, a majority had "legacy components." The report further identified some of the reasons that applications haven't been upgraded, most of them due to both software and hardware that is currently behind the times.

The author concludes with recommendations to the state for improvement. Part of this involves creating sustainable portfolio management practices. One of the key suggestions advises the state to improve its application portfolio through sufficient modernization planning beforehand.

"Key among the findings is that the legacy issue is widespread, both among agencies and among application categories," the report reads. "It will take a significant amount of effort and investment to remediate the portfolio and reduce the risks associated with legacy systems, including security vulnerabilities and lack of timely support."

A solution to concerns over applications like these is a browser based terminal emulator that places them within a safe and accessible web-based environment. This is a usable approach to porting and updating applications that keeps them tied to current activity and reduces potential risk.