How to Overcome the Lack of Support for Legacy Systems

How to Overcome the Lack of Support for Legacy Systems

What Is a Legacy System? 

“Legacy” refers to any piece of old or outdated software, technology, or system that doesn’t receive software team support or maintenance. Such systems are based on outdated technology, making them incompatible with modern solutions. As a result, a legacy system can slow down or impede processes and prevent organizations from adapting to the evolving market dynamics. 

Regardless, a legacy system is still hard to replace as they often perform critical business processes, and replacing it poses a significant risk for businesses in terms of potential data and revenue loss. 

In this situation, a legacy system modernization solution can help you fully/partially update or even replace your inefficient system, application, or technology. 

How Can Legacy System Modernization Help You Beat Competition?

Software re-engineering services can help you modernize your legacy IT applications to give a competitive advantage to your IT processes and business.

Running on the COBOL code mainframe is difficult to manage as well-trained employees can only perform instruction-based procedural programming. The current tech trends have rendered the old programming languages obsolete, which are no longer taught at the institutes. This dependency on legacy systems and lack of resources increases operational costs and slows the company’s progress.

Legacy modernization creates an opportunity to adopt agile, web-based applications that help resolve legacy challenges. Plus, you can hire any developer skilled in modern language to maintain your refreshed legacy applications.

Modern applications are easy to work with and extremely flexible. With cloud-based applications, you can easily access and maintain your legacy systems from any location.

Challenges in Modernizing Legacy Systems

Modernizing Legacy Systems

Integration Issues

To stay competitive, businesses must be able to integrate new technologies into their existing processes. Your legacy software application must always be able to support your business growth. However, most legacy systems are designed to work independently and thus can’t integrate with modern software, spoiling business scalability and flexibility.

Non-Disruptive Operations

Disruptions can lead to loss of revenue. Many organizations can’t afford to bear the downtime resulting from a legacy modernization process. Hence, it’s important to plan for a smooth and seamless transition. 

Read a use case on how an EdTech company modernized its legacy system and transformed its software product and processes.

Ensuring Data Security and Avoiding Data Loss

Modernizing legacy applications can create a risk of data loss or breach for your business. Enterprises must devise an actionable data migration plan before executing the legacy system upgrade.

Employee Support and Understanding

Employee Support

If your employees don’t see inefficiencies in your current legacy applications, they might express resistance to their modernization. Also, the obligation of learning new skills to work in advanced legacy processes and environments can be unsettling and even threatening. 

Hence, your legacy modernization strategy must include an effective communication plan to help employees adapt to new technologies.

Free download and read the whitepaper on Legacy System Modernization and Observability here.

Expenses

expenses

Companies often don’t have to upgrade their legacy systems completely. Legacy system upgrades can be costly, and it would take a few years to offset the cost and see appreciable ROI. The best approach is to identify and estimate key processes for modernization instead of executing a full-scale disruptive legacy modernization.

Bridging the Legacy Systems Challenge

Assessment

A thorough assessment of your legacy system must start at the software level. Even the most modern software can be incompatible with your current business needs or future goals.

Deciding on Your System’s Modernization Strategy

There are several approaches to modernizing legacy applications, such as:

  • Migration and enhancement – In this approach, the legacy software is migrated to the cloud or an open, modern x86 environment. This enhances several crucial system features.
  • Improvement and growth – Companies with an advanced IT environment may only require basic improvements. This approach can involve improving your software UI, architecture, or code refactoring.
  • Rebuilding your software – Building your legacy application from scratch can enable you to add new modules and advanced integration capabilities while keeping its core functional features. 
  • Replacement – You can opt to completely replace your legacy software with modern applications. This modernization process requires rethinking your system’s core features and business requirements.

Checklist Before Hiring an Expert to Modernize Legacy Systems

Checklist - Modernize Legacy Systems

Evaluate Your Maturity

The maturity level is the primary criterion in determining the right approach to modernizing legacy applications. In case your company hasn’t incorporated a legacy system or is in the initial phase of maturity, it’s smart to start small with multiple instances of a similar application or go for varying applications to handle similar business functions.

Strategize Legacy Systems Modernization

Data (related to budgets, schedules, and operational requirements) can help you understand what aspects of your legacy system must be modernized to give maximum business benefits. Have your security, data, and compliance teams work alongside the IT team during this preparatory process.

Create a Timeline for the Various Stages of Modernization

Legacy modernization isn’t a one-time upgrade but a continuous activity that improves all areas of your IT and business operations. The goal is to maintain a modern, feature-rich infrastructure, which means there will always be scope for improvement and modernization as technology continues to advance.

Steps to Successful Legacy System Modernization 

  • Analyze your legacy systems on priority factors.

Evaluate your existing legacy applications for any challenges, concerns, or roadblocks resulting from outdated technology, functionality, or architecture. If they don’t satisfy your business’s current digital requirements, the necessary aspects must be refreshed to ensure improved business fit, business value, and agility.

The other three factors involve complexity, cost, and risk in terms of your IT operations. Choose to modernize your legacy system in the case of complex technology, or there is a risk to compliance, support, scalability, or security of your business.

  • Determine the need for modernization.

Consider all modernization possibilities based on results obtained from the previous step. Depending on your business priorities, you can choose the right approach based on the ease of adoption, which also influences the risks involved and the impact of modernization on the system and business processes.

  • Opt for the most valuable and effective modernization strategy.

Evaluate all the suitable modernization options available on factors like their impact on:

  • architecture 
  • technology
  • functionality 
  • risk
  • cost 

Choose the one that offers the most value to your business. The three popular options for upgrading outdated legacy applications are rebuilding, rearchitecting, and replacing. 

Conclusion

A self-modernization technique might feel like an intimidating task for many reasons. Cost, dependencies, and the lack of the right personnel or technological skills can weaken your resolve for legacy modernization. That’s why you can reach out for professional software re-engineering services.

VLink team uses the right approaches and tools to develop a customized solution to upgrade your crucial legacy applications and facilitate a digital transformation. We bring extensive cloud knowledge to your project so that we deliver high-value applications, IT operations, and optimized business processes. Ready to modernize your legacy application? Connect with us.

November 2, 2022


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