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Legacy System Modernization - PerfectionGeeks

Legacy System Modernization for Business Owners: - A Boon

April 3, 2023 02:21 PM

Legacy System Modernization

The legacy application is written in a programming language that has been out of support for over a decade. The team that built it has long since disappeared. This app is only available on Windows computers. It's not accessible from your mobile device or browser. It's sitting on an unprotected web server. You keep asking yourself, "How long can this setup last?"

Theoretically, you can survive for another 30 years. These algorithms have helped you succeed in business and get through the past half century. In practise, you will likely be displaced by your competitors before then. How do you handle this situation?

Learn how we helped a plant-growing company and other businesses deal with digital transformation and modernize legacy systems.

What is a Legacy System (LS)?

Are you wondering what a legacy system is? There's no strict definition for "legacy software or "legacy system. You know what a legacy system or piece of software is, though.

You probably inherited, as a CIO or CTO, a software platform that is the foundation of nearly all your business processes. You know that it is a legacy because your predecessors designed it.

What if you're a product executive or CEO trying to determine if your business relies on an old system? The first sign that you and your staff are using software incorrectly is when they become grammatical. Let's examine some other symptoms to determine if it's the right time to upgrade legacy systems.

Legacy System Symptoms

Software is a barrier to productivity and innovation.

Legacy is evident when your software can't scale up an existing product or service or optimise your processes.

The system is not owned by anyone in the company.

Even if the system is mission-critical, if there's not a single executive or department responsible, it's likely a legacy solution that needs modernization.

The costs of customer service have suddenly risen.

If you find that you are spending more money on software maintenance than you do on new products, it is time to review your software.

The vendor has stopped supporting the software.

No support immediately means less security. Imagine that your system is only running Windows XP. Microsoft has discontinued this operating system since 2014. What are your chances of a breach in security in 2022?

The hiring of IT staff for maintenance or upgrading the system takes too much time.

It's important to keep up with the changes in your industry. Or they could become more expensive and scarce.

The training of new employees to use the system takes too much time.

If you see that the costs of staff training continue to increase without any positive feedback from the business and new employees have difficulty using the software, then the system may be an old one.

Our greenhouse owner client identified their situation correctly based on the information above. They were also very specific about their requirements and wisely did not try to over optimize the solution.

You should also be aware of false positives. Something that appears to be a typical legacy system but is not, in fact, one.

False Positives in the Legacy System

Outdated UI

Digital transformation should not be driven by UI. Although it is often the first thing that comes up when discussing legacy apps, it shouldn't be the primary reason for digital transformation.

A greenhouse company would continue to use their legacy system. Despite its 1980s UI, the software has helped the company make millions in profits over the past 30 years. The system was not perfect, but the lack of a modern design wasn't the only problem.

No cloud is in sight.

It's a fine line. I'm walking, but cloud computing isn't always good, or, even better, not always cloud computing. When IT chatterboxes lecture the enterprise on the cloud, they usually mean SaaS-based solutions that can be accessed via a web browser. You can run your system on an on-premises server (like a private cloud) and also access it through a web browser.

No mobile?

A mobile app is not a necessity for a modern system. I've worked for six successful software companies, and none of them used a mobile application to carry out their daily activities.

Mobile apps can also improve legacy systems, and empower workers in the field, as we found when developing a warehouse management application.

You understand that the effectiveness of extending an existing system to mobile apps is dependent on a company's particulars. The plant-growing company in our example, for instance, did not require a mobile application as it had no relevant use cases.

Why go for legacy system modernization?

Legacy System Modernization

After discussing the symptoms and false-positives of legacy systems, let's determine why your business may need to adopt a modernization strategy.

You need to provide all the information to investors and stakeholders to show them that you are serious about the project.

Outrun the competition.

Companies that are well run always look for ways to improve their operations. In the digital age, where innovative technologies such as blockchain, IoT, and AI are everywhere, this pace has only intensified.

Update products or services faster.

Implement the latest cybersecurity practises to protect your IT infrastructure.

Improve employee morale and customer satisfaction by using better products.

Make your legacy system future-proof by integrating it via APIs.

Reduce your costs.

Slashing operational costs is another way to improve business. This helps businesses stay relevant on the market, even if they don't have the most innovative products.

Optimise your business processes to offer more for the same price.

Regrouping resources to ensure everyone is adding value.

Reduce the cost of staff training.

Addressing organisational changes

A merger or acquisition can force companies to adopt new processes. In this environment, newly appointed CEOs and VPs of Technology are in a great position to lead the effort to replace legacy systems.

Optimise workflows and eliminate inefficiencies.

Take advantage of existing strengths.

Alignment with changing market needs.

Best Practices for Legacy Software Modernization

Our experience shows that legacy system modernization strategies are most common in the industries of insurance, finance, and energy.

  1. The first step in modernizing legacy software is to start with people.

    Modernizing legacy systems is an excellent way to adapt your business processes to changing realities. Remember that your employees are the ones who run your business. Get buy-in across the board.

  2. Modernize parts that add the most value first.

    It makes no sense for you to overhaul everything at once. Start with the parts that will have the greatest impact on ROI.

  3. Build to Scale

    You must ensure that your legacy applications remain as current as possible. You should therefore architect with this in mind. If you have a monolithic legacy system, consider breaking it down into microservice and transferring them to the cloud. You can also imagine mobile apps that will support its operations.

  4. Implement Continuous Integration and Delivery

    CI / CD is an essential component of any new platform. Integrate DevOps into your process as you modernize legacy systems. Your no-longer legacy system will receive continuous improvements.

  5. Use IoT, AI, and other value-driving tech.

    Explore modern technologies such as IoT, AI, and AR/VR to improve your solution's efficiency and competitiveness.

    It's time to review your legacy system.

    Are you currently using a legacy system that could be modernized? You are not sure how to go about this. You may be struggling to justify your investment in updating legacy software, and you worry that it will become a legacy system again in the near future.

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