The new solution teams Macro 4’s Columbus software with IBM Watson Analytics and IBM Cloud Object Storage

Macro 4, a division of UNICOM global, is partnering with IBM to offer a joint legacy application decommissioning solution that enables organizations to retire legacy applications while keeping the data alive and available to IBM Watson Analytics to mine for business insights. The data is moved to Columbus, Macro 4’s secure content repository, either in the cloud or on premise, from where it remains accessible to end users for operational reasons such as answering customer queries.

”Legacy applications are a huge challenge for many organizations. Old technology is potentially non-compliant, and a security risk. Legacy apps divert resources away from innovation and can be costly to maintain. At the same time, they lock away important data that could provide valuable business intelligence,” said Darren Jack, Professional Services Manager at Macro 4, which is a long-standing IBM Business Partner.

”Gartner predicted that between 2016 and 2020 IT organizations would decommission more than three times the number of applications they did between 2000 and 2016, and we’re also seeing an increase on the ground. Technology upheaval caused by digital transformation and the drive to rationalize IT to support GDPR compliance are both contributory factors,” said Darren Jack.

The new joint legacy application decommissioning solution ensures business continuity by retaining legacy data in its original context and making it easy for end users to access, from a web interface and mobile app.

Macro 4’s professional services team follows a structured process to identify all legacy information that will be required going forward, for compliance, operational reasons or analysis. Visual layouts are then designed; these can either replicate the original application screens or be enhanced to improve usability. Once the data has been transferred to the Columbus content repository the original legacy applications are retired.

Data from all decommissioned applications is stored and managed centrally, providing a single source of legacy information that can be analyzed by IBM Watson Analytics, which uses artificial intelligence to extract deep business insights. IBM Watson Analytics is designed to sweep through vast quantities of data, making it well suited to analyzing many years of historical data generated by legacy applications.

”Legacy application decommissioning doesn’t mean getting rid of data – far from it,” said Jonathan Clark, Business Development Manager at Macro 4. ”It just means moving it to a specialist content repository where it’s easier to manage, quicker to access, and cheaper to run. Many of the organizations we work with have multiple legacy applications, so the cost savings are very significant.”

”In business intelligence terms, we see legacy data as being an important part of the total view of information available, frequently providing valuable insights. With IBM Watson Analytics, it is not a question of being told what insights you can derive from your data; instead the starting point is: what insights do you want?”

Macro 4’s Columbus content repository can be located on a server on premise, or in the cloud. The joint solution provides customers with the option of running Columbus on IBM Cloud Object Storage, which is a highly scalable cloud storage service, designed for durability, resilience and security. Moving data into the cloud offers the potential for additional savings compared with on-site storage.

Columbus has an integral information lifecycle management capability that allows organizations to apply retention rules to comply with regulatory data retention requirements and to ensure that data is deleted when it has no further useful purpose, in line with the GDPR principle of data minimization. Sensitive data can also be redacted for security or compliance reasons.
For more information about the joint legacy application decommissioning solution from Macro 4 and IBM, contact or call +46-(0)8-5560 5500.

About Macro 4 application decommissioning:
Macro 4 has over fifteen years’ experience in successfully delivery legacy application decommissioning projects of all sizes, providing a secure and cost-effective solution for retaining legacy data from any business application that needs to be retired.