Does your business operate on-premise applications that users now need to access remotely?

More and more applications are available in the cloud, and users and IT professionals alike are accustomed to the benefits of cloud based applications. However many line of business apps continue to be on-premise, and that presents significant challenges.

The business case for change is strong when the business encounters real operational barriers due to the challenges of on-premise apps: global teams cannot efficiently access a central finance system, sales teams cannot update systems unless they are in the office, or large files cannot be shared.

Here we look at some of the challenges of delivering on-premise apps and solutions to overcoming these.


Access – On-premise systems were not designed to work over the internet, or on different devices. Additional administrative staff often provide a costly solution, accessing and entering data that remote staff can’t do directly.

User experience – Access to legacy line of business systems often fails to meet user expectations and is not always user-friendly.

Performance – Performance issues often result in expensive communications links being implemented to deal with what may be only occasional spikes in use.

Supportability – Locally installed software, on multiple devices in multiple locations is a major challenge for already stretched IT teams.

IT infrastructure – Dated remote access or virtualisation systems, often originally installed as a point solution, do not provide the access needed.

Upgrading other systems – Legacy applications that will only run on older operating systems or web browsers can lock the organisation into these old versions. A risk when the technology becomes unsupported, this also means the organisation is missing potential benefits from newer functionality.

Business impact – Legacy enterprise systems can hinder the likelihood of an organisation meeting its objectives, particularly times of change and growth.

Overcoming the Challenges

Optimising network use 

The network is the place to start, as this provides everyone access, whether to an on-premise line of business system, or a cloud based email system. Bandwidth and latency management are key areas to address.

A wide variety or solutions are available including networking products (from vendors such as Citrix, Cisco, Riverbed and Bluecoat) and software defined wide area networks supplied via a subscription based model as a managed service.

Whilst optimising the network use should help address many of the challenges of delivering on-premise applications, in most cases further action is required.

Replace the legacy solution with a new cloud based solution

Certainly likely to successfully provide access to line of business apps, this is only the right option where there is also a strong business driver for change as this is a large and expensive undertaking.

Develop new front ends to integrate with the legacy business application

Mobile apps or intranet forms can be developed to integrate with the existing systems, but this means individual front ends, each covering limited functionality – and each must be kept up to date.

Put a layer on top enabling all systems to work in the new world

Virtualising the application away from the operating system and other applications installed on the device effectively enables organisations to extend the life and value of their on-premise systems. The application is then not reliant on the operating system, and this also helps achieve data governance where data needs to remain in country.

Citrix is the market leader in delivering Microsoft Windows and Linux based applications and desktops using XenDesktop and Netscaler, or their cloud managed service, to virtualise the application and deliver it to any end user device, at any time, in any location.

The Future

Organisations will increasingly move to the cloud, but this will not happen in all areas overnight.

We continue to see huge investments in on-premise ERP and other enterprise applications for valid business reasons and they will therefore be with us for a number of years. Smart solutions to extend the life and improve access to these on-premise applications are required to remove the pain of supporting older on-premise systems as the underlying client technology moves on.


Most organisations must extend the life and value of their on-premise applications, and the solutions should be assessed in the light of individual circumstances – the business impact of the current access and the potential benefits to the business of improved access.

Contact us to evaluate the options for improving the delivery of applications in your organisation.