Outdated legacy technology is holding companies back and costing them money. Nine out of 10 IT decision-makers say that outdated legacy systems are preventing them from implementing digital initiatives needed for their companies to improve their efficiency and grow, a Hitachi Consulting survey reports. The problem is worse at large companies, where outdated legacy IT hinders 44 percent of projects, compared to 28 percent at medium-sized businesses.

Addressing these issues is a priority for any competitive company. Here are three steps your company can take to bring your infrastructure current in order to streamline operational efficiency, increase uptime and lower operational costs.

Migrate Your Infrastructure to the Cloud

An increasing number of companies are moving to the cloud to upgrade their infrastructure and save IT costs. The average company can save 36 percent by migrating to the cloud, a TSO Logic says. Moving to the cloud can also lower your downtime by providing support from remote backup servers, while improving your security by transferring security oversight to your provider’s team of professionals.

But migrating to the cloud can be tricky, with a botched deployment running the risk of wasted time and costs. To make a smooth migration, IBM recommends following a step-by-step procedure that starts by setting up a private cloud before completing the transition to a public and hybrid cloud.

When setting up your initial private cloud, the first step is virtualizing your hardware and software computing, storage and networking infrastructure. This lays a foundation for adopting cloud infrastructure and platform solutions.

Virtualize Your Apps

Moving your software to the cloud forms another component of a successful infrastructure upgrade strategy. Transitioning from on-premise software to virtualized apps saves on licensing fees, improves efficiency by making it easier to integrate business processes and increases uptime by allowing you to rely on your provider’s infrastructure.

For maximum benefit, choose apps that you can integrate into a single workflow that automates your business processes. For instance, popular cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks Online, Oracle and Sage have integrations that allow you to coordinate your bookkeeping with your point-of-sale transactions, payroll, inventory management, tax preparation and other financial functions. Adopting a virtual customer service solution by moving to a cloud contact center such as 8×8 allows you to integrate data from support channels with your CRM data, providing you with valuable business insights. The more you can virtualize your core software applications, the better you can integrate your workflow while avoiding traditional software licensing costs.

Simplify Your Security

Security is one of the biggest challenges companies experience when moving to the cloud, says SiteGround. One reason is that cloud-based security follows a very different model than traditional security. In addition, many cloud migrations are approached piecemeal, creating the challenge of securing multiple solutions that are not necessarily easy to integrate.

Following the step-by-step cloud migration strategy recommended by IBM will help promote a more integrated cloud transition that will make security easier to manage. Another key to simplifying your security on the cloud is making maximum use of your provider’s native security tools. One advantage of moving to the cloud is that you can rely on your provider’s security team. In addition, cloud infrastructure and app services have built-in security tools that you should utilize.

For instance, Microsoft Azure’s cloud service offers a Security Center with tools that provide a unified overview of your security across both cloud and on-premise workloads, allowing you to continuously monitor and automatically detect and neutralize threats. Learning to use your provider’s native tools can greatly simplify the task of securing your infrastructure, reducing costs and lost uptime from security breaches.

Richard is an experienced tech journalist and blogger who is passionate about new and emerging technologies. He provides insightful and engaging content for Connection Cafe and is committed to staying up-to-date on the latest trends and developments.