in reply to Running a perl 5.8.6 CentOS 6-compiled app on a CentOS 8 platform

What happens when you run that perl interpreter at /usr/local/ese/bin/perl? For instance:
$ /usr/local/ese/bin/perl -V

BTW, the error wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS32 probably means you are trying to dynamically link a 32 bit library into a 64 bit process.

In any case, getting something so old to work in a new OS is going to be... interesting! In your place, I would probably take the virtualization route, trying to move the old OS into an LXC container, properly secured and running in the new machine. Though, that's not going to be easier either, even if the kernel has a really quite stable API/ABI, after so long, some incompatibilities are probably going to pop up. In the worst case, you can go for full virtualization.